The tide of "urban decay" has been receding through this B&B's neighbourhood for several decades -- the last puddles of the old, rough days aren't yet entirely dried up, give that another twenty years -- and MVSB&B was, Keith the innkeeper told me, an early emergence from those waters. The building was gutted and reconstructed over nearly a decade by an absentee owner who had fallen in love, and rightly so, with its possibilities… but the love, or the money, ran out, and Keith took it on as a B&B. A few rough spots -- missing tiles here and there in the kitchen, a gap in trim at a bend in the staircase -- but, overall, beautifully done if not original; comfortably furnished; and breakfasts that I can't say enough good about (although perhaps a larger selection of breads?), with coffee in the pot on the table at 0730. At my request, one morning the fare included grits. Three Americans and two Kiwis were at table. Comical -- the Kiwis barely dipped the tips of their bills into the stuff, the Americans dove at it, each having three helpings! Lick-the-bowl delicious (assisting Keith during my stay was Glenda, gracious, pleasant, and by all the evidence a wonderful cook).
Tips for making your experience its best: 1) Expect to require a bit of perseverance in making contact with Keith by telephone or e-mail. Don't give up! 2) Expect to be exposed to a bit of urban noise. 3) If you're in the third-floor "Cleopatra Room", which I certainly can recommend, invest in Stairmaster training before your stay. I think that I counted twenty-two steps in the first flight of stairs, after which I was too exhausted to count them in the second flight. 4) Make time for lunch in the neighbourhood at SAINTS PARADISE CAFE, associated with the large church on the north side of M Street between MVSB&B and the convention center / Metro stop. Cheap, cheerful, and competent "soul food" cooking. Mmmmm.