We all need a little break from the hectic pace of the holidays. And a short, two-hour drive from Birmingham to Barnsley Resort in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains can give you that—and more. This romantic retreat welcomes guests into a storybook setting reminiscent of Christmases past with a style that feels very much like Downton Abbey.
Originally built as an opulent Italianate estate in the 19th century, the resort and its surroundings have been transformed into a world-class getaway. Visitors enjoy private cottages, all luxuriously appointed with a mix of Old-World charm and modern conveniences. Activities include leisurely tours of the property’s immaculate gardens, relaxing treatments at the European-style spa, and exciting recreational endeavors such as world-class golf, hunting at SpringBank Plantation, and horseback riding along scenic trails.
Guests can dine in a variety of casual and upscale venues, such as the Woodlands Grill overlooking the golf course for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; the outdoor Beer Garden for sandwiches and craft beers; and the Rice House for a multi-course meal inside an 1840s farmhouse. At every meal, the resort’s official “Wine Snob” is available to make recommendations on the perfect pairing. In addition, this resident wine expert hosts wine dinners, spirits tastings, and other special events throughout the year.
The enchantment can continue with a wave of a wand from Denise Webb, the resort’s “Fairy Godmother.” Whether you want your room lit with tea lights, a bottle of chilled champagne delivered to your door, or a surprise Christmas gift for your significant other, this talented planner has it covered—just one more way to take the hassle out of your holidays (or any day).
Adding to the Barnsley charm, complimentary s’more makings and firepits await guests during the holidays and all year long.
Barnsley Resort offers a “Light Up the Holidays” package that includes luxurious cottage accommodations, a $50 resort credit, and a keepsake ornament. Weekday rates start at $249 per night Sunday through Thursday and $279 per night for weekends (Friday and Saturday). Rates are available November 29 through December 30, 2014.
Be sure to check out the family fun holiday events such as a visit with Santa Claus, a live reindeer encounter, and musical performances during the “Lighting of the Ruins” on November 26. The resort also hosts wreath-making classes, gingerbread-building workshops, and elaborate holiday dinners on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
For more details about these events, including specific dates and times, visit barnsleyresort.com.