Beauty

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Forest Bathing 24/7 at the
New Blackberry Mountain Spa

  1. Just about any forest is magical in some way, but the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains are especially misty and mysterious. Around this bend, you come across a long-abandoned moonshiner’s cabin; around that one, clumps of wild ginseng; around that one, a jaw-dropping view of the gently rolling mountains.

    If you appreciate that sort of magic, there is a new spa for you, one where you can hike, practice yoga, bike, ride, and climb through the woods to your heart’s content, then relax with a beautifully made cocktail, watching the sun set from the top of a fire tower that’s itself on top of a mountain.

    bathrun in room

    You could also watch the same sunset from the gigantic bathtub in your room, the year-round heated outdoor infinity pool, or any number of crackling-fire-punctuated dining rooms (the ultimate being the one perched just below the fire tower).

  1. Just about any forest is magical in some way, but the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains are especially misty and mysterious. Around this bend, you come across a long-abandoned moonshiner’s cabin; around that one, clumps of wild ginseng; around that one, a jaw-dropping view of the gently rolling mountains.

    If you appreciate that sort of magic, there is a new spa for you, one where you can hike, practice yoga, bike, ride, and climb through the woods to your heart’s content, then relax with a beautifully made cocktail, watching the sun set from the top of a fire tower that’s itself on top of a mountain.

    You could watch the same sunset from the gigantic bathtub in your room, the year-round heated outdoor infinity pool, or any number of crackling-fire-punctuated dining rooms (the ultimate being the one perched just below the fire tower).

  2. bathrun in room
  1. The Martini Emotional Detox Batg Soak The Martini Emotional Detox Batg Soak
    goop Beauty
    “The Martini” Emotional
    Detox Bath Soak

    goop, $35
  2. G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush
    goop Beauty
    G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush
    goop, $20
  3. G.Tox Glacial Marine Clay Body Cleanser G.Tox Glacial Marine Clay Body Cleanser
    goop Beauty
    G.Tox Glacial Marine
    Clay Body Cleanser

    goop, $30

Blackberry Mountain is great to visit with a friend, a more-than-friend, or pretty much anyone; we’re hosting the first-ever goop Escapes retreat there this month (April 25 to 28), and we could not be more excited. (If you’re interested, drop us a line at [email protected]—there are a few spots left.) It’s the sister property of Blackberry Farm, a resort that’s half an hour away and famous for its uncompromising farm-to-spa luxeness. The view from Blackberry Farm is Blackberry Mountain, in large part; when the mountain came up for sale, the farm despaired over its potential overdevelopment and bought it on the spot. Several years later, the idea of a mountain spa began to germinate, and today, stone-and-wood cabins with walls of black-mullioned windows are tucked so unobtrusively into the curves of the mountain, they seem as if they’ve been there forever.

Most of the cabin-rooms surround the resort center, set about midway up the mountain. All are airy, generous, decorated with a lush modernism, and fireplaced and bathtubbed to the hilt. There are also several cabins at the top of the mountain by the fire tower. While these don’t have television, the luxe-rustic cabin décor—not to mention the fact of sleeping on top of a mountain—makes them more than worth the sacrifice.

Woven between and around the cabins is an astonishing network of trails (there are gentle ones and serious-workout ones), which you can explore on your own or with one of the very knowledgeable on-site

  • guides, who know the mountains and forest intimately. They know where to find wild grapes growing, where to see the best views (don’t miss the unprepossessingly named Goat Hill), and they know the history of the land and its inhabitants, from the Cherokee and early British settlers to, of course, the moonshiners.

    Woven between and around the cabins is an astonishing network of trails (there are gentle ones and serious-workout ones), which you can explore on your own or with one of the very knowledgeable on-site guides, who know the mountains and forest intimately. They know where to find wild grapes growing, where to see the best views (don’t miss the unprepossessingly named Goat Hill), and they know the history of the land and its inhabitants, from the Cherokee and early British settlers to, of course, the moonshiners.

    The excellence of the hiking and climbing guides reflects the absolute, A-list-amazing quality of the instructors and therapists at Blackberry. If any one of them were to set up shop in New York or LA, there’d soon be a line out the door. They teach (expertly) every sort of class: HIIT, Pilates, cardio-barre, aerial yoga, foam rolling, stretching, meditating, soundbathing, and many more rotate on the hour. In the spa, there are naturopathic consultations, fantastic acupuncture, craniosacral massage, and every sort of facial, body massage, wrap, and scrub, along with steam rooms, infrared saunas, and the pool and hot tub outside.

    1. GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Overnigth Peel GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Overnigth Peel
      goop Beauty
      GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic
      Overnight Peel

      goop, $125
    2. Goop Enriching Face Oil Goop Enriching Face Oil
      goop by Juice Beauty
      Enriching Face Oil
      goop, $110
    3. Goopglow Goopglow
      goop Beauty
      GOOPGLOW
      goop, $60

    The food at the several restaurants and from room service is innovative, vegetable-intensive, as local and organic as possible, mostly clean (there are also entrées to please more-conventional diets, with plenty of organic red meat and potatoes), and incredibly flavorful. We lived for the imaginative vegetable/protein/grain bowls at both breakfast and lunch, and for the avocado with onion ash, yogurt, and crisped rice at dinner. And we hiked to the fire tower (it’s a five-minute drive, but a strenuous hour-plus straight up the mountain) at top speed, motivated by the organic cocktail we knew could be had at the top: the fresh unsweetened juice of blackberries mixed with sota, a spirit made from a relative of the agave, finished with a salty rim, margarita style.

    If you’ve got a bigger group, private dinners (Goat Hill is a spectacular possibility), yoga classes (there’s a remote platform in the middle of woods overlooking miles and miles of some of the most beautiful farmland you’ll ever see), hikes, and even equine therapy (there are extensive stables a short drive away) are all highly recommended possibilities. And you can send little gifts to all the participants’ rooms (which come stocked with delicious coffee and teas, organic popcorn with pink Himalayan salt, artisanal chocolate, locally brewed beer, alkaline water, and every other delight you can think of). Here’s some more of what we’re filling the rooms with for our goop Escapes retreat:

    1. Goopgenes Goopgenes
      goop Beauty
      GOOPGENES
      goop, $95
    2. Goop Wellness Why Am I so Effing tired Goop Wellness Why Am I so Effing tired
      goop Wellness
      Why Am I So Effing Tired
      goop, $90
    3. Eau dee Parfum: Edition 04 - Orchard Eau dee Parfum: Edition 04 - Orchard
      goop Beauty
      Eau de Parfum:
      Edition 04 – Orchard

      goop, $165
    4. goop Welness Variety Pack goop Welness Variety Pack
      goop Wellness
      Variety Pack
      goop, $30

    Whomever you go with, however long you stay, and whichever (hiking) path you choose, Blackberry Mountain is full-immersion forest bathing, a place where you never forget the lush outdoors just beyond your (enormous) windows.

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