Q & Abook an event
“If you want an experience to remember the rest of your life — come to The Mansion. It's awesome.”
— Jesse Jackson, Congressman
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Q & A : general
Over the years, prospective guests and visitors have come to us with a wide range of questions—some straightforward, others a little more unique to the Mansion on O Street. On this page, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and answers, and have organized them based on a number of categories.
We hope you'll find the answers you need, but in case you don’t, please do not hesitate to contact us directly via e-mail. Thank you.
Q: What is The Mansion?
A: More than business, The Mansion is a way of life. It is not about us, the “house” or our employees, it is about our guests. First and foremost we strive to put our guests first; immersing them in music, art, literature, creativity, joyful spaces and most of all a place to truly be yourself. We create an experience that inspires each and every individual in a positive way. It is a place where dreams come true and where imagination is the rule, not the exception.
Q: Why should I have my event at The Mansion?
Because you want to host the most unique, elegant and memorable experience for you and your guests. And when we say “unique” we mean that The Mansion is unlike any other hotel, conference center or function facility in the world.
We are not for everyone…and we are very up front about that. If you want a “cookie cutter” wedding, anniversary party or business meeting—where everything is “nice” but very predictable and ordinary—we suggest you go elsewhere. But if you want an event that is distinctive, personal and perfect in every way, you’ve come to the right place. We handle it all with a “take charge” approach, resulting in flawless execution down to every last detail.
As one prominent business executive commented after his wedding, “It was the most perfect day of my life. Everything exceeded my expectations.” And if you knew how demanding this particular gentleman is, that’s the best testimonial.
Q: What is the capacity at The Mansion?
A: Our expansive footprint includes 12 conference rooms, large meeting galleries, and a host of unique spaces. Our capacity ranges from 2-300 people.
Q: Do I need to be a member to host an event here?
A: Yes, unless you are hosting an event on Sunday in conjunction with our brunch or on Monday in conjunction with our lunch and/or Mansion Martini Madness event. Please look at our Membership FAQs for more information on becoming a member.
Q: What does it cost to have an event at The Mansion?
We believe in creating a special event that fits your budget. We have hosted many weddings at the $15 minimum walk in the door price and cash bar.
The minimum cost for any event is $15 per person and includes tables, black chairs, house tablecloths, vegetable basket, exotic cheese and crackers. Additional hot or cold items — $2.50 on up.
The price depends solely on what the event is, the time of day you are having it, what your wish list is, how long it will last, balanced with your budget.
When it comes to weddings, you can use Bride Magazine’s latest estimates for weddings in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area as a guide, which states the average is $125 per person.
To learn more about our pricing and create an event that fits your budget please visit our pricing section.
Q: Are there packages with sample menus?
The Mansion is home to over 20,000 volumes of books to browse and borrow
A: We don’t offer packages because each event is customized to your particular needs. As for the menu, we can literally do just about anything—from international or regional cuisine to a low-cost “diner-like” dinner. There are no limits to what our chefs can prepare, even if you want to simulate the most expensive menu in Paris or the French Riviera. Everything is possible!
Q: How come everywhere else I have gone there are packages?
A: We are a private membership, non-profit club and strictly regulated by the IRS. Rather than spend on advertising or be affiliated with some of the larger hotel chains, we choose to put most of our resources into creating a unique environment that relies on “word of mouth.” As such, we can deliver a more personalized, customized event that works within your budget. It’s something a pre-defined “package” simply can’t match.
Q: It sounds wonderful, but I still feel uncomfortable not knowing exactly what food will be served and what it will ultimately cost.
A: We work with your budget—and your tastes. Where else can you do that? But it is your responsibility to stay within the budget and balance what’s most important to you. Remember, much of the allure of hosting an event at The Mansion is the atmosphere itself— that is why some people will order a hamburger from the Palm for $22 and the next night choose to go to The Burger King and order a hamburger for $1. It is all dependent on who you are with, what occasion it is for, etc.
Q: Can I get a reference list or sample menu?
A: We are sorry, but we maintain the confidentiality of our clients. As for the menu, everything is individually catered to your needs and your specific budget. Believe it or not, in our 27-year existence, we have never duplicated the same event and menu.
Q: This is an unusual way to run a business. Why does The Mansion operate that way?
A: Our business is based on word of mouth. That means if we did not do great work, we would not have survived 27 years of being in business! A client who is completely satisfied will recommend HHL and The Mansion to other friends and associates, resulting in significant repeat business as well as new opportunities.
Q: I am planning an expensive party. How can I give you a non-refundable deposit and not know what I am getting for my money?
A: As mentioned, HHL has over 27 years experience with special event planning. The Mansion would not be in pristine condition if we were not perfectionists—and highly competitive. When you plan an event here, you can be assured that it will be top quality, tasteful and enjoyable for everyone who attends. Our record of excellence speaks for itself.
Q: We have only 30 people coming. Will they get lost in The Mansion?
A: Absolutely not. You will be given the appropriate space to accommodate your event, at no additional charge. We have hosted small groups in the past that wanted exclusive use of the club floor or the entire Mansion. It is based solely on your preferences and your budget!
Q: Do I have use of the entire house?
A: Again, it’s totally up to you. If you want more space than necessary, the cost will increase. However, at some point during your event, your guests will be allowed to walk around and go upstairs (usually for no more than 45 minutes). They can even go shopping, since all of the items in The Mansion are available for sale or lease!
Q: How much does it cost to rent the entire main floor?
Teddy Roosevelt was photographed playing billiards in the Billiards Suite.
A: It costs $4,500 for exclusive use of the main floor. We recommend this option if your budget permits.
Q: I want to rent all the bedrooms in the Mansion. How much is that?
A: It costs between $12,500 and $18,500 to rent the entire Mansion, depending on what additional rooms you choose, such as the Club Floor.
Q: How many fireplaces are there?
A: There are 18 fireplaces throughout The Mansion!
Q: What goes into the planning of an event?
A: Once the membership fee and non-refundable, non-transferable deposit are received, we request a “wish list” of what you would like for your event. You can fill in this information on our Events Request Form. . We will work with you every step of the way in planning the entire event, from décor and menu to entertainment. You will have ample opportunity to make adjustments, changes or substitutions based on your needs. In the case of a wedding, you will need to submit a letter explaining how the couple met, where they like to travel, or any other personal information. This will help our team create a very special, very personal wedding with memories that the bride and groom will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Q: How do I start arranging my event?
A: Your best bet is to email us at email@example.com. You can call us directly at 202-496-2020, but we do not answer the phone during an event, or pre-event, as all our staff is focused on the people that are having an event – at the moment.
Remember, if you’re not a member or sponsored by a member, the only available days are when we’re open to the public: Sunday and Monday, as well as select holidays. As a member, you can hold an event any day you wish, as long as there’s availability.
It’s important to note that the majority of our members don’t just come to The Mansion once a year; they visit often, sometimes for breakfast, sometimes just to get away from the office and relax, to shoot pool, have a drink, go swimming, etc. As the saying goes, “membership has its privileges.”
Q: Do you have any other suggestions?
A: Absolutely. Hold your event on a Sunday or Monday. Sundays we do extraordinary brunches which include champagne, fresh juice, hot coffee and hot tea. Also on Sundays we do an afternoon tea which includes unlimited desserts, cheese, vegetables, fresh fruit. Or you can do high tea with champagne and sandwiches. On Mondays we hold Power Lunches, which do not include beverage, but include GREAT food at an unbeatable price! And on Monday evenings we host our O-Dinner-tini Martini Dinners.
Q: What makes The Mansion different from other places?
A: Being in business for nearly 30 years we have built a strong culture where everything is about our guests. Where creativity, independence and respect are paramount. We’re not perfect. We believe mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow, both in business and in life.