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“Fun idea, but smelly & disappointing”

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The Mansion on O Street
Ranked #115 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
288 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
“Fun idea, but smelly & disappointing”
Reviewed 23 February 2013

We did not stay here, nor would I. The concept is fun - twisting halls, themed rooms and hidden doorways. However, there is a dank "old" smell permeating all the upstairs rooms. It has some good art and some really interesting objects & furniture, but for the most part, it's filled with flea market junk - really bad stuff, very little eclectic, cool things. Then, the basement - I almost got sickened by the horrible smell coming from the kitchen. There was no cooking going on, this was not a cooking smell. I had to leave the basement after a while because of it.

I live in DC and recommend you visit many of the other places around here first. Also, the smell and old furniture and rugs (I'm not talking antique old here) would be a nightmare to sleep in.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank nkdp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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117 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 February 2013

The O Mansion is unique, fun, and interesting. Took my family here using the Living Social Deal for the Champagne Tour.

This mansion is an eccentric hotel that is was originally four row-houses located in Dupont Circle. It is four stories high including a basement. Three of the row houses were built in 1892 and the houses were connected via the basement and main floors. The last row house was added on in the 1990s. The walls were knocked down to connect the row houses and secret passageways and hidden doors were added. Every item and fixture in the house is sale with a wide variety of prices.

You can purchase vintage hats for $275 or large furniture for thousands. There are various guitars displayed throughout the mansion signed by famous artists like Bob Dylan, Britney Spears, etc.

My family thoroughly enjoyed looking for the secret doors and passageways. I believe there are about 34? They were not all doors to another room though. Some are storage areas, etc. We found about 16 hidden doors/passageways/little secret storage areas. There were several hotel rooms that looked recently used by guests that had blankets and pillows and towels thrown array..which was a little weird.....

My biggest gripe are all the signs that say "You found a secret door, keep moving!" or "this is not a secret door, keep searching!" It was just annoying!

I would recommend checking out The O Mansion but wait for the Groupon/Living social deals as there are many and come multiple times a year! They also hold several events throughout the year if you are interested.

There is also a bar area where you can purchase drinks and food and definitely rooms for you to hold an exclusive wedding or an extraordinary event.

Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank teephunknee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
107 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2012

We booked the self guided tour($8p.P.) on the internet and spent almost two hours in this awesome place.
We found 7 doors and bought a book. All of our family loved the wine cellar and bathrooms. Some rooms were so interesting decorated. We will come back for sure.

Room Tip: Call the Hotel ind let them know what style you like (rustic, eccentric, modern, african, baroque an...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
Helpful?
2 Thank Maren Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winchester
Level Contributor
33 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2012

The Mansion on O St is like no other hotel or restaurant that you've ever been to. If you're looking for a "cookie-cutter" hotel-chain type hotel room, go elsewhere. If you're looking for a magical, romantic get-away, a place to finish writing your novel or a place to entertain hip business associates, The Mansion on O Street is just what the doctor ordered. Every room in this magnificent place has a different theme, a nice Gibson guitar or two to play (I'm not kidding), most rooms have luxurious bathrooms with saunas, bidets, multi-head showers...you name it.

Their Sunday brunch is simply the most lavish, well stocked brunch on earth... an eye-poping buffet of the most sumptuous treats imaginable. Do not miss this brunch if you're in D.C.!

I have stayed here many, many times and have to say that it's possibly the only place on earth where you could actually say in all honesty that "This has got to be the coolest place on earth.

Room Tip: If possible, ask to see the rooms available for you're stay, if not be sure to view them on The...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gordon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
washington, dc
1 review
Reviewed 14 October 2012

I've lived in DC for two decades, and one of my favorite spots is the O Street Mansion. It is situated on a residential street in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. It's a hotel, a restaurant, and an event venue rolled into one, with the look and feel of a warm, welcoming old mansion. The place oozes with character, homey comfort, serenity, and positive energy. Each of the guest rooms has been redone with its own theme, and it's always an adventure to stroll through the house and admire them. My favorite is the John Lennon room. I've been to the Mansion for many events, including SRO Concerts -- I've seen artists like JD Souther, Tom Constantin, and Bobby Keys give great, intimate performances there. And the story of H.H. Leonard and how she came to the Mansion is inspirational. I highly recommend this place for a stay, for dinner or brunch, or for a concert. It is like a serene oasis in the middle of the city.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dc r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 5 October 2012

I took my visiting girlfriend here for her birthday. We spent probably an hour on the Chestnut Tree tour and on a guided exploration. It was incredible and our guide gave us so much information on the little treasures and secret rooms throughout the house. I will definitely return on my own and really spend some time. So cool that everything (almost) is for sale!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nywrldtvlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
60 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2012

First off, let me say that this is not a review of a Champaign tour or any of that stuff. This is a review of actually staying overnight (2 nights) at The Mansion on O. A friend of ours was in town and booked a room here. It was a suite so he asked us to stay.

Parking here was an extra $30 per night and parking was behind one of the nearby buildings down an alleyway. Still, the car was fine even if parking was pretty pricey. Check in was pretty easy - entry was through a door at street level so you didn't have to climb the outside steps whilst schlepping your luggage. The husband of the husband/wife team who run the place took care of us and was friendly and helpful. He gave us a mini tour which was great. We were greeted in a room that looks like a library. Our room was on the 3rd. floor (I think) and it was a suite with a bedroom, livingroom, bathroom, kitchenette and an outside deck.

Okay, here's where it gets hairy. The kitchenette was up some stairs and off of the bedroom area. It appeard to have seen better days and I'm not sure the appliances worked but there were no pots/pans. It wasn't any too clean, either so we avoided that area. Off the kitchen was a door to a deck. It looked pretty precarious - wires hanging nearby, etc. I was afraid of stepping out there for fear of falling through - seriously. The bathroom was laid out so that someone could be taking a shower and the sink area was accessable. It was fine but there was carpet throughout the bathroom (here's a ewww factor). The carpet was not real clean as none of the place was very clean - everything was very dusty. Some lint was on the carpet - it was there when we first got there and it was still there when we left - I was careful not to walk barefooted on the floors. We had the sitting room area with a pull out couch. The couch was very comfortable and done up really nicely. The pillows were comfortable and the mattress must have had a topper on it because it was not at all like any pull out couch I've slept on. I'll give them credit here. On the other hand, there was a faux fireplace in the sittingroom area. It was not quite against the wall because the entire wall was hung with art work - all for sale - even behind the fireplace!! There was no place to put your personal items such as a table, etc. because every inch was covered with "stuff". There was a huge walk in closet which stored some of "stuff" but plenty of room to hang cloths. There was a desk and after moving around the things all over the desk we used that to put our personal items on. As others have said, it's a little overdone with the kitch. There was stuff literally everywhere and everything (except the guitars) was for sale. It was like staying at an estate sale or at your eccentric great aunts old house with all kinds of crap laying around - except your aunt may have dusted from time to time. There is no central a/c so window units were around which wasn't a problem but then you got to looking at the windows and all the peeling paint outside. Maintenance is not one of the strong points of this property.
Our room was situated behind a bookcase in the middle of a stairway. The door was a bookcase and the lock was a long spike that you put into the side of the bookcase which went into the wall to keep the door shut. From the inside there was a kind of lock at the top of the door to keep it closed. The spike, when you were gone, was just laid on the shelf behind a magazine or book to conceal it. At first, we put the spike on that shelf - but we were in the room with the inside latch set when some people who were attending a wedding attempted to get into our room. They found the spike, inserted it in the hole and we were locked in!! We had to call the front desk to have them open the room. There was no way to secure the room when you were gone. The sign on the door that said the room was occupied didn't do much good because we had several people tried to get in. When you were out for dinner, you had no choice but to leave the spike on the shelf so anyone could have access to the room. This did not give me a warm fuzzy as I had my laptop and other valuables in the room.

I really wanted to like this place because it's the type of place that would grab one's fancy. The rooms were not cookie-cutter rooms like a regular hotel. They were unique and very interesting. The cabin room with a loft area next to ours was really nice as were many of the other rooms we saw. The kitchen was available on a kind of "help yourself" basis to fix your own breakfast I guess. We didn't go there because we went walking in the morning and found a place nearby for breakfast. I guess I'd have loved it had they weeded out the junk, cleaned it better by removing all or most of the "for sale" stuff from the rooms. Instead, it looks like they're not sure what they want this place to be - an estate sale where you can sleep or a bed and breakfast with interesting art pieces for sale. They need to go one way or another but at present, this isn't working well.

I don't know what my friend paid for this room but from the pricing I saw online it's way over the top for what you get. I've traveled for work and stayed at some beautiful B & B's and top notch hotels that weren't near the published price of this place and were much nicer. Published rates for The Fireplace Suite - if you are not a "member" (whatever that means) is $900 per night - about $700 per night overpriced in my opinion - and I'm being generous here.

I would rate this much higher if I were simply taking a tour rather than staying here because, for a tour the place is really amazing with all the antiques, artwork and collectibles. The diningroom and main floor where events are held was really nice. The intricate corridors and ways to get from place to place, hidden wine cellar and rooms were neat. All that is great - it's the staying and seeing how difficult it was that drove me to the rating I'm giving. Maybe the answer is to run this as a museum and forget about the B&B part?? There seems to be no focus to this place - is it a retreat for musicians? Is it a B&B? Is it an estate sale? I'm not sure but the Mansion on O St. is definitely unique!

I think this would be

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank jane_in_va
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Mansion on O Street

Property: The Mansion on O Street
Address: 2020 O St NW, Washington DC, DC 20036-5912
Region: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Dupont Circle
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Kitchenette Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#85 Business Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — The Mansion on O Street 3*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors, The Mansion is one of the most unique properties in the world. Conveniently located in historic Dupont Circle, within walking distance to Embassy Row and The Philips Collection - The Mansion offers short and long term lodging, world-class cuisine and an inspiring environment that will create lasting memories for everyone that visits. Our ever-changing spaces are ideal for executive lodging, meetings,retreats, private dining, receptions and more. The Mansion has 23 uniquely themed guest rooms, suites, and residences; a two story Log Cabin, John Lennon Suite, Safari room, a hidden wine cellar and more. Named a Washingtonian Magazine's Hidden Gem, The Mansion has been featured on the Travel Channel's "Mega Mansions" as well as numerous books, and magazines including National Geographic Traveler. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Mansion On o Street Hotel Washington Dc
Mansion On o Street Hotel

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