What We Love
- Walking distance to Aiken’s town center, which is filled with boutiques, restaurants and horse sculptures
- The property dates back to 1898; original features abound
- Live Jazz by 4 Cats in the Doghouse fills the house every Thursday night
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- Tuesday night’s free hors d’oeuvres draw a crush of locals, so claim your table early
- Aiken is the equestrian center of the South; the small town swells with owners and trainers (the “Winter Colony”) between October and May
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Sophisticated hunting lodge. Off the rocking chair–lined veranda, the lobby living room feels ever so turn-of-the-century, with two large stone fireplaces, curly heart pine paneling and distinctive, high-backed “Aiken” sofas. Downstairs, hallways are done in warm shades of red, gold and bronze and adorned with equestrian artworks, while on guest floors peanut-red doors add punch to the grass cloth–covered corridors.
Bed and Bath
Housed in interconnected 19th-century houses, guestrooms range from petite Queen Rooms to the sprawling Roosevelt Suite, with its Chippendale veranda and separate living room. All are individually designed in an attractive melange of new and old furnishings, including chaise longues, four-poster beds and gas fireplaces. Beds sport coma-inducing feathertop mattresses, white linens and cream-colored matelasse coverlets. Modern all-white tile bathrooms feature custom Carrara marble-topped dark wood wash stands, glass-enclosed showers and, in suites, deep soaking tubs.
Bed and Bath
A few steps above the Living Room, the magnificent 19th-century Oak Bar is a refined spot for listening to live jazz (every Thursday), sipping specialty cocktails and sampling exquisite “petites” such as chicken liver pâté and rock shrimp bruschetta. Overlooking the garden, the Restaurant has a more contemporary feel, in burgundy velvet chairs and button-studded banquettes, and serves up exciting gastropub fare overseen by chef Regan Browell. Steps away, the pampering four-room spa gets high marks for complete hair and nail services, as well as restorative treatments using Dermalogica and Phyto products. Outside, the intimate, patterned-brick pool area is a calming place to relax or dine. The historic landmark’s legendary service is laced with genteel Southern charm.
In the Area
Two hours from Atlanta and Charlotte, this charming town is an equestrian epicenter thanks to an abundance of the soft clay soil expensive thoroughbreds love. Here, more than 200 green islands filled with arching live oaks, azaleas and magnolias grace the main thoroughfares, while streets named Easy and Whiskey are lined with enormous cottages and studded with water troughs for horses. Catch a polo match on an emerald-green field, then head to the Track Kitchen for a yummy down-home breakfast with jockeys and trainers. For a dose of retail therapy, family-owned shops including Vinya’s and Lionel Smith have a cult following; Equine Devine and Aiken Dry Goods offer natty sport clothes as well as saddles and boots. After browsing the Aiken Antique Center, in old McCrory’s five-and-dime, grab a tasty sandwich from Betsy’s On the Corner, and head for Hitchcock Woods, one of the largest privately owned urban forests in the country, open to walkers, riders and carriages.
How to Get There
This boutique hotel has some lovely rooms, a great bar and lounge area and the best restaurant in Aiken with great service.Well worth staying there.
The four rooms across the road are known as the Chef's Cottage are brand new. The suite we stayed in for part of our stay was outstanding in comfort and decor.
On the downside...
Breakfast (in a separate room) was disappointing and the service was slow and reluctant.
Avoid room 101 (recently added and the only one on the ground floor). It smells damp, has a tiny bathroom (no bath) and limited space for two people and their baggage.
recently visited the willcox. been there before but this is the first time we stayed for the night and it was wonderful. we were welcomed by a small combo playing popular tunes
and staff fussing over the dog. everything was perfect the room, service, dinner at the bar with john and ryan (very accomplished mixologists who can mix up an exceptional version of your favorite beverage - no matter how obscure - or even invent a drink just for you). hated to leave after a lovely breakfast. simply wonderful.
My husband and I came up from Charleston to enjoy cycling in the hills and polo on Sunday. The hotel was wonderful from the beginning. The pool area is lovely, very few people and quite peaceful. Our room was outstanding. Very spacious, amazing bed and linens. Turn down service was wonderful with a small chocolate and music turned on. We ate dinner and lunch at the Willcox and both were wonderful. I had a facial with Jordan that was awesome as well. We will for sure be back!
This is a must visit /stay when in Aiken, tremendous ambience, great service. I have stayed a few times, but always have brunch or lunch here with the family. Its steeped in history and just makes you feel at home.
My husband and I celebrated our 51st anniversary at this hotel for the weekend. Room was lovely and service was great. We had a small issue that was professionally taken care of by the manager Tina McCarthy. Would recommend not getting a street side room, can be noisy. Would return in the future.