2020 is a big year for the Inn at Willow Grove. Not only are we starting a new decade, we are celebrating our tenth year in business. Here’s a look ahead, with a little nod to where we started.
In 2008, David and Charlene Scibal purchased our thirty-eight acre property. The Manor House, circa 1778, was on site as were a few other small outbuildings. Originally intending to use The Manor House as their private home, the Scibals broke ground on renovations immediately. Not long into the project, they realized the property had potential as an inn and so they shifted their focus. Two years and millions of dollars later, the Inn at Willow Grove opened as an eleven room Inn with an on-property restaurant.
Charlene decorated the entire property herself, meaning that each room is unique yet cohesive, similar to a fashion collection. Originally from New Orleans, Charlene’s French influence can be found throughout the property: the giant map of Paris at Guest Services, the complimentary daily beignets delivered to each guest every morning and more.
In 2017, the Scibals added fourteen rooms and a full-service spa with a saltwater relaxation pool. Today, the Inn at Willow Grove operates with twenty five rooms, four-star Vintage restaurant, and Mill House Spa. The property has meeting spaces that can host corporate events for up to 52 persons or social events for up to 200 guests. The Scibals also own a sister restaurant, Forked on Main, and small wares shop, Objects on Main, in downtown Orange, Virginia.
In 2020, the Inn at Willow Grove will host several culinary events to showcase the creativity of our new executive chef, Andrew Eppley. Chef Eppley joined us in mid-December and he has already made his mark with the creation and launch of our winter menus. Next month, Chef will serve our Valentine guests a four-course meal, available with wine pairings for $145 per person. In the spring, we hope to host an Opus One dinner which will again allow Chef Eppley to pair his food alongside phenomenal wines.
In July, we will celebrate our tenth anniversary all month long! Vintage will offer food and drink specials centering around the year 1778, to honor the history of The Manor House. Small commemorative items will be available for purchase. On July 25, renowned musician Marc Broussard will join us for our annual Summer Concert Series. Other musicians are still to be determined. In conjunction with his performance and with a nod to the heritage of our owners, we will have a Cajun Throwdown! Chef Troy Bijeaux of New Orleans’ Cafe Josephine will battle Vintage’s Chef Andrew Eppley and others. More details about tickets to this once-in-a-decade event to follow.
As the year unfolds we hope you will join us! Follow us on social media @innatwillowgrove @forkedonmain and @millhousespa. Monthly promotions can be found on our website and up-to-the-minute information can be found in our e-newsletter. Happy New Year!
The end of a year, and in this case the end of a decade, is an excellent time to reflect upon the past and look toward the future. As we reflect on 2019 and look to 2020, here are a few of our favorite memories:
2019 was a big year for awards. The Inn at Willow Grove was named the #1 Best Resort Hotel in the South by Travel + Leisure. The readers of Conde Nast ranked us #4 in the Top 10 Hotels in the Mid-Atlantic. We received the Wine Spectator Award for the fifth year running; our restaurant director Wednesday Sampson deserves high praise for that accomplishment. And again, the Inn at Willow Grove was honored to receive four stars from Forbes.
We were thrilled to be featured in print and online throughout 2019. Southern Living featured Orange and the Inn at Willow Grove in the Small Town Weekends October 2019 edition. DC Magazine also wrote about our property. Influencers and editors alike visited the Inn at Willow Grove for their publications, such as Christine Tran for Forbes and Nikki Erlick from Indagare.
In 2019, twenty one couples chose us as their wedding venue. Two were small elopements and the remaining nineteen ranged from 40 guests to 200 guests. Most wedding ceremonies take place in the Boxwood Gardens with their dinner reception in the Barn and dancing in the Ruins. We are always honored to share such a monumental day with our #IWGcouples.
We are thankful for our loyal guests who choose to return to the Inn every year. Our Woodberry families, in particular, we see several times throughout the year as their boys grow into young men during their high school years at neighboring Woodberry Forest School. We are also grateful for those guests who joined us at our twenty five room luxury boutique hotel for the first time.
Our on-site full-service spa, Mill House Spa, saw a big year of growth under the direction of spa director Nikki Butler. Mill House Spa added two new services: Hydrafacials and Botox injections. These two distinct offerings elevate our spa into a higher echelon; we are so pleased to be able to better serve our clients.
Vintage restaurant, our on-property four-star restaurant, changed menus four times this year with the changing seasons. Vintage continues to attract locals for our weekly events including Tapas Night, Three on Thursday, and Sunday Brunch. The close of the year leaves us excited as Executive Chef Andrew Eppley takes the lead in the kitchen.
Forked on Main, our contemporary sister restaurant located in nearby downtown Orange, continues to thrive in its second year of business. Lunch, dinner and cocktails remain popular at Forked as do the baked goods that are offered for pick-up around holidays.
In sales and marketing, we launched a YouTube channel. Technology is changing the world and we are aiming to change with it, thus focusing our efforts more in video. I also developed this weekly blog and sincerely thank you for reading along! You’ll continue to find us on social media @innatwillowgrove @forkedonmain and @millhousespa.
We are so grateful for our nearly 70 hardworking employees, who attend to every detail so that you can join us to escape, unwind and indulge. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives this year. May these final days of 2019 find you well and with loved ones. Cheers!
In my opinion, the mid-Atlantic region is synonymous with all things quintessentially Christmas. Snow, horse drawn carriages, sleigh rides, toasty fires, hot beverages. As a native of this region, much of what I associate with Christmas cannot be replicated in other parts of the country. The Christmases that my family and I spent in Phoenix, Arizona never felt like “real Christmas” to me. A fir tree doesn’t last long in 85 degree weather and a Santa Claus clad in shorts just doesn’t seem right! I’m raising my children in an environment similar to the one I grew up in so I can share similar traditions and pass on family values based on a sense of place.
Here at the Inn at Willow Grove, we have values, traditions and beliefs rooted in a sense of place also. We believe travel expands your horizons, both literally and figuratively. We believe exposure to different cultures is valuable and educational. We believe in escaping, unwinding and indulging as a form of self-care, respite and recovery. We love nature and promote activities that connect us to the outdoors, whether that be through a long hike or through culinary introduction to what the land provides. We practice annual traditions so our guests know what to expect and when, and yet we try to balance those with new events. So for those of you who are considering joining us this holiday season and in the months beyond, allow me to provide you with a sense of place so you can make an informed decision about your stay with us in Orange, Virginia.
Orange, Virginia is a rural town located southwest of Washington, DC and northeast of Charlottesville, Virginia. Orange sits in the Virginia Foothills, a region named for its proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Orange is nestled within Virginia’s wine country and our surrounding wineries and vineyards are steadily gaining national acclaim with each harvest. Craft breweries are also finding the climate to be hospitable to their crops, and we’re seeing more breweries opening in 2020. The Inn at Willow Grove offers wine and beer tours and we plan to offer a craft beer dinner in 2020. Also in the New Year, we are going to highlight local agriculture during our first ever farm to table dinner on May 2, 2020. The land here not only yields bountiful crops, it provides gorgeous scenery. The Inn at Willow Grove is famous for the views from our Overlooks, which overlook the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west and our expansive, historic property to the east. To experience this view for yourself, follow the hashtag #theIWGoverlooks on social media.
At holiday time, the Vintage restaurant at the Inn at Willow Grove offers several events for those looking to celebrate. On Christmas Eve, Vintage will serve from our new winter dinner menu all day long with seatings from 12:00 pm until 6:30 pm. After taking Christmas Day to be with our families, the Inn at Willow Grove will open on December 26 and remain open until check-outs on New Year’s Day. This is an important change to note: We are typically closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but we will remain open from December 26 until December 31! On New Year’s Eve, our new executive chef is offering a special four-course meal with a prosecco toast to celebrate the start of a new decade. Seatings in Vintage will begin at 5:30 pm and continue until 10:00 pm. For those guests wishing to stay overnight, we are currently offering up to 25% off in Mill House Spa with any overnight stay between now and the end of the month.
After the turn of the New Year, we will have several opportunities to experience a sense of place during your stay with us. For those looking to recharge on property, we are offering Ayurveda retreats on an ongoing basis. Ayurveda focuses on wellness and incorporates healthy food into fitness. Mill House Spa has more information on that new holistic offering.
The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend is a perfect time to join us for a long(er) getaway so you can experience more off property. Our small town offers shopping on Main Street, hiking at the Market at Grelen, dining at our sister restaurant, Forked on Main, and historic site seeing at Montpelier, the home of James Madison. Last but not least, Vintage restaurant at the Inn at Willow Grove is offering a very special Opus One wine dinner on Friday, January 24. We will pair five years of Opus with our Chef’s cuisine, creating an interesting juxtaposition of west coast and east coast. Friends and family lodging discounts will be available for those purchasing tickets to the Opus dinner.
If you’re looking to experience the chill of winter in a small town where you can dine at a four-star restaurant, relax in a full-service spa, and recharge in luxurious rooms and suites, visit The Inn at Willow Grove this season. We are ready to serve you as you escape, unwind and indulge.
It is December now, which puts us in engagement season! According to weddingwire.com 40% of engagements happen between November and February. As the marketing director, ways to sell to this demographic are top of mind for me this month.
As a wedding venue, we have several features that set us apart. The first thing that comes to mind is our customer service. We consistently receive praise about our staff. Our teams at the Inn at Willow Grove, Vintage restaurant and Mill House Spa treat each guest like they are the only guest on property. We are “people people” and we love having you here! Many of our regular guests get to know us and treat us like family, and vice versa. Wedding couples often establish that same lifetime rapport, keeping in touch with us well after their wedding day. It’s one of the things we love about weddings!
The Inn at Willow Grove itself is unique. The historic and central Manor House was built in 1778. It is the defining feature of our property, though it is only one of the many freestanding buildings. Our boutique hotel has 25 rooms, eleven of which are located in small cottages. Each room has been thoughtfully appointed and artfully decorated by our owner, Charlene Scibal. Charlene is a native of New Orleans so you’ll notice a French influence on property. Our signature beignets and the extra large map of Paris located across from guest services are two very obvious French touches. Other more subtle French touches include the amuse bouche served between courses in Vintage and the water wheel on Mill House Spa, sourced from New Orleans. Our hotel is not unlike a fashion collection: no two rooms are identical, and yet the property feels cohesive.
Our wedding packages include everything a couple needs for their wedding day. Tables, chairs, linens, flatware and glassware are all provided for up to 150 guests. Hiring an outside caterer or rental company is not necessary. That means your site fee actually includes more than just the site! There will not be any hidden fees when you choose to host your wedding at the Inn at Willow Grove. You can do as much or as little to our venue as you’d like. The spaces are gorgeous as they are, but if you’d like to add your own personal touches then you are welcome to do so!
Last but not least, a major differentiating factor for our property is what we call The Overlook. (#theIWGoverlooks) The Overlook is an area of our property that has unparalleled, unobstructed views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the northwest and expansive views of the Inn and surrounding cottages to the southeast. Every wedding couple that hosts their wedding at the Inn at Willow Grove takes their sunset pictures at The Overlook. Sunset is the perfect time to capture the yummy, glowy last light of the day and there is no better place in the Virginia Foothills to do so. For more images of couples at The Overlook, follow #theIWGoverlooks or our social media outlets @innatwillowgrove.
To book your wedding with us in 2020 or 2021, contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Engagement Season!
Mill House Spa will soon begin offering botox injections! We are hosting Dr. Erin Kalan as our certified Allergan injector. Dr. Kalan is a primary care physician from Orange, Virginia, currently living and practicing in Arlington, Virginia. She will join us one Friday per month beginning on December 13, 2019 and increase her hours as the demand dictates.
Many people have heard of botox but may not know much about the process. Botox treatments are injectable, and therefore should be administered by a licensed medical practitioner. Botox injections temporarily reduce the underlying muscle activity that causes moderate to severe facial lines so skin looks visibly smoother. Patients report that the injections feel like a pinch. Visible results begin appearing in 24 to 48 hours after treatment and can last for up to four months. The injectable takes two to four days to attach to the nerve ending, so maximum results are seen 10 to 14 days after a treatment. If you’re getting Botox for a big event we recommend booking your appointment two weeks prior to the event. If you plan to make regular appointments speak with Dr. Kalan so she can recommend an ideal frequency for your age and skin type. On average, patients opt for treatments every three to four months. Botox is not permanent; if treatments are discontinued facial lines will gradually reappear. The treatment takes about ten minutes and patients do not need any downtime afterwards. In fact, we recommend pairing Botox with a Hydrafacial!
Allergan is the manufacturer of Botox so you may see that Dr. Kalan is our “certified Allergan injector.” She graduated from medical school in West Virginia in 2013 and completed her residency at the University of Virginia. Dr. Kalan spends the majority of her time as a general practitioner but chooses to administer botox because it brings her patients such joy. Dr. Kalan recognizes that medicine must encompass traditional practices such as surgery and prescription medication but also believes it should address core concepts including lifestyle, nutrition, mindfulness practices and prevention. She believes in the body’s incredible ability to heal itself. For Dr. Kalan, facial rejuvenation is an incredible opportunity to enhance a client’s natural beauty while integrating the importance of nutrition and lifestyle. She joins us after three years at MedSpa of Virginia where she performed Botox injections.
Please call for Dr. Kalan’s specific schedule if you are interested in booking a treatment. Mill House Spa can be reached at 540.317.1206, ext. 203.
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