A tall, dark, and elegant gentleman in white tie and tails opened the door, and said “Welcome to the Beall Mansion.” His smile and the ambience were so warm, we immediately shook off our winter blues and chill. Once inside, everywhere we gazed were wonderful things: large statuary, fully-restored hearths, staircases, wood floors, pocket doors, tapestries, Persian carpets, a pianoforte, and an endless collection of art and finery. We were transported back to 19th century opulence by walking through this door in Alton, Illinois. Scintillating fireside conversation and brandy followed before we were shown to our room. The master’s chamber featured a king-sized bed, sofa, oriental carpets, large fireplace, French mirror, five windows, an elephant desk, and even though all the modern conveniences were present, they were tastefully hidden from view in delightful antique furnishings. The bathroom’s Italian marble made each step cool and delightful to the feet as we made our way to the huge whirlpool tub over which an ethereal goddess presides. There was also a walk-in shower, sink, and every imaginable toiletry available, along with two elegant bathrobes in our specific sizes for us to use then take home. Alton was an Epicurean’s dream, with dinners at Bossanova and Gentelin’s and gourmet breakfasts in bed at the Beall Mansion. We enjoyed visits to the Mississippi River yacht club, parks, and museum, but our time at the Beall Mansion was heavenly. On our last night experienced therapists gave us couple’s massage in our suite, using aroma therapy oils and body treatments from the East. What relaxation! Then we retired to the whirlpool tub for a soak, and discovered a bottle of lavender crystals especially for us. The fire and bed were so inviting, and we enjoyed a romantic night together any Honeymoon couple would envy. An escape to the Beall Mansion will put you in another world, another time, and if you visit in winter, even in another season.