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Thursday, March 13, 2014
For the third year in a row, Rosemary Inn has been named one of AAA’s Four Diamond award winners in the hotel category.
The award is given to establishments that are “refined, stylish with upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities and high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail,” according to the AAA visitor’s guide, which stated that only 5.3 percent of the 29,000 hotels approved make it to the level. It is the only Four Diamond winner in the CSRA. Lookaway Hall also received a Three Diamond award.
“When we went down to Charleston in the first part of February for the presentation, we couldn’t believe it,” Diana Combs, who is the innkeeper and owner with her husband, Kelly, said. “Most of the people that were there were from major hotels, major resorts and major areas like Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Charlotte and Beaufort. They were up there with the VP of this and the VP of food and there were five or six of them going up for the award since it’s a big deal.”
The Combses, along with a handful of staff and maintenance personnel, tend to all the needs and care of the homes. Despite not possessing the bigger pockets, they were still an award winner due to Rosemary’s uniqueness in architecture and curb appeal.
“All of these guys are saying they just finished their $43 million renovation of the 150 rooms or that they put $13 or $18 million in this or that,” Diana said with a bit of a laugh. “The next day, I was at Sherwin Williams where I get all of my paint and I said, ‘I just put $35.92 into our recent renovation.’ We’re doing it by piecemeal as we can afford it, since we aren’t a major company. ... Kelly and I were the only mom and pop there. We just didn’t know what to expect.”
Kelly Combs said visitors always come away saying they are surprised at how quiet and peaceful the house is.
“It’s a physical quietude and it’s also a spiritual, emotional peacefulness, too,” he said. “You walk in those doors and you are surrounded by wood and people who are very happy to see you. We are going to make them our family and vice versa; they are going to share things about their families with us. We are going to share rooms to sit around and chat, but we’re also away from them enough to where they have solitude. ... That is a nice plus for us to know people find it as a peaceful respite.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @NAStarRodgers.