|Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, Georgia|
Once upon a time (in the early 1840s), there was a wealthy man named Godfrey Barnsley who purchased almost 4,000 acres of land in the northwest corner of Georgia for his beloved wife Julia. In the tradition of many great love stories, Julia died tragically young - three hours before Godfrey could get to her side in Savannah and well before the mansion in Adairsville was finished.
Now you can create your own fairy tale - with a happy ending, of course! - at this luxury resort created in the style of a 19th century English village with fully-restored gardens, an 18-hole championship golf course, three restaurants, the Outpost and a full service spa. And - no kidding - Barnsley Gardens has an honest-to-goodness Fairy Godmother. Her name is Denise, she wears a nametag with "Fairy Godmother" on it, and it's her job to find out what will delight you during your stay and make it happen.
I stepped into this fairy tale in early Spring when the daffodils were just starting to appear and the grass on the golf course was still tan. Unlike most resorts, Barnsley Gardens offers unique and cozy guest cottages for their guests to stay in. They are situated on pedestrian "streets" of a small community. Parking is provided behind the cottages beyond the nice backyard gardens. The cottage I stayed in was a Meadow Cottage near the spa, fitness center and The Woodlands Grill. This type of cottage, as well as the Garden Cottages, has two separate one-bedroom suites, each with living area with a wood-burning fireplace. Manor and Woodlands Cottages each have four one-bedroom suites where the bedrooms all connect to a living and common area with fireplaces in each bedroom and the living area - perfect for four couples, a large family, family reunion, etc.! There are 70 individually decorated suites in all. Each cottage has a private porch where guests can sit in rocking chairs and relax. Every suite has a wood-burning fireplace, twelve foot ceilings, a custom made king size bed dressed in Egyptian linens, a ball and claw foot tub with separate shower enclosure, two-line data port phones, satellite television, CD players, wet bars and in-suite coffee and tea service.
I had two fabulous treatments at The Spa at Barnsley Gardens - the Barnsley Rose Body Treatment and the Swept Away Facial. The spa building is next to the fitness center and outdoor pool. The reception desk is at the back of the building. As you walk in, you pass facial and massage treatment rooms, manicure/pedicure rooms, and a cozy spa dining room. I checked in and was shown to the women's locker room. A plush terry robe and slippers were waiting for me in the locker. [Note: Ask for a locker on the lower level. The upper lockers are really high and it's hard to reach the hangers. At least it was for a 5'3" person.] I had time for a quick soak in the whirlpool and a few minutes in the sauna and steam room. I was just about to go to the softly lit waiting room when I was called for my body treatment.
Therapist David Harper escorted me to the wet treatment room across from the locker room. The walls of this room, as most of the other treatment rooms, were beautifully decorated with hand-painted faux finishes and murals. All treatments at The Spa at Barnsley Gardens use natural, organically-grown, plant-based Jurlique products. David started the 60-minute treatment by dry brushing my body to exfoliate the skin. To further exfoliate, he rubbed my skin with OPC Body Exfoliating Gel containing crushed apricot kernels. He then lightly massaged in pure organic rose body oil. Afterwards, he covered me with a portable steam canopy. While this filled with steam and helped the rose oil absorb into the skin, David massaged my scalp and gave me a mini-facial. When the steam was over, he misted me with rosewater freshener and lightly massaged in rose body lotion. It was an excellent treatment. One of the special, but very simple, treats during this treatment was the use of warmed towels. Any time a new towel was used, it was taken from a warming cabinet. It's funny how it's the little things that make a big impression. The end result was my skin felt soft and moist and I smelled like a rose - literally. I asked David what options were available for those who did not want to smell like a rose. He said that the rose oil has a particularly good hydrating property, so while it is possible to use other oils, the skin may not be as moist as with the rose oil - but there are different benefits. Other oils available include those in the Aromatherapy Steam Body Treatment - Eucalyptus (allergies, colds, muscle aches), Lavender (headaches, sunburn and dry skin and stress), Lemon (detoxify the skin, tone and ease tension), Sandalwood (for troubled skin, PMS and nervous tension).
Diane Hatcher, LMC, was waiting for me when I left the wet room. She escorted me to a facial treatment room for the Swept Away Facial. Through a series of cleansings, masks, compresses and lotions, Diane gave me a fabulous 90-minute facial. I almost immediately zoned out, so I can't provide blow-by-blow details. My face was massaged but so were my hands, feet and shoulders. Suffice it to say that I highly recommend this treatment. My skin was glowing. In fact, I got compliments on it days afterwards. When it was done, Diane gave me a "prescription" for home care using Julique products. There were 12 products checked off! I am challenged just to use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer each day. Four times as many products are just overwhelming. The products were terrific, but it would be nice if Jurlique could simplify their home program.
When my treatments were over, I relaxed in the sunny room where the co-ed whirlpool is located.
The Spa at Barnsley offers a number of other facials, body treatments, massage, reflexology, hand and foot care and waxing. The spa also offers day packages such as:
The Barnsley Rose Package (6 hours): This package includes a magical swept away facial, a Barnsley Rose Body Treatment, a Soothing Full Body Massage, a Barnsley Manicure and a Basic Pedicure. Your day is divided up with a scrumptious lunch from the Woodlands Grill.
A Half Day Package (3 hours): Includes a Hydrating Facial, an OPC Body Treatment and your choice of an Essential Hand Care Treatment or a basic Manicure.
A Full Day Package (5 hours): Includes an Anti-aging facial, an Herbal Mud Body Therapy, Full Body Massage, and a Manicure and Pedicure. Your Day is divided up with a lightlunch from the Woodlands Grill.
You can also create your own spa package.
Barnsley Gardens offers two overnight spa packages. The prices were correct as of March, 2003. Please contact the resort for current prices.
Godfrey and Julia's Romantic Escape
Whisk away your loved one for a getaway to remember. Godfrey and Julia Barnsley rivaled Rhett and Scarlett in their love for one another. Watch their history unfold before your eyes as you stroll the Parterre Gardens and Manor House Ruins Godfrey Barnsley created solely for his Julia.
This fantasy becomes reality with:
Two-nights in a luxurious Cottage Suite
Bottle of chilled champagne accompanied by Barnsley Gardens signature flutes
Breakfast on your private porch or in the Woodlands Grill
Picnic lunch prepared by the resort's award-winning chefs
Candlelit dinner in a secluded Barnsley Gardens location (including the manor house ruins) or in one of the resort's fine restaurants
Couples massage in the tranquil full-service Spa
This package ranges from $1075 - $1115.
The Pure Indulgence Package
Treat yourself and a companion to a relaxing getaway at Barnsley Garden's full-service spa. Pamper yourself with an array of treatments by the spa's highly trained therapists.
Retreat to restoration with $700 credit towards spa services. This includes lunch for two in the spa.
This package ranges from $1570 - $1605.
The restaurants of Barnsley Gardens offer guests a variety of world-class dining options.
The Woodlands Grill serves prime beef, fresh fish and a wide array of appealing dishes. I sampled the crab soup and a couple of the salads. All were delicious. The menu uses the heart symbol to indicate healthier selections. I met Diane, the Fairy Godmother, while having lunch. I had already had my wish come true in the spa, so there wasn't much I could think of for her to do for me. Undaunted, she said, "Well, let me at least fill your water glass!" And she did.
At the Rice House, the menu is an epicurean take on classic Southern cuisine. Fresh herbs and vegetables are grown in Barnsley Garden's own gardens are used.
In the warmer weather, an authentic Bavarian Beer Garden (not open during my visit) allows guests tp enjoy imported German beer, pretzels and bratwurst grilled over an open fire pit.
There are lots of things to do at Barnsley Gardens. The Outpost Sporting Center offers Sporting Clays, Fly Fishing, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding, Hiking, Tennis, Canoeing and Kayaking. Tours also include the manor house ruins and museum. There are over 13 miles of well-maintained trails on the property taking you through woods, up and down hills, past lakes and herds of buffalo.
With its serene vistas, flawless greens and arguably the best collections of par 3s in all of golf, "The General," is one of the most desirable and highly sought after courses to play in the Southeast. Opened in 1999, "The General" was ranked number 13 in the State of Georgia by Golf Digest.
More About Barnsley Gardens
An 18% gratuity is automatically added on to the total amount of the spa services.
Barnsley Gardens is a non-tipping resort.
While it's easily accessible to anyone from Atlanta, Birmingham or Chattanooga, it's worth a trip from anywhere.
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