Rustic Retreat

The spa menu for The Wellhouse at Blackberry Farm (Walland, TN) features a quote from Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe that reads, “We must always change, renew, and rejuvenate ourselves.” Though the elegant property has been rejuvenating guests for decades by providing them with a bucolic escape amid a peaceful Smoky Mountain setting, the June debut of The Wellhouse marked a true transformation in the efforts to help guests live well.

Designed as a reimagined barn that blends seamlessly with the property’s style, the 12,000-square-foot, nine-treatment-room retreat is situated along a tree-lined meadow and features a thoughtfully curated menu of farm-inspired services and a variety of fitness offerings, as well as a salon, a quiet lounge, a fitness room, an activity room, a multipurpose yoga room, and a juice bar. “With a foundation of stone and wood, the rustic yet elegant space brings touches of the farm and the surrounding Smoky Mountains into the experience,” says director of wellness Amanda Anderson. “Various special touches include handmade cabinetry, hardware, fixtures, and more built by local artisans. Plus, with large windows in the salon, lounge, and retail space, plenty of sunlight pours into the building and shares grand mountain vistas.”

Prior to the opening of The Wellhouse, the property featured the cozy Farmhouse Spa. But after the owners realized that Blackberry Farm may have been missing an opportunity to provide guests with a true destination spa experience, the idea for the new space was born. “In seeing spa trends and the needs of our guests progress past what the space could provide, we knew we needed a larger and more comprehensive facility,” says Anderson. “Key to the development of The Wellhouse is that the property sits on 4,200 acres, and we wanted to celebrate all that the farm offers, as well as all of the components of a well-lived life of balance.”

The spa building itself provides a variety of inviting places for guests to recharge, starting with the nine multipurpose treatment rooms named after herbs grown on the farm, including Basil, Chive, Lavender, Rosemary, Sage, Spearmint, Thyme, Verbena, and Watercress. The Salon features four pedicure and two manicure stations that were made by local craftspeople, and to provide guests with extra space to unwind, the yoga/barre studio doubles as a relaxation area when it’s not being used for classes. “The unique nature of the property tends to bring guests together in a social aspect, however, we felt we needed an additional space for those who want a more private relaxation experience,” says Anderson. “Being conscience of space and our guests’ schedules, we created the yoga/barre studio, which has swing beds that come down from the ceiling to provide soft surfaces for relaxation during the day and high treatment times.”

The spa menu is equally enticing and also inspired by the location. “We believe embracing the balance of the seasons and the abundance of our fields and forests is key to transforming our bodies,” says Anderson. “In fact, for years we have relied on nature’s ability to renew. Shaped by this philosophy, our Wellhouse spa program is deeply rooted in the rhythms of the foothills region.” Among the locally inspired highlights is Galvlati  ($360, 60 minutes; $540, 90 minutes), which is the Cherokee word for “heaven” and the name of the tension-relieving four-handed massage; the Sheep’s Milk & Lavender Wildflower Honey Manicure ($90, 60 minutes) and Pedicure ($100, 60 minutes) that seasonally incorporates Blackberry Farm’s own sheep’s milk and wildflower honey; and the Appalachian Body Purification ($185, 60 minutes; $275, 90 minutes), which involves a scrub made with ground coffee beans and a blend of black silt clay, honey, sarsaparilla, and tobacco followed by the application of a hydrating bergamot body lotion. “We bring a seasonal approach to the latest advances in natural skin and body science, crafting personalized treatments to suit any stay, body, or request,” she says.

The spa menu is made up of several parts—spa treatments and wellness services, as well as lifestyle-learning lectures, private juicing lessons, and farm- and adventure-related activities. Guests can partake in the spa’s Earthfit programs, which invite them to explore the woods and experience guided meditation, hiking, and yoga, and a host of other activities that include personal training, cycling, hiking, water sports, and more. They can even spend time with the property’s master gardener to explore the gardens and learn about the harvest philosophy or in the barn with a program designed to help guests better understand themselves through the nonverbal communication that takes places between humans and horses. Plus, The Wellhouse hosts special events throughout the year that bring in industry experts, professional athletes, and wellness gurus, such as Naturopathica founder Barbara Close, organic skincare expert Tata Harper, acclaimed cyclist George Hincapie, fitness guru Tammy Stokes, and others. Additionally, guests can partake in healthy, farm-fresh culinary options at Blackberry Farms’s two restaurants—The Barn and the Main House at Blackberry Farm.

A passionate team of experts, including 15 full- and part-time therapists, 10 seasonal therapists, eight front-of-house team members, 15 wellness and fitness experts, and three managers, was vital to help achieve the lofty wellness goals set out by resort proprietor Sam Beall when The Wellhouse opened its doors. “At Blackberry Farm, we define wellness as making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life; toward a state of physical, mental, and social wellbeing,” he says. “Here, we don’t advocate harsh regimens like detoxing or fasting, where change falls apart when you return to regular life. That’s not wellness. Instead, our philosophy emphasizes a balanced, sustainable lifestyle that lasts beyond the borders of Blackberry Farm.” It’s a philosophy that’s destined to encourage many happy—and healthy—returns.

Owners: The Beall Family

Director of Wellness: Amanda Anderson

Opened: June 2014 

 

CLIENT BASE

60% female

40% male

 

SPACE

12,000 square feet; 9 treatment rooms

 

PRODUCT LINES

Deborah Lippmann, Gehwol, Lucrece, Naturopathica, Neuma, Tasha & Co. Organics,  Tata Harper

 

EQUIPMENT

Active Networks, Chadsworth & Haig, Comphy Co., Kohler, Living Earth Crafts, Oka-B, Precor, Silhouet-Tone

 

ARCHITECT

Blackberry Design (Walland, TN) and Johnson Architecture (Knoxville, TN)

 

INTERIOR DESIGNER

Kreis Beall, Blackberry Design (Walland, TN)

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