If you’ve read my Detroit Luxury Travel Guide, you’ll know that Detroit is currently experiencing explosive growth, and undergoing a transformation that is quickly making it one of the world’s finest travel destinations. Where only a decade ago abandoned houses and struggling store fronts stood, Downtown Detroit has become a bustling hub for all things exciting and energetic. That’s why luxurious Shinola Hotel, by the eponymous Detroit-based company famous the world over for their impeccable leather goods, timepieces and bicycles, is perfectly at home in revitalized Detroit.
Pet friendly, with a 24-hour gym, an excellent location near a future People Mover site (Detroit’s elevated tram system), excellent views of Detroit, impeccable customer service, posh rooms, sophisticated dining and drinking options, plus an indescribable “coziness”, Shinola Hotel is the best hotel to stay at in Metro-Detroit. Whether you’re visiting over the weekend for a Lion’s game or in town for an extended business trip, Shinola Hotel is truly a home away from home for the discerning traveler. Read on to find out why even locals should enjoy all that Shinola Hotel has to offer by booking a staycation at one of the Midwest’s finest hospitality destinations.
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Address: 1400 Woodward Ave
Detroit, Michigan 48226
Staff Helpfulness & Friendliness: 5/5
Room size: 4/5
Room Amenities: 4/5
Room and Bed Comfort: 4/5
View from Room: 3/5
Complimentary WiFi: Yes
WiFi Quality: 5/5
Proximity to Other Points of Interest: 4/5
Valet Parking: Yes
The penthouse suite we enjoyed was the exact same one Jennifer Lopez stayed in last year during her world tour, where she took this famous “Detroit” photo, on the balcony of this suite. It was such a fun experience to stay in the same room she stayed in, stand where she stood, and look out at the same view she did. If you’re reading this Jenny From the Block, (and let’s be honest, we both know you are a loyal reader!) just know that we completely stan you, Queen! It’s easy to see why this hotel, and this particular suite was perfect for J.Lo, as I will outline for you below.
This spacious room had a sumptuous entry way, 1.5 baths, a massive walk-in closet wallpapered with a glamorous geometric pattern, a large dining room and attached sitting area, complete with a fire place, as well as a large bedroom. A deep marble bathtub in the full bath was absolutely perfect for soaking away a long journey, and the floor to ceiling windows that occupy two of the room’s walls meant that this beautiful suite was drenched in natural light all day long, making it the perfect oasis to relax and recharge, take incredible Instagram photos, or to get some work done while staying in the heart of Michigan’s liveliest city.
The décor of our suite, like the rest of the hotel, was custom made for Shinola Hotel, and all of the leather goods were custom Shinola leather pieces. The velvet couch, while not made by Shinola, was one of many similar pieces custom created and handmade for the hotel, which means that no matter where you sit, you’ll be luxuriating in someone’s hard work, and expert craftsmanship. The suite had a gorgeous brick and navy color scheme, with caramel and cream accents, making it immediately feel cozy, lived-in and inviting. Although the suite faces Woodward Ave., a busy Detroit street, it was quiet and peaceful enough to sleep soundly, thanks to the super thick glass, and secure European-style doors that lead to the balcony.
The hotel room was stocked with standard hotel amenities, like a robe embroidered with “Detroit” on the back (was ours the same one my girl J. Lo wore??), and Shinola branded sodas. Inside the mini-fridge we found an assortment of Michigan based Vernors Soda as well as local, fresh-pressed, organic juices from Drought, which are also served in San Morello on the ground floor of the hotel. Our room had an iconic Shinola Record Player, and Shinola Bookshelf speakers, which retail for $2,500-$3,995 & $1,500 respectively), as well as several beautifully crafted Shinola leather catch-all trays, plus Shinola clocks on the dresser and in the entry way.
Pro-tip: When booking, tell “Carl” what type of music you’re into, and you just might find a carefully curated selection of records that fit your musical taste in your room for you to enjoy during your stay!
Should you fall in love with the Shinola brand after enjoying the assortment of their products in your hotel room, visit the attached Shinola store to explore their wide range of Detroit made goods. They offer everything from sturdy and stylish leather handbags, leather journals, leather travel bags & accessories, wallets, as well as their iconic watches and headphones. If you’ve read any of my gift guides, you’ll know that I’ve featured a number of my favorite Shinola products like this watch, this watch, and our Shinola bicycles, because not only are they some of the highest quality products available anywhere in the world, I’m proud that they are made in my home state. Wherever I travel in the world, I take a little piece of home with me by bringing along something made by Shinola.
Shinola Hotel is the most elegant and sophisticated in Metro-Detroit, and its design brilliance speaks for itself. Between the exquisite décor, with hints of Art Deco influences tastefully added comme requis, the expert craftsmanship of the handmade furniture and amenities in the hotel room, as well as the polished and intuitive interior design of each and every interior space within the hotel, Shinola Hotel is a masterful display of hospitality in the Motor City. Boasting ample space for weddings and events, corporate luncheons, bridal showers, or even pre-concert prep, the hotel is definitely a top contender on “Michigan’s Best Hotels” list, and has set the bar extremely high for any other hotels coming to the Midwest.
San Morello Restaurant by Chef Andrew Carmellini is located on the ground floor of the hotel, accessible to the left of the hotel’s reception desk, or from the street. Metro-Detroit’s most enticing brunch spot, this authentic Italian eatery caters to diners with a refined palate by utilizing only the finest seasonal ingredients, and traditional cooking methods native to Southern Italy. Keep an eye out for my full review of this experience, coming soon to my fine dining vertical.
What the hotel lacks in typical hotel amenities like a pool or day spa, or in-room coffee machines for that matter, it more than makes up for with its lavish use of local art, well appointed sitting areas, intricate botanicals spread tastefully throughout the hotel, and luxurious and comfortable surroundings as well as an incredible staff, all situated in the heart of revitalized Detroit. From the moment we walked into the hotel, we had several staff members, all smiling warm, genuine Midwestern smiles, eager to help us with our bags, show us around, and give us recommendations of things to see and do in the city. No matter what brings you to Shinola Hotel, you can rest easy knowing you’re in capable hands, in the flagship of Detroit’s re-awakening.
Follow Me for More: @AnnieFairfax
See More by Annie Fairfax
Baden-Baden | Bay Harbor | Bay View | Berlin | Beverly Hills | Black Forest | Carmel | Chicago | Cincinnati | Colmar | Disneyland | Edinburgh | Glasgow | Grand Rapids | Greenland | Hakone | Harbor Springs| Heidelberg | Holland | Indianapolis | Irvine | Isle of Skye | Kurokawa Onsen | Kyoto | Laguna Beach | Loch Ness | London | Los Angeles | Mackinac Island | Mexico City | Nara | New Orleans | New York City | Niagara Falls | Nikko | Northern Michigan | Osaka | Petoskey | Querétaro | Riviera Maya | Rome | Tokyo | Tokyo DisneySea | Toronto | Traverse City | Tucson | Tulum | Vatican City | Venice | Warsaw | West Hollywood |