The Mayflower Hotel's Spies, Secrets, and Scandals ExperiencePrivate Tour

Hear tales of the ways the world's most powerful capital drips with scandals and is embroiled in the underbelly of global clandestine efforts.
Adults: 4 Children: 0

Things to know


2 hrs 30 mins

Suitable for:

Couples, Family, History Buffs, Intellectually Curious

Private Tour:

You and our own professional guide. 100% exclusive

Transport Mode:

Walking tour - no transport required for this tour.


delicious cocktail at Edgar Bar at the end of your tour

Other inclusions:

Children under 5 are free, though please get in touch if a child under 5 is in your party. 
Meeting points: In the Edgar Bar

What makes this tour special

Let us bring to life the unique role of the Mayflower Hotel in the capital's history with this crafted experience with your own expert local guide, a complimentary cocktail in the Edgar Bar. For those who book an afternoon tour, your tour kicks off with a glass of complimentary champagne. 

Hear tales of the ways the world's most powerful capital drips with scandals and is embroiled in the underbelly of global clandestine efforts.

Your tour begins with the headlines which have made the Mayflower Hotel one of the most famous places in the city since its opening in the 1920’s, when the press announced the hotel had “more gold leaf in its adornments than any other building in Washington after the Library of Congress.” Wander the storied halls and hear tales of the names who have splashed the pages of the media from news made at the hotel—from Roosevelt’s penning “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” in one of its rooms to the place where Nixon gave his farewell speech before resigning office. 

Other rooms in the hotel have their own claims to fame: one was where Monica Lewinsky’s testimony was recorded, another where Governor Spitzer’s infamous affair with a prostitute in a high-end prostitution ring took place, and a third where a Nazi defector turned himself over. Aldrich Ames—a man whose CIA career was a bit murkier—met his Russian handlers at the hotel, Stewart Nozette attempted to sell the Mossad secrets from its quiet hallways, and only meters away is the spot where J Edgar Hoover dined daily. 

A block from the Mayflower Hotel, walk by the Pullman House, which has been owned by Russia for more than a century, serving first as its embassy and now its ambassador residence. Hear tales of decades of clandestine stories and salacious secrets of double-agents, all tied to this address. 

In Farragut Square, learn how Admiral Farragut’s grandson saved Thomas Jefferson from being hanged. In Lafayette Square, within yards of the White House, discover the clever spy craft of a Confederate agent who bedeviled Abraham Lincoln, and seduced his vice president, before meeting a horrific end. The stories in this square and the area around it abound with scandals of murder and misdeed, and your expert guide will let you in on several of their favorites tales.

As you wander back to the Mayflower, you will hear more tales of Washington’s secrets and unfolding scandals of today. Then, enjoy a cocktail and a few small plates with your guide at Edgar Bar while you learn about Hoover’s life and how the fearsome FBI head became synonymous with the hotel. 

What you'll see

Book with Travel Curious, an exceptional experience guaranteed

Prioritising Your Safety

Free cancellation

Do not fret, we have you covered with our 48 hrs cancellation policy.

Avoid the crowds

Travel like a VIP, avoid crowds, and unnecessary queues.

Authentic Experiences

Bespoke local tours handcrafted for you by our global travel specialists

Professional Guides

All guides are handpicked, trained and licensed to ensure you are immersed in the local culture

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QWill there be other people on the tour or is it just us?
AAll of our tours are 100% private and exclusive, which means that it will just be you, your group and your guide on the tour.

Your tour will be completely tailored to your needs and we will make sure to find a guide that best suits your group.
QAre entrance tickets and transport included in the cost of the tour?
AIn the ‘Things to Know’ section at the top of this page you will find details of whatever entrance tickets and transport are included in the tour. If you have any questions about this, then you can either use the chat button in the bottom right hand corner, send an email to <team@travelcurious.com> or call 1-212-710-1322 (US) or +44 20 3009 2392 (UK).
QWhat is your cancellation policy?
AOn tours cancelled more than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time, we are happy to offer our customers a full refund - minus a 5% credit card fee and the cost of any tickets that have been purchased.

For tours cancelled less than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time, we are unfortunately unable to offer refunds. If you would like to reschedule a tour, this is usually possible if we are given enough notice, but we cannot guarantee the same guide.

Changes made to bookings may be subject to rebooking fees to cover the cost of tickets purchased, transport, guide rescheduling and administration.

To cancel or change your booking, please contact us at <team@travelcurious.com> or call 1-212-710-1322 (US) or +44 20 3009 2392 (UK).
QWho do I contact if I have any questions about this tour or if I want to make changes to my tour?
AAt Travel Curious, we provide a free concierge service to help you plan your time abroad and they will be able to answer any questions you may have about this tour or any other tours. We are normally able to customise or personalise tours to suit your needs.

Please do get in touch by either using the chat button in the bottom right hand corner, sending an email to <hello@travelcurious.com> or calling 1-212-710-1322 (US) or +44 20 3009 2392 (UK).
QAm I able to book more than one tour?
AAbsolutely, you can book as many tours as you like! You can add them to your cart by clicking the ‘Book Now’ button or you can get in touch and we can put together an itinerary for you. To get in touch, you can either use the chat button in the bottom right hand corner, send an email to <team@travelcurious.com> or call 1-212-710-1322 (US) or +44 20 3009 2392 (UK).


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