Shinola is one of those brands that’s found a way to thrive in spite of the retail downturn. With more than 30 stores both in the U.S. and internationally, and a consistently expanding product line from watches and leather goods to electronics and bikes made in the United States, the Detroit-based company has become a rare retail success story. Now, it’s moving into the hotel business.
On January 2nd, Shinola and its partner–the Detroit-based real estate firm Bedrock–opened a boutique hotel in the heart of the city’s downtown. The space, created by interior design firm Gachot Studios and architect of record Kraemer Design Group, features six different bars and restaurants, event spaces and retail, and 129 guest rooms that are outfitted with Shinola products, including a desk clock, a blanket, and candle that were made specifically for the hotel. Some of the suites include a Shinola record player and vinyl library.
True to Shinola’s history, which entailed buying the brand of an old Detroit shoe polish business and relaunching it as an aspirational modern leather goods store, the hotel itself is a mix of existing historic structures and contemporary spaces. The design involved rehabilitating two older buildings: the T.B. Rayl & Co. hardware store, whose striking red-tiled facade was designed by iconic Detroit architect Wirt Roland and built in 1915, along with a Singer sewing-machine store first built in 1936. These refurbished architectural gems now sit next to three new buildings that match the historic architecture of the area, creating a larger hotel complex. With an emphasis on adaptive reuse, it takes its cues from other boutique hotels, including the Ace Hotel.
Check out the finished spaces above.