As someone who grew up playing the puzzle-filled video game Myst where you need to solve clues to figure out more about the mysterious location, I’ve been doing Escape Manor‘s various puzzle rooms for several months now. As such it was much excitement that I booked my first room at Ottawa’s newest escape themed room complex, the Mystery Motel.
Escape Manor has several locations including in Hintoburg, downtown near the parliament building, the Diefenbunker and now in the new location in the Byward Market. In all of these escape rooms, you are locked in a room for 45 minutes and need to solve the clues with your team in order to escape before your time runs out.
Mystery Motel is located on 41 York street, just to the side of Kinki Resturant, on the 3rd floor. The concept of the Mystery Motel is that 100 years ago Rose LaFleur checked into the hotel located in the Byward Market owned by William Dank and the following day both Rose and her diamond went missing. Due Mr. Dank being implicated in the disappearance of Ms. LaFleur and the diamond the hotel was closed, until now 100 years later where a descent of William Dank has reopened the Mystery Motel.
Within the hotel each of the 3 rooms, The Magician’s Studio, The Parlor and the Boudoir are rigged with puzzles and decorated as they originally appeared 100 years ago. By solving each of the 3 rooms you collect clues that when combined together lead you on a citywide hunt to locate the missing diamond.
The Magician’s Studio
For my first room at the Mystery Motel, I tried the Magician’s Studio, which has the following description, “Explore the studio of William Dank, who desperately wanted to become a world renowned illusionist. Failure pushed him to the brink of self-destruction, but was he really a murderer?”.
The room is well designed with classic magic references to Houdini, magician’s hats, the classic magic trick of cutting someone in two and much more.
Here are a few preview images of what you can expect in part of the room, but there is much more to explore and discover once you are in the space. For the Magician’s Studio, I went on the opening week with a group who have all successfully solved several Escape Manor rooms in the past, and we were impressed with the tricks and puzzles which were new and innovative. I admit we did struggle with this room, it was rather difficult, but with that added to the appeal as we raced against the clock to try to escape.
Now that I’ve completed the first room, I’ve gained the first clue needed to help me track down Rose LaFleur’s missing diamond. I can’t wait to try the next 2 rooms and do the hunt for the diamond.
Overall I find the concept of the Mystery Motel fabulous as each of the 3 rooms stories combines to tell one story, which is something new compared to previous Escape Manor locations. While the details for the hunt for the diamond are limited, I can’t help but applaud the Mystery Motel for taking the concept of the now trendy escape rooms and enhance it to a hunt across Ottawa. The best part is once you have solved all 3 of the rooms, the hunt for the diamond is free, which is like getting 4 rooms for the price of 3!
I’ll keep you all posted on how the rest of the hunt for the diamond turns out. In the meanwhile, make sure to go book a room and try it with your friends or family as it is a great team-building exercise that is certain to keep everyone entertained.