I’ve been following Uptown Greenwood on Facebook for some time now, and I’m impressed with what I see. There are so many little towns in South Carolina that had their heyday decades ago – or even 100 years ago – and need revitalizing now. And revitalization is exactly what’s happening in Greenwood. The recent reopening of the Inn on the Square was just at the beginning of October. But the most recent breath of life is the grand opening of the Carolina Executive Car at the Railroad Historical Center on Friday night. That train car was once my great grandfather’s office on wheels. However, I will cover that in Part 2 of this post. I’m focusing on the Inn on the Square today.
I think this hotel is doing incredibly well to have just opened its doors again on October 1. I told them so. I can’t be sure, but it’s possible that I may have been the first person to stay in my room since the renovation. My only hint at this is that a man from the cable company had to come into my room and program my television.
While there was no mini-fridge and no microwave, I’m betting those will be added soon. In the meantime, everything is freshly painted and ready for guests to relax and enjoy. I did suggest that they add another towel bar and a hook in the bathroom for convenience. But I was just fine as it was. One thing I think is interesting is the shower. There’s no shower curtain to collect mildew or to gross out the germophobes. There’s simply a fixed glass pane. The shower is a fresh, modern touch in a vintage hotel.
The bed was comfortable, the desk was sufficient, and the big armchair in the corner was plush and lovely. My parents’ room on the front of the building had a view of the street. My room on the back had a view of the roof over the reception room. But the views are not the reason you would come to this hotel. If you want a nice view, you would go to the beach or mountains. This is a bustling downtown area.
The Dining Room
The service in the Carriage House dining room was fantastic. The wait staff makes it a very personal experience and works hard to please. But Tom, the maitre d’, absolutely makes the experience. Attentive to every request, he treats guests as if each one is a VIP, while maintaining an entertaining and appropriate sense of humor. I hope they hold on to Tom, because he really makes the experience. As far as the food is concerned, everything we had was absolutely delicious. My shrimp and grits was not too saucy, as some are. My mother raved about the monkfish, and my father (a lifelong fisherman, chef of his own catch, and connoisseur of seafood) proclaimed that the tuna was prepared as it is supposed to be, and was delicious. In fact, he was too full to finish and told the waitress, “I hope you have a favorite cat who will get these scraps, because this is too good to throw away.” If you are a guest at the inn, breakfast is complimentary. And this breakfast is no Hampton Inn buffet, let me tell you. You will be seated and served your choice from the menu. The presentation of the food is beautiful, the portions are more than ample, and it’s all fabulous. I believe the restaurant was my favorite part of this delightful little boutique hotel.
Now, there is also a lounge called the Fox & Hound, which was originally a tavern before. This is where the majority of the ghost stories about the hotel originate. I didn’t have a reason to go into the lounge, so I can’t verify whether the ghost (dubbed Bill) actually taps people on the shoulder.
I think it’s important to mention that not only had the hotel just opened a couple of weeks before we were there, but there was also a wedding party staying there. The rehearsal dinner was in this rustically elegant room downstairs on Friday night:
The reception was on Saturday was also held at the hotel. Not once did I feel slighted or like I was not receiving the attention I needed from hotel staff. They were eager to please and enthusiastically accepted my suggestions about additional towel bars for the bathrooms. They still have a little polishing to do (a dried drop of paint on the floor in my bathroom, etc), but that is to be expected for a newly-renovated place. The public areas are perfect.
I will definitely stay at the Inn on the Square again, and will confidently send clients there.