Traveler: Shinola Hotel In Detroit

One of the biggest stories in Detroit’s ongoing renaissance is adding a new chapter this month.
Since its founding in 2011, the Shinola brand has helped to recast the Motor City in a polished new light by instilling its lines of proudly American-made luxury watches, bicycles, and leather goods with a distinctive dose of Detroit moxie and grit. Owner Tom Kartsotis originally purchased the company name from a defunct shoe-polish maker (as in, “You don’t know sh*t from Shinola”) with an aim to bring, and keep, manufacturing jobs solidly in the city.

Mission accomplished. Now, the enterprise is growing its inimitable cachet in a new direction: the hospitality arena.

The highly anticipated Shinola Hotel opens on Detroit’s iconic Woodward Avenue thoroughfare this month boasting 129 pied-a-terre–style guest rooms in more than 50 different configurations, all decked out with custom millwork, retro wallpapers, and Shinola turntables. (This is also the land of Motown, after all.) The handsome, wood-centric decor seems right in step with the Shinola products themselves, and in a nod to the home teams, minibars feature Michigan craft beers. Nice.

The ambitious project has completely reimagined two historic downtown buildings—the former T.B. Rayl & Co. department store and an old Singer sewing-machine building—to now include a hardwood-floor ballroom, a glossy glass conservatory common area, a beer garden, boutique retail space, and six dining concepts (three overseen by lauded New York chef Andrew Carmellini). Sports fans will be psyched to learn the location offers walking-distance proximity to Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park, and Ford Field.

Shinola proprietors hope to position the property as “Detroit’s new living room,” inviting locals to drop in at will and hang out over bites and cocktails to see what the buzz is all about.

Road trip, anyone?

Room rates start from $195. For reservations and more information, visit