Georgetown’s Poppy Guesthouse Is Blooming Wonderful

Does the Poppy Georgetown Guesthouse and Gardens have a “Wizard of Oz” connection?

In “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the book by L. Frank Baum on which the 1939 Hollywood perennial was based, the field of red poppies isn’t a trap; it’s just doing what poppies do.

“Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever. But Dorothy did not know this, nor could she get away from the bright red flowers that were everywhere about; so presently her eyes grew heavy and she felt she must sit down to rest and to sleep.”

Isn’t restful sleep what every hotel guest desires most?

Another clue: the 15-room luxury property’s alliterative tagline, “An enchanting stay with warmth, whimsy and worldly appeal.”

Courtyard on P Street. Photo by Richard Selden.

However, no wizards or witches (West or South) popped up in my chat with David M. Duber, co-founder and managing director of District Lodging Capital, a joint venture with the Bernstein Companies/TBC Hotels.

According to Duber, the new name — devised with Bethesda-based brand consultant Noted — was picked to emphasize “the unique historical gardens of Georgetown as well as a symbol of rebirth … as we relaunched this property out of the depths of Covid.”

Originally the brainchild of Justin Schneck, who named it for one of his actual children, daughter Avery, the hotel opened in 2016. It was acquired by DLC and TBC for $5.5 million in 2022.

Duber, who lives a block from the Poppy, further characterized the new moniker — with an organic red bloom forming the O in the logo — as “a punchy name that reflects the property’s vibrant design, surrounding flora and whimsical spirit.”

Having recently stayed over in stylish, soaking tub-equipped Room 23, which opens to a spacious “secret garden,” this writer can attest to those attributes, enhanced by the new owners with artful courtyard and garden décor and tasteful technological updates.

Yet the Poppy resists pigeonholing (or buttonholing). Is it a boutique hotel, an inn, a bed-and-breakfast, an Airbnb?

As with a boutique hotel, the design is contemporary and classy, with a European ambiance appropriate to Georgetown. As with an inn or a bed-and-breakfast, there are spaces — the front and back courtyards, a cozy front parlor that serves as a café for continental breakfast and happy hour — for mingling with other guests (who in some cases may be fellow graduation or wedding guests).

Having been approved for a liquor license, the Poppy will be “adding alcohol, for guests only, as an amenity to the overall experience,” said Duber.

And as with an Airbnb, there is a genuine home-away-from-home feel. This pied-à-terre aspect is key.

Wordle fans will have registered the five letters in Poppy (and in Avery); more important, three of them are Ps, as in P Street. With 2616 P Street NW as its official address, the Poppy combines two adjacent row houses next to restaurant and wine bar Apéro, across from Streets Market and several shops and diagonally across the 27th Street intersection from Georgetown Wine & Spirits. Busy in a sociable way, but rarely congested, it is an ideal Georgetown jumping-off place.

Commenting on the “tons of positive momentum on the retail front” in Georgetown, Duber said that his company recently purchased Hamilton Court, a mixed-use development on 31st Street between M and N, in partnership with Apéro owners Ezra and Jessica Glass. “We have big plans for this project and hope to integrate the retail offerings of Hamilton Court into the overall Poppy guest experience.”

By the way, since the Poppy is pet-friendly, feel free to bring Toto along.

Room 23. Photo by Richard Selden.






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