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“Fantastic Farm.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blackberry Farm

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Blackberry Farm
1471 West Millers Cove Road, Walland, TN 37886   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Walland
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic Farm.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Blackberry is a wonderful farm, spa, inn and sports mecca where the employees pamper you properly. It is a wonderful slice of Tennessee and the food is wonderful. The barn (drinks and dinner, coat required) is one of the best restaurant settings I have ever been in and the service is impeccable. There is a great little bar and an extensive wine list. Everyone is helpful and friendly.There is shooting, fishing, golf, equestrian available for the guests to enjoy. This a a big farm with all the animals. There are Llamas to guard the sheep. Blackberry makes many of its own meats, cheeses, preserves etc. guests find plenty to do with long walks, guided hikes in the Smokies and Sch moors by the fire pit after dinner. The spa is a wonderful relaxing experience. The will be opening a new larger spa and swimming pool soon. This is an idyllic place tucked into the hills of Eastern Tennessee and you should not miss it.

Room Tip: You need to call for reservations as they are very busy. I think all room locations are excellent mo...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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362 reviews from our community

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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 (92)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, AZ
Level Contributor
188 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

First off, as several reviewers have expressed dissatisfaction with the cellular coverage at Blackberry Farm, depending on one’s carrier, it might be limited, or might not even exist. The three cellular “hot spots” that we have found for Verizon are: the patio outside of the Main House, and especially toward Teensy’s Dining Room, the top of a boulder in front of Speckled Sussex (Singing Brook Cottages), and the patio in front of The Barn. Good WiFi connections can be found in most cottages, and other buildings on the property. This is to alert others that their cell phone will probably not function well, over most of the property.

Now, this is a review of our most recent trip to Blackberry Farm. It was specifically to attend their Wine Geek event, but the review is for the stay, and not that event, where possible. Our previous trip, in April, was for their Hospice du Rhöne Wine event.

We are fortunate to get to Blackberry Farm about twice per year - sometimes for an event, but sometimes just for a stay. From our portfolio, this was our 15th visit, and the second of 2013. The previous being in April, also for another culinary/wine event. This was our first visit to Blackberry Farm in the month of December - have visited most other months.

As per normal, we stayed in the Singing Brook Cottages, and in our favorite, Speckled Sussex. The cottage, like most of the Singing Brook Cottage is quite roomy. There is a bedroom/living room, a full bath with walk-in shower and tub, plus dual sinks. In a small hallway, that can connect to the adjoining cottage (Oxheart in our case), is a refrigerator (pretty well stocked) and the coffee maker w/ mini-bar items, some glassware and wine/bottle openers. The closet is quite large, and we have never run out of space, even when we had luggage from a business trip into different climates. There is also a safe in the closet, as well as an iron and ironing board. The cottage has a nice working fireplace, with a wide-screen TV (attached to a DVD player, located in the closet) above it. We have never wanted for anything, including more room. The Singing Brook Cottages come with their own golf carts, and all have a porch w/ usually two chairs and a small table.

There are several lodging arrangements on-property, with more coming. One can choose a smaller “lodge room,” in the Main House, or the Lodge, next door. There are also larger rooms in both buildings, and we finally toured many. In those, there is a “common room,” for the coffee, etc., and just relaxing. All were lovely, and many had been recently renovated, with the others scheduled soon. Not sure when those renovations will be 100% complete, but from our survey, most are already.

Just down from the Main House and Lodge are the Holly Glade Cottages. We have only toured two, and they all appeared to be larger than the largest room in either the Lodge, or the Main House.

Across W. Miller’s Cove Road, there are the Singing Brook Cottages, which are mostly duplexes, with the individual units attaching at their backs. Noise has almost been totally non-existent, whether in the Speckled Sussex w/ Oxheart being the other half, or in Nubian, with Washday as the other half. There are a few exceptions, but not many.

Blackberry Farm also has the Homestead for larger groups, and did have the Joe Pye Cottage, but I am not sure of its availability, as that property was recently sold. New accommodations are under construction now, as is a new Spa, close to the Main House.

Three meals per day are included, with breakfast and most lunches served in the Main House, or on the patio/lawn area, outside the Dogwood Bar. Dinners are almost always served in The Barn, across the property, except for meals associated with events, which are often served in the Main House.

While the menus for breakfast might seem small, it’s almost always possible to have a few other options chosen, if requested. I have done so, when I found a real favorite on one day’s breakfast menu, and wanted to revisit that. I just make the request the day before, and it materialized. We have learned to share most breakfast dishes, and especially if we plan on doing lunch.

Lunch is varied each day, and except when they are doing self-serve, we have trained most of the servers as to what a “small portion” really is. Blackberry Farm will also accommodate guests with box lunches, if they are going to be unable to attend lunch, for say a drive into GSMNP in one of the property’s Lexus vehicles - just book a day in advance (they tend to book up on the day of use). We had “spa day,” and found that two box lunches were delivered to the Spa, awaiting us. I have also requested a favorite dish - the Smoked Trout Sandwich, and though it was not on the menu, it appeared in our box lunch.

Some others have complained about small portions at Blackberry Farm. Well, we have never been able to eat a full breakfast, a full lunch AND a full dinner. It has taken us years to “train” the servers to REDUCE the portions.

Dinner at The Barn is a bit more of a formal affair, in that gentlemen must wear jackets. At breakfast and lunch, one will see guests dressed for equestrian activities, hiking, shooting, fly-fishing, etc., but the men will wear their jackets to dinner. The menu changes nightly, with full-rotation on about a weekly basis. Besides the a la carte selections, there is usually a Chef’s Tasting Menu. It also rotates about weekly. The Chef’s Tasting Menu usually has a supplemental charge, as there are more courses and some of the main courses might also have a supplemental charge, all clearly marked on the menu. With the exception of the Amuse Bouche, all portions have been more than adequate for us. Depending on whether we had any lunch, we will often do the Chef’s Tasting Menu, but might also go a la carte. On this trip, my wife did two apps, in lieu of a main course, with zero problems. I often will do a cheese course, whether specifically offered, or not, in lieu of a dessert. We have never been able to eat a full breakfast, full lunch and then dinner, even a la carte. The closest that I have ever had to a complaint regarding the food, is that though Blackberry Farm has a cheese maker, and also source several cheeses locally, having a cheese cave with a formagier would be a welcomed addition - having a full, world-class cheese selection would be a bonus. Executive Chef for The Barn, Joseph Lenn, was just awarded the James Beard House’s Best Chef: Southeast. Chef Lenn’s cuisine can best be described as Southern, with a strong emphasis on both fresh produce from the Blackberry Farm garden, just a dozen yards from The Barn, or locally-sourced. Yes, Blackberry Farm IS a farm, with a Master Gardener, a Master Agronomist, a Forager, a Cheese Maker, a Sausage Maker and a Brewmaster. Even most of the mushrooms served are grown on logs, in the Blackberry Farm garden, with Black Truffles about to be harvested from inoculated hazelnut trees in their “Black Truffle Orchard.” To help harvest those, when they come of age, Blackberry Farm is raising Italian Truffle Dogs, but it will remain to be seen how well Alba, and her pack function - hope they do not eat them all...

I could not review Blackberry Farm, without making mention of the wines, and wine service. In an earlier review, and even in a video that I did on Blackberry Farm, I was wrong on the number of bottles. After a recent count, the number is ONLY 180,000 bottles! OK, I was using older figures, before they counted all the bottles that we had consumed. The wines represent almost every spot on earth, where fine wines are produced. The wine list is now about 236 pages long! The list is both deep, and broad, with many notable verticals and horizontals of some great wines. Even with the emphasis on “great wines,” the list includes many “deals,” and the staff of sommeliers do a wonderful job of helping a guest choose just the right wine, within their budget, whatever that might be. Blackberry Farm has 5 sommeliers, and the owner, Sam Beall, is also a sommelier, though he is not seen that often working in the dining room. Most of the Head Sommelier duties are performed by Andy Chabot, but Keith, Jason, Andrew and the rest of the crew, are about as good as we have found anywhere on the globe. Appropriate stemware is a must at Blackberry Farm, and all wine-service is top-notch. If one has a question, all they have to do is ask. While one might not find many of “the usual suspects” on that excellent list, it is filled with wonderful wines - many that one will not likely see, in all but the best restaurants in the US, Europe/UK and Asia. While we love many domestic (US) wines, and also Bordeaux, we delight in their Burgundies (red & white), plus their Rhönes (red & white), plus offerings from some rather more obscure Regions. On this visit, we enjoyed many Burgs, some excellent Rhönes and even a lovely, highly-allocated CA Pinot Noir. If one cannot finish a bottle (or bottles), that/those can be saved for the next night, delivered to their room/cottage, or even to lunch/brunch at the Main House - we had the second half of a lovely Puligny-Montrachet at Sunday Brunch, before we left. Unless someone is looking for Yellow Tail, or Two-buck Chuck, they would be hard-pressed to NOT find a bottle of wine on this list. Also, they can handle almost any special request for wines, about which leather-bound books have been written. While I have seen bigger lists (Bern’s Steakhouse, Tampa, FL), or lists more specialized to maybe rare Bordeaux, or Burgundies, I have never seen one that is better.

As usual, check-in was flawless, though we arrived late in the afternoon. We were ushered to our cottage quickly, hung up our clothes, and rushed to our table at The Barn. The whole process took but about 30 mins. (including hanging the clothing) and the short drive in our golf cart, to The Barn.

As per our portfolio, the normal Aveda bath products (wife has a problem with those) were replaced by a full compliment of Kiehl’s. The Barn knew of my wife’s bi-valve issue, and had other options for any dish containing oysters, clams, mussels or scallops - already noted to our servers. Each knew the full prep of every dish, including broths.

Our dinners were pretty evenly split between the event, and the free nights, and all were excellent.

Check-out was the only issue that we encountered. Due to heavy rain, we had called for a Lexus to take us to the office, but it was taking too long. We drove the golf cart to the office, where our limo was waiting (booked through Blackberry Farm with Chariots For Hire), and we even had our regular driver. Actual check-out went flawlessly. Other than that one glitch, everything else was perfect, just as we have come to expect at Blackberry Farm.

Heading back next November, and just for a regular stay - no culinary, or wine events.

Photos added for Singing Brook Cottage, both exterior and interior, The Barn, The Dogwood Bar, The Main House, The Gambrel Kitchen, BBQ Lunch, The Wine Room & Wine Cellar.

Room Tip: We have always stayed in Singing Brook Cottages, but toured the lodge rooms, and they looked lovely...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
34 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

My husband & I love to escape our urban life whenever we can - our three nights at Blackberry Farm was a perfect escape. BF is about a 30 min drive from Knoxville airport. We arrived about noon, got an early check-in and had a lovely lunch on the lawn of the main house. We enjoyed a tasty simple lunch with BF's own brewed beer as we took in the amazing view of the rolling hills and valleys below. We took a deep breath and relaxed. We were here. We switched off. Staff is first rate, all so lovely and welcoming. BF had a full house the weekend we were there but it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves… we rarely saw anyone as we walked the grounds and explored. The guests that we did meet were all very low keyed and friendly. Accommodations were understated, homey, and very comfortable with lots of down/quality linens. Food was very good to great; everything was very fresh and mostly delicious. Presentation was always a work of art. We loved dinners at the Red Barn. It is a beautiful building with a very romantic ambience, lots of soft lighting, candles and a crackling fire. By the third day I was feeling overwhelmed by three meals a day, and at our last dinner skipped half the courses; it was a lot of food over the few days we were there. Those who complain of lack of cellular connection should be aware that BF isn’t responsible for whatever service your phone can or cannot get – that issue lies with your carrier – AT&T, Verizon or whomever. Guests who complain of cost know when they make their reservation what the cost entails; whining about it after the fact is redundant. Blackberry Farm was a welcome respite from the hustle/bustle and grind of our daily 'real' lives - therefore, for us, it was priceless.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sherman, Connecticut
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

Yes, it is expensive, but if you get past the sticker shock it ultimately feels like reasonable value for those big bucks. After all, three astoundingly good meals a day are included in your room rate, (they'll gladly provided a packed lunch when we left the property) and unlike many other top hotels, the percentage added to that for service really does mean that no one on the highly attentive staff is waiting for a tip during your stay. The place is a foodie fantasy, with menus that offer both exciting original dishes and perfect renditions of traditional southern classics. The wine afficionados with whom I shared a Blackberry vacation were overwhelmed by the grandeur of the (very pricey, but who's counting) wine list and a visit to the dazzling cellar that supports it. But meals are only part of the Blackberry food experience. The large and beautifully groomed property includes a vegetable garden, a brewery, a stocked trout stream, cheese makers, and a truffle woods complete with a kennel in which they are breeding Italian truffle hunting dogs. Visiting these facilities was an excellent diversion for those of us who were not up for daylong hikes in the Smokies, or the paintball and trap shooting that some of our family enjoyed on a remote piece of property. The range of activities available is staggering. Just looking through them all on the website was an evening's activity when we first booked. I was more than impressed by the quality of the hiking guides, yoga instructors and spa personnel that took such good care of us. I was told that in one of the staff areas there is a big poster that says " 'Yes' is the answer. Now, what is the question?" This showed in the can-do/will-do attitude of every staff member we dealt with. Rooms in the two original buildings (the Main and Guest Houses) are quite varied, and a few are really too small for a luxury property, but they are all handsomely furnished, with beautiful linens and nice details. We chose these when we visited with a group of family members, but we couldn't quite forget the ultra-luxurious Hill Cottage accommodations we'd enjoyed on an earlier visit. Nothing has been held back in these large free-standing buildings. Huge bright bathroom had a heated floor, enormous tub and shower, stacks of lush towels. A mini-kitchen was stocked with all manner of complementary goodies. The Bose sound system and multiple flat-screens meant that were the weather to turn we could happily hunker down there for a week! Now the bad part: the Knoxville airport, a half hour's drive from the resort, can accept nothing larger than commuter-size aircraft, which means that flights are more frequently subject to weather delays and cancellations. We have, in our limited experience, already been through both.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms above the breakfast area of Main House if you like to sleep late. The back rooms o...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

I have waited to write this to be sure I was careful about my critique. It is not always easy to be critical when it is apparent that so much money has been spent to either build a property or have a stay at a property. This was my 3rd stay at BF and I was extremely surprised, often not pleasantly surprised either, at how things had changed over the years. While progress, growth and sophistication most often times is a welcomed thing, I think BF may have grown too much. With over 400 employees, according to our driver that drove us to "the Barn" for dinner, (it was too far to walk) it seems as if some of the "small inn" charm has been lost. My first breakfast morning, my pancakes were cold and I sent them back…also, watching the woman 2 tables to my left send her oatmeal back due to it being cold. We stayed in the room "Dutchman's Pipe" and I could hear the man beneath us snoring all night. The second night, there was a group of about 4 or 5 13 - what looked like maybe 15 years olds romping out at the fire pit at 10:00pm "ish" having a big time…We came to BF for peace and quiet….at this property, I think children do not belong…or if they do come, then BF should have an area designated for "families only" because not everyone thinks it cute when they have come for relaxation and left their children at home.

With this house being built in 1990, it seems more care should have been taken to sound proof each room. We had a wonderful walk to lunch on Saturday, which was set up family style with lots of unusual dishes.I really don't have any complaints about our dinners in "the Barn" but I just remember how lush and lavish the flower arrangements were in the main house and how warm and cozy the main house dining was before the property enlarged. The focus and appeal seems to be geared to a "more corporate" feel. The furnishings are still lovely though a bit dated and could use a bit of refreshing but not to the extent that they changed the dining feel in the main house…here again..I just felt as if I was in any hotel dining room…decoratively, it felt very ordinary and cold to me, too contemporary…not at all what I remember the 2 other times I had been….all of the staff were quite lovely and helpful and were certainly willing to help with whatever was needed but I probably should have just let my memory remain and try not to re-visit because I just don't feel it offered much of the wonderfulness as my 2 previous visits.

Room Tip: I would certainly opt for the individual cottages if you can afford the cost….in the 2 houses with i...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Mississippi
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013 via mobile

More than lived up to its reputation for service. Booking thru Andrew Harper provided many perks,not the least of which was the spacious and well located room.Magnolia, in the main house. Staff was thoughtfulness personified.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

If you are looking for a very relaxing time, I mean, ultimate relaxation, this is the place to get away from the world. Our only issue was the major lack of cellphone service! There was excellent wi-fi on the property, but no cell service except a spotty signal at the main house. You would think that after going above and beyond to impress and sparing no expense, they would fix the cell service. Leading us to believe this is intentional. After recovering from the shock of how remote this property is, we were won over with some of the most amazing food, wine and excellent service. Our Singing Brook Cottage accommodations were charming and luxurious. Included was a personal golf cart, which we considered a must. Everything is scattered all over this expansive property, so unless you like to walk or wait for them to pick you up, get the golf cart with your stay. When you consider that this is an "all-inclusive" luxury resort, as all meals and tips are included, the price is very acceptable. One of the best wine lists I have ever seen, with fair prices for everyone. The service is world-class.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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 
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Also Known As:
Blackberry Farm Tennessee
Blackberry Farm Hotel Walland
Blackberry Farm Tn
Blackberry Farm Walland
Blackberry Farm Inn

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