The Sherlock Home – A House of Conundrums [Airbnb Review]

Puzzle the night away

Location:  San Antonio, TX

Date Played: August 25-27, 2023

Team Size: 2-7; we recommend 2-6

Duration: 4-6 hours

Price: $235 per night for two players, $40 per night per each additional player (prices vary by date)

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: There is one step up to the front porch.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

A House of Conundrums was a top tier classic escape room expanded in both space and time to fill a well-appointed Airbnb. The wall-to-wall steam-punky decadence and the loving provision of needs and accoutrements made this place worth its price even just as overnight lodging. But then it enabled us to wrap ourselves in hours of puzzling interleaved with dinner, drinks, and resting on the couch amidst the warm glow of amber lighting and classical music. It transformed the urgency and chaos of regular escape rooms into a coziness and intimacy that felt like home because, at least for the night, it was home.

A magnificent living room with an incredible victorian aesthetic.

To set puzzle expectations, these had a classic feel overall, though a couple were deliciously fresh and served as centerpieces of the experience. The rest found innovation in their presentation, melding into the décor, merging with furniture, and bringing physicality to common puzzling. As an example, Sudoku became a tactile team sport, and with drink in hand and the entire night before me, it was actually fun. But, as a note to serious Sherlockers, this is NOT a sleuthing game. The story is light and there is no mystery to solve… just puzzling to prove your skills.

An elaborate maze made out of pipes.

The game is advertised as 4-6 hours in length, and indeed, my team of 2 took a little over 4 (not counting dinner). The quantity of content came not only from the number of puzzles but also from their length. Things that might have taken 5 minutes in a regular escape room here took 20, though many tasks could be distributed among multiple players. Even for a 2-person team, this amount of content didn’t feel like a chore. Rather, we felt like we were doing the necessary work to earn the next reveal, the next detail, the next chunk of understanding. Indeed, rather than tiring of it, we didn’t want it to end.

Given the expansive nature of this experience, players have more leeway than usual to shape the pacing of their play. The game fit tightly within a single evening if you start early enough (check-in is at 4pm) or intend to stay up late. On one hand, I was profoundly grateful to have booked two nights so that we could truly relax and forget about time pressure. That’s one of the unique aspects of this game, and it was worth leaning into. However, I do think the game itself was best experienced as one long evening. The content lacked clear opportunities for breaks, and there was a natural momentum to the puzzling. If I were to strategically plan to divide the experience, I would use time as my guide, stopping after two hours the first night to ensure that there was enough (but not too much!) content to come back to the next evening.

A bedroom with a steampunk and Sherlock Holmes aesthetic.

My only concern about the experience was the hint content. The provided information vacillated between tiny nudges and huge leaps, sometimes skipping vast swaths of puzzling. More worrisome was that the hints never helped players to complete search tasks. Because the house is a veritable Easter egg hunt with dozens of things to find, this omission seemed like a significant gap.

Play this for the endless atmosphere, the genuine surprises, and the opportunity to puzzle amidst homey comforts. The story was light and the puzzles weren’t overwhelmingly novel, but the richness and detail that the creators imbued this with are mindboggling. From first impressions through the final reveal, this felt like a love letter to traveling puzzlers, one we received with heartfelt gratitude.

A desk with a letter to "Mr Sherlock Holmes" with a dagger-like letter opener.

Who is this for?

  • Anyone staying overnight in San Antonio; I can’t think of a reason to stay anywhere else
  • Players who want escape rooms to last more than an hour
  • Scenery savorers
  • Appreciators of fine things
  • Explorers and treasure hunters
  • Any experience level
  • Sherlock Holmes fans and cosplayers
  • Sherlock Holmes

Why play?

  • To live amongst puzzles and bask in their glow
  • As a home base for any trip to San Antonio
  • For your next special occasion


We played this game as the collective consciousness of Sherlock Holmes. Whilst we had been away from home on Detective Business, a familiar foe had infiltrated our house and infested it with an extensive array of challenges. It seemed he was attempting to best us at a game of wits, to prove himself as a worthy opponent. Indeed, the game was afoot!

Closeup of a Sherlock Holmes themed chessboard.


We found ourselves in Sherlock Holmes’s home, a quaint 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in quiet northern San Antonio. From the outside, apart from subtle porch-side decor, the house was indistinguishable from the rest of the neighborhood.

Exterior front door of the Sherlock Hom with a British flag and a "Baker St" sign.

Crossing the threshold, we walked into the homiest of homes we had ever encountered in our escape room journeys. It was decked from ceiling to floor in Victorian steampunk extravagance. Furthermore, with the exception of the master suite, the entire livable space was in play.

A dining-room with a steampunk aesthetic.

Even the play-free zone upheld the spell. There was no escaping the immersion; we were surrounded.

A beautiful master bedroom decorated in white and red.


The Sherlock Home’s House of Conundrums was a lengthy escape room embedded within an Airbnb. It had a moderate level of difficulty.

Gameplay consisted of searching, observing, connecting, deducing, and completing process puzzles, all to a more extensive degree than in a typical escape room. Many activities could be done in parallel or collaboratively, making this an experience that could adapt well to different team sizes.


➕ The ambiance was literally jaw-dropping. I spent the first few minutes running around whisper-squealing “I can’t believe this!!!”

An organ a parlor.

➕ As both an Airbnb and as an escape room, the space had been impeccably maintained.

➕ Despite the scale of the experience, it was generally clear what information coupled with what puzzles.

➕ The overall choreography of the experience was impressive. Early puzzles were clued by proximity, leading to other puzzles that relied on extensive searching. This phase encouraged us to explore the whole footprint of the house, allowing us to familiarize ourselves with everything available. This set us up well to make connections throughout the rest of the game while still leaving room for surprises.

➕ The searching activities also turned up thoughtful amenities, resulting in the feel of a real-life treasure hunt.

❓ I had no idea what would happen if we unknowingly misplaced a game piece while playing this. The thought terrified me a bit.

➕ The attention to detail throughout the house was astonishing. From wax seals on correspondence to steampunked light switches to tiny decorations on locks, every little thing had been tweaked and polished to reinforce the theme.

Closeup of a 4 digit number lock. It is adorned with gears.

➖ A critical reveal needed better highlighting. The current cueing actually led our attention in the opposite direction, distracting us from our accomplishment and the next step in the game. It took us quite a while to find our way again.

➕ The versatility and depth of some of the furniture pieces was worthy of Glass Onion.

➖ The hint content had problems. The hint organization disoriented our sense of progress and puzzle order, and the information didn’t seem granular enough for the amount of content in the game. The hint system was also a dead end for search fails. For a game where physical objects were often necessary for progress, this omission created the real risk of getting stuck. Most players will probably be able to stumble through given enough time and patience, but there is a clear opportunity here for more robust support.

➕ Momentum built smoothly throughout the game, transitioning from lengthier, effort-filled puzzles to more rapid-fire conundrums and surprises.

➕ The final sequence was a well-crafted, rewarding conclusion to the whole experience. There may have been more whisper-squealing.

Tips For Visiting

  • DoorDash delivers many kinds of food in this area. We enjoyed Paesanos 1604 as a suitably fancy meal for our experience.
  • There’s a strong case for costumes here. The house comes with lots of hats and canes, but we opted for our own steampunk vibe.
Mud room of a home with hats hanging from the wall and coatrack.
  • Leave young kids at home. Although the guest book was full of kids who’ve had a delightful experience here, I wouldn’t have been able to relax and enjoy the game if I’d been worried about my kids breaking something.
  • Just like with any Airbnb, check the listing to make sure it suits your purposes beyond puzzling.
  • Consider both gameplay and accommodations when deciding how many people to bring. There is plenty of content to explore and share among several people, and there are three separate beds and rooms (though the living room couch is also available).
  • Consider booking two nights here. Even though you can complete the puzzles in one long evening, the mood was infinitely more relaxing knowing we could finish it the next day if we needed to. Plus, you can use the extra time to check out the rest of the San Antonio escape room scene [update coming soon]!

Book your stay at The Sherlock Home – A House of Conundrums, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: