Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

March 21st, 2011
The Willcox Hotel: Celebrating 113 years as a treasured Southern Retreat

Nestled amidst the beautiful oak lined streets and stately homes of Historic Aiken, South Carolina, The Willcox Hotel has lived a grand and graceful life over the last century. The hotel’s magnificent white pillared entrance leads us to an illustrious past full of delightful tales and monumental memories. This quaint and intimate property, despite its size, is larger than life in terms of its history and hospitality. If only the walls could talk, we would experience the world of the Winter Colony. Frequent guests included the powerful, the wealthy and the social elite from the North — Yankees in search of a warmer climate and stylish sport.  The Hunt and Polo were and continue to be favorite distractions. Business was done while enjoying a brandy… while marriage contracts and affairs were delicately designed over dessert. Winston Churchill, Elizabeth Arden, W.R. Grace, and a long list of celebrities and European royalty made The Willcox their second home.

In its heyday, the hotel’s clientele were said to be ” too rich to work; yet, too active and restless to sit still”.

Today, the Willcox lives up to its reputation as a wonderfully unique historic property offering the finest in service and accommodations.

Rooms & Amenities: There are 7 suites and 15 guest rooms. In terms of design and overall ambience, each room is truly special. Antique furniture, soft billowy beds and quality linens are standard. The Deluxe Rooms feature a four-poster bed, feather top mattress, a soaking tub and a working fireplace. The Willcox hotel team redefines “your home away from home” by not overlooking a thing!

Highlights:

  • Complimentary Breakfast
  • Upscale Bath products
  • Complimentary use of bicycles, pool, and access to fitness center
  • Complimentary Wellness Classes – Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and more
  • In-room Spa Services
  • Full Concierge Services (Dining, Golf, Horse Boarding & More)

Rates: $185- $425.  For detailed room descriptions and reservations – visit The Willcox website.

Fun Fact: President Franklin D. Roosevelt was very fond of a local resident, Ms. Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd. It is said that his train often broke down in lovely Aiken.  The Willcox was always accommodating and discreet. Roosevelt’s special suite is now available upon request.

A Fantasy Fit for Women: A Sweet Charming Home where catered comfort is the norm. Even if you are not a Southern Belle… you will leave feeling like one! What woman does not want to relive the gift of pampering and illicit attention ala FDR… if you can’t be the mistress… it is time to live like one!

Restaurants & Bars: Fresh, Forward and Delicious best describes the menu. Owners, Shannon and Geoff Ellis, are culinary aficionados who have worldwide success in delivering unforgettable dining experiences. From the soups to salad to the main dish, the theme is sustainable and creative meals. An organic roasted chicken breast complemented by fresh veggie, secret potato mash recipe and a juicy NY strip steak with a side of the Willcox’s signature slaw tower among the entree selections.

When to Visit: Year Round… but try to time your visit with one of Aiken’s many cultural, historical and sporting events or seasonal festivals. Remember, you will need more than a day to explore and experience all that this special hotel and town has to offer.

To learn more, visit the Aiken Tourism Website for trip planning tips.

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