Southern Exposure with Black Southern Belle: The Willcox Inn

Have you been yearning for a getaway experience fit for royalty or even past American Presidents like Franklin D. Roosevelt? Nestled in South Carolina’s Thoroughbred Country is the Willcox Inn. Initially established in 1900, it was later renovated in the late 2000s and is now known as one of the best hotels in the world.

The grand white-pillared hotel is a glorious sight in Aiken, South Carolina. The Willcox hotel has maintained its stature as a world-renowned retreat for over 120 years hosting famous guests including Harold Vanderbilt, W.R. Grace, Elizabeth Arden, and Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden.

The experience at the hotel includes high-ranking guest accommodations, an award-winning restaurant, a local bar, and top of the line salon & spa. The Willcox maintains an atmosphere of cozy comfort meant for guests to feel as if they are staying in a Southern home rather than a hotel. The Willcox is best known for this atmosphere, top-notch service, and fantastic architecture and design.

The design of The Willcox, however, is my main attraction to the hotel as it has historical richness and luxury has a Southern vernacular. The grand lobby is intimate with low ceilings and curly heart pine wood that interiors today do not frequently possess. Each of its guest rooms has their own unique character, yet each incorporate high ceilings, generous space, deep soaking tubs, and crackling fireplaces. Comforting details from embossed stationery, decorative decor/flowers, and oversized armchairs make it hard for anyone to leave.

The Willcox Hotel offers customizable event planning and offers seasonal fare authentic of southern hospitality. So, if you want an unparalleled experience of Southern decadence, make the Willcox your next Southern destination.


Michiel Perry is the founder of Black Southern Belle, and a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of her work here!

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.