City Escapes

Pack your bags for a honeymoon staycation downtown
The Siren Hotel’s lobby and the penthouse suite both have an eclectic mix of colorful vintage decor that will make you feel as if you’re at a tropical retreat.
The Siren Hotel’s lobby and the penthouse suite both have an eclectic mix of colorful vintage decor that will make you feel as if you’re at a tropical retreat. – Courtesy of the Siren Hotel Detroit

The Siren 

Near Grand Circus Park in the formerly abandoned Wurlitzer Building, where musical instruments were once made and sold, stands The Siren, a newish (2018) hotel inspired by the city’s Old World lodgings. The 1926 Italian Renaissance-style building stood empty for decades before it was purchased in 2015 and renovated into the 106-room hotel with five food and beverage spaces, two retail shops, and more. Look up when you enter the lobby, and you’ll see an exposed and faded original ceiling fragment, an atmospheric nod to the building’s history and one that also inspired the hotel’s color palette. 

penthouse suite with an eclectic mix of colorful vintage decor
Courtesy of the Siren Hotel Detroit

Unabashedly romantic, the moody lobby also includes gilded mirrors, a reclaimed disco ball, and French-inspired antiques, including a canopied and painted bed. Walk through the beaded curtain at the back, and you’ll find Candy Bar, a tiny pink palace of a watering hole capped by a vintage Murano glass chandelier found in Paris. Farther back is Albena, an eight-seat chef’s table that serves two seven-course meals daily, and the entrance to Sid Gold’s Request Room, a hidden piano bar open Wednesday through Saturday. It will also be home to a new rooftop bar, which is expected to open this summer. 

Courtesy of the Siren Hotel Detroit

“Every room is different,” assistant general manager Ash Haque says of the accommodations, and many sport views of surrounding structures such as Comerica Park and the Detroit Athletic Club. “They’re not big and grand — more cozy and chic,” he explains. Suites have loft-style layouts and circular staircases with velvet sofas, tables, and eagle’s-eye views of the surrounding cityscape. Book the penthouse suite, and you’ll enjoy floor-to-ceiling windows, your own dining room, and a second-floor bedroom. Rooms start at $229. 

1509 Broadway St.; 

Foundation Hotel

Courtesy of the Detroit Foundation Hotel

“We kept all of the imperfections along with all of the beauty,” explains general manager James Dannecker, as he points out the white subway tile, high ceilings, and other original features in the restored Detroit Foundation Hotel. Located across from Huntington Place (formerly Cobo Hall), the 100-room boutique-style hotel opened in 2017 out of two historic Detroit buildings: the Detroit Fire Department headquarters, built in 1929, and the Pontchartrain Wine Cellars, which dates back to the late 19th century.   

Courtesy of the Detroit Foundation Hotel

Where possible, the design team reused original architectural features. Where it wasn’t, they sourced vintage elements from other Detroit locations, Dannecker explains. “Our goal was to lean into the city’s renaissance and rebuild Detroit with Detroit.” The rooms feature beds with reclaimed wood headboards and wallpaper depicting local landmarks, custom designed by Detroit Wallpaper Co. In-room snacks include Germack nuts and other Michigan products. Guests looking to catch up on some reading will also find copies of Detroit: The Dream Is Now by Michel Arnaud. Those who splurge on the oversize Commissioner’s Suite can spread out in a wood-paneled space that served as the fire department commissioner’s office in the 1930s, complete with a full-size pool table, luxe leather furniture, and a king-size bed. 

Courtesy of the Detroit Foundation Hotel

There’s no need to leave the building when it comes time for dinner. The first-floor Apparatus Room, once a storage site for fire equipment (the name is original), is today one of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants. Room rates start at $279.

Courtesy of the Detroit Foundation Hotel

250 W. Larned St.;

Shinola Hotel 

Courtesy of Shinola Hotel

Request a Gallery King junior suite at the eight-story Shinola Hotel, and you’ll be treated to a space with seven huge, almost floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over Woodward Avenue. Depending on the room’s location, views range from the new skyscraper rising from the former Hudson’s site to the Guardian and Penobscot buildings, or even Campus Martius Park in the distance.  

Courtesy of Shinola Hotel

When you’re able to tear yourself away from ogling the vintage facades around and below you, press a button that whisks the shades shut. Only then can you appreciate the room’s interior, decorated with subtle blond furniture and a contemporary palette of black, white, and tan. The same restful hues are echoed in furnishings, including the king-size bed and velvet sofa, as well as the oversize bathroom, stocked with high-end toiletries and a boxer-style hooded robe with “Detroit” emblazoned on the back. Thoughtful extras include a Shinola blanket, a sleep machine tucked in a bedside drawer, and a “You Look Beautiful” card in the vanity drawer.

Courtesy of Shinola Hotel

The hotel, the flagship of the ever-expanding Detroit-based brand, opened in 2019 with 129 rooms in a collection of historic buildings on the corner of Woodward and Grand River, once home to the T.B. Rayl Co. department store and Singer sewing machine company. Room sizes vary, but all include the same carefully curated furnishings and Detroit-centric amenities. If you’re looking to splurge, consider The Canfield suite, which includes a separate dining area and a living room gas fireplace. In the evening, relax in one of the public areas filled with Motown art or dine in one of the on-site restaurants, such as San Morello, which serves up southern Italian cuisine. Rooms start at $235. 

1400 Woodward Ave.;

Trumbull &
Porter Hotel

Trumbull and Porter Hotel
Courtesy of Trumbull and Porter Hotel

Huge red lips mark the door to the Rolling Stones Suite at Corktown’s 144-room Trumbull & Porter Hotel. Located a little farther out of town, this onetime Holiday Inn hosted the iconic band in 1964, when they played at Olympia Stadium. The Detroit Free Press detailed the band’s stay, noting that the general manager at the time had to call the police to help manage crowds. 

The two-room first-floor suite is the hotel’s largest and most popular, with a king-size bed, a separate sitting area, and its own mini-kitchen. It’s decorated with Stones-inspired murals and memorabilia, including photos, album covers, newspaper clippings, and even a vintage guitar. You can even spin a few tunes on the in-room record player. All rooms feature locally sourced furniture, textiles, and design; romantic king suites with whirlpool feature in-room Jacuzzis.    

While you won’t get penthouse views from this four-story hotel, you can see the Penobscot and the Renaissance Center in the distance from Trumbull-facing rooms. Two blocks from where Tiger Stadium stood, the sleek urban space includes custom-made furniture by Detroit artisans and works by city-centric artists. Walk into the lobby, and you’ll find poetry by local David Blair emblazoned on a large wall, as well as plants, books, old Burroughs adding machines, and the nearby Burroughs Lounge, where you can get pour-over coffee and baked goods. The hotel’s restaurant, Red Dunn Kitchen, is temporarily closed and is expected to reopen later this year. Rates start at $179 for a standard queen room. 

1331 Trumbull St.;

The Detroit Club 

Premium king suites are surprisingly spacious, and many offer in-room Jacuzzis or clawfoot tubs
Courtesy Alanna St Laurent Photography

Leaded-glass windows frame the entrance to this venerable structure built in 1891 to house Detroit’s oldest club. Inside, elegantly restored public rooms on the first floor offer a taste of what the city would have been like in the late 19th century. “They don’t build like this anymore,” says sales and marketing manager Matthew Laurinec, whose goal is to share the architectural treasure with a wider audience.  

The Detroit Club: showing room's private patio - Courtesy Alanna St Laurent Photography
Courtesy Alanna St Laurent Photography

The club opened its 21 rooms to the public after a complete renovation in 2018, he says (nonmember guests are required to purchase a $25 club pass, which entitles them to full membership privileges during their stay). The public areas and original 10 rooms were renovated, and 11 new luxury suites added, carved from second-floor spaces that once comprised a ballroom and conference area. Premium king suites are surprisingly spacious, and many offer in-room Jacuzzis or clawfoot tubs. One room has a nonworking fireplace that once occupied the ballroom; another has views of the Penobscot Building, the former Detroit Free Press building, and the Guardian Building, as well as a private patio. “All are different, so you get a unique experience every time you stay,” Laurinec says. 

Enjoy a drink and live music in The Library cocktail bar
Courtesy Alanna St Laurent Photography

Enjoy a drink and live music in The Library cocktail bar, or dine at Bohemia, the on-site restaurant. Afterward, escape the winter chill in the club’s lower-level spa, a onetime bowling alley that now includes a fitness room and an enclosed saltwater grotto, where you can enjoy Champagne and a charcuterie board while you soak. Rates start at $350.

712 Cass Ave.;