Willow trees are renowned for their flexibility and regenerative properties and are culturally and symbolically associated with renewal, growth and vitality.

So too, is the 18th century local boutique hotel that bears its name.

and operated by David and Charlene Scibal.

The Scibals purchased Willow Grove in 2008 and after substantial renovation, reclamation and augmentation, reopened it in 2010 as a boutique hotel.

David Scibal said the current expansion project initially began four years ago when they discovered a 1980s-era special use permit obtained by former owner Angela Malloy allowing an additional 10 rooms on-site for a maximum of 25.

Initial plans for a “mega” spa facility were scuttled in favor of a 3,000-square foot spa and fitness facility with an outdoor pool and two new guest cottages, each with three luxury rooms upstairs and two larger suites downstairs. The spa and fitness center will look similar to the property’s event barn, while the guest houses will complement the 1778 inn.

“We really wanted to maintain the village feel,” general manager Matt Scibal said.

Those passing by the property on Rt. 15 can see site work underway with heavy earth moving equipment and mounds of orange soil piled upon the property.

The Scibals hope to have the spa open by summer and the guest houses by fall.

The existing on-site spa—attached to the main building—will ultimately be converted to a guest room to reach the 25-room maximum.

Matt Scibal said the new facilities will help with corporate events—a growth segment of the Inn’s business that often brings repeat and related customers and clients. By offering more rooms for corporate retreats and training and additional amenities for participants and their spouses, Willow Grove hopes to bring more visitors to Orange County.

-Jeff Poole