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Welcome to the Ashford Manor Bed and Breakfast in Watkinsville, Georgia! We like to think of ourselves as the best kept secret in Georgia. Our five acre estate overlooking Main Street has been in the same family for over 100 years. Surrounded by a secluded border of magnolias, red buds and pines, the 1893 Victorian manor house, cottage, gazebo and landscaped gardens all terrace down to a pool and open woods and creek beyond. We are within walking distance to Watkinsville's numerous antique shops and art galleries of local fine and folk art talent.
Built in 1893 by Alexander Woodson "A.W." Ashford and his wife, Elizabeth (Loula) Ashford lived in the house with nine children. The history of the property and nearby city are evident in the design and architecture of our historic home.
There are plenty of places on the grounds where one can slow down and enjoy a summer's day, read a book, or just get away from the daily chaos of life. There are grand reception areas inside and out with four acres of gardens on four descending terraces overlooking an acre of wooded natural pathways.
The living room, dining room, reception room and grand entrance hall on the ground floor were designed to entertain large parties so common in the Victorian age. Ten floor-to-ceiling glass doorways access the columned wrap porch adding entertaining space during the warmer months.
The Lower Terrace - a curved brick stairway cascades down to a wall of arched brick recesses, with a double layered terrace to an acre of magnolias, pears, pecans, cedars and wisteria.
Start making plans now to hold your company Christmas or new Year's Party at Ashford. This facility is perfect for corporate events, holiday retreats, private parties and more!
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Mario Castro and Brian Dunlap for sharing their own secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
Truth be told, we've met so many fine folks and heard so many idiosyncratic tales of travel, we’d be hard-pressed to give a complete list of reasons why people visit our bed and breakfast. Some are looking for a little respite from their otherwise hectic lives, while others want to experience a piece of the hospitable South for themselves. Whatever your reason, our doors are always open!
What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?
Aside from our 19th century Victorian Manor (which is stunning in itself), the Ashford estate includes over 5 acres of beautifully manicured terraced gardens. Unlike other B&B’s, when you arrive you’ll be just as inclined to spend your time outdoors touring the grounds as you will be relaxing in your room! We find even the weariest of travelers spending a large part of their stays outdoors, enjoying the covered porches and marveling at the pool fountains and other beautiful fixtures our property has to offer.
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
One of our most important goals with Ashford Manor is to the preserve the beauty and simplicity of the historic South. From the gardens to the historically preserved details of the Manor’s interior, when you visit with us, you’ll experience an incredible artifact of the area’s past, a time capsule not only of aesthetics, but of the hospitality and warmth characteristic of times passed.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
We've met so many wonderful, gracious travelers, and it’s always an honor when one of our guests gives us an especially nice compliment. As you might expect, picking just one is quite the task, so we’ll let a recent review of our B&B speak for itself: “I just spent 4 nights at the Ashford Manor and was totally charmed the entire time. The house was breathtakingly beautiful, as were the gardens. The antiques were fantastic. This was hands down the best run place I've ever seen. There was absolutely no detail left unattended. I wanted for absolutely nothing. Everything had been planned out with the utmost care.” As far as compliments go, we don’t think they get much better than that!
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
Ashford Manor, of course! Well, in part at least. Watkinsville is a community in the truest sense of the word. When you visit with Ashford Manor, you’ll stay right in the center of the downtown area, and you’ll be within walking distance of all the fine cuisine, eccentric shops and inspiring artwork our town has to offer. The entire area is also teeming with history—from the stately and historic Eagle Tavern to the centuries-old family histories of many of the town’s greatest buildings (Ashford Manor included!); you’ll find interesting landmarks everywhere you turn.
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
Along with the many shops, activities and historical attractions we've mentioned in Watkinsville, if you’re looking for an even larger hub for activity, Athens is only ten minutes away! Downtown Athens abounds with live music, unusual shops and eclectic, fresh dining options. The University of Georgia also adds a historical presence to the area, bringing the progressive feeling of the city’s community together with the monuments and figures that predated it.
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?
As we mentioned before, restaurants, antique dealers, art galleries and shops galore line the streets of downtown Watkinsville, and all are less than two blocks from Ashford Manor. You’ll find no shortage of things to do in the area!
What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
We have so many favorites, it’s difficult to choose! Just across the street, you’ll find fresh pasta and classic Italian recipes at Mirko Pasta, and steaks, sandwiches, burgers and beer at Chops & Hops. Girasoles offers a unique fusion of Mexican and Italian cuisine, and KiKi's Bakery offers delicious baked goods, as well as inventive takes on some American classics (try the chicken salad!). There are so many wonderful restaurants; we really can’t do them justice. The best bet is to come down and try them all yourself!
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?
A great place to look for all things Watkinsville is the Oconee Welcome Center’s website, which you can browse at http://www.visitoconee.com/. You can also call their office at (706) 769-5197.
How many rooms does your inn have?
Our bed and breakfast has a total of six rooms in the Manor house and three suites in the Cottage building, which is also on the property. For group bookings, up to 13 people can stay in the Manor, and up to 4 can stay in the two Cottage suites, bringing our B&B’s maximum occupancy to 17.
Do you accept pets?
We do! One of our rooms in the Manor house and two of our suites in the Cottage are canine-friendly. Each of these rooms can accommodate either one large dog or two small dogs.