The Partridge Inn is “the Grand Hotel of the Classic South,” an institution that has a 104-year history that has included hosting U.S. presidents and celebrities. To residents of Augusta, however, the “PI” is more like a second home, and there’s no time of year that’s more apparent than on Valentine’s Day.
“Augusta’s close-knit anyway and it’s even more close-knit within the hotel, so we have our regulars, people who have been staying here or eating in our restaurant before I even worked here and who I’ve known throughout my entire career,” explained Tijuana Jenkins, a 22-year employee who is the Partridge Inn’s director of sales and marketing. “I know them, they know me; they know my family, I know their family. It’s almost like family and friends but they’re clients. I call them client friends.”
The PI is in an enviable situation in the hotel industry: It’s a popular destination for out-of-towners but is also a common spot for locals to gather. An integral part of that broad appeal is the PI Bar & Grill.
“The PI Bar & Grill is like a stand-alone restaurant and when people think about where to go for dinner or to have some drinks or lunch or whatever they’re looking to do, they’ll think of the PI just like they’ll think of any fine-dining establishment that they want to go to,” Jenkins said. “The way we’re decorated, the ambiance or the mood of the room lends itself to romance.”
And romance is definitely in the air at the Partridge Inn right now. The hotel always offers an Ultimate Romance Package, which includes an overnight stay in an upgraded room, breakfast for two, chocolate-covered strawberries, a bottle of champagne, a dozen roses and rose-petal turndown for $199. For Valentine’s Day, they’re also offering a package that includes an overnight stay in an upgraded room, two roses, chocolates and a bottle of champagne for $149. That package is available Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15.
That, however, doesn’t even include what will be happening in the PI Bar & Grille that weekend, when the chef and staff will be serving a special four-course dinner for $55 a person that includes dishes like Belgian endive crab salad, teriyaki-glazed quail and a chocolate pyramid. Patrons can also add wine pairings for $20 a person.
The room and dinner packages can be combined and will be especially popular since Valentine’s Day falls on weekend.
“Either one of these two packages can be coupled with our four-course dinner option over Valentine’s Day weekend, “Jenkins said. “This year it’s going to lend itself even better because it’s already on a weekend, so you could do Friday or Saturday night and you don’t have to get up the next morning because you’re not working, so it makes it even better. And this year, we’re going to have live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights and so now you can have your intimate dinner for two, listen to some jazz and maybe have some additional drinks before you retire to your room.”
And couples may even be able to take advantage of the verandah.
“In Augusta, who knows… they might be able to sit on the verandah,” Jenkins said. “We do have heaters out on the verandah, so you could definitely go out there at least for drinks or something like that, even if it is a typical February evening.”
There’s only one catch, Jenkins said.
“It’s not February quite yet and reservations have already come in,” she said. “We still have space available but it will get limited very soon, and it’s because it’s a weekend and there’s entertainment.”
So Jenkins advised booking now. Otherwise, you might just miss out on what many other couples know is the most romantic spot in the city for Valentine’s Day celebrations.
“I can’t tell you how many people get engaged in our restaurant just anytime, but maybe especially on Valentine’s Day,” Jenkins said. “Then they’ll come back because we do a lot of catering, and maybe they’ll have their wedding or reception here with us and then they’ll come back annually for anniversaries and can pick up some of these packages.”
The Partridge Inn
2110 Walton Way, Augusta
706-737-8888 (hotel reservations)
706-396-2620 (restaurant reservations)