A family-owned and -run hotel that spans 4,200 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, Blackberry farm (from $745 per night for two people including three meals per day; blackberryfarm.com) marries the simplicity of rural life with the service and luxuries of a world-class resort. The sixty-three accommodations range from traditional estate rooms to contemporary, high-tech hill Cottages (picture flat-screen Tvs that rise from the footboard of the bed at the touch of a button and theater surround sound). suites come with a private covered porch and inviting rocking chairs, and fireplace concierges are always on call—so you don't have to get out of the cushy feather bed to light the logs yourself. There is a lexus fleet for cruising and an aveda spa, but the ultimate indul- gence here is the food: farm-fresh, haute-meets-country "foothills cuisine" served at the resort's relais Gourmand-designated restaurant, The Barn. — Elaine Stuart
What to do
- Channel Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It by casting a rod in the two ponds on the property or the more than 700 miles of trout streams in the nearby Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Known for offering the best fly-fishing east of the Rocky Mountains, the hotel also staffs Orvis-backed guides (from $100 per person for four hours, 865-984-8166).
- A horse-drawn carriage ride is a relaxing and romantic way to take in the scenery. Lie back and listen as your driver recounts the farm's rich history, points out landmarks, and shares local lore against the rhythmic clip-clop of hooves ($300 for up to four people, 865-984-8166).
- The rolling foothills and curving creeks of east Tennessee make prime mountain biking paths. Pack a picnic lunch and hire a guide to take you to a nearby park on one of the hotel's Cannondale two-wheelers.
- No visit here is complete without a farm experience. Whether you want to shadow the cheese maker or truffle forager for a day, tour the honeybee hive, or get your hands dirty with the master gardener, Blackberry Farm will customize a way for you to explore how the ingredients of your food go from the terrain to the table.
- Don't let the quaint, whitewashed exterior of the Farmhouse Spa fool you — inside is a new, state-of-the-art wet treatment room. The facility features a seven-headed Vichy shower, Scots hose, and heated tile floor. Enjoy it during the Farmhouse Elixir, a signature treatment that blends exfoliation, massage, and hydrotherapy ($175, 865-379-9819).