British cotton magnate Godfrey Barnsley established his home, then known as Woodlands, in the area in the 1840s. His wife Julia died before the mansion was finished and it served as a reminder of her memory.
The home was ransacked during the Civil War, but his descendants lived in the home until it was damaged by a tornado in 1906. It was left in ruins until it was purchased in 1988 by Prince Hubertus Fugger, a German royal who brought it back to life.
Today the resort has been taken over but is still a popular weekend getaway, located only one hour north of Atlanta. Based on a design by Andrew Jackson Downing, one of the nation’s top landscape architects at the time, the property features a town hall, the center of all activity, with cottages coming off streets running parallel to each other.
Barnsley Resort offers 90 guest rooms and suites, all in different arrangements of cottages. Manor cottages line Downing Way and can be in one or two-bed configurations. Suites offer more space and their own parking spots next to the cottage, rather than a short walk away.
Arbor Cottages offer even more amenities, including daily wine and snack service. Estate cottages have multiple bedrooms and are ideal for groups. They range from two bedrooms to seven bedrooms. Perhaps the most unique is the 1840s Fugger Cabin, tucked into the woods, which was brought by Prince Hubertus to its current location.
Each room includes its own living room, complete with a flat-screen television and wood-burning fireplace, porch, shower and claw foot tub, spa toiletries, and wet bar. Included in your stay is access to parking, free WiFi resort-wide, use of trails, lawn games, fitness center, and other activities, daily coffee or tea, and fireplace setup. Some of the rooms are even pet-friendly!
What sets Barnsley apart from other resorts is the level of service. The in-house Wine Snob Greg Teague chooses carefully which bottles are featured at the restaurants and showcased at tastings, which earned the resort a Wine Spectator award. And Fairy Godmother Denise Webb was hired by the prince to make each guest’s stay special, whether it be helping to organize an elaborate marriage proposal or providing your furry friends with a special stay.
The resort has two full-time restaurants, led by Chef Roberto Guzman, including casual dining at The Woodlands Grill, overlooking the golf course, and The Rice House, the resort’s family-style eatery. The Beer Garden has light bites to go along with the extensive craft beer menu. All of the resort’s restaurants gather as much as they can locally, including from their own gardens.
Despite its remote location, there’s no shortage of activities at Barnsley Resort. The sprawling grounds have wilderness trails for you to walk and a museum devoted to the history of the property. You can also indulge in the Fazio-designed golf course and take advantage of the pool and tennis courts.
The spa is one of the best around. For something a little different, you can go horseback riding or sign up for one of their seasonal shoots, whether it be dove, pheasant or just clay targets. Rent canoes and bicycles, go fishing, play disc golf and meet the creatures at the Barnsley Barnyard.
If You Go
Barnsley Resort is located at 597 Barnsley Gardens Road, Adairsville, Georgia 30103. Parking is available onsite and included. Rates start at $299 per night for Manor rooms midweek and go up from there depending on the season and style of accommodation. You can also purchase packages for spa, golf, and other experiences. You can book your stay by visiting their website or calling toll free (877) 773-2447.
You can also visit the grounds without staying for $10 or alternatively make a meal reservation and explore while you’re there.
My stay was organized by Barnsley Resort and Pineapple Public Relations.