By Cheré Coen
Photography courtesy Cheré Coen, Foxhall Resort
Foxhall Resort offers a quiet respite only minutes from the Atlanta Airport, allowing visitors to unwind and enjoy a host of activities in a pristine environment.
Winding roads through quiet pine forests that jump across undisturbed streams make one doubt they are driving through the bustling Atlanta metropolitan area. And yet, Foxhall Resort is only 30 minutes from the world’s busiest airport.
That’s the draw of the sanctuary of rolling hills, placid pastures, and peaceful woods that features everything from golf and tennis to hunting, fishing, and long walks along the Chattahoochee River.
“You definitely don’t feel like you’re in the Atlanta metro area,” says Nikki Tyler,
Foxhall national sales manager.
That’s how owners envisioned the resort that was once a sprawling equine facility consisting of waterways, fences, horse jumps, and polo fields. The expansive stables resembling something from the Kentucky hillsides housed the horses that were used in the 1996 Olympics.
Today, Foxhall Resort provides an escape from urban life, with its one, two, and three-bedroom villas overlooking the small, but peaceful Lunker Lake, one of 16 ponds on site that vary in size and allow for fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Foxhall provides tackle gear and boats, if requested.
“A lot of people bring their own because they’re used to using their own,” says Tyler.
Miles of hiking trails run through forest, fields, and water sources, and along a three-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River.
“It’s such a nice place to unwind,” says Tyler. “Everybody gets their ‘ah’ moment when then turn in from the road. It’s a beautiful piece of property.”
Guests may sign up for a host of activities in the Clubhouse. One of the unique offerings is the Foxhall shooting range that includes a one-hour private shooting instruction for beginners and a round of 100 targets for more experienced sportsmen who come equipped with their own ammunition and guns. The resort also features a 15-station Beretta Trident Archery course, the 5-Stand, Wobble Trap and an archery range for those who prefer a bow and arrow.
Guided off-road ATV rides may also be arranged, or, for something less rugged, a 45-minute Foxhall Sunset Safari through the property.
Hunting remains a unique aspect of Foxhall, although some outings have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Guided morning and afternoon quail hunts, for instance — seasonal November through March — are offered with Foxhall’s own quail hunting dogs, but there is a chance they may be postponed this year.
“It will come back, but we need to be ready to do it right,” says Tyler. She suggests checking ahead for updates.
The Champion Lawn at the Polo Pavilion below the Clubhouse includes areas for Frisbee golf, volleyball, horseshoes, bocce ball, and an outdoor space with fire pit that’s perfect for picnics and other social gatherings.
Dining options include Pheasant Blue farm-to-table restaurant and the Foxhall Bar in the Clubhouse, both of which overlook the resort’s pools and Lunker Lake, perfect spots at sunset. A small market sells items for picnics and quick meals.
Equipment rentals are available for just about any activity, including tennis, pickleball and the golf driving range.
Weddings & Events
Naturally, a pristine property like Foxhall makes for a fantastic backdrop for weddings. In the beginning, marriage ceremonies were strictly held at a venue on the resort’s Legacy Lake with stunning views of the surrounding fields, Chattahoochee River, and the lake.
“It became very popular,” says Tyler, adding that the resort now hosts about 150 weddings a year, which may be surpassed in 2021. “This year, it’s been Friday, Saturday and Sunday every weekend.”
Today, couples also wed in the Grand Pavilion and Champion Lawn next to the gently flowing Water Gardens. With its flowering water lilies, the scene resembles Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny, France. A currently popular spot is the renovated riding arena, once the stables for those 1996 Olympic horses.
“They kept a lot of the characteristics of the stables, such as the barn doors,” Tyler says of the event space.
The clubhouse offers a ballroom and meeting spaces as well, making the resort an ideal place for corporate meetings and retreats, and social gatherings such as family reunions.
One of the most popular community events held at Foxhall in pre-pandemic times was Afternoon in the Country, a wine and food festival occurring the first weekend in November. For now, visitors are encouraged to check the website or call ahead to determine available activities and events.
Developer Harrison Merrill purchased the property in the early 2000s as part of a master plan to develop that part of Douglas County for a medical and technology hub, Tyler says. In addition to the multi-acre Foxhall Resort with its accommodations and urban sporting club, lots would be developed for residential use, upscale homes tucked away on the sprawling hillsides. Both visitors and residents may use the property and all its features.
“The big plan is the residential side,” says Tyler.
Foxhall’s accommodations are expected to expand from 87 rooms to 150 rooms and a Westin Hotel will emerge on the front road in 2024.
Regardless of the resort’s future plans, for visitors and residents alike Foxhall remains an oasis far from the madding crowds.
“It’s a unique property because there are the flatlands but there are also the highlands,” says Tyler. “It’s truly a lovely place.”