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Hammock Hotel now open to the public

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Mike and Sandy Katchuck have put a lot of time and effort into a renovation project on South Jefferies Boulevard near Downtown Walterboro, and the effort has been greatly rewarded.

The Hammock Hotel, a newly renovated and historically significant tourist stop, is located on South Jefferies Boulevard across from the RhodesWay station in the heart of Walterboro.

The building has recently been restored to the beauty of the original home, which was, many years ago, known as The Betsy Ross Tourist Home. This 2,500 square-foot facility offers modern conveniences combined with its historical charm.

“Former City Building Inspector Shirley Holloman let me know about this building several years ago,” said Mike. “She worked in a manner that concentrated on historical restoration and value, and told me that I should follow historical renovation guidelines when restoring the old hotel, concentrating on details such as architecture and trim for curb appeal.” He added he feels the renovated structure is a plus to the downtown area.

Mike noted that it took three years of steady renovation work to get the structure into the shape that it is in today. “I used anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of the wood that was already in the building, recycled and re-milled, to renovate the house. Almost all of it was antique pine.”

The first night the Hammock Hotel opened, which was on March 9, the inn’s first tenant was a former Walterboro resident. “When we opened, our first guest was Bertha D. Ackerman. She was 91 years old, and a former Walterboro resident. She had moved to Seneca (near Clemson), but had returned to Walterboro to look up some old friends.”

Mike said that, since March 9, about 26 paying customers have spent nights at the Hammock Hotel, six of them just this week. “We just let people know that we are open. Several realtors have expressed interest in our business, and are thinking about housing clients who come to town who are thinking about relocating here.” He added the hotel has a large room that is ideal for businesses to use for meetings.

The Hammock Hotel is located within walking distance of numerous historic sites, antique shops, and the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary; the Hammock Hotel is located in a perfectly situated area for visitors. Travelers stopping in Walterboro can plan to spend the night within a piece of history. The Betsy Ross Tourist Home was built in 1932, a time when smaller, one-floor tourist homes and motels were the norm. The Betsy Ross was once a favorite lodging place for thousands of visitors, and now has been restored and has come to life again.

The Hammock Hotel is also located very close to the many Downtown antique shops and restaurants. Visitors are also within walking distance of other interesting sites, such as the South Carolina Artisans Center, which showcases the work of state artists and artisans. The center is South Carolina’s official folk arts and crafts center. Visitors can also visit the Colleton County Courthouse, which is visible from the hotel’s front porch. The courthouse, which was built in 1820, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The design of the courthouse is attributed to Robert Mills, who was once a student in Charleston. He learned his trade there from Irish-born Architect James Hoban, who designed the White House in Washington, D. C. Robert Mills won a competition for the design of the Washington Monument, which is his best-known work.

“Our inn is quaint and charming. Each room gives a personal, at-home feeling with porches for guests to enjoy,” said Sandy. “We offer amenities to support tourist and business travelers, internet access, and office equipment as well as an area suited for conference.”

While visiting Walterboro, hotel guests can also put on their hiking shoes and take a walking tour of the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary, the only braided-creek habitat that is open to the public. The 842-acre sanctuary is part of the Ace Basin. Visitors can also take a day trip by car down the Edisto Island Scenic Byway Highway 174 to Edisto Beach, which is one of the few, unspoiled beaches on the East Coast. The beach is only 46 miles away from Walterboro.

“The Hotel Hammock prides itself on the caring of, and catering to, all who enter our doors, where your comfort and convenience is always kept in mind,” Sandy said. “This puts us in a league of our own, above all other travel lodges, motor inns, tourist homes, residence inns, and boarding houses,” Sandy said. She noted the rental units operate with keyless pads of key entry locks, and have interior corridors. Security cameras are strategically situated on the premises, with excellent lighting and an alarm system in place. All specialty rooms are equipped with a mini refrigerator, microwave oven, wet bar sink, and coffee maker. The rooms also have 32-inch flat-screen TVs with many popular cable channels; hairdryers; fireproof safes; closet space; and king or queen beds. The hotel is also pet-friendly. Rates begin at $85 per night, and further information is available by calling (843) 782-7625 or online at www.hotelhammock.com.

“People who choose to stay at the Hammock Hotel escape into a timeless getaway, complete with old fashioned southern hospitality. They can enjoy a cup of coffee on the front porch along with a continental breakfast, which is served between six and nine a.m., or earlier by request. People can also just sit back and rock in the sunny afternoon under the shade of our grand old oak trees while sipping on a tall glass of ice tea or cold lemonade, which is a great southern tradition,” Sandy said. “We’re not just another run-of-the-mill housing facility, we’re family, waiting to welcome you home.”