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!