UPDATE: In December 2018 they closed the Bed and Breakfast to make room for creating a more sustainable property through permaculture. The owners are focusing on other ways to create energy and grow more organic foods. We wish them well.
I’m going to try and put into words our experience at The Martyn House Farm in Ellijay, Ga, but I am sure I will not be successful. It’s just not possible. No words…no photos..no video can even come close to giving you the full experience of visiting in person. But, I have to try!
Dan and I spent a Date Night weekend here, and it was perfect. Perfect! I could just gush in hard-to-read paragraphs of prose, but let me enumerate the reasons for you. (Did I mention you’re going to love it here?)
You’re Staying In An Artistic Dreamland
The current owners who transformed the property into the bed and breakfast it is today are artists. Joann was a potter and merchandiser; Rick is a photographer. Their artistry can be found over the entire space…from the window shades in the cottage adorned with Rick’s photos from India, to the sink in the same space, made from a hand-thrown bowl created by Joann.
The Farmhouse and garden are, what I would call, rustic shabby chic. Take note of the towering patina’d columns in the dining room that were brought over from India, and the claw-tooth tub gracing a window upstairs. Every inch is beautiful.
Don’t miss the decor on the chicken house, or the adorable white fence leading you to the veggie garden. In fact, I dare you to find a square foot of space not touched by the personality and love of Joann or Rick.
Pick From Farmhouse Rooms, An Artist Studio, or Glamping Tents
Depending on availability, you have a few room options when you stay.
The Farmhouse is a typical “Bed & Breakfast” arrangement, with three bedrooms. Each bedroom includes French doors which open to wide rocking chair front porches (one on the main floor and two upstairs.)
You can also enjoy common rooms like the living and dining rooms, a sitting area, the porch, and more. This is especially ideal if you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary and want to invite other people to celebrate with you – you can rent out the entire farmhouse.
There are also four glamping tents to select from. These are not your typical state park “yurts.” These are mammoth tents from India with bright, bold colors and shapes. They also include full bathrooms with a shower, sink and toilet. One of them also has a private outdoor bathtub!
Oh – something I think is super neat! You can request two twin beds or a king. For a romantic getaway, you’ll want the king…but this is also a fun place to escape with the girls!
The tents each have a welcoming porch with a table and chairs, ceiling fans, a coffee station…and all the perks of home. Glamping season is April – December.
Finally, if the artist studio is available, I highly recommend it! It’s where we stayed. It was previously Joann’s retreat for creating her art, but it is now an amazing haven.
It includes a king bed and a twin (in another room, which we just used for unpacking our luggage.) There is also a full bathroom, a kitchen (sink, coffee, mini fridge, cafe table) and a chaise for lounging.
Outside you’ll find a private fire pit and an outdoor bath. Yes, you heard me. More on that later – it warrants it’s own section!
I love the shabby-chic of the farmhouse and the unexpected appeal of the glamping tents – but I am bonkers for the boho vibe of the cottage! Orange, purple, turquoise….it was so unexpected and lively! In fact, we’ve decided to create a space in our new home that pay homage to the cottage because we loved it so much.
It’s Friendly…but Secluded
First off, let me say that The Martyn House Farm is kiddo-FREE. Meaning, this retreat is adult-only. And while that might seem harsh, we appreciated escaping for the weekend knowing that we would not have to deal with any kiddos – our own or otherwise. There is nothing better than homeschooling and traveling with our children… but a guaranteed overnight free of ALL kids comes in a close second.
Joann and Rick are generally running their coffee shop, The Martyn House In Town (in downtown Ellijay) or traveling the world, so you probably won’t see them here. Alex is the caretaker, and he is AMAZING! (He also makes seriously great eggs and potatoes – more on that later.) He will give you a tour, answer any questions, start the bonfire in the evening and be your point person.
You might run into other guests while here, especially during the evening bonfire or morning breakfast. There are also sitting areas and walking trails where you can possibly see other people…but for the most part, you are alone.
When I say alone, I really mean secluded. Joann and Rick took painstaking steps to ensure that each tent and the cottage were set off from the others, so that visitors would feel like they were in a private oasis. There is no romance in a tent when someone else can look out their window and see you pouring your wine! Here, there are no worries.
Take A Romantic Bath Outside
Don’t let this scare you…and don’t miss the chance to do it! There are two outdoor tubs here: one of the glamping tents has a tub, and this one is at the cottage.
It’s adjacent to the building, and covered almost entirely by huge wisteria vine. This area includes a shower and a tub – we picked the tub.
Fill it with warm water and heavenly bubble bath (provided,) throw on the rope lights, then don a robe (also provided – thank you!) and head outside. There is a little chair beside the tub, also great for holding your bubbly.
I will spare you the details, but I do want to say this little venture was my favorite part of our stay…so relaxing. I felt completely safe and private…and free to unwind and enjoy hubby’s company.
Watch The Stars By The Spring-Fed Pond
Down one of the property’s trails, you’ll find a sweet little pond fed by a spring. Also decorated with bohemian charm, the pond includes a fire pit, bar area, and lounging pavilion with sofas and cushions and lighting for the evening.
We visited in the day time, but wandered back after dark. From the pond we heard bull frogs (maybe 5-10 of them!) and saw the stars like never before. There is almost zero light pollution here, so they showed exceptionally bright in the sky.
We brought our iPhone and played music, dancing under the stars and having a glass of champagne on the sofa. Even the bullfrogs enjoyed our music.
With a garden on the side yard and chickens in the back, you know breakfast is going to be great! Alex prepared a feast fit for a king (and queen!) with bacon, eggs -from the onsite chickens of course – fried potatoes, pancakes, and delicious coffee.
We enjoyed it with another couple, on the porch of the farmhouse. It was served complete with an adorable table setting, and perfectly centered under a chandelier.
If you don’t want to do a big spread, then you can also run into town and enjoy coffee and a pastry at their coffee house.
It’s Located In Beautiful Ellijay, Ga
Our final reason to head to The Martyn House is location, location, location!
I’m going to be very candid with you…we head to the mountains a lot. A LOT. And except for apple season, Ellijay had only been a “pass thru” town for our family. However, after spending a weekend there, I have been schooled.
From restaurants to artisans, and from wineries to water fun- on the lake or down the river – Ellijay is great for a couple’s getaway or a family vacation.
Stay tuned – later this week we will give you the full low-down on the best things to do in Ellijay!
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Disclosure: Thank you to The Martyn House and Gilmer Chamber for hosting us. Opinions here are always our own.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.