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
We stayed here 3 nights and it was a great experience, service, food, accommodations were very good. Small and intimate. It reminds us of a cross between The Pine Crest Inn (in Pinehurst) and the Homestead. The room was updated, but original, and the bedding was one of the best we have slept on. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were excellent, and it seems the "small bites" is more popular than the main menu Duck Confit Tacos). Nice pool area, although it was a little early for most. Lots of locals, the bar is great, and they get busy when they have the piano music, John Vaughn, plays on those nights, don't miss it! In the heart of Aiken, also very popular when the Equestrian events are going on. We checked off another location of, 1,000 places to visit before you die!
When we arrived they did not have the room we reserved available and so we were given the Roosevelt Suite which was enormous with a balcony overlooking the street. It was comfortable and excellent service. The dinners were delicious as well as the breakfasts, especially the Belgian Waffles and omelettes. I loved the charming equestrian town of Aiken with the art galleries and antique shops
Milady and I pulled into The Willcox for the fifth or six time. Graciously accommodated with our favorite room(couple of months notice).... even our two little hound’s favorite...Thanks to Melissa. Clean, comfortable...wonderful dinner at the bar with John as the master of that Hunt. The “W” consistently exceeds expectations....interesting conversations with fellow travelers...sumptuous breakfast. Will return !!!
The Wilcox was terrific . Great people serving you , doing your rooms . The bar tender was amazing , best cocktails ever and the food was good. Rooms we had were delightful. Terrific southern hospitality. Very obliging staff.
A plethora of fabulous hospitality, good fine refreshments and a bulbous setting.
The employees of The Wilcox had to be the best in the states in assistance, service and
Entertainment. At the bar the bartender made me a flaming Parisienne and it was delicious. Our concierge came out to the car and assisted us in getting the luggage up into the room.
There was classical and jazz music in what I would call the parlor of the Hotel .