There are obvious reasons to stay at Blackberry Farm, a luxury resort in the foothils of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.  Their unblemished reputation as one of the finest luxury resorts in the United States is one.  The accolades awarded honor the extreme effort they put into running and maintaining their establishment.  Their guests leave singing their praises and often end their stay with a date set for their next visit.  It has romance, charm, elevated food and leisure activities that embrace and celebrate the culture and lifestyle of the Tennessean Mountains.

My stay at Blackberry Farm was no different. I expected the royal treatment and out-of-this world food and I got it. This trip was five-star from beginning to end.

Since my husband and I are avid travelers and because we are detail oriented, we looked for what separates Blackberry Farm from other great establishments.  What features of the resort make it the “best?”  Here are a few of our favorite details in no particular order. 

1. The Bread Basket

Who doesn’t like a breadbasket?  I don’t need one at every meal but if one presents itself, then I examine and sample; Bonus points awarded for fresh, warm, crusty bread accompanied by room temperature sweet cream butter.  But changing it up?  Making each carbohydrate different every time?  Biscuits one day and corn bread another?  Taking the extra effort to provide something different to wet my appetite or clean my plate?  Ohhh yeah…. we love it.

2.  No Repeating

Seasonal food?  Yes and it has to be.  Cook what is in season to optimize flavor.  Organic food?  It better be with all we now know about the benefits of eating clean and the dangers of ingesting poison.  Plus, they served unique dishes every meal. The menu change up is much appreciated.  I cannot begin to imagine the effort it takes to reinvent dishes as often as they do and manage to deliver superb food that is so divine you’re willing to lick your plate in front of strangers.  

3. Rocking Chairs                   

At Blackberry Farm, the goal is rest and relaxation.  There’s a pool and spa along with relaxed fine dining to indulge in but don’t miss the opportunity to just sit your bottom down on a regulation wooden rocking chair, drink sweet tea and calm your breathing.  They’re strategically arranged to encourage a Zen-like viewing of the surrounding landscape.  And if sitting on a rocking chair sounds old fashioned, there’s also a giant tree swing waiting for an occupant.

4. Berettas

Prior to our arrival, we arranged a private lesson to learn how to shoot skeet.  Due to my lack of exposure to hunting and firearms, I was very exciting to get a little taste of this outdoor sport.  I’ve always wanted to try it.  Add a Beretta shotgun to equation and now I feel cool.

5. Southern Charm

It goes with out saying that great service is just as important as the accommodations and food in any resort.  There needs to be a balance.   Every guest wants to be treated with respect, sensitivity and kindness.  Especially when you’re paying a small fortune to stay there.  I’ve stayed in economical motels, hostels, and B&B’s where the service was far superior to the service I’d received at lavish hotels.  Good service is just good. That said, maybe it’s in the Tennessee water but everyone from Sam Beall, the proprietor, to the valet is as charming as they are competent.  It’s as if they are just as delighted to be there as you are.