Valentine's Day romance can be found at South Carolina's Red Horse Inn

For any special weekend, or even Valentines Day South Carolinas Red Horse Inn offers romance in horse country Photo: Red Horse Inn

LANDRUM, SC January 23, 2011 —The Red Horse Inn, with six private cottages and six inn rooms, is a delightful couples getaway amid the dramatic backdrop of the rolling horse country of Landrum, SC, not far from hip Greenville, SC.

For Valentine’s, the property has a month-long  special “lovers” package that includes a bottle of champagne, chocolate truffles, and romantic touches like scattered rose petals and “Love Recipes.”

Guests will also be treated to a Romantic Adventure with directions, maps and coupons for a self-guided excursion of one of the country’s hotspots — the Upstate of South Carolina — such as a scenic tour of the oldest covered bridge in South Carolina, state parks, hiking trails, waterfall routes, or a free wine tasting for the two at Chateau-style Victoria Valley Vineyards and more. 

The AAA Four Diamond property features a dirt-and-gravel car path hugging the white split-rail fence line. Yes, there’s often a reddish-colored horse grazing in the pasture.

Owners and innkeepers Mary and Roger Wolters are horse people. They related how, as a local resident, she used to hunt foxes on and around the 190 acres where the inn and cottages now stand. When hearing it was being sold for a large development, the pair stepped in, bid on it, and now, 15 years later, continue to operate their highly-ranked romantic retreat. Mary, in fact, is quite handy with a bulldozer.

The main inn features six bedrooms plus a large, open meeting room, expansive patio open to the view, and courtyard with windchimes in the trees, and where relaxing music soothes from outdoor speakers. There’s also a gurgling fountain plus a pond filled with Japanese koi and lots of blooming flowers in season.

Cottages, such as The Springhouse, are stand-alone, and each features kitchen, sitting room, full bath and bedroom.

Romantic touches are everywhere, starting with guests’ names written on the cottage plaque outside the front door. The Springhouse porch holds two bright green rocking chairs, perfect for watching the late day sun on the mountains. Inside is one large, open room with king-size, four-poster bed with sheer white draping artfully arranged. The all-white coverlet might hold a scattering of rose petals to set the mood.

The room’s focal-point is a fireplace; facing it are upholstered white chairs sitting side-by-side on an oriental rug, and between them a table made from a huge footed urn with a glass top, an easy perch for wine glasses.

To the right, a small dining table sits beside two, large, arched, white-shuttered windows — which, overlook that lovely pastoral view. Around the windows and other portions of the walls, delicate, painted-on greenery evokes a private garden feel. The walls soar to a high ceiling with fan.

There are touches of Paris throughout The Springhouse cottage’s décor, as well, created with an Eiffel Tower plaque, a wall clock and art, plus trailing bits of potted green ivy garlands.

Alongside the fireplace, a small writing table is tucked up to the wall. It holds a writing pad and a journal of entries from former guests — all peppered with high praise.

Beyond that a small kitchen off to the side features everything a couple needs for romantic nights staying in (plus the all-important morning coffee).

The inn hosts will prepare and serve dinner with wine in the cottage, if guests choose.

Come morning, the kitchen fridge is pre-stocked with muffins, fresh fruit, egg casseroles and juice — all at easy access to be enjoyed in private in the comfy bathrobes provided.

Behind the fireplace wall is a cozy sitting room with couch and TV. It leads onto a small deck with his-and-hers loungers, and a few steps down, to a private, two-person hot tub. The view overlooks an expanse of green, roughly mowed meadow, then patches of woods behind.

Be on the lookout for the wildlife; guests have, for instance, spotted wild turkeys walking by.

The main inn building features six rooms — the Croft, Dovecote, Gable, Aviary, Manager and East bedrooms, all decorated differently yet equally romantic and comfortable.

In addition to The Springhouse, the other cottages are the Huntbox Cottage, like an old English library; Carriage Bay, with a fox hunting mural that runs the course around the walls of the living and dining rooms; Grainary Cottage, with writings of love and romance artistically inscribed on the parchment-like walls; Hayloft Cottage, in a blue-and-white color scheme; and Stables Cottage, which is pet-friendly and tucked under four gables.

If You’re Going: Rooms start at $175; cottage rates start at $210. The Red Horse Inn is located at 310 N. Campbell Rd., Landrum, SC 29356; call (864) 895-4968 or visit theredhorseinn.com. The inn is also popular for destination weddings and corporate retreats. Near the North Carolina-South Carolina border, it’s easily reached from Asheville, NC, or Greenville/Spartanburg, SC.

 

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Kathy M. Newbern

Kathy M. Newbern and husband, J.S. Fletcher have been producing travel stories specializing in romantic and luxury destinations, and adventure travel. They’ve visited every continent, climbed the Great Wall of China and Cape Horn, the Sydney Harbor Bridge and walked into in a Pyramid burial chamber.  Join them on their next adventure.

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