Travelers name local spot best hotel in state

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What does the number one mean to you? For the Inn on Whitworth, it represents being the best hotel in the state of Mississippi.

Recently,, with the help of 115 million user reviews from, rated the best hotel in each state and the Inn on Whitworth was named the best hotel in Mississippi.

“People are typically wowed the moment they walk in the door. The features of the original building that are highlighted in the inn — 120-year-old floors, soaring ceilings, coupled with the contemporary furnishings and original artwork — surprise most people,” said Sallie Williford, the innkeeper.

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The building was constructed in 1895 and the original business was Cohn Brothers Mercantile. Other retail shops like McGraths and Progressive Men’s Shop followed. The Inn on Whitworth was established in 2011 after an extensive renovation to restore the originals floors, ceilings and central skylight. If you walk to the rear of the building, you will see the century-old, walk-in vault.

The artwork in the inn was designed by local artist Dr. Kim Sessums.

“Kim designed everything to convey a sense of calmness and people feel it and respond well purely to the building,” Williford said.

The inn has had guests from all over the world — Australia, China, Ireland, Germany, England and Spain.

“Some are here for business, we have many tourists that love the blues — the Mississippi Blues Trail is a big deal,” said Williford.

Sometimes less is more and this is exactly what plays in the inn’s favor.

“We are in that lineup of major hotels and here we are a smaller hotel, but it’s more personable. It’s my mission to try and tune into really what each person needs. If that person needs solitude or looking for someone to talk to, I’m there to meet their needs. Some people are all about the restaurants or bars, if it’s small scale, I can help each individual person,” said Williford.

New restaurants and businesses downtown helpsthe inn fill rooms and also entertains guests while they are in town.

“We are very tied into the restaurant scene and shops downtown,” Williford said. “The experience we can offer with people coming from out of town is a lot about downtown. The more vibrant downtown gets, the better it is for us.”

The top hotels list contains very impressive hotels throughout the country, including the Beverly Hills Hotel in California.

“Everybody needs restfulness and calmness. It’s satisfying to me to see that what we offer, people respond to it and they really do have an experience that they find to be positive. It’s not about just putting people in a room, it’s about connecting and meeting them as human beings,” said Williford.

PureWow is digital lifestyles publication that focuses on fashion, beauty, home, entertainment, wellness, money, tech, food, books, travel and family.