The hotels of Detroit, Michigan, have embraced the musical heritage of the city. And how could they not? It’s the birthplace of Motown and techno, and the former home of Eminem, Aretha Franklin and Aaliyah, to name but a few. That means you can stay where the Rolling Stones once shacked up, or in a former record store. Alternative hotels are available for the less musically inclined, including the one-time tallest hotel in the world.
The reinvention of Detroit as a hip city break destination is echoed in this trendy boutique residence in the gentrified Corktown neighborhood. Music is a big theme here – stay in the Rolling Stones suite for the full rock star experience (the legendary band once stayed here). Urban art adorns the walls and chic cocktails are mixed in the bar. The relaxed warehouse-style Red Dunn Kitchen focuses on social dining, while Burroughs Lounge has an espresso bar.
Collaborating with community builders, makers and crafters, this hotel has a hyper-local ethos and a unique style. Dotted throughout the halls are works by local artists, while the bartenders’ denim vests were created by a Detroiter. The Apparatus Room, a historical dining area, serves New American cuisine created from Midwestern produce. But perhaps the greatest USP is the on-site Foundation Studio, a podcast recording space with a prolific output.
Once home to one of the largest music stores in the world, the art deco Wurlitzer Building has been reimagined as a glamorous mid-century hotel. It houses a gourmet restaurant with an eight-seat chef’s counter, a pink-ceilinged speakeasy bar topped by a Parisian glitter ball and a barbershop. Plush rooms are filled with on-trend antique pieces; alternatively, you can choose to stay in a more basic bunk room.
Now a Marriott property, the Book Cadillac was built in 1924 in a Renaissance revival architectural style. At the time, the 33 floors made it the tallest hotel in the world. It now features rooms with signature beds and baths, a Starbucks stocking prime beans, a steakhouse and a fitness studio. You’ll also find a heated indoor pool and a hot tub on the first floor.
This pet-friendly hotel places travelers at the heart of downtown, with convenient access to the transport of the Detroit People Mover and QLine. It overlooks Grand Circus Park and is just a mile from the Detroit Princess Riverboat. Rooms come with walk-in rainfall showers, coffee makers, flat-screen TVs, goodie bags for children and beds for four-legged guests. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center plus W XYZ, a comfortable bar with a pool table.
Comprising four restored Victorian mansions and two carriage houses dating back to the late 19th century, this is an elegant midtown hotel with just 40 rooms. With an on-site business center, it’s popular with those visiting for work. For post-meeting drinks, head to the relaxed setting of the Honor Bar. If you want to explore Detroit, there’s a complimentary five-mile shuttle service from 7am to 11pm.
Fewer than 80 steps from Little Caesars Arena – home to basketball with the Pistons and ice hockey with the Red Wings – this mansion was created by famed architect John V Smith. The 10 individually designed bedrooms have high ceilings, antiques and art, spa-quality bath products and high thread count linens. The boutique hotel also has three shared parlor lounges, a massage area, a European-style landscaped garden and daily gourmet continental breakfasts.
The upscale Shinola brand (better known for deluxe watches and accessories), brings its first hotel to Detroit. The result is a sleek mid-century retreat. Food and beverages come from award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini at San Morello, plus there’s the Evening Bar for cocktails, the Brakeman for beers and Penny Red’s for buckets of fine fried chicken. Dogs are welcome to stay, and there’s Parker’s Alley, a mini-mall, for some Shinola retail therapy.