With the continued revitalisation of Detroit comes a wave of trendy establishments that are helping turn the tide of the city’s decline

The first in the US to be named a UNESCO City of Design in 2015, Detroit has seen a boost in its revival that’s evident in the openings of buzzed-about ventures such as the Shinola Hotel.

Two cherished and newly restored buildings — formerly a T.B. Rayl & Co department store and a Singer sewing machine store — house Shinola Hotel
Two cherished and newly restored buildings — formerly a T.B. Rayl & Co department store and a Singer sewing machine store — house Shinola Hotel

Shinola, a proudly Detroit-based brand known for its unapologetically hip utilitarian products, introduced its hotel in 2019. Like its range of watches, bags, accessories, and bicycles, which are priced fairly but certainly don’t come cheap, Shinola Hotel embodies the kind of downtown style that consumers and travellers of all types can appreciate.

Off the lobby are exceptionally designed social areas collectively called the Living Room
Off the lobby are exceptionally designed social areas collectively called the Living Room

To distill the essence of the brand into a hotel, Shinola tapped New York design firm Gachot Studios, who previously designed the Shinola flagship boutiques in New York and Los Angeles, as well as other hospitality ventures such as the Smyth Tribeca Hotel.

Touches of a signature hue called Shinola Blue against cream walls in one of the rooms
Touches of a signature hue called Shinola Blue against cream walls in one of the rooms

The hotel has 129 residential-style guest rooms; guests sleep on 100% cotton, 300-thread-count percale custom bed linens from Frette
The hotel has 129 residential-style guest rooms; guests sleep on 100% cotton, 300-thread-count percale custom bed linens from Frette

The furniture pieces that punctuate the hotel’s 129 rooms and suites appear to have been inspired by midcentury design, which is defined by simplicity, clean lines, and use of wood. Here, every piece is custom-designed for the hotel and is primarily manufactured in the US. Shinola collaborated with Michigan-produced labels including Pewabic for ceramics, Booms Stone Company for stone finishes, and Great Lakes Stainless for decorative metals.

Inside the Canfield Suite and its collection of plush velvet and simple wood furnishings
Inside the Canfield Suite and its collection of plush velvet and simple wood furnishings

A guest bathroom equipped with double sinks and mirrors
A guest bathroom equipped with double sinks and mirrors

The cosy brand of contemporary design brings to life the discerning millennial’s dream apartment. It’s modern without being cold; it’s simple but arresting, thanks to flashes of colour, luxurious materials, and works of art.

A guest room flooded with light
A guest room flooded with light

Radiating genuine warmth throughout the rooms and common spaces, caramel and camel shades dominate the colour palette at the Shinola Hotel. Other tones that make an appearance are grey, soft blush, deep green, and bronze. Gachot Studios also developed a signature colour especially for the brand: Shinola blue, a deep navy hue that takes after a paint chip uncovered in the old Singer building the hotel occupies.

Detroit
Detroit's Kraemer Design Group served as architect and historical consultant

Also important: Shinola Hotel is a pet-friendly establishment
Also important: Shinola Hotel is a pet-friendly establishment

Followers of the brand will be delighted to find rooms equipped with some of Shinola’s most beloved products, including the Power Supply extension cord and leather care products, along with items dreamed up especially for the hotel: a bedside clock, leather throw pillows, and blankets.

Photography by Nicole Franzen

See also: A New Hospitality Experience at Chao, Beijing

Shinola Detroit

Related