The Willcox has done it again.
The hotel has been recognized by Travel + Leisure, an international travel magazine, once more for offering an inexpensive yet pleasurable experience to its guests.
The publication named The Willcox seventh best inn and small lodge in the United States, and the local hotel is No. 5 on its list as best in the world with a room rate of $250 or less, according to a press release.
“The magazine's recognition of The Willcox for its great value for our guests is especially gratifying to us,” stated hotel co-owner Geoff Ellis in a press release. “From the beginning, it has been our goal to provide a luxury experience at a more affordable price.”
The Willcox, which is a 115-year-old hotel with 22 rooms, has accommodation rates that begin at $185.
“Travel + Leisure readers are really telling us that our experience in Aiken is as worthwhile and as memorable as a stay in a great hotel in Bora Bora that might have cost them $2,500 a night,” said co-owner Shannon Ellis in the release. “It's exciting and motivates us to continue to listen to our customers, to provide them with the best experience and truly understand what they value.”
Earlier this year, The Willcox was included in Travel + Leisure's Top 500 Hotels worldwide for 2013 with a score of 94.25 out of 100. In 2012, The Willcox was 32 out of 50 on the World's Best Hotels list.
The publication has praised The Willcox for its Southern hospitality, the historic preservation of the hotel itself and its many amenities.
The Ellises said it's not just recognition of the hotel but also of the Aiken community. They said that Aiken is very welcoming and draws people from all over the world, whether it's for business or for pleasure.
“Aiken is a sporty world with good humor and great friends. It is a tremendous community that draws people, and when they get here they love it,” said Geoff. “Aiken has always meant an easy-going elegance, and that is what Travel + Leisure is telling us that we have adopted.”
The Ellises stated in the release that they are proud to be a part of the history of The Willcox, grateful for the community's support and humbled by the recognition by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Amy Banton is the county reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010. Originally from Rustburg, Va., she is a graduate of Randolph Macon College.