Hubs and I celebrated our fifth anniversary last weekend. While we originally planned to go to Vegas, we chose to stay closer to home and booked a room at The Beall Mansion, in Alton, Illinois.
I have wanted to stay at The Beall for a long time. Sure, the fact that it was voted “Illinois Best Bed & Breakfast” by Illinois Magazine’s Readers Poll, has received RAVE reviews on TripAdvisor as well as ILoveInns.com and BedandBreakfast.com had a little to do with my desire to stay there. More so than that, though, was the fact that The Beall is in Alton, Illinois, which is just miles from where I grew up.
The Beall Mansion was built around 1903 and was designed as a wedding gift by world renown architect, Lucas Pfeiffenberger. Among it’s many features are eleven and a half-foot ceilings, original leaded-glass windows, pocket doors, crystal chandeliers, and imported marble and bronze statuary. Blending Neoclassic, Georgian, and Greek Revival styles, this elegant Bed & Breakfast reflects the grandeur of the era in which it was built and the tastes of the inhabitants who once called it home.
The five guest rooms are each unique in size and decor. Four guest rooms are situated on the second floor, two feature King-sized beds and two feature Queen-size beds. Each of the second floor rooms feature a whirlpool for two in a private bath with imported marble floor and chandelier. A fifth guest room is located on the third floor and features a Queen-size bed and an antique clawfoot tub.
We began our stay at the Beall on Friday afternoon, after dropping the kidlets off at my Aunt’s house for the weekend (Thanks, Auth Karyn and Uncle Larry). We arrived at shortly after 4 p.m. and were greeted by Jim Belote, who owns and operates the mansion with his wife Sandy. Attired in a tux, Jim graciously carried our bags in, stopping for a moment to explain the door locks and give us our house and room keys. After we signed the guest book, Jim gave us a tour of the first floor and then showed us to our room.
We stayed in the Verandah Room, which features the homes only private guest balcony and a quarter canopy bed hand carved from teak and mahogany woods. The mallard ducks carved in the quarter canopy are exquisite. The triple sheeted feather bed was luxurious. An eight hundred pound carved wardrobe housed the electronics and of course, the room was equipped with cable and free wi-fi.
Did I mention that they have a 24 hours chocolate buffet?
You know you’re jealous!
The Beall also has a beverage buffet available, where you can enjoy a cup of hot tea or coffee at any hour. During breakfast hours, brewed coffee is available. Otherwise, a pod- brewer is available for coffee as well as a thermal carafe of water for cocoa or tea. Biscotti is available at the beverage buffet. The Beall also boasts approximately 75 living plants in it’s interior, which is in keeping with the Victorian setting and adds to the beauty and charm.
We opted for the Pampered-Lite package, which includes self serve continental breakfast in the butler’s pantry, which was great. It also included chocolates on our pillow each night. Yum. We added on an in-room massage for two. The massage therapists were both professional and courteous. And the relaxing bath in the whirlpool tub afterwards, with the homemade lavender bath salts was absolutely unforgettable.
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about the gorgeous hardwood that is throughout the mansion. The floors, stairway, and banisters absolutely gleam. The wood is all restored to the inherent beauty that was present when the home was first built. The Beall Mansion is a feast for the senses, boasting rich colors and sumptuous textures throughout. It is no wonder that it is rated Illinois’ best Bed and Breakfast. It is apparent that Jim and Sandy Belote treat their guests with respect and grace. It is by far one of the best weekends we have ever spent.
***This post was unsolicited. I received no compensation, other than writer’s joy, for sharing this gem with you.***