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Inn at Serenbe 4.0

Palmetto, Georgia, United States

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Gorgeous, quiet countryside location a 30-minute drive from Atlanta's airport
  • Surrounded by expansive grounds with hiking trails
  • Elegant rooms have sitting areas, welcome chocolates, and iPod docks
  • Stand-alone cottages with patios, kitchenettes, and fireplaces
  • Main pool and adult-only pool -- both with hot tubs
  • Excellent farm-to-table restaurant open all day
  • Free breakfast includes choice of two hot options
  • Free afternoon tea and appetizers like homemade pickled veggies
  • Trampolines and basketball court, plus free access to nearby gym
  • Larger community has spa, restaurants, shops, and various tours
  • Horse riding, animal feeding, and cooking classes available
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Inn itself lacks a gym and spa
  • Rooms near restaurant may experience noise
  • Some minor wear and maintenance issues
  • Adult-only pool is often shaded by trees
  • Main House rooms lack mini-fridges
  • Original rooms don't have outdoor seating

Bottom Line

The four-pearl Inn at Serenbe is a charming retreat surrounded by expansive farms and hiking trails in Georgia's countryside, a 30-minute drive from Atlanta's airport. The 27 spacious rooms include a mix of quaint, original units, more contemporary annex rooms, and stand-alone cottages. They're all thoughtfully designed with elegant country decor, plus coffeemakers and flat-screen TVs, but those nearest the restaurant may experience noise and some wear is apparent. The excellent farm-to-table restaurant is open all day and serves free breakfast, while free appetizers and tea are offered in the bar in the afternoon. Two outdoor pools -- one adult-only -- a treehouse, outdoor games, and animal village are just outside, plus there are shops, eateries, stables, and wellness facilities within the larger Serenbe community.

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Scene

Charming countryside inn that's part of larger thoughtfully designed community

The Inn at Serenbe is well-known within the larger Atlanta region, thanks to being heavily featured in local wedding and lifestyle magazines. The inn was formerly a home for Steve and Marie Nygren and their three daughters, but in an effort to ensure the protection of the surrounding rural landscape, a larger Serenbe residential community was developed in 2004. Designed after English hamlets and with eco-friendly elements in mind, homes and businesses are clustered closely, and all back up to miles of hiking trails -- there's even a waterfall that provided a backdrop for a production of "Macbeth" in 2017. Expect to see whimsical street lamps that act as trail markers, grazing horses and donkeys, and bronze sculptures and wooden benches hidden throughout the grounds. The entire Nygren family lives and works within Serenbe, and Steve offers architectural tours to describe the history and planning of the development. 

The inn is a bit removed from the offerings in the larger development (a four-minute golf cart ride or 20-minute walk), as it's immediately surrounded by a small farm, animal village, and fields, adding to the property's serene atmosphere. Interiors are sophisticated but approachable, with homey touches including a lounge packed with books and family portraits, and wicker chairs lining outdoor hallways. Guests and Serenbe residents can often be found mingling with cocktails on the wrap-around porch at the inn. While upscale dining and cozy rooms largely appeal to romancing couples and wedding parties, tons of kid-friendly amenities and various retreats make it suitable for families and solo travelers. We encountered many guests raving about how special the property feels during our visit. 

Location

Rural, countryside setting, a 30-minute drive from Atlanta and the airport

Map of Inn at Serenbe

The Inn at Serenbe is located in Georgia's rural countryside, known as the Chattahoochee Hills, which are close to the town of Palmetto. The area is convenient for Atlanta dwellers and those arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), as the inn is between a 30- and 40-minute drive from both. It occupies 900 acres of forested land -- including hiking trails that pass by two waterfalls, wildflower meadows, and farmland -- making for a secluded and quiet getaway. Aside from the on-site restaurant, there are a couple other dining options within the larger Serenbe community, a general store selling limited grocery items, and shops ranging from a bookstore to a second-hand shop. For more options, like a Bradley's Piggly Wiggly Express, travelers can drive about seven minutes to Palmetto.

Rooms

Elegant rooms with coffeemakers and sitting areas, plus cottages with up to four bedrooms

Travelers can choose between the original house units (rooms one through six), annex rooms (units seven through 16), and stand-alone cottages. The original rooms have a more homey, country charm, with decor including built-in banquette seating, a shelf lined with sheep figurines, and deer antlers above the toilet. These and the annex rooms both have cool, neutral tones in wooden furniture, plush bedding, brown carpeting, and sitting areas, but the latter are a bit more modern. Even so, you should still expect cow or farmland artwork in these rooms. We did spot a bit of wear on our visit, particularly in the older rooms in the original house.

All rooms come with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, flat-screen TVs, welcome chocolates, coffeemakers, ironing facilities, glass water bottles, iHome docking stations, and free Wi-Fi. There are no mini-fridges, though guests do have access to a communal one down the hall. Bathrooms in the original house rooms have shower/tub combos, bulk toiletries, and hairdryers, while annex units have more sleek wet room-style tubs and adjacent showers. Another pro for the annex units is that they have outdoor hallways with wicker armchairs, though these lack privacy.

Stand-alone cottages and houses are available with up to four bedrooms, and these add elegant living areas, fireplaces, kitchenettes or full kitchens, and furnished screened-in patios. Some community-owned units are managed by the inn and available for rent, as well. These include huge, modern spaces with washer/dryers plus terraces with dining tables.

Features

Two outdoor pools, an excellent restaurant, and outdoor activities galore

Despite its secluded setting, visitors will not be left wanting for activities. Leisure and recreational facilities abound here, starting with two outdoor pools. The main pool has a hot tub on one end, plenty of loungers, and a shaded terrace with tables, while the small adult-only pool has a hot tub and a few loungers, but it's often shaded by trees and covered with leaves. The grounds also include a treehouse, in-ground trampolines, a basketball court, bocce court, an animal village where guests can feed goats and sheep, and a striking labyrinth. Hiking trails pass by remnants of past Serenbe Playhouse productions that have all taken place outside -- like a hippie school bus in a meadow from "Hair" and a waterfall that acted as a set for "Macbeth." 

A small vegetable garden is next to the main pool and The Farmhouse restaurant at the inn uses its produce. It also gets produce from the larger 25-acre organic farm, which guests can tour for a fee, and buy produce from at the on-site farmers' markets. All rates include free breakfast at The Farmhouse, which consists of two hot options  -- such as pancakes or eggs, bacon, and grits -- alongside continental fare, coffee, and tea. Afternoon tea is also free, and is served alongside appetizers like homemade pickled veggies, which can be taken at the bar or on the porch. Lunch and dinner are excellent, with standouts that include fried chicken, bourbon pecan pie, and pork chops. 

Within the larger Serenbe community, guests have free access to a gym, and they can book spa treatments, take yoga and cooking classes, take tours of the property, or see community theater productions. Other dining options include The Hil, an upscale farm-to-table eatery serving up yummy fare like mushroom pizza and crab fitters (don't skip the french fries), and the casual Blue Eyed Daisy cafe for wraps, salads, and baked goods. Visitors can also buy groceries and pre-made meals at the General Store.

Wi-Fi is free throughout and multiple event spaces are available for functions and weddings. 

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Address

10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Palmetto, GA 30268-2233

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