An artful escape, visit this North Georgia retreat for carefully curated experiences that exceed expectations.
By Wyndi Kappes
When was the last time you truly got away from the stress and hustle of the day-to-day? I’m not talking about the annual family beach vacation, the two-day work conference in a different city or that destination wedding. When was the last time you did something just for yourself?
Just a few hours north of Atlanta, nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lies the perfect escape for those looking to recapture a sense of peace and self. A historical estate dating back to the 1840s, unique cottages and an artfully designed inn line an idyllic town square complete with cozy fire pits, string lights hanging over the beer garden and Etta James’ “At Last” playing faintly in the distance.
Here, time trickles by slowly, like the droplets of water cascading down the fountain anchoring the old Manor House Ruins. Each staff member doesn’t just help you with your bags, but gently helps you let go of your worries so you can immerse yourself in the beauty of North Georgia.
Within a few minutes of talking with Barnsley’s president David Friederich, you get a sense of why this place is so special. After working at hundreds of resorts across the country, Friederich points out Barnsley as something different. “It’s more than lodging; it’s a sense of place. If you are looking for your place in the world, Barnsley is here for you,” he shares. It’s a grounding experience that’ll have you looking up as much as looking inwards.
Outdoor adventures from archery and clay shooting to horseback riding, forest bathing and golf feature expert instructors who are just as interested in teaching you their craft as they are in connecting you with the land they love. For Friederich and the rest of the Barnsley staff, it’s all about helping each guest find their unique gift in nature. That aha moment that stops you and makes you think, “this is really what it’s all about.”
Even though it’s based in nature, Barnsley isn’t short on any of the traditional resort amenities. You can find an award-winning spa, innovative food and beverage program and family-friendly pool space, where I watched one of Barnsley’s littlest guests learn how to swim for the first time. Resort manager Matt Quick emphasizes how Barnsley has been the backdrop for many memorable moments like this. “Because we are a smaller, tight-knit resort, we have the flexibility to create specific and curated experiences for each guest,” Quick says. From wedding parties invited to bury their own bottle of bourbon on the grounds to special anniversary dinners crafted among the bamboo forest, there’s a slice of something singular for everyone.
So when it comes time for you to make more than just a trip out of town, head to Barnsley Resort, where you’ll find more than the ordinary outing. You’ll find a restful retreat uniquely crafted for you.