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“Overpriced and not worth your time!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Blackberry Farm

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Blackberry Farm
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1471 West Millers Cove Road, Walland, TN 37886   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Walland
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Overpriced and not worth your time!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

My wife has wanted to visit for years. We went as a surprise for two nights to celebrate 43 years of marriage. You would have to have more money than brains to go twice. Trails not maintained. Main house needs repair. To add insult to your pocketbook, at checkout a 19% gratuity is added to the already over-priced accomodations. For example, a spa manicure was $90. I sent a friendly letter about our experience to the mananger and never had the courtesy of a response. Plus our travel agent was "stiffed" on her commission.
Yes, the food was good. The rooms nice, not great. The staff friendly and helpful. For the money give me a Regent or SevenSeas cruise any day. David McInnis, San Antonio, Texas

Room Tip: Choose one in Paris.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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310 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Vonore, Tennessee
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

I took my wife to Blackberry Farm as a surprise for her Birthday and she claims it was the best surprise I have come up with in 44 years of marriage. We spent one night and enjoyed every moment of the experience. Yes, the experience is VERY expensive but if you are willing to invest the money - in return you will receive outstanding service, fine food and nice rooms with never ending views of the mountains coupled with about every type of activity you can imagine including a Spa. The list of potential activities is massive and suggest you go to their web site to see all the possibilities. The Resort consists of almost 15,000 acres of mountain and valley property that is removed and private. We did a cooking Class that was just outstanding & very personal with only 3 of us attending. My wife did a tour of the gardens with the Head Gardener that was a great time. We had dinner in the restructured Barn that was both private and offered a wide selection of outstanding food. They have over 100,000 bottles of wine on the property and a full array of other beverages. The next day breakfast was outstanding and we finished our stay with a great lunch served outside on the terrace overlooking the valley & mountains. The location, service, food & experience are well worth the investment. We highly recommend and will return for another special event.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Singing Brook Cottage Suites with woodland views, fireplace and comfortable decor.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

Disclaimer - I love Blackberry Farm. Like an Alabama fan loves Bear Bryant, or a French teenager loves her first Hermes scarf, or a 16 year old loves his first car. This place truly holds a special place in my heart. OK. Now to the review.

This was my third time visiting BBF in as many years. Overall, it was a wonderful stay, but our stay was plagued by a number of bizarre incidents, which I can only chalk up to the fact that the resort, like many luxury properties across the world, is coping with higher costs and probably flat to lower demand.

Accommodations: We stayed in Bluebird, one of the Holly Glade cottages. It is generously sized, with a King bed, nice sitting area, closet, and enormous bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and walk in shower. The highs: the bed is very comfortable, the cottage is private, with the windows overlooking the woods, and double sinks mean that my husband and I aren't fighting for counter space. The lows: sheets a little worn, you couldn't access the safe unless you moved the luggage racks, and closed the closet door while you were in the closet, and not enough towels on the first day (4 large towels and 2 washcloths -- no handtowels). We also couldn't get the thermostat to behave. Overall, 4/5 -- way better than your average bear.

Amenities: This is where BBF is really showing signs of cutting back. The pantry snacks, which are included in your stay, have noticeably decreased. Some classics, like the Haagen Daaz bars and Route 11 chips are still around, but favorite ginger ale, Fever Tree, was nowhere to be found. The snacks in our room generally weren't replenished on a daily basis. The wifi was easily accessible in the main buildings but spotty at best in our cottage. Thankfully, we didn't need access to the outside world. When we actually got our nightly chocolates/cookies, they were DELECTABLE, but this only happened one night out of three. They still stock your room with Aveda products, but we ran out of shampoo and had to request more instead of it magically appearing during the twice-daily housekeeping service. The pool is clean and well-kept and offers an unbeatable view of the foothills of the Smokies. We also enjoyed being able to take a golf-cart for a 90minute jaunt out to the pavilions for a picnic lunch. Overall 4/5 -- most high-end resorts still make you pay for Wifi and sodas. Little things like this matter. Seriously.

Food: My husband and I may be the only ones who PREFER the main house dining to the Barn. Sorry Chef Lenn, your food is amazing, but there is no substitute for Eggs Appalacha or Singing Brook mac n' cheese. Let's not be ridiculous here, all the food is divine. Chef Lenn did an outstanding job on the Skate and Poussin Saturday's lunch was served picnic style on the patio of the Main House. I feel this is where BBF truly shines -- most, if not all, of the veggies came straight from the garden, and they taste nothing like even what you get from your CSA share or the farmer's market. William just about made himself sick on the beans and short ribs. Whoever is the pastry chef, please keep him or her happy. You cannot help but smile when the server sets down the prettiest (and tastiest) presentation of sour cream ice cream and meringue you've ever seen. We had boxed lunches on 2 days -- they really need to call it something else, because the amount of thought that goes into assembling these things is nothing like the lunch you took to school as a child. Overall 5/5 -- the entire culinary team is passionate about their work, and it shows. Don't forget to request the recipe cards -- they will email you most recipes for things you have particularly enjoyed.

Activities: Part of the sticker shock of visiting BBF is the outrageous price of some of the activities. You just then have to put into context what you get for the money. This go-around, we chose horseback riding and shooting as our activities. Our instructor for the field and stream ride was Mary. I chose an English saddle while William rode the most comfortable western saddle you've ever seen -- seriously, it had MEMORY FOAM. The F&S ride is probably the BEST way to see the entire property. Mary was friendly and knowledgeable about BBF history and interesting trivia bits. I highly recommend it. On day 2, we went shooting with Bob. PHENOMENAL. The shooting range is about 30mins from the main property and is nestled back in the woods. Bob gave us a safety briefing, outfitted us with a shoulder pad, glasses, and ear plugs, and away we went, Beretta (EEK!) shotguns in hand, to shoot some clay targets. I have zero experience with shooting, but William said the course was definitely not easy and was very well-kept in comparison to other places he's been. Bob is a natural instructor and made me feel very at-ease with my gun. Overall 5/5. Worth every penny.

Service: I saved the complicated bit for last. This was perhaps the most surprising aspect of our trip. So, here goes. The property is looking somewhat shopworn - the Guest House needs to be painted, baseboards are dusty, and our sheets were approaching threadbare status. Lately, it has been difficult to a) get someone on the phone and b) have a phone call returned. That being said, once you actually get a concierge or reservations rep on the phone, the person is generally very friendly and helpful. I don't think "no" is really in the staff's vocabulary unless you are being unreasonable or hateful. We never had to wait for a car to take us to dinner or back to the Oak Cottage -- LX 570s are plentiful around BBF. However, on the day of our departure, we waited around 10 minutes for someone to come help us with our luggage. Housekeeping keeps the rooms spotless, though there needs to be better communication with them about guests' activities. Our riding trip was at 10:30 - we came back to the room at 9:45 after eating breakfast, and our room was being cleaned. I'd have thought the team would have known not to come by until 10:30 or later -- it was a little unnerving having to wait until our room was finished to be able to change for our activity and being a couple of minutes late as a result. The servers at the Main House and the Barn are very friendly, but it takes forever to have someone first greet you, and then the intermittent "check-ins" when they refill your class - our wine/water/tea glasses stayed empty for some time as we waited for even a sight of our servers some times. At Saturday's lunch, I (apparently loudly) lamented to my husband that I would not get my singing brook mac 'n' cheese since the lunch was family style -- 5 minutes after we sat down with our plates, one of the managers came to our table with a giant bowl of the tasty pasta. When I said "thank you" like a kid at Christmas, he joked and said, "didn't you know the walls have ears here?" Overall 4/5 -- overall service was great, but the wait time for help, either while dining, or with other requests, was a little too long for our tastes.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

I visited Blackberry Farm a couple of weeks ago I must say that the staff is among the most accommodating that I have ever seen, they truly cannot do enough for you. The Barn where dinner is served is beautiful and the food is very good. We did a Skeet Shooting lesson that was great fun and the instructors were top notch.
However, the rooms were another story. We stayed in the Guest House, and the room was on the small side. Was very disappointed to experience at night that we could hear the television and guest's conversation from the room above us, could hear the person above us walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night, flush the toilet, and walk back to bed. Also was disappointing to hear other guests opening and closing their room doors all night.
My advice is to go to the Greenbriar, more activities and nicer rooms.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Lets get the only unfortunate truth out of the way first. This place is expensive. I figured we spent $ 104 an hour for the 4h hours we were there. If money is of concern, think long and hard before you visit. And even if money is a concern, if you are celebrating your 24th wedding anniversary, I'd be hard pressed to think of a better place. The food is fabulous. The setting is enchanting. To be able to go clay shooting, fly fishing, hear a talk on heirloom tomatoes and have every meal so delicious you are in utter disbelief, how do you put a price on that? The staff is very helpful the weather was gorgeous so if you want a fabulous getaway, Blackberry is the place. By March, 2014 they will have a new spa and wellness center so the place will be next to perfect.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Honey Glade cottages in the Hummingbird suite. Great choice.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brianlee95, Guest Relations Manager at Blackberry Farm, responded to this review, December 5, 2013
Thank you for your comments. It sounds like you had a great anniversary trip. I am glad you experienced all things "Blackberry". Our new wellness center is due to open May 2014! It is well under way and coming together nicely. It will be a great addition.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

This may be the nicest place we have ever stayed with a very high service person to guest ratio. Beautiful setting. If you get a chance to fly in a hot air balloon, do it!

Walk around, go fishing, take a boat around. It's all good. Oh and the food is fantastic

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brianlee95, Guest Relations Manager at Blackberry Farm, responded to this review, December 5, 2013
We are glad you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

I can't even begin to describe this beautiful East Tennessee venue. The weather was perfect. The staff was phenomenal. The food was heavenly. The price is outrageous for us common folk. I am so thankful I was able to experience it. Wonder of they would hire me?!

Room Tip: I stayed in the main house and was very happy there for the proximity to everything.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brianlee95, Guest Relations Manager at Blackberry Farm, responded to this review, December 5, 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to this special part of the world.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blackberry Farm

Address: 1471 West Millers Cove Road, Walland, TN 37886
Location: United States > Tennessee > Walland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Walland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One of America's most celebrated intimate luxury hotels beckons discerning guests who aspire to escape modern-day frenzy and slip into a Blackberry state of mind. Situated on a pastoral 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry will show you the many reasons why it is one of the top rated properties in the world ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blackberry Farm Tennessee
Blackberry Farm Hotel Walland
Blackberry Farm Tn
Blackberry Farm Walland
Blackberry Farm Inn

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