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Traveler: Detroit’s Boutique Hotels

Detroit’s new boutique hotels are reinventing historic structures. Honk if you’re ready to go.

If stylish settings fuel your wanderlust, there’s no better city to park it in right now than Detroit, where destination hotels are a big part of the city’s comeback engine.

Inside the historic Wurlitzer Building, The Siren Hotel (from $159/night) lures visitors with panoramic rooftop views and vintage-tinged rooms. A giant disco ball in the lavishly pink Candy Bar lounge sets a showy stage for cocktails before dinner at Albena, if you can get a reservation. James Beard–nominated chef Garrett Lipar serves Great Lakes–inspired creations to just eight guests at a time at the tasting counter.

The yang to The Siren’s yin, the Shinola Hotel (from $245/night) has settled nicely into the former T.B. Rayl & Co. department store and an old Singer sewing-machine building after opening earlier this year. In keeping with Shinola luxury watch/bike/leathergoods brand’s M.O., handsome pieds-à-terre boast manly decor, period-appropriate patterned wallpapers, custom millwork, and Michigan craft beer in the minibars—some rooms even have Shinola turntables with classic vinyl to spin. Lauded New York chef Andrew Carmellini oversees a handful of on-site dining concepts, from classic Italian to fried chicken. Parker’s Alley, a boutique-loaded stretch behind Shinola, honors one of the city’s first African-American landowners, who purchased the plot where the hotel now sits.

In the former Detroit Fire Department headquarters, the Detroit Foundation Hotel (from $219/night) earns accolades for accents like iron-welded door handles and leather trays made by local artisans, and preserved firehouse features like airy high ceilings, glazed brick tile, and arched doorways. Michelin-starred chef Thomas Lents mans the Apparatus Room restaurant, and a complimentary car service chauffeurs guests around a 3-mile radius in a Lincoln Continental, if that’s how you roll.

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