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Stay Here: The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn south of Myrtle Beach

The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn is both majestic and modest in all its uncomplicated Pawleys Island/Litchfield charm. Naturally fresh and honest without all the fuss.

A cozy landmark along the Atlantic since 1960, the inn, however, is receiving a little TLC - from cosmetic renovations to landscape refurbishing. Ashley Fitzgerald, part of the new management team with Charlestowne Hotels, says some standards have also been set for the private owners (condo hotel in concept) for each room and suite to keep the interiors updated. The feedback from guests, she says, has been overwhelmingly positive; the results in décor are absolutely lovely, with tropical bedding, appliances and TVs.

During our recent walkthrough tour, Fitzgerald said the inn was gearing up for a seaside sandcastle-building contest. Preparations were also underway to install an outdoor grill and umbrella rentals.

Rooms

It seems that architectural drawings 40 years ago when the inn was built didn't require set square footage per room, so along with the varied tastes in interior design, each one of its 100 rooms is a unique travel destination. But mostly all showcase priceless oceanfront views - from the tower to lodge to poolside. Bedding ranges from one king-size to two twins. All rooms are equipped with a microwave, fridge, high-speed Internet access, cable, AC, coffee makers stocked with complimentary gourmet coffee and alarm clocks with wakeup call programming.

A private screened-in porch is an added amenity in the popular Deluxe Oceanfront Inn rooms, part of the original building.. Two detached buildings boast quaint two-bedroom villas only footsteps away from the beach. The particular one I toured, which could sleep up to seven, mirrored Coastal Living style, with hardwood floors, a citrus tropical paint scheme, granite kitchen countertops and white sand cabinetry, and a new front-load washer-dryer combo.

Amenities

Feel the ocean breeze from the sands of the private beach, the two outdoor pools and sundeck or a barstool pulled up at the fun poolside/oceanfront open-air Austin's Cabana Café and Beach Bar. Creative, casual lunch and dinner options like the Cabana Burger, Fresh Local Grouper sandwich and Fried Green Tomato and Goat Cheese salad ($8-$15), frozen drink concoctions ($6) are served, along with live music.

For a quick snack, there's the Periwinkles "snack shack." For a more fine dining dinner experience, there's Austin's Ocean One upstairs overlooking the ocean. Also a popular spot for locals, Ocean One features chicken, steak and seafood entrees prepared by area renowned chef Bill Austin.

Business, conference and wedding gatherings can also be easily accommodated in Litchfield Inn's upstairs Spirit Room.

Rates

General room rates through July 1 range from $84-$189 (two-bedroom oceanfront), for Fourth of July weekend rooms range from $149-$334, and from July 5-Sept. 3, they range from $104-$254.

The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn is located at 1 Norris Drive, Pawleys Island. For reservations, call 1-800-637-4211 or visit www.litchfieldinn.com.

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