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Hotel Helix Will Close and Be Remodeled as "Mason & Rook"

Kimpton Hotels plans to close down the Hotel Helix in October for extensive renovations and rebranding. When the 178-room Logan Circle hotel reopens in spring 2016, it will be called the “Mason & Rook.”

It’ll still be a boutique hotel, although one can’t be faulted for thinking the new name sounds like some new restaurant that specializes in up-tempo pub cuisine and cocktails made with egg-white froth. The name Mason & Rook borrows at least two tropes from the restaurant-name playbook.

The name Mason & Rook, says Kimpton spokeswoman Jaclyn Randolph, is a nod to both Freemasonry, a secretive order to which many of the United States’ founders—and supposedly Beyoncé Knowles—belonged, and to the “strategic game of chess,” because politics is like chess and something something Washington.

While Kimpton plans to keep the Illuminati-themed hotel at 178 rooms, the guest quarters will be slightly more spacious when it re-opens. In a previous life, the Helix was an apartment buildling, with each unit including a kitchenette. Those spaces have been walled off since the building was turned into a hotel, but will be reopened during the renovation and turned into expanded bedrooms and bathrooms. While the fixtures and furniture will be replaced, the remodeled hotel will keep Kimpton’s usual amenities, like free wine in the lobby.

The Helix has accomodations open through October 16, but the hotel’s lounge is scheduled to close this week, Randolph says.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.