The Stephen Williams House represents Savannah's most intimate inn and truly conveys the impression that you are an honored guest in a private home. Located at the western edge of the historic district (a short walk from Bull Street), the 1834 Federal mansion is the residence of Dr. Albert Wall, a charming and genial antiques' dealer. He recently converted his distinguished house into a five-room bed-and-breakfast, but does not advertise and offers no brochure. In fact, the only reason we knew of it was through a reader-tip.

On arrival, Dr. Wall will personally show you around a sequence of salons, each one more exquisite than the last. And when he finally presses a room key into your hand and insists you treat the place as your own, it is impossible not to feel that you have received a privileged invitation and that your stay is entirely untainted by any hint of commercialization. Much of the furniture throughout the manor would grace a museum and it is impossible to overstate the magnificence of the principal rooms, which have been so meticulously and authentically restored to their original architectural and decorative splendor that the house received the 2003 Preservation Award from the Historic Savannah Foundation.

Guest quarters show the same attention to historic detail, with the value-priced "Stephen Williams Suite" comprising two, admirably elegant separate rooms that will instantly convey you back 170 years. Closer examination, however, reveals the deft addition of such appreciated contemporary amenities as air-conditioning, a cable TV and modern bath. When he is not away on business, Dr. Wall joins guests for a lavish Southern breakfast in the formal dining room to share fascinating stories and anecdotes about his beloved Savannah. Suite, $325, full breakfast included. No smoking.

The Stephen Williams House   128 West Liberty Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401  912-495-0032

Reprinted with permission from "Andrew Harpers"june 2004