Inside the Shinola Hotel, Downtown Detroit’s Most Stylish Destination

The Detroit-based watchmaker translated its design pedigree into an effortlessly cool Motor City getaway.

(Shinola Hotel)

To say that pictures don’t do the elegant and remarkably well-designed Shinola Hotel justice is an understatement. The hotel is an homage to expert craftsmanship, remarkable statement pieces and the power of long-lasting investments, as well as a fitting entry into the world of the American watchmaker. 

The hotel is roaring back to life with refined dining options and a bustling event space, and Shinola just launched the seriously cool Clue: Shinola Hotel Edition offering a Detroit and Shinola-themed take on the board game that arrives just in time for the holidays.

(Shinola Hotel)

Of course, your best bet is to see the brand and the space for yourself — it really features something for everyone. After all, Detroit-based Shinola is so much more than a watchmaker these days (although they do quite the job at that, too). 

The hotel — situated in the heart of Detroit on Woodward Avenue — is quite frankly an incredible encapsulation of what the Shinola lifestyle really means. From richly crafted leather goods and timeless design to functional spaces, it’s a must-visit for any fan of the brand.

(Shinola Hotel)

A recent trip to the hotel drives home the point that, whether traveling from Michigan or New York City, there’s no time like the present to rediscover the joy of travel, especially if your favorite watch and leather goods brand is involved. 

Shinola now makes everything from some of the coolest sunglasses on the market to a drool-worthy line of home goods with Crate & Barrel. Each is better example than the last as to what it means to go above and beyond as a brand, and in a similar manner, the Shinola Hotel (officially opened in 2019) appears to have come out of the pandemic stronger (and cooler) than ever.

(Shinola Hotel)

You’ll find on-site dining options including some of the best coffee in the state, plus an American beer hall to go with your Detroit-crafted watch. It gets even better, because Detroit’s influence is found throughout the property.

Even the concierge and reception area is outfitted with custom woven artwork panels from Detroit’s Margo Wolowiec, and the hotel’s Living Room also features an array of local artwork. 

(Shinola Hotel)

The accommodations, as one might expect, are also stellar. Perhaps you’re feeling splurge-worthy and interested in getting a true deep dive into the Shinola Hotel. 

In that case, we’d suggest a stay at the out-of-this-world Canfield Suite, a one-of-a-kind suite with 20-foot-high ceilings, stunning east-facing windows, a handsome Shinola turntable and a well-appointed, beautiful living space. 

(Shinola Hotel)

Smaller Study Queen and Study King rooms are also optimal for travelers opting for a quick yet well-designed, elegant stay. Any option you choose will immerse you in the Shinola brand, as will on-property food and beverage offerings. 

The property’s urban Italian neighborhood restaurant San Morello, developed in partnership with NoHo Hospitality, is a buzzing spot that was packed on a Monday night. It helps that they serve up an excellent Old Fashioned alongside wood-fired grill staples like a dry-aged ribeye and an array of housemade pizza and pasta. Like Shinola, it’s well-executed and done efficiently and with craftsmanship in mind. 

Just as Shinola makes both durable dive watches and elegant audio gear and home goods, the property itself contains multitudes, including the casual, poppy and fun burger and shake joint Mister Dips. It’s a great spot to grab a quick lunch before you set out on foot to explore Detroit. 

The hotel is within walking distance of sporting hotspots, and nightlife (including your choice of indie concerts at Majestic Detroit) is easily accessible, too.

A visit to Parker’s Alley is also a must. Named for one of the first black landowners in Detroit, the alley, a pleasant and spacious stroll, celebrates local entrepreneurs with boutique shopping (from Detroit-themed apparel to luxury goods). Naturally, it also includes an expertly designed Shinola retail outpost. 

From your base at the Shinola Hotel, Detroit presents adventures at every turn, best tackled wearing a Shinola watch. If you’ve got the time, famed bar The Old Miami is an ideal spot to grab an affordable regional brew to accent your Shinola-centric stay with yet another taste of authentic Detroit.

And if you choose to while away an afternoon in the airy Living Room, with a fascinating book in hand, you can’t go wrong there, either.

The Shinola Hotel is as diverse and multi-faceted as the lifestyle brand itself, and well worth a stay the next time you find yourself in the Motor City. 

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