The Smokies’ most luxurious accommodations are, without a doubt, at Blackberry Farm (1471 W. Millers Cove Rd., Walland, 865/380-2260, www.blackberryfarm.com , $745–2,000). A 4,200-acre working farm located in unblemished seclusion not far from Townsend , Blackberry Farm is a true upscale resort. A member of the Relais and Chateaux group of resorts and perennial member of the elite circle of top U.S. resorts, Blackberry Farm is a remarkable place to stay. While the refined elegance of meals and atmosphere seems far removed from the rustic, down-home character of the Smokies , the closeness to the land and unspoiled nature of the property brings guests straight to the marvelous beauty of this corner of the world.
Blackberry Farm has 63 guest accommodations, including rooms, suites, cottages, and houses. All rooms are carefully appointed and leave nothing to be desired. Rates include three meals a day, many of which are prepared with organic meats and produce raised right on the farm. The food served at Blackberry Farm is simply unparalleled in these parts, and combines the best of regional ingredients with sophisticated culinary techniques.
Blackberry Farm may not be for most of us, but hats are off to those who can afford this special type of Smoky Mountain luxury.
Located right on the main highway in Townsend , Highland Manor Inn (7766 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy., 800/213-9462, www.highlandmanor.com , $49–99) is a respectable motor inn with king- and queen-sized rooms. All rooms have refrigerators, and guests receive free continental breakfast and use of the outdoor swimming pool and playground.
The 10-room Richmont Inn (220 Winterberry Ln., 865/448-6751, www.richmontinn.com , $150–250) offers guest rooms and suites, all named for notable Smoky Mountain people and decorated in a tasteful yet rustic style. Guests enjoy a full breakfast featuring homemade breads, plus healthy and hearty options. Evening dessert is served by candlelight with gourmet coffee. Both are served in the inn’s dining room with panoramic views of the mountains.
Dancing Bear Lodge (137 Apple Valley Way, 865/448-6000, www.dancingbearlodge.com , $189–279) offers both guest rooms and one- and two-bedroom cabins with a pronounced upscale edge. The lodge has a rustic feel—afforded by lots of wood finishes and botanical artwork—with refined touches like featherbeds and hot tubs. Cabins feature full kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces, and private porches. Guests are invited to a top-notch continental breakfast each morning, and they may make reservations for dinner in the lodge restaurant, which features the only full bar in Townsend . Guests are also invited to lounge in front of the lodge fireplace in the lobby, or on the porch overlooking the mountains.