There’s nothing quite as lavish in life as a weekend spent at famed luxury resort Blackberry Farm. Nestled on a 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, everything—from the lavish accommodations to the Southern hospitality—is done flawlessly. So when word broke that proprietor Mary Celeste Beall was expanding the Blackberry portfolio with a second resort, it’s no surprise the news went viral.
Blackberry Mountain, just eight miles from the original Relais & Chateaux property and on 5,200 acres of pristine land, will offer the same opulence as its sister location, but with more of a focus on wellness. “Blackberry Mountain was a dream for the Beall family for a long time,” says Beall. “Generations of the family, including my kids, grew up playing and exploring on the property. It is a special part of our lives, and it’s really an honor to be part of the team that is making it a reality to share the beautiful land with our guests.” Although the clientele for each resort certainly overlaps, Beall says that Mountain will offer guests even more of a chance to embrace the outdoors. “Blackberry Farm is ideal for travelers searching for a peaceful, pastoral valley experience. It’s great for leisurely strolls through the garden, carriage rides around the fields, and wading into shallow waters for fly-fishing,” she says.
“Meanwhile, Blackberry Mountain is a retreat for travelers who love being immersed in nature. Whether they’re seeking a relaxing getaway or an exciting adventure, the vastness of the mountain comes with a range of ways to enjoy it.” The goal, she says, was to be able to offer the wonder and inspiration that you find on the mountain. The property marries a romantic, peaceful, and relaxing environment with immersive outdoor and wellness activities, including aerial yoga, progressive fitness classes, mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and much more. Over at the incredibly luxe spa, restorative treatments foster whole-body rejuvenation after a day of outdoor adventure.
While wellness is certainly a focus at Mountain, don’t expect a culinary program that is any less impressive than Farm’s. “Our cuisine is meant to energize you for a full day of activity while always allowing for meaningful points of indulgence wherever you want,” says the resort’s director of food and beverage, Andy Chabot. “The food is ingredient-driven, always using the very best available, chosen at their peak, with fresh, bold flavors that surprise and enliven the palate.” Mountain will offer dining at Three Sisters—the property’s flagship restaurant—with sweeping views of the mountains from the dining porch and a wellness-crafted menu helmed by executive chef Josh Feathers. Firetower restaurant, under the direction of chef Joel Werner, is a homey space with a menu that features light and flavorful dishes for guests who are exploring the mountain or settling in with a good book. “It’s exciting in that we are stepping out of our Southern food mind-set to share unexpectedly bold and worldly flavors that accent the very best produce, meats, and fish—some foraged and sourced locally and others simply the best from around the world,” Chabot says.
The same careful precision was the focus in the design elements of the property. While Blackberry Farm was inspired by classic estates, with architecture and interiors that are layered and timeless to connect guests with the heritage of the area as they’re enjoying incredible comfort and luxury, Blackberry Mountain was designed to fuse seamlessly with the natural shape of the land. “The Mountain interiors are creative and elegant, beautifully blending influence from traditional mountain style while showcasing the quality of a modern, new resort,” Beall says. “Natural stone exteriors are made with stone sustainably harvested from the mountain itself to further blend the transition from land to structure.” Conservation and sustainability were also of utmost importance to the team when coming up with the concept of the resort. “In an effort to control plastic waste and eliminate plastic water bottles from the property, we partnered with Yeti to provide a Yeti Rambler for each guest,” says Beall. “The property is equipped with water filling stations so guests can refill as they explore. The Rambler will then serve as a reminder to continue lessening the one-time use of plastic, and also as a keepsake for a great experience.”