Steve and Meenu Tinney, owners of Oak Manor Inn, located at 314 E. Home Avenue, celebrated their third anniversary at the inn on Saturday.
Steve Tinney said it has been a successful marriage thus far with business continuing to increase. The inn is situated on a three-acre lot of sprawling lawn with beautiful flower gardens anchored with century-old live oaks, magnolias, azaleas and towering cedar trees. It is in the heart of Hartsville’s historic district.
Steeped in southern charm and tradition, the five-bedroom inn provides comfort and sophistication for all occasions and for all who stay the night. It’s pet friendly too.
Over the last three years, Tinney said the names on the guest registry have included a former ambassador to the Netherlands, a former head of MTV who stopped to visit Kalmia Gardens as part of a tour of Southern gardens, a former baseball hall of famer, a Wal-Mart VP, NASCAR fans and others less famous, but no less important, guests.
On Oct. 14, Tinney said Nikki Haley will be at the inn for a meet and greet.
To celebrate their third anniversary the Tinneys are making rooms at the inn available to five lucky veterans for Veterans Day. In addition to a one-night free stay at the inn for five service men or women and their spouses, they will be guests at a cocktail party for Veterans Day. Tinney thought it would be the perfect time to do something to honor our service men and women. “We haven’t worked out the particulars,” Tinney said.
Steve discovered the property for sale through the internet.
He said, “I’d flown over from London without my wife.” Without her seeing it or ever having been to Hartsville, he made an offer. He said they didn’t know anyone in town, but the connection was immediate for Steve. He once said the place has “good bones.”
On the trip from Florida for the closing of the deal, Steve said she asked him if he was sure he knew what he was doing.
Steve said people still ask him why he is here. It surprises him because he said he thinks they should be saying he is one smart businessman for being here.
“It has been a fast three years,” he said. “I’ve met people from all over.”
People from Brazil to Denmark have stayed at the inn.
Tinney said he has made so many friends since coming to Hartsville.
Most of the year, Steve runs the inn without his wife, who is back in England overseeing their place in London. They have a pub there called the Windmill, which Steve said they’ve been trying to sell, along with their Florida home. Steve said Meenu would like to join him permanently in Hartsville because they have both become fond of it here.
“I’m really starting to get into this place,” Steve said. “In a small town, it is easy to become involved.”
Future plans for the inn include putting in a garden fountain and adding a parking lot in the back. He said there are no plans to increase the size of the inn out of respect for the structure and its heritage.
“I can’t do anything to take away from the character of it,” he said.