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6 special farm stay experiences around the world

See how leading rural properties across the globe are inviting guests to step into a world of transformative experiences that foster a connection to the land and local community.

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Farm Hospitality is on the rise.

Discerning travelers crave more than just a place to stay. Today, they seek transformative experiences that foster a connection to the land and a deeper appreciation for the local culture.

Properties across the globe are unlocking the magic of modern agritourism by inviting guests to step into a world where every sunrise brings connection with the Earth and local communities. Whether by partnering with nearby farms or offering farm experiences onsite, hospitality brands can tap into this trend and power farm hospitality experiences for their guests.

The global agritourism market is expected to grow from $56.97 billion in 2023 to $73.22 billion in 2027, according to the Agritourism Global Market Report 2023.

There are hints of that growth: Airbnb recorded a 1,055% rise in guest searches for "farm stays" from 2019 to 2021, and nights booked at farm stays doubled in Q1 2022 compared with the same period in 2019. Google searches for “farm experiences” and “farm stays” have also significantly increased over the past five years. A surge in interest in farming activities, products, and innovative practices is driving the growth in agritourism.

This new, modern approach to agritourism presents a golden opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to build a business rooted in human connection and regenerative agriculture.

I’ve traveled the globe from the Western Cape in South Africa to the French and English countrysides to the rolling hills of Tennessee on the lookout for the visionaries designing beautiful places where I could eat the fig from the tree or take a stroll with the farmer and learn how and why they committed themselves to the land.

These six farm hospitality experiences offer guests an unforgettable opportunity to step outside and immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world. Way partners with unique properties worldwide to make these experiences accessible in a way never before possible.

1. Step Inside the Secret Life of Bees at Southall Farm & Inn (Franklin, Tennessee)

Southall Farm & Inn welcomes guests with a bucolic scene of rolling hills. They’ll find greenhouses on one side and rows of heritage crops, orchards, and gardens on the other of this 325-acre working farm. While this luxury hotel offers spa and culinary experiences, the real experiences are found on the field.

Guests can get to know the property’s bees and enjoy the fruits of their labor through multiple activities. On a Hive Hike around the property, guests learn how beehives function and the lessons they provide around communication, leadership, and work ethic. The walk also serves as a tour of Southall’s pollination plan and bees’ vital role in activating the land’s full potential. Or, there’s the more hands-on Beekeeping 101 class, where guests learn how honeybees operate, why they are in trouble, and what each person can do to help while viewing a hive demonstration.

To see bees in their natural habitat outside the hive, sign up for the Native Bee Experience, where guests learn how to create a native bee habitat in their backyard. Or step into a beekeeping suit and fire up a smoker as part of the Guided Apiary Tour, where guests learn precisely what being a beekeeper means today.

If interested in the fruits of their labor, show gratitude for the bees' hard work by rolling and decorating a candle as part of the Beeswax Candle Rolling Class or join the Honey Tasting, where guests chat one-on-one with the Jammery Chef, Head Beekeeper, and Head Sommelier to learn how to taste honey (alongside some regional wines).

2. Garden Tour & Tasting at Babylonstoren (Franschhoek Wine Valley, South Africa)

Set at the foot of Simonsberg in the Franschhoek wine valley, Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, with the most beautifully architected fruit and vegetable garden we’ve ever set eyes on alongside unique cabins, restaurants, and a farm-sourced shop.

The heart of the farm is the garden, which extends across 8 acres and contains 15 clusters, including vegetables, stone fruits, nuts, citrus, berries, bees, herbs, ducks and chickens, a prickly pear maze, and more. Gravity feeds water from a stream, through ponds, and into the garden.

A daily garden tour starts at 10 am in front of the Farm Shop every morning. One of Babylonstoren’s experienced gardeners guides guests through the gardens and encourages visitors to pick, taste, smell, and touch the produce. Babylonstoren also hosts dozens of workshops, from proper garden watering to propagating plants from scratch and so many more.

Each of the 300+ varieties of plants in the garden is edible or has medicinal value and is grown as organically as possible. The fruit and vegetables from the garden are harvested all year round for use in the property’s two farm-to-fork restaurants.

3. Foraged Cocktail-Making Workshop & Cooking Experience at Heckfield Place (Hampshire, England)

An hour outside London, Heckfield Place offers a countryside escape that feels removed from present-day stress in both place and time. The Georgian Estate sits on 438 acres of rolling English countryside and woodlands that pioneering horticulturist William Wildsmith started stewarding in the 18th century. Upon arrival, guests are invited to slip on boots and wander the gardens and grounds.

Central to the Estate’s activities are the biodynamic market garden and organic Home Farm. There are also seven greenhouses, an arboretum, and historical gardens to explore. An on-property dairy generates organic milk, cream, and butter from 50 Guernsey cows while sheep graze the land and free-range chickens provide an abundance of eggs. Each year, Heckfiled moves closer to its goal of complete self-sufficiency, sourcing everything it serves directly from the garden.

The garden and farm provide as much as possible for the hotel, from decorative flowers to meals served at the Michelin-starred Marle Restaurant. Led by culinary director Skye Gyngell, the chefs at Marle stick to the simplest preparation possible to reveal the taste and allow guests the excitement that comes from food served straight from the Earth.

For a truly inspiring experience, join the Marle chefs as they select ingredients for the farm and demonstrate how to prepare a beautiful, delicious, and nourishing meal.

To toe on the wilder side, guests can join a foraged cocktail-making workshop with Heckfield’s bar team. Guests explore the woodlands to hand-pick plants, herbs, and flowers to use in the workshop, learning the qualities of each. Then, back in the Moon Bar, guests craft cocktails using freshly foraged ingredients and homemade liqueurs and tinctures.

There’s also cycling, hiking, fishing, boating, falconery, and other outdoor adventures for guests who want to move their bodies.

4. Horseback Trail Rides at Brush Creek Ranch (Saratoga, Wyoming)

Brush Creek Ranch is one of the best places to experience the American West’s spirit of adventures and outdoors. It spans over 30,000 private acres, including a ski mountain and numerous rivers, creeks, and lakes between the Sierra Madre mountain range and Medicine Bow National Forest.

Although the lodging and level of hospitality are five-star luxury, Brush Creek is a working ranch that oversees two cattle herds —— Wagyu cattle for its culinary program and Corriente cattle for arena games plus more than a hundred horses that tend to livestock or are available for guests to ride.

The Horseback Trail Rides are for everyone in the family: Guests can walk their horses gently for an hour through flat meadows or gallop through the ranch’s backcountry for three hours, including water crossings and steep climbs. Riders with more experience can even request barrel racing and pole bending lessons. Guests who truly want to experience the ranch can participate in the cattle drive and see the farm’s many creatures at work.

To take the experience one step further, explore The Farm with hands-on activities in the greenhouse, distillery, and bakery.
Brush Creek Ranch excels when it comes to the holidays and creates custom itineraries that include seasonal activities like cutting down a Christmas Tree and creekside snowshoeing throughout the year.

5. Gather Merino-Romney Sheep at FlockHill Lodge (Craigieburn Valley, New Zealand)

Hidden in the Craigieburn Valley on New Zealand’s South Island, Flockhill is a working sheep station of 36,000 acres with thousands of Merino-Romney robust sheep — an integral part of New Zealand’s legendary farming heritage.

One of Flock Hill Station’s key tasks is to muster, which involves gathering flocks to longer pastures and herding livestock into yards. The farmer and his New Zealand Heading Dog — bred for its intelligence, loyalty, and bark from Border Collies and the New Zealand Huntaway — lead the muster with a combination of unique commands and whistles.

Guests can join them on a journey into the back blocks of the station, where they can fully appreciate a day in the life of a flock and learn more about Flockhill’s unique history and mission. Outside of the muster, guests can explore the station’s waterfalls, lakes, mountains, and caves or go fly fishing or skiing.

Flock Hill also offers a luxury homestead from which to explore the beauty of this rugged landscape. One group can rent it at a time, and its magnificent views also come with a private chef who prepares meals with locally sourced ingredients. There are plans to build a garden and greenhouse at the station to source more produce directly from the land.

6. Lavender Harvest & Distillation at Los Poblanos (Alburquerque, New Mexico)

Set in Rio Grande River Valley, among 25 acres of lavender fields, Los Poblanos represents the soul of the American Southwest. The working organic farm is also home to 45 guest rooms, designed in 1932 by the “Father of Santa Fe Style,” John Gaw Meem, and a field-to-fork restaurant, Campo. The family-run business is built on the values of historic preservation and regenerative agriculture.

The lavender harvest is a special time at Los Poblanos. Guests can join farmers in the fields, help with the morning harvest, or drop into the distillation hut to see how the plant is transformed into essential oils. As part of the Lavender Wildcrafting Workshop, the property’s head distiller shares her expertise in native plants and botanicals and guides guests in making lavender decorations for their homes.

The original lavender plants were hand-propagated in the property’s greenhouse before moving to the fields, which have since grown to hold thousands of plants. Lavender is a low-water-use plant that thrives in the surrounding high-desert climate and arid environment.

The lavender is harvested for its essential oil, which goes into the Los Poblanos line of artisan products and amenities at Los Poblanos Inn.

While landscape lavender blooms mid-June, this particular lavender field generally blooms through July. If visiting outside the lavender season, guests can tour the farm, make friends with the alpacas, peacocks, and Churro sheep, or explore the Rio Grande River between farm-to-table meals.

7. Bison Field Harvest at Roam Ranch

Located outside Fredericksburg, Texas, Roam Ranch is a regenerative farm that mimics the complexity of nature. Founded by first-generation farmers, Katie and Taylor are living their vision of producing nourishing food that improves animals' lives, enriches consumers' health, and regenerates the land on which we depend.

Their bison herd is pastured-raised, 100% grass-fed, and free of added hormones and antibiotics. The ranch is also home to ducks, chickens, geese, turkeys, and pigs.
And, while there’s only one cabin on Roam Ranch, visitors can stay at the luxury treehouse and landscape resort Onera just down the road. Onera’s 11 unique homes are immersed in nature and provide the perfect resting place between adventures in the Texas Hill Country.

As part of the Bison Field Harvest, guests have the unique opportunity to witness, participate in, and celebrate the harvesting and butchering of North America's largest land mammal, the bison.

The day begins with transitioning the bison through their end-of-life process humanely and peacefully. Participants can honor and show gratitude for the animal sacrifice that eventually feeds them and their families.

Next, a local expert demonstrates how to skin, eviscerate, and butcher this beautiful 900-pound animal. Attendees can assist in deboning while learning where certain cuts are located and how to make sausage or ground meat. All guests leave with approximately 4 lbs of ground bison meat.

The entire event is led with gratitude, curiosity, and respect for these magnificent creatures and the land and is part of a larger conversation about the importance of connecting with our food sources.

With Way's innovative solutions, hospitality brands can elevate their experiences by seamlessly integrating them into the website, driving ancillary revenue, and offering guests an easy path to planning authentic, unforgettable adventures. To discover how Way can power your property's unique experiences, visit our website and contact our team

Embrace the future of travel with Way, where every stay is an opportunity for discovery.

Samantha Shankman
Travel Writer

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