Ashford Manor

#5 Harden Hill Road, Watkinsville, Georgia 30677
Innkeeper(s): Dave Shearon and Mario Castro
 
  • Introduction

    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 collumnaded wrap porch adding entertaining space during the warmer months.

    The Garden Terrace - an easy access to Manor House and kitchen by way of the wisteria covered porch.

    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 On Main. This facility is perfect for corporate events, holiday retreats, private parties and more!

  • Insider's Info

    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 Kumquat Mae 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 15 people can stay in the Manor, and up to 8 can stay in the three Cottage suites, bringing our B&B’s maximum occupancy to 23.

    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.

     

     

  • Concerts on the Lawn

    A local favorite, the Ashford Manor Concerts on the Lawn have become a symbol for companionship and the spirit of revelry within the community.  Unfortunately, as of 2013 the series has been discontinued, but stay tuned!  You never know when owners Dave and Mario will get the itch to put on a good show..

  • Weddings

    The most comprehensive, and to our eye, the most romantic wedding facility in the area. A wonderfull setting for receptions, ceremonies, and overnight accommodations.

    The Ultimate Weekend Package includes use of the estate from 3:00 p.m. Friday to Sunday at noon for wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, reception, tents and equipment for at least 200 guests, full wedding consultant services and overnight accommodations for 18 people for Friday night and Saturday night. All accommodations are ideal for wedding party and family members to prepare for the weekend's events. All overnight guests are served a complete, gourmet breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. A full-time, on-site staff of bridal and hospitality professionals is there to help you plan the event and assure your weekend runs smoothly: that all of your guests, overnight and in attendance have an extraordinary experience.

    We also offer two other packages that can accommodate different times and number of guests.

    The Basic Weekend Wedding Package

    You and your family will have the exclusive use of the 5-acre estate beginning Friday at 3:00 until Sunday at noon. Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner on Friday evening. Wedding and Reception on Saturday.6 guest accommodations which sleep 15 comfortably for Friday and Saturday nights including breakfast. Tents, tables, chairs and linens for 100 guests are included.

    Single Day Packages are also available.

    Please keep in mind that all of our packages can be customized to fit your individual needs and wishes. We are proud to announce that Ashford On Mainis officially open for business! This new venue space is perfect for business meetings and lunches, Bridal Luncheons, Bridal and Baby Showers, Reunions, Birthday Parties and anything else you can think of! This property, which is adjacent to Ashford Manor Bed and Breakfast, will also have a Tea Room (available by reservation only). The entire ground floor is available to parties renting the space, overlooking beautiful gardens in the back, and packages that include all of your party needs at exceptionally reasonable prices! Give us a call today to schedule a visit and get pricing! 706-769-2633

    Reception Areas

    The 5-acre grounds provide for endless ways to construct the weekends events. For example, Friday's rehearsal dinner, usually a more casual affair, can be held on the porches and gazebos in the front yard of the Manor House. A more formal wedding and reception can be anywhere on the 4 acres of terraced gardens behind the house. Perhaps the ceremony is on the lowest terrace facing an acre of natural woods; the pool-terrace can be set for cocktails and hors douvres; perhaps the Promenade terrace is tented for a sit-down dinner; with a band and dancefloor set on the Garden Terrace directly behind the house. The estate can accommodate events of 250 people optimal (however, more guests can be accommodated), or provide intimate spaces for small, family affairs. We have one time-frame consideration. All music must end at 10:00 p.m.

    • The Garden Terrace--an easy access to Manor house and kitchen, by way of the wisteria-covered porch
    • The Promenade Terrace--a large open lawn surrounded by flowers and shade trees overlooking the pool
    • The Pool Terrace--large pecans provide cool shade for an outdoor ceremony, band or buffet area next to the main, central fountain
    • 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, pear, pecans, cedars, pines and wisteria beyond.

    Ceremony

    Dozens of Romantic settings inside and out for the vows or formal and informal wedding portraits: the gazebo; the "secret" boxwood garden; a 40 foot wall of recessed brick arches; the brick grand staircase or the curved wood porch staircase; the Music Room with grand piano and a grand
    staircase; any of four carved wood and tile fireplace on the ground floor; the Chippendale porch of the cottage; the wisteria covered porch...and more. Ashford Manor is adjacent to the Ashford Memorial Church. Let us know if you are interested in contacting them about a possible ceremony.

    1893 Victorian Manor Inn

    The ground floor of the Manor House has 10 doorways that enter out to full wrap around porch on the ground floor. A party goes inside and out during the warmer months. There is no large ballroom for table seating exceeding 24 people per room, nor space for dancing inside.

    Accommodations

    There are a total of six guest rooms including the ground floor bedroom that converts to reception space. Ashford Manor comfortably sleeps 15. The Cottage House, all Suites, can accommodate 8 additional guests but is not included as part of the wedding packages. Therefore, we can accommodate a total of 23 guests.The guestrooms are unique and well suited for a variety of wedding needs.

    A romantic dressing room suite for bride and bridesmaids to prepare for the big day.

    A two-story penthouse suite with sitting room, breakfast nook, master bedroom with king-size bed, master bath with Jacuzzi for the newlyweds to retire for the night after the festivities. The happy couple can receive their breakfast the next morning privately in their suite or enjoy their friends for brunch in the gardens.

    All guest accommodations have at least a queen-sized bed. One room has two queen sized-beds suitable for 4 people. Another room is prepared to accept an important "best dog"or ring dog to be a part of this important weekend (The Cottage Suite is also a dog friendly room). Check-in is at 3:00. Check-out is at noon.