Checking in and out of Ottawa’s Mystery Motel

No surprise, this weekend Hugh and I were hosting family for the long weekend. This time, we thought it would be fun to take my cousin Aleecia to 'check in' to one of Escape Manor’s newest ventures, a trilogy of escape rooms in the Byward Market known as Mystery Motel, and see if we could successfully 'check out'.  

Let me set the scene, Mystery Motel on the 3rd floor of 41 York Street above Kinki Lounge & Kitchen and The Lookout Bar. To enter, you must go down the alley side, which definitely ratchets up the eeriness of the experience – especially after dark. This location can be a bit difficult to find if you don’t know exactly where you're going.

Once in the door from the alley, you have three floors to go and your only obvious option is the elevator. When you arrive on the 3rd floor and the elevator door opens, you’re greeted by the concierge and the experience really begins. Unlike other escape rooms in the city, the entire venue maintains the 1920s motel theme and each room is one piece of a larger narrative centered around William Dank, the motel’s owner and aspiring illusionist who disappears after authorities begin investigating him in the disappearance of European socialite Rose LaFleur and her obscenely large diamond - you'll get the full story via video during your pre-escape briefing with motel staff.

You can choose to play each of Mystery Motel’s three rooms, The Magician’s Studio, The Boudoir and The Parlour, individually as its own contained escape room or as a means to collect all 3 pieces of ‘evidence’ required to undertake your own city-wide diamond hunt through the Byward Market and downtown Ottawa (more on this later). We decided on the latter option: all 3 rooms, all 3 pieces of the Dank/LaFleur mystery, one day.

Without revealing any of the trickery or illusion – see what I did there! – here’s my review of the rooms. For each, I’ll let you know how many of us played (this truly predetermines success), how far we got and if I thought the room was escapable after hearing how a successful escape would have occurred.

We had a lot of fun playing each room as part of a trilogy - it added to intrigue and turned the reception, lounge and hallways of Mystery Motel into extensions of the escape rooms themselves. And doing the rooms back-to-back-to-back, we were able to live a little longer in this story. 

Now that we've completed all the rooms and have all 3 pieces of evidence (provided after completion of the last room in a lovely little package), we will be conducting our own city-wide hunt for Rose LaFleur's diamond in late September - when Aleecia is back in town.

Stay tuned for our next adventure and let us know what you thought of Mystery Motel.

Here's a little puzzle to get you in escape mode.   Within main section of this blog there are 466 words. Within those words there are 13 numerical references. You only need four to open the lock.  Write your answer and methodology in the comments section below.