Nostalgia meets extra comfy: The reimagining of Brookwood Inn

14 Nov

Nostalgia meets extra comfy: The reimagining of Brookwood Inn

In an increasingly hectic, online society, one of the primary appeals of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast® is its casual pace and natural beauty. The area’s serenity and charm harkens back to a simpler time, appealing to families and couples in search of a refuge to decompress. 

One of the Hammock Coast’s historic accommodations properties is doubling down on that old-school appeal, offering a retro look and an increasingly delightful experience. 

The Brookwood Inn, a classic motor lodge, opened on Jan. 1, 1950, in Murrells Inlet establishing it as one of the earliest lodging options on what today is known as the Hammock Coast. Located just across Highway 17 from the water, Brookwood was long a favorite of vacationers, even earning a spot on the National Registry of Historic Places. 

The Brookwood Inn, which opened in 1950, has been refurbished and is once again offering rooms in a classic Americana motor lodge. (Photo by the Brookwood Inn)

After decades of delighting travelers, time took its toll on the Brookwood Inn, and newer accommodations properties moved into the spotlight, but there was always a diamond waiting to be polished on the expansive 4 ¾-acre property. 

That’s when Julie and Rob Perez entered the equation. The couple have extensive experience in the hospitality business, and they’d been eyeing Brookwood for years, understanding its vast potential. 

Two years ago, the opportunity to purchase the property arose, and the Perezes jumped at the chance. As soon as the ink dried on the purchase papers, the rebirth of the Brookwood Inn began. 

In just 24 months, the 25-unit property has been revitalized. New wood flooring, bedding and fresh paint throughout were just the beginning of an effort that has left vacationers raving. One of those is Christy Thompson of High Point, North Carolina.

“My mom and I have stayed there a couple times and we adore it,” Thompson said. “A dear friend of ours suggested it right (after Rob and Julie Perez took over), and we haven’t gone anywhere else. It’s so beautiful, so comfortable, so quiet.”

The property, once overrun by pine trees and brush, has been cleared, showcasing the stunning oak trees so closely associated with the area. Brookwood has retained its historic charm – some of the original tile remains – and it’s a family-oriented property, but the retro look so many people love is now complemented by the modern conveniences we’ve all come to enjoy. 

Rooms at the Brookwood Inn are big on a charming Lowcountry feel. (Photo by the Brookwood Inn.)

“It’s like going back in time,” Rob Perez says of a stay at Brookwood. “It reminds people of how they traveled when they were kids, especially with the original tile and the way the pool is set up.” 

Ample space is available for guests to bring boats, and grills are spread throughout the property, making it easy to prepare the fish caught earlier in the day for dinner.

The convenient location, refurbished rooms, and the appeal of a retro motor inn have delighted guests. In addition to the inn’s standard rooms, Brookwood also has nine cottages that feature outdoor private spaces, including decks, patios or screened porches, and some units include kitchenettes, adding to the value the property provides.

Guests have left glowing reviews online, too.

“New favorite spot! We’re at the inlet a lot and will definitely be staying many more times,” Kimberly Benton raved in a 5-star Google review. “The bed is SO comfortable! We stayed in Room 47 and it was secluded and perfect. The new upgrades have definitely paid off. Loved everything from the lamps and rugs down to the best bed I’ve ever slept on. Perfect location and so close to the MarshWalk.”

Likewise, Melinda Rolf also had her own 5-star Google evaluation.

“I’ve passed by this place so many times,” Rolf wrote, “but never stayed here. … When I saw that it had new management and was being renovated, I decided to stop in next time I was at the beach. Well, I was not disappointed. Though it is definitely retro, which I loved, it was so clean and neat. And quiet. … The manager was also super nice and let me look at a couple of rooms before I decided. Will definitely be staying here again.”

Best of all, the improvements at the Brookwood Inn aren’t finished. The Perezes have committed to continued upgrades, including the possible addition of more cottages in the future. 

As you plan your next trip to South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, make sure to check out the Brookwood Inn.  

By Chris King for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast

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