Mansion on O Street: the weirdest boutique hotel in DC

Beloved reader(s), meet Mansion on O Street. Located off of Dupont Circle, “the Mansion” looks deceptively ordinary from the street. It is a string of three townhouses painted traditional brick red. Two stone lions grace the entry way. You have probably passed it at one time or another and thought nothing of it.

Until you actually go inside….

Nothing creepy about a doll with pedophile glasses on

The interior of the mansion is cavernous and twisting, filled with secret doors, bizarrely themed rooms, and mounds upon mounds of…stuff. Like weird stuff. Piles of old dolls, books, Christmas decorations, Beatles slot machines and fancy church hats. One bedroom looks like a child’s log cabin, another looks like Imperial England, while still another has a giant orb crystal behind the bed’s headboard. It’s like Rocky Horror Picture Show mated with your grandma’s attic.

A rabbit in his Sunday best, a butterfly-man, and a bookshelf-door.

Oh, the bookshelves are also doors. The weird people who frequent the hotel will smile and tell you to go through these bookshelf doors despite them being really dark. Like  “SPY gets killed: the musical” dark.  Of the 32 hidden doors in the mansion, I found…one. Fine, I’m not Sherlock Holmes.

How do you experience the hotel? Well, there are four ways. If you enjoy being haunted you could shell out the $300+/night to actually stay there (pass).  You could go to dinner or  tea in one of the grand rooms, which looks like Alice and Wonderland. Although followed by a treasure hunt (upside), it is pretty pricey and has gotten mixed reviews (downside). You could go to Monday martini night and explore with a cocktail, which is appealing although it will be dark.

OR, you could pay $5 and just walk around. The rooms are open for viewing when guests aren’t there. Some empty rooms even had classical music playing. Not creepy AT ALL. So spend  $5 to take in the Mansion’s oddities.  Since all the tchochkies are for sale, you can even take home a souvenir.

Mansion on O Street
2020 O St NW
Washington, DC 20036-5912
(202) 496-2020
(and yes, the website is just weird stock images)

5 thoughts on “Mansion on O Street: the weirdest boutique hotel in DC

  1. We had our wedding reception there in June 2002 – awesome party! So much fun to explore, but the place is odd, and the owner odder still.

  2. I love that you went here! I heard about this place recently and am sort of dying to check it out. I’d never heard of it, though my parents, who have lived in the DC area all their lives, all knew about it. Look who’s cool now…

  3. We went there a few months ago. We called ahead and they gave us a docent to take us around and get us to some of the cooler rooms. Then she just let us go and explore. All free of charge! Didn’t get the haunted thing though, even holding the guitar in the John Lennon room. You also didn’t mention all the cool signed guitars from all the musicians that have stayed there. Never know who you’ll meet at the late night snack pantry!

  4. We go a lot for work retreats. Let me tell you: difficult to discuss organizational strategy while being stared at by creepy dolls.

  5. I DID leave out the guitars. They are a very cool feature, so thanks for mentioning them! However, I still maintain that it’s haunted. Or at least a bit…creepy.

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