This is a lovely retreat place in the mountains of eastern TN, founded as a place to minister to those serving in ministry. Their mission is “To provide a safe, comfortable and confidential environment for our guests to experience rest, renewal and restoration in Christ.” This ministry is non-denominational, serving pastors, missionaries and those in Christian ministry since 1980.
There are fifteen chalets and cottages that provide a small but cozy home away from home. They contain one bedroom with a queen bed, a loft with two twin beds, and a fold-out couch in the living area. There is a kitchenette with fridge, stove, dishes, etc. There is one bathroom with a shower/tub combo. There are rocking chairs, a deck, and some cabins have an outdoor picnic table.
There is a discounted rate for those in ministry of $95/night. During January-March they offer a slightly reduced rate of four nights for the cost of three. A nonrefundable deposit is required before securing a reservation. It’s best to call first to check availability.
Fairhaven is in a somewhat remote location, at least 30 minutes from any cities. The turnoff to Fairhaven is easy to miss, though there is a small sign. Following the directions and clocking the miles is the best way not to miss it. The road up the mountain is paved, but it is also narrow, winding, and steep. Especially in bad weather, be prepared for some difficult driving.
There is no cell service or wifi at the chalets/cabins. You can usually get a cell signal or use the wifi at the Welcome Center. There are no landline phones in the cabins, so be aware that in an emergency you would need to drive/walk to the Welcome Center to contact anyone.
Health Considerations –
Stairs: Most of the chalets have stairs you must climb to reach the front door. The loft bedroom is also accessed by stairs. If climbing stairs is difficult for you or someone in your party, you can request the handicap accessible cabin, or one of the chalets with fewer steps leading up to it.
Fragrance plug-ins: Many of the chalets have fragrance plug-ins during certain months or after being closed for a while. If you have sensitivities to these fragrances, you can ask ahead of time that they be removed, or that you be placed in a chalet/cabin that doesn’t often use them.
Elevation: The elevation here is over 2500 feet, which isn’t very high but some people may feel affected by it, especially if they’re used to a lower elevation. If you go hiking or for a walk, be sure to drink plenty of water and stop and rest when you need to.
Other Details –
Food: There aren’t any restaurants or grocery stores close by, so be sure to bring all the food you’ll need for your stay.
Cleaning: When you leave, you are asked to put all the used linens together in one spot, wash any dirty dishes, and take out the trash to a designated trash can near the cabin. There is an information binder in each cabin that details these things.
There is a small gift shop in the Welcome Center and laundry facilities available at certain hours. (You can ask ahead of time if you will need to do laundry.)
No pets are permitted (except guide dogs).
There are counselors available for those interested. Rate is $120/hour.
Fairhaven operates with a small but friendly staff. If you have any specific needs or requests, be sure to check with them ahead of time so they can do their best to accommodate you.
This is a great place for a personal or couples retreat, with
plenty of solitude, nature, and lack of distractions. I enjoyed my stay at Fairhaven. With the quiet, the beauty of creation, and being unplugged from technology, it was a sweet time of personal retreat.