After spending a few days eating and drinking my way through Nashville, I looked forward to relaxing at Southall Farm & Inn, a plush wellness-focused retreat on 325 acres in Franklin, Tennessee. About 45 minutes from downtown Nashville, Southall’s setting is not quite as rugged, rural or remote as we had been led to believe: It resembles an upscale housing development.
We arrived a bit early for check-in, accomplished in a lobby full of fireplaces and leather furniture that wouldn’t feel out of place somewhere like Jackson Hole. After a filling lunch of shrimp and grits at Sojourner, the hotel’s restaurant, we were shown to our room. Our Cumberland Room was spacious, with an entryway, a huge bath with a separate shower and freestanding tub, a divinely comfortable king-size bed with Frette linens, two seating areas and a fireplace. The hotel has a modern mountain-farmhouse style, with a sprinkling of quirky touches like whimsical woodland-creature-themed wallpaper in the restaurant and a floral velvet couch in our otherwise neutral room. (I found the kitschy décor to be fun and irreverent, but my traveling companion deemed it “simply hideous.”)
The calendar of activities for the week included farm tours and guided hikes alongside more out-of-the-box pursuits like ax throwing, ropes courses and sound baths. We eschewed the more vigorous options for some time at the spa. I was impressed with the top-notch facilities there, which encompassed a sauna, steam room and relaxation room as well as an outdoor patio with a hot mineral pool and plenty of lounge chairs. The treatment rooms were high-tech, with top-of-the-line customizable massage tables and jetted baths, and the staff were more than capable. I opted for the signature Medicine Wheel treatment, a 120-minute session that combines massage, aromatherapy, a bath and chakra balancing. I left relaxed and recharged.