The southern city of Aiken, South Carolina draws many visitors, especially during the Masters Tournament held in close by Augusta, Georgia. Accommodations are always in demand and if you ask the locals, they’ll tell you one of the best is The Willcox Hotel in the heart of the city’s historic district.
A 19th century inn, The Willcox was originally built as a seasonal retreat for well-to-do northerners to escape harsh winters. Dances and high society functions were held there and those who lived a privileged lifestyle stayed in various rooms and suites. The Willcox, with its reputation of impeccable service, ideal location and fabulous cuisine, catered to many a famous guest. Among those were Winston Churchill, Harold Vanderbilt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Elizabeth Arden.
Today, The Willcox Hotel continues to maintain its attitude of gracious service along with the grandeur of a richly appointed lobby and rooms that are decorated with fine antiques, upscale linens, modern technology (flat screens and high-speed wifi), pampering bath products and so much more. Turndown service is still a nightly ritual at The Willcox with a sweet treat and forecast for the next day left neatly on the bed.
Amenities at The Willcox Hotel
- An award-winning restaurant (including a Sunday brunch) serving lunch and dinner in the dining room, lobby, front porch, pool side or in your room.
- A lobby bar with plush seating areas, fireplace and live music.
- Meeting space accommodating up to 300 people…and yes, weddings are popular here!
- A salon and spa facility offering massages, facials, hair services and more.
- A refreshing salt water pool.
- Fitness facilities (on-site cardio and off-site complimentary use of local Gold’s Gym).
- Complimentary bicycles to explore Aiken on your own.
- Complimentary shoe shine is available daily. Simply place shoes in the special shoe bag in the closet and leave outside your door before midnight. They will be returned by 7 a.m. the next day!
- Games and puzzles are available on the second floor credenza as well as playing cards in the desk drawer of each room. Also, Guest Services has a DVD list for you to check out and view in your room.
My favorites at The Willcox Hotel are easy and simple: the huge soaker tub in the bathroom with lavish bath salts and the tall shutter windows that allow the natural light in. There are many reasons to stay at The Willcox Hotel, including the close proximity to a walkable downtown area, good restaurants (including the one on-property), area attractions and more. You’ll likely find your own favorites, but these are good starters!
Other Things to do in Aiken
People come to Aiken for several reasons BESIDES the Masters Tournament! Depending on the time of year that you visit, you might attend a Polo game or catch the Aiken Training Track active. But, regardless of the season, you should visit the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame, Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch to get a wonderful feel for the area. You’ll find fun culinary experiences downtown along with boutique and antique shopping. Truly something for everyone.
My stay at The Willcox was complimentary for the purpose of this review. I received no compensation for the stay or the review. Photos are all my own as well as opinions.