What We Love
- Southern Italian cuisine by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini
- The outdoor beer hall (coming soon)
- Hometown favorites, like Great Lakes Potato Chips and Vernors ginger ale, in your minibar
- Detroit-themed boxing robes in all guest rooms
What To Know
- The hotel is built on the site of a former Singer sewing machine store
- Expect plenty of Shinola products in your room, including custom-made bedside clocks and pillows
- The property’s mezzanine-level lounge, complete with a pool table and mini library, is for hotel guests only
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Pet Friendly
- Room Service
Renowned watchmaker Shinola brings fine craftsmanship to three historic buildings along Detroit’s main shopping drag
Shinola, the all-American luxe leather brand, became a standard-setter when it established a manufacturing base in Detroit back in 2011—so it’s fitting that the company now leads the revival of Woodward Avenue, transforming a trio of iconic buildings into a property that is as heritage happy as it is high design. From the pink swivel chairs and sequined art pieces in the hotel lobby—affectionately dubbed “the living room”—to the gold-leaf ceilings of the Evening Bar, Instagrammable details abound. Each of the 129 guest rooms is dutifully stocked with Shinola goodies, such as an irresistible alpaca throw, and serve as stylish tributes to the city’s rich industrial history: the marble-patterned wallpaper in the bathrooms, for instance, is a reproduction of a piece of Italian water-paper discovered during the buildings’ meticulous rehabilitation process. For exceptional Motor City views, ask for one of the rooms on the seventh floor, which are dressed with massive arched windows—or simply head to the sprawling rooftop conservatory.
In the Area
Standing along Woodward Avenue and Grand River, the Shinola is a welcome addition to downtown Detroit. Though the hotel’s hip food and beverage options helmed by the illustrious NoHo Hospitality group are showstoppers, soon-to-be open Plum Market, a Michigan-area grocer that will house a slew of grab-and-go counters and bar in nearby Ally Detroit Center, will offer more casual alternatives. Don’t leave without taking in the area’s architectural marvels (choose between a self-guided walking tour or a hop aboard the city’s famed 13-stop People Mover), which include the dazzling Aztec lobby designs of the Guardian Building and the Old Wayne County Building, a landmark 1897 Beaux-Arts manse.
How to Get There
From the moment you enter the lobby, the cool mid-century vibe of this outstanding hotel follows you to every corner. We stayed on the 6th floor in one of the Den rooms. This corner room is impeccably decorated and no amenity is overlooked. Spacious and well-appointed. Loved using the turntable, the lights are on dimmers, so many pieces in the room are made from the gorgeous Shinola leather. Sure, the view across the street of the Bedrock construction sight wasn’t great, but who cares. It’s all part of the revitalization of Detroit, so bravo!
Dined downstairs at the San Morello restaurant. Perfection.
We are already planning a return stay. Thanks Shinola for a truly wonderful staycation!
But can get there with a bit more attention to detail.
Overall a very good concept and nice take on the boutique hotel.
Pros - Vey stylish rooms, convenient location in the downtown area, walking distance to sports venues and the riverfront, helpful staff, nice fitness center, a lot of cool stuff in the rooms.
Cons - very noisy location in the downtown area, many rooms have a scenic view of a construction site, lot of light leaking on from the street, a bit too much pushing the Shinola brand (full disclosure - own 2 watches), VERY expensive amenities in the room - liquor, snacks, the robe, the speakers, etc., And still working out the kinks - missing washcloths in the bathroom plus some weird stains on the bathmat, cranky computers, TV blasting in the fitness room (no remote, just unplugged it).
And as much as Ilike the Shinola brand and all of the great work they have done in Detroit, just a bit over the top.
If all you want out of a hotel is beautiful decor, this is the place for you! However if you also enjoy peace and quiet, a beautiful view or comfort, LOOK ELSEWHERE. The inside of the hotel is very modern with a tinge of westelm vibes. BUT there is a giant construction pit right next door. It's a terrible view of the city and you will wake up early (7AM) to the terrible sounds that come with such a job site. I would tell anyone curious to save your money and try it out in a year or so, when whatever they are building across the street is complete.
It was with great excitement that we Michiganders eagerly waited months for the opening of the new Shinola Hotel. We were rewarded in many ways by this mid-century modern beauty. Good restaurant (San Morello) and excellent hotel guest ‘speakeasy-style’ bar (Evening)...to be reviewed separately.
THE GOOD: Excellent, bright, open ‘Living Room’ just to the right of the main entrance.
They have many levels/types of hotel room. I stayed in a mid-level Den room on the top (8th) floor which was very spacious, very comfortable, beautifully designed, and reasonably priced. Bed and bedding were high quality, luxuriously soft (perhaps a bit too soft, if you prefer a firm mattress for a bad back).
Bathroom has 4 separate areas, which would easily allow simultaneous use by 2 or 3 family members achieving different tasks.
THE BAD: Once you leave the front desk, the hallways are a dimly-lit maze of passages. Not at all clear which doorway goes to the restaurant, the Shinola store, the elevators to the rooms, the ‘Evening’ bar, the restrooms, etc.; often bumped into other guests and staff in this narrow ground floor area.
Once inside my room, the bedroom, bar area, and main bathroom area did not have any wastebaskets (only a tiny pedal trash can, almost inaccessibly located behind the toilet). The toilet itself had an oddly functioning handle, which had to be pulled up and held up, often for several seconds, before the toilet would flush. When I arrived there was barely half an inch of toilet paper on the roll, and no extra rolls in the drawers. The room stereo speakers were oddly connected to one of the light switches (for the lighting of wall artwork), and seemed to only work randomly. The room entrance foyer / bar area is stocked with several very large bottles of alcohol (gin, vodka, rum, wine, whiskey, etc.—not complimentary, of course.)...I think the majority of guests would prefer an in-room tea/coffee maker, since there is no complimentary tea/coffee in the lobby(!)...but it seems that tea/coffee makers are only available in the highest suite types (i.e., $500+/night room sizes).
Valet service varied widely, inexplicably 5 minutes one day to get the car back, while 25 minutes the next day (at the least busy time of day!).
THE WORST: After operating for 3+ months, you would think that the electronic key issues (they are not key cards) would have been resolved...but NO, the elevators—which require the key to reach your room—usually refused to work with any guest key. This meant standing in an elevator full of guests going nowhere, until manager assistance was requested from the front desk. Apparently this has been an ongoing issue for some time...
THE FUTURE: If management can fix most of these issues, this could be one of the best hotels in Detroit! Looking forward to improvements for my next visit.
Amazing stay! Comfortable, clean, perfect location and an overall cool feeling that other places in the city can't quite match. The Restaurant and the Evening Bar are great to have on site. Alley behind the hotel is adding new options too!