The sprawling Barnsley Resort, nestled in the foothills between Adairsville, Kingston and Rome, has been named the top resort in Georgia and No. 4 in the Southeast in the Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Barnsley was able to leapfrog four spots from its No. 8 spot in the Southeast ranking a year ago.
“Being voted among the top resorts in the South by Conde Nast Traveler’s readers is a very prestigious honor and we’re very humbled by it,” said Barnsley President David Friederich. “Being able to move up from last year is just an indication of all of the great work our team has done.”
Known for years simply as Barnsley Gardens, the property has been transformed into an English country village with multiple dining options and recreational opportunities.
“The resort just looks great, it is well deserved recognition,” said Ellen Archer, director of the Cartersville-Bartow Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Beside the employment and tax revenue they provide, Barnsley is a great public relations star in our cap.” Archer said she runs into people all over the country who have had the opportunity to visit Barnsley.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, visitation at Barnsley has shifted from 65% corporate and group-related guests to about 90% leisure travel and independent families.
“We’ve had to pivot quite a bit during this time,” Friederich said.
Play on the golf course is up about 35% compared to the same time last year.
“We have a tremendous array of different activities, the lion’s share of those are outside from horseback riding to sporting clays,” Friederich said. “We’ve just added archery...and later this quarter we’ll be adding axe throwing as another activity. These are both taking place down at our farm.”
One of the dogs in the Barnsley hunting dog crew, Chesa, a German shorthaired pointer, is gracing the cover of Garden and Gun October-November issue.
“That’s an incredible accolade and for us to be noted as a reputable hunting, sporting clay, UTV ride and long range shooting challenge,” Friederich said. “It’s great to know we have a dog so worthy of gracing the cover because of its incredible skill-set.”
The fall quail season also runs from late October all the way into march and is expected to be a big draw.
The restaurants at Barnsley are getting increased us as a result of the independent, family type of visitors. Corporate use in the past has tended to use the special event and banquet facilities to a larger degree.
“We’re still practicing some social distancing, in other words we haven’t brought all of our tables back in to max capacity,” Friederich said. People obviously don’t wear masks while eating but the resort is asking guests to mask up otherwise when they are inside.
Weekend business is coming close to selling out but the Sunday through Thursday business, without large corporate events, is still a little on the slow side.
More than 715,000 Conde Nast Traveler readers submitted responses to rate their travel experiences for the survey.