The Siren Hotel brings some old world charm to downtown Detroit

As Downtown Detroit continues to see new development, visitors are flocking to The Siren Hotel for a slice of old-school glam.

The redecorated lobby of the hotel
the lobby of theSiren Hotel in downtown Detroit. Photo courtesy of the Siren Hotel

Detroit, the largest city in the state of Michigan, was once a hub of elegance; considered the ‘Paris of America’s Midwest’. Yet, in the last 100 years the area has been more synonymous with a declining population and a gritty industrial facade.

One boutique hotel, almost five years in the making, is on a mission to change that. Keen to inject some glitter back into the cityscape, The Siren Hotel is housed in what was once a musical instrument factory (the Wurlitzer building) that provided organs to theaters.

Designers at renowned firm ASH NYC have paid homage to the origins of the historic building, with vintage-style entertainment references throughout.

The hotel designers sought to recreate the romance of an earlier era
The Penthouse Suite. Photo courtesy of the Siren Hotel

“We sought to create a hotel that changed the Detroit narrative, which for the last few years has been about grit and industry. We looked back to when Detroit was a grand and elegant city; we wanted to recapture some of the glamour,” ASH NYC’s Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder Ari Heckman told Lonely Planet.

“We took inspiration from all corners. We found old terrazzo in the building and used that inspiration to create the bathroom vision, which brings in chrome to reflect the industrial era in Detroit. The public spaces were designed to reflect palazzi in Italy, old Grand Dame hotels around the US and Europe, and the interior of the building itself, which we found described in great detail in a newspaper article from 1926,” ASH NYC’s Chief Creative Officer/Partner Will Cooper continued.

Of the six food and beverage spaces, the pink-hued Candy Bar is a show-stopper. With its entryway curtains, velvet chairs, baroque mirrors and a 1500 pound Murano chandelier.

The Siren Hotel's Candy Bar
The pink-colored Candy Bar. Photo courtesy of the Siren Hotel

Similarly, ornate finishings are seen in the property’s 106 guest rooms – with plenty of fringed lamps, brocade, and embroidered Oriental-style changing screens throughout.

“Every room features rare vintage furniture collected by ASH NYC from markets and shops around the globe,” Heckman said.  “Each room varies in the number of pieces and vintage offerings but shares the same design language.”

“We love that you can have so many discreet experiences within one place. Our hotels are meant to provide guests with a point of view, and give them something that they have never experienced: you can hang out in the lobby on a 19th century daybed; you can get a haircut from Sebastian Jackson at the barber shop; you can stroll down a black corridor to an eight-seat tasting counter and have world-renowned cuisine from James-Beard-nominated chef Garrett Lipar at Albena,” Cooper added.

The Siren Hotel makeover reflects the ambience of another age
Reception area at the Siren Hotel. Photo courtesy of the Siren Hotel

It makes sense when you consider that the hotel moniker, The Siren, is inspired by the mythological Greek half-bird, half-woman creature who lured sailors by the sweetness of her song. This hotel certainly acts like a klaxon, calling people back to the city of Detroit once more.