Ultratravel U.S.

Summer 2014

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FARM FRESH Blackberry Farm is the gold standard when it comes to farm stays, and now, the Relais & Châteaux resort in the foothills of Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains, has upped the ante with the addition of the Wellhouse. BY TALI JAFFE 36 ultratravel A manda Anderson, wellness director at Blackberry Farm, gives us the back story on the Wellhouse, garden-sourced facials and seasonal spa treatments. Prior to the Wellhouse's opening, how did the property incorporate wellness into its programs? Blackberry Farm had the Farmhouse Spa, which was a charming, intimate spa offering facials, massages and nail services. We have always offered our guests hiking, cycling, yoga and seasonal outdoor activities. Our event calendar also included several wellness events featuring well-known personalities to inspire and educate our guests. Describe a typical day for you on-site. There really isn't a "typical day." My day always starts early to get some quiet time for program development, email correspondence and placing orders for the spa and shop. I like to spend a lot of time with my team and the guests, so the bulk of the day always is out and about, where all the magic happens! What have been some of the most rewarding experiences you've had at Blackberry Farm? There is nothing more rewarding than putting so much work into opening a brand-new facility and celebrating the success with all those who made it happen. How do you incorporate the resort's natural resources into spa treatments? Some of our treatments are seasonal and include garden elements such as sage or lemon verbena. We have several of our wellness activities outside in nature. Our Deep Healing Woods activities, including hiking, yoga and meditation, take guests into the woods to reconnect and take in nature. What are some of the signature experiences at the spa? We have a large array of spa treatments inspired by science, advanced technology and the natural rhythms of the farm. Ingredients for all Wellhouse treatments aim to utilize local flowers, herbs, fruits, vegetables and other healing ingredients sourced from the foothills. We are committed to using only the best natural skin- and body-care products that align with our farm ethic. In our massage selections, we have the Healing Herbs and Flowers treatment, which is a massage using a blend of essential oils followed by a poultice made with garden-grown herbs that we apply to tension- prone areas of the body. And I would always suggest one of the Blackberry Time Experiences, which change with the seasons and incorporate natural resources to create one-of-a-kind experiences for the face and body. Can you share a bit about the formative experiences that led to your career in health and wellness? Travel and exercise were always passions of my family. Whenever we vacationed it would include activities and recovery. I had great role models, I guess you can say. My first job was at a health food store in South Florida where I was exposed to yoga, acupuncture and Ayurveda. Then, in college I decided to major in nutrition. My first job was at a luxury spa, and I have been able to continue learning about massage and yoga since then. What role does Tata Harper play at the spa? She produces one of our skin-care lines. Tata Harper is a perfect partner for Blackberry Farm. Her products are natural, beautiful and environmentally conscious. Will the Wellhouse have programming and special events in line with the rich culinary experiences offered at Blackberry Farm? Yes, we include culinary in our wellness programming. We have a juice bar offering fresh juices made daily. All of our wellness events include delicious and healthy food with all of the flavors and garden-grown items Blackberry is known for, just omitting certain known inflammatory ingredients such as added sugar. The restaurants at Blackberry Farm were just granted REAL (Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership) certification through a partnership between the Tennessee Department of Health and the U.S. Healthful Food Council. REAL helps combat diet-related disease by recognizing holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship. Blackberry Farm's new Wellhouse incorporates local, seasonal ingredients in its treatments. PHOTOS COURTESY OF BLACKBERRY FARM, A RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX PROPERTY INSIDER INFO Amanda Anderson shares a few of her favorite things... Juice: Anything with beet juice. Exercise: I like variety so I bike, run and swim—which all help me stay in shape and clear my mind. Space at the Wellhouse: The Meadow Lounge. It has beautiful views and simply is a beautiful and inspiring space. Time of day: Morning—so much promise to the day! Yoga pants: Lululemon and Skin. Place to disconnect: On the hiking trail, where emails, calls and texts cannot find me! Contact your travel agent to visit Blackberry Farm.

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