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“somewhat a let down”
Review of Blackberry Farm

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Blackberry Farm
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Walland
Certificate of Excellence
bermuda
Level Contributor
83 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“somewhat a let down”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

I had been recommended to Blackberry farm as a great location for an amazing 2 day visit near an area I was traveling for business.
The arrival check in was good(I did have some difficulty finding the place from the highway(no GPS on the hired car)
Couldn't get the dinner reservation time I wanted on check in and was told only 6.15pm available so had to make a 9pm as the only optional time available for both nights. Were not told at time of reservation it was necessary to book a dinner or breakfast. On returning to the room at 9pm first night no turn down service had taken place! we did then get disturbed at 9.30 by the maid knocking on the door for turn down service!!! far too late for an arrival day or any day.
Breakfast service very slow having already waited 20 minutes for a table, coffee cold, the entire meal ordered was brought together so the omelette was sent back which was then was over cooked when it returned,
Dinner the second night while the service by all trainee staff was passable (one only worked there 3 months)the food didn't quite meet the standard I am accustomed to and been a fully professional trained hoteliers for 43 yrs.both my husband & I who were professionally trained chefs found this a somewhat dissapointing visit. The second night again we were kept waiting although late for the dinner reservation, the table service was still very slow with only a few guests left to dine, the dessert never arrived and we had to leave the table at 11.15pm The poor waitress was so dissapointed we couldnt wait the 20 minutes it had already taken since placing the order. Even though lots of staff are on hand and extreemly polite the whole experience was a big let down. The price charged doesn't meet the expectations one would expect using untrained staff in most areas of the property. I understand there is a great training programme offered for staff to take advantage of however this should not be at the expense of those paying the Blackberry Farm prices.
Perhaps many other guests are not accustomed to soignez service or gourmet food however when one has been trained in this field in Europe and the Caribbean one has a certain expectation as a basic standard. This is not what Blackberry Farm offers.

Room Tip: Our room was so small you had to walk round the bed every time. The TV was in an awkward place it w...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank BermudaWatercolours
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, November 14, 2012
Thank you for sharing the details of your stay. Please accept my personal apologies for the disappointments you experienced. Rest assured these details have been carefully addressed. Blackberry has been a labor of love for us for many years and it is only by listening to our guests that we will realize our true potential. We strive to create a unique experience and encourage our team to be the best at all times. If I may assist you personally in any way please do not hesitate to contact me.
Brian Lee
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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495 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (123)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Arley, AL
Level Contributor
62 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

We made our second visit to a very special place. On our previous visit we went in the spring so we decided to try the fall season this time and discovered that regardless of the season Blackberry Farm is a relaxing, elegant but casual abode. As advertised the highlight of any visit is the food which did not disappoint us. Our room was located in the Guest House which has a very inviting common area and the view from our room was to die for.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank rushandjoannstuart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We used to visit Blackberry every March with another couple. Some of the most amazing memories. Banana Pancakes, playing tennis while the deer watch, wine tasting downstairs of the main house, spa experience, fly fishing, Dove bars and ALWAYS an amazing fire. The best staff and excellent service everytime I have been. 5 or 6 times and they never miss a beat. Very expensive and has gotten much worse the more the word has gotten out. I'm a firm believer in if it aint broe don't fix it. Stop adding "stuff" and keep it simple.

Room Tip: I've never stayed in the Inn but all of the rooms are perfect.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank nhouser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
saint louis
Level Contributor
56 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We recently spent three days at Blackberry Farm with another couple celebrating their 20th anniversary. We were all very excited to visit after reading glowing reviews in Town and Country and the Wall Street Journal. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves but I expected more after reading such rave reviews.
Our room was a spacious cottage with a nice front porch, wood burning fireplace and charming, if slightly dated, interior. The room was clean and restocked properly every morning. The bed was very comfortable, the shower had fantastic water pressure and our room was quiet and dark enough to sleep in past sunrise.
We ate breakfast in the main house and enjoyed the dining room and crackling fireplace. Breakfast varied from excellent to average even though my husband and I ordered the same items each morning. Lunch was very good and we ate outside on picnic tables overlooking the property. We ate dinner two nights in the Barn and one outside. We enjoyed our meals in the Barn but I would not say that they were exceptional or particularly memorable. However, the atmosphere was charming and it made up for our slight disappoint with the food. We all enjoyed our night outside but sitting at large communal tables for almost three hours makes for an exhausting amount of cocktail chitchat with strangers. If you want to have a romantic time, do not sign up for the outside dinner.
On to my list of negatives that had an overall impact on our stay.
The Extras-after spending close to $1400 a night before the 19 percent service charge, I was shocked that golf carts were an extra $90 a day. Golf carts are essential to get around the property and should be included with the cottage.
Massage-- not memorable and my husband had to endure one hour of non stop chatter during the massage. Well trained masseuses do not engage in conversation during a $200 massage.
Cleanliness- our room was clean but public areas were not kept up. We drove by wine glasses and food at the firepit in the morning and those remained until late into the afternoon. We sat by the closed pool and found glasses there that remained throughout our stay. It was 80 degrees and a shame that the pool was already closed for the season.
Privacy- I was seated on a chair by the pavilion on the pond enjoying the beautiful day and was asked to leave because of a private yoga session that was due to start in the next 5 minutes. There was no sign mentioning that the area would be closed at any time during the day and it struck me as rather rude that my peace and solitude were less valuable than someone who hired a yoga instructor for their peace and solitude. There are actually very few areas to sit and read around the property and they should not be off limits to guests at the expense of other guests.
I agree with another review that said the departure is more memorable than the arrival because the staggering price for extras, activities and service charges make it one of the most expensive places I have visited in the US and many parts of the world. We all sat in silence on the way to the airport attempting to rationalize the experience versus the value. It is a unique and charming retreat but not one that justifies the final bill.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank lwohara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Blackberry Farm is a one-of-a-kind experience, from its beautiful setting and relaxed pace to its fine cuisine, exceptional service and wide selection of optional activities. The staff is very well trained and more than helpful. Accommodations range from nicely decorated and comfortable lodge rooms to luxurious cottages. Expensive but worth it!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank brianm11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama
Level Contributor
39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

My husband and i just returned from a three day amazing experience at Blackberry Farm. From the moment you arrive, the service is impeccable and accommodating. Brian greeted us very warmly and Adam was very helpful and informative. We had the pleasure of staying in one of the hill cottages which was beautiful to say the least. It was rustic elegance at its finest and decorated beautifully. We enjoyed the fireplace inside the living area as well as the screened porch on the back with the comfortable chaise lounges. All the supplies were provided for the fireplaces and it could not have been cozier! The linens and furnishings were luxurious and we found these cottages to be the finest on the property since we were able to see some of the others.

The food is amazing at every level and is a fine dining experience. While the portions are small, we never left hungry or dissatisfied. We were able to experience both the main house and barn for dinner and each was lovely. The barn however, is just a magical place. Not only is it gorgeous, but the food was spectacular and the wine was perfect. We had an awesome box lunch for the drive home and enjoyed it immensely.

The property is stunning and there is much to do if you enjoy the outdoors. We visited the gardens, met the puppies, visited the dairy, went to the spa, hiked, jogged, and enjoyed the golf cart for trips all over. It is very peaceful and relaxing.

All in all, Blackberry Farm deserves all the accolades and we hope to return again soon!

Room Tip: The hill cottages are very convenient and beautifully decorated.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HappytravelerAlabama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
268 reviews
263 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 554 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2012

This place was on my short list of great hideaways recommended by Andrew Harper that I wanted to experience. We were not disappointed. The setting of the property is just gorgeous and everywhere you go it is just lovely. The owners protected the views all the way to the mountain range for the enjoyment of their guests and you really get those views from the main terrace eating your breakfast and lunch. The staff were all very friendly, although some were more knowledgeable than others. Brian at guest relations is a good go-to person and looks like he really loves his job and his guests. My wife and I had a Singing Brook Cottage which had a fireplace, big bathroom with jacuzzi, central A/C and heating; and the use of a golf buggy which is really necessary if you are going to get around the rather large property of several thousand acres. We definitely enjoyed the food although some things I enjoyed more than others. We don't eat meat or shellfish and some of the menus were difficult to avoid these items, but the staff obliged us very well. Lunch on the terrace is just gorgeous with the views and the food -- lunch is well paced to be a nice meal without being too much between breakfast and dinner. The dining room staff were eager to serve but a bit programmed and sometimes found it hard to step out of their routines to deal with a guest who wanted something on the guest's terms. I think it is quite important for people in this business to remember that at the top-tier level, the guest tells you what time he wants lunch or dinner, and not the other way around. It makes all the difference in the world if I am asked "when would you like to have dinner" as opposed to "we are fully committed except for 6:30 or 8:15." We very much enjoyed the ability to test drive the Lexis fleet of cars and had a ball in the convertible going through the Smoky Mountains area. Peak foliage was at its best and this has to be one of the prettiest rural retreats in the southeast US mountain country with pretty trees, hammocks by the brook and a very relaxing and cozy atmosphere. We enjoyed the horseback riding tour of the property (Rachel the instructor was great); the spa service was very good; hikes in the woods on marked trails that were easy to moderate and pretty walks to their spice gardens; a visit to the newly born truffle dog poodles and met their very interesting trainer; and an evening dinner-party kind of dinner outdoors in a spot with a gorgeous country view. When we left, we received a beautiful take-home lunch which made the flight back to NY a first class experience. We were told that the best time to come back with kids would be late May or early June; a week's worth of the summer camp program daily schedules looked very fulfilling and we are trying to decide if we should return with our kids when they get closer to 6-8 years old or if we should just keep this place our own little secret hideaway. Our 3 day visit kept us pretty occupied but very relaxed. Note that if you have cellphone, Verizon works near the main building but the other carriers might not work.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank 649ic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blackberry Farm

Property: Blackberry Farm
Address: 1471 W Millers Cove Rd, Walland, TN 37886-2649
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): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Blackberry Farm 5*
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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