The Largest Escape Room Game In The U.S. Just Opened In Hollywood
Escape Hotel opens today in Hollywood, turning what was once a popular Japanese restaurant into a gigantic escape room that feels like you just entered a horror movie.The Geisha House spent about 10 years on Hollywood Boulevard before shuttering in June of 2013. Today, the space reopens as Escape Hotel. Hosting ten separate games, Escape Hotel is now the largest escape room game in the United States, in terms of number of individual games, and the only one we've encountered in Los Angeles that manages to be fully immersive from start to finish.
Escape rooms, for the uninitiated, are like playing point-and-click adventure games in real life. Teams will be put into a room full of clues, riddles and puzzles and must work together to solve them all and either 'escape' the room or complete a mission. We rounded up six of them back in December of 2014, and now there are over 50 companies in L.A. County, several of which have multiple rooms. And they seem to be opening up all the time. For instance, The Bunker Experience just opened in Pasadena in the last month.
Escape Hotel has a very American Horror Story (season 5, obviously) vibe from the minute you are let inside by a ghoulish concierge. While most of these games have a relatively ordinary waiting room where a friendly game master will have you sign a waiver and tell you the rules, Escape Hotel never drops their act. You'll leave bustling Hollywood Boulevard for the rather ominous, dimly lit lobby, full of old leather furniture and flickering candles. You'll be checked in, as if you were getting ready to stay at the Overlook Hotel for a long weekend. Then, you'll be led by a hotel employee down an eerie hallway to your game. It is worth noting that the hotel employees are all dressed in sharp suits with pale makeup that makes them look as though they're ghosts who once served martinis at Musso & Frank down the street, and are now stuck haunting this joint.
There are ten entirely different games to play. This is more than any other company in town has in a single location. Escape Hotel has five up and running right now: Mafia, Witchcraft, Zombie, Daycare and Agent. Each has a different difficulty level, so beginners and enthusiasts alike should find something they like. We got a sneak peek at Agent, which has you trying to save a 1940s world from the Nazis. You begin in a jail cell, which you must first escape from before detouring a nuclear weapon just launched by Hitler.
The trailer for 'Daycare'
The other rooms follow other common tropes of film and lore. In another room, you and your friends are witches who must locate a spell to save you from an impending mob of pitchfork-carrying townsfolk. In Zombie, you must formulate an antidote before you turn into a brain-eating monster. In Daycare, you've been trapped in an abandoned nursery and must break a curse before you, like its previous inhabitants, mysteriously disappear.
Escape Hotel will also offer things for people who aren't playing a game. They have a small cafe area where you can grab a salad, sandwich, coffee or beverage, and lounge space at various points throughout their unsettling lobby. So if Starbucks isn't frightening enough for you, feel free to take your lunch break at The Shining down the block. They're open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., at the moment.
Escape Hotel is located at 6633 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, (323) 848-4954.