Photo courtesy of The Willcox
The Willcox has been an institution for more than a hundred years—so much so that it dropped the “hotel” designation from its name. Located just steps from the sprawling urban forest of Hitchcock Woods, The Willcox caters to the horsey set, with an equestrian theme throughout the rooms and even a horse concierge. Old-fashioned keys open the doors to the 22 rooms, each with with four-poster beds warmed by cashmere-covered hot water bottles, and pets are welcomed with their own "Guest of Willcox" tag. It’s not uncommon to see horses prancing down the streets of Aiken, once the headquarters for the wealthy Winter Colony riders of the 19th century, and the hotel is happy to indulge your passion to gallop, trot, or just enjoy a carriage ride. A saltwater pool and a range of spa services soothe tired muscles after a day in the saddle or tooling around the small-town center. The lobby bar and restaurant are favorites with locals, serving an American menu with a few Kiwi touches from the New Zealand–born chef.
By Meg Nesterov, AFAR Local Expert
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100 Colleton Ave SW, Aiken, SC 29801, USA