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“Very good, with one or two comments”
Review of The Willcox

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The Willcox
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Aiken
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Very good, with one or two comments”
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We have just returned from our fifth or sixth stay at The Willcox, and it was mostly a pleasure. The hotel is still beautiful and well managed. The rooms are large and comfortable; the food is good; the pool is pretty (but freezing still, in April). The staff is always warm and welcoming, and housekeeping does an excellent job in the rooms. The fact that the entire hotel, except for the dining room, is dog friendly is really remarkable. It's a reflection of the attitude of the entire town...everyone just loves dogs in Aiken. Just a few comments, and these issues are what prevented me giving The Willcox a five-star rating. 1) First, I understand that "new" management's business model is different from that of "old" management, which viewed the Willcox as a destination property. "New" management (not so new anymore) wants the Willcox to be the "center" of the social scene in Aiken, and with all the planned social events at the Willcox, it seems that the leadership team has achieved its mission. That being said, with the heavier use of the hotel, the lobby furnishings are beginning to take a beating. Couches and chairs look worn out, and the public places don't look particularly clean or smell fresh, especially in the mornings. It looks like a well-used bar, after hours, which it what it has actually become. It is disconcerting, as a guest, to see a full lobby almost every evening...loud, with lots of people and live music. It's not relaxing for a hotel guest from out of town...might work for the locals and seasonal horse people looking to party, but management should not forget about overnight paying guests who might be looking for some peace. We literally had to sit outside on the front porch with a half dozen other hotel guests to escape the crush one night; we all watched the parade of visitors pull up in car after car, and we all commented on the same thing. 2) Second, I used the spa this time for the first time. It was well intentioned but amateurish, and high-priced for what you got. If you are going to have a spa, do charge for it, but get some skilled professionals in there to do the work. 3) Finally, and least important...I think the hotel can do a better job on the continental breakfast in the morning. It's pretty dull.

Suffice it to say, we love The Willcox...we are loyal, long-time customers, and we want to see the hotel pick up its game a bit. We're glad to see that it seems to be successful, but don't let the wonderful hotel slide down the slippery slope of mediocrity on these issues we raise. You can be sure that we would not want to stay anywhere else in Aiken!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lucinda00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willcox1898, General Manager at The Willcox, responded to this review, April 25, 2013
Dear Lucinda,

Thank you for being such a loyal customer and repeat guest. We truly appreciate you as a customer and we appreciate the time that you took to write your comments on the hotel. We take great pride in our customer service and our historic hotel. When a guest makes suggestions and comments we take them seriously and look to immediately resolve any problems. We hope that you enjoy your next stay and would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you personally.

Kindest Regards,
Tina McCarthy
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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246 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
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English first
Williamsburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

This is really a world class hotel in a small town. Totally unpretentious and very elegant, our stay here was a delight from beginning to end. The staff could not have been more considerate and helpful (I was sick when we stayed there) and we loved the sitting area downstairs where it seems like much of the community gathers for jazz and drinks on Thursday nights. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Cary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

My wife and I spent 2 days at the Willcox in March, 2013.
We found both the hotel and town to be charming.
Even though this hotel was built in 19th century, it had all of the qualities one would expect in a 1st class establishment.
The staff was warm and helpful and made us feel like guests in an exclusive club.
We are already planning our next visit to Aiken and to the Willcox.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank MItch H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
charleston sc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Love The Willcox!!! Old World Classic!! Best Staff you will ever find anywhere! Hotel is warm and inviting...roaring fireplaces...best poofy beds...fabulous art...musty wonderful books...house made chicken liver pate is over the top...and Henry the clumber is treated like a prince. The Character of this old place just can't be duplicated. its just perfect!

Room Tip: all rooms are different and all are wonderful
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank henryCharlestonSc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aiken, South Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013 via mobile

Superb food and service! Great place for a party or a special night! I had a birthday party for my wife and could have not been more pleased. The special event staff led by Katey is superb. Turned into a very memorable night for everyone.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Frank J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
65 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2013

The Willcox offers an authentic Aiken stay complete with equine theme bar, excellent service, spa, and restaurant. Accommodations were comfortable with nice amenities. Had signature cocktail in bar-yummy. Ate dinner at restaurant and Irish liquor dessert was worth every calorie.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank DS92703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
45 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Traveled to Aiken for the first time on business, and took a gamble on staying at the Willcox. It was a very good experience, and I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.

I stayed in their basic standard room, which was great. Lots of space and light, with a sitting area by the fireplace and a deep bathtub with separate shower. The selection of books on the mantle was amusing - Gore Vidal next to Charlton Heston, etc. The room was clean, the bed very comfortable, and everything worked as it should.

The common areas of the hotel are beautiful. Live music in the hotel lobby, with comfortable furniture by a wood fire and dark paneled walls. It is a lovely old building, with an atmosphere of relaxed affluence.

I ate dinner twice in the hotel, once in the restaurant and once from room service. Both were good, but not exceptional. The calamari was overcooked, and the poutine over salted. Though both the romaine salad and the lobster pasta were balanced, and quite tasty. Breakfast was very nice in the mornings. Good, healthy selection of fresh items.

If I had one complaint about my stay, it would be the front desk staff. Several of them were fairly snobbish, giving the impression that they weren't certain that I was a suitable candidate to stay in the hotel. However, the bartenders and housekeeping staff were all friendly and gracious.

Room Tip: The standard room was outstanding, and a very reasonable price. Not sure that an upgraded room woul...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank markp30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Willcox

Property: The Willcox
Address: 100 Colleton Ave SW, Aiken, SC 29801-4870
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Aiken
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Aiken
#1 Green Hotel in Aiken
#5 Business Hotel in Aiken
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Willcox 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award-winning, historic Willcox Hotel cultivates a sophisticated, yet informal glamour amidst America's storied thoroughbred country. Cloud soft beds, an intimate Salon & Spa and one of the South's Best Restaurants - All in a setting of Easy Going Elegance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Willcox Hotel Aiken

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