When I first saw the headlines earlier this year, I wasn’t really sure if a “hypebeast hotel” would be my thing. To be honest, I pictured something straight out of a adolescent’s bedroom: Supreme accessories spilling out from every corner, Bape bed sheets, and sneakers used as decorations. To my pleasant surprise, A Ma Maniére Living not only proved me wrong in this aspect, but it far exceeded any expectations I had in the weeks leading up to my visit.
Tucked away in Washington, D.C.’s H Street Corridor just a few blocks from Union Station is A Ma Maniére’s first boutique hotel. The space sits above the retailer’s recently opened D.C. store and includes two luxury suites: one two-bedroom and a one-bedroom.
Conceptualized by founder James Whitner, A Ma Maniére Living aims to meld the store’s high-end sneaker/streetwear theme with the comforts of a modern upscale hotel. “The goal with A Ma Maniére Living is to bring the ethos of what we stand into our guest home,” Whitner says. “Retail has become about experience and curated space, so it felt perfect for us to curate our own spaces for our guest to enjoy. It also gives us the opportunity to express our creativity on items that are not the normal tee shirt and fleece.”
The concept is the first in a series of expansions planned by Whitner, which began with the opening of the D.C. retail store after A Ma Maniére established its footing in Atlanta in 2014. After a soft opening to friends, family, and media members over the summer, A Ma Maniére Living has now opened its doors to the public via a digital booking platform accessible on its website.
I stayed in the two-bedroom option, which boasts a loft and two balconies with roof access. Much to my surprise, the space was nothing like what I had expected. Aside from A Ma Maniére’s own dishes, toiletries, and the like—all of which I found to be a nice touch—there was little in the way of branded product. Bearbricks with the artwork from Jean-Michael Basquiat and Jackson Pollock are complemented by art from George Condo, but it was the Pentatonic x Snarkitecture split table that got the most reactions on my Instagram stories.
Speaking of Instagrammable moments, Whitner and his team have gone out of their way to make sure the experience is catered to the guest, right down to your sneaker size and favorite brands. Before staying, guests are asked to fill out a form with their personal info, food and drink requests, and plans for their stay. I didn’t have much on deck for this particular weekend, but the concierges offered to pick up Wizards tickets and provide car service, which in hindsight would’ve probably been a lot easier than driving around the city myself.
“Our goal is curate the complete experience," Whitner says. "From the curated closet of items that are available for our living space to artwork commissioned for the space, our goal is to create a truly innovative experience."
My closet was filled with items that matched my Q&A form including a Japanese cotton Maison Margiela hoodie, perfect-fitting Alyx pants, and a raw-hem tweed coat by A Cold Wall. There were even Yeezys that hadn’t come out yet. One thing I really appreciated about this was that it took away some of the anxieties that can come with shopping and trying things on in a normal retail environment. There was no rush, no pressure to buy anything, or awkward interactions. I could just try on what I wanted, pick out what I liked, and go from there. I wanted to keep pretty much everything, but kept it simple and went with some new jeans. It’s worth mentioning here that the items in your closet aren’t included with the price of admission, but are instead treated like a minibar of sorts with each piece you decide to keep being added to the final bill.
As for the suite itself, it was about as luxurious as they come. During my stay, I found the technology in the rooms to be pretty impressive, if not slightly confusing at first. Everything—and I mean everything—is controlled digitally, from the indoor and outdoor lighting and blinds to the bathroom fans. The loft’s patio is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in D.C., period. It’s one of the highest points in the whole neighborhood and offers a great view of the Capitol area. Also worth mentioning is the selection of books from Rizzoli and other publishers, which includes deep dives on designers like Cartier and Dior, Italian food and shoes, and more. Making the home-away-from-home feel complete is a washer and dryer set and a full kitchen.
As great as the experience was there were a few small drawbacks, although they were no fault of the host. I visited with a guest, and we found the area to be fairly noisy at night, which is to be expected for any city like this, really, but it might not be an ideal choice for those in search of a quiet couple’s getaway. Parking was also a slight issue—I caught a $30 ticket—but looking back, I probably could’ve probably cut that in half by splurging for the lot across the street. No big deal, but worth keeping in mind before planning your stay.
Beyond that, I can’t say there is much I would change about what Whitner and the team at A Ma Maniére Living have put together here. For streetwear followers and sneakerheads, it’s going to be hard for any hotel or Airbnb to top this experience.