Just a short two hour drive from Atlanta, located in Young Harris, Georgia and about two miles from the Chattahoochee National Forest, Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa is nestled in the North Georgia Mountains is quite the hidden gem. With a total of 134 rooms, one can choose to stay in the main lodge, which is where we stayed, or in one of the private cottages tucked back in the woods. This spacious property is home to an 18-hole championship golf course and the Equani Spa, a 7500 square foot zen den specializing in body treatments, facials, massages and healing rituals. Also on the property are The Stables, offering one and two hour guided trail rides for every skill level. I will get back to this in a bit, as The Stables offered one of our favorite experiences.
Twinkling holiday lights and tasteful decor welcomed us upon arrival in December, and we were greeted by a cheerful doorman who kindly opened the giant wooden doors to the main lobby and lodge, escorting us inside. From the outside the main property is unimposing, however, walking into the lodge is an entirely different experience. The main lobby is expansive with a cathedral ceiling lined with beautiful wooden beams. The room is anchored by a massive stone fireplace that draws you in immediately. This large area is filled with comfortable sofas and chairs, game tables offering panoramic views from the large windows that are opposite possibly one of the largest working fireplaces I’ve ever seen.
Before heading to our room, we couldn’t help but notice the delightful holiday decor throughout the main lobby, a trademark of the resort during the December holiday season. Touring the property, we found a large display of gingerbread houses decorated by guests who had stayed there during the holidays. We explored the workout facility, the mesmerizing indoor/outdoor pool and the long hallway sparkling with holiday trees that leads to ballrooms and conference rooms. What a fabulous place this would be to hold a wedding, family reunion, a team building event or business conference.
Arriving at our spacious suite, we were surprised with a welcome platter of cheese, crackers, fruit and sparking water, which was just what we needed after our adventurous drive through the mountains! After a snack and a quick change we were off to a wonderful meal in The Dining Room. The property also has a bar and grill for those wanting a more casual meal or just to have a drink and watch sports. The Dining Room is spacious and offers stunning mountain views, especially nice if you can time your reservations just before sunset. Our meals were presented beautifully and we enjoyed a delicious meal of ahi tuna, encrusted mountain trout and a fantastic salad bar.
We woke to perfect mountain weather, sunny and crisp, but not too cold for a horseback ride! The Brasstown Stables were a quick two-minute drive from the main property where we met Stable manager, Jerry, who has been at the resort for 15 years. The Stable runs 365 days a year and each trail ride has guided rides up to six riders. The 3.5-mile trail we followed was along the backside of Swanson Mountain and took an hour. We bounced along over little creeks, wooden bridges, up wooded hills, stopping to let the horses drink water from a trough. When it was time for the horses to start walking again, you’d hear Jerry call out a loud, “yeeeehaaa!”
The horses were very well behaved and didn’t require a skilled rider, as they were used to following the guide and the horse in front of them while on the trail. The hour flew by, and I could have easily ridden another hour. We were told they have a saying at the Stables that this is a great place for ”first timers, never havers and always wanted to-ers”!
Our last morning before leaving we ventured out for a truly enjoyable hike passing babbling brooks and keeping our eyes open for wildlife. For more enthusiastic hikers, the resort has a 2.5-mile loop and a 6.5-mile marked trail.
The warm welcome, rustic ambiance throughout the resort and the wide array of mountain-chic amenities, Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa has it all. Celebrate a special occasion or a much needed weekend of R&R...or if you’re lucky enough to secure reservations, start a new holiday family tradition!
6321 Highway 76
Young Harris, GA 30582