Detroit's Shinola Hotel welcomes guests on Tuesday

Posted at 5:11 AM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-02 05:11:45-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — After two years of anticipation, Shinola is prepared to unveil its boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Detroit.

The brand best known for watches and leather goods is now in the accommodations business, and beginning Tuesday , they're welcome guests for their first official night open to the public.

Reservations went live last month on the website showcasing rooms beginning at $195 and topping out at $1,085 — the first chance you’ll have to stay in the hotel will be Jan. 2. As of Tuesday morning, the hotel has three types of rooms available for check-in Jan. 2 and check-out Jan. 3.

The boutique style hotel is the culmination of a multi-million construction project that renovated existing buildings, combining them with a new building to create an 8-story, 129 room hotel along Woodward Avenue and Grand River.

Originally slated to open in Fall 2018, the hotel will be showcased to media in the afternoon ahead of the opening of San Morello, the new Italian restaurant which will begin serving dinner Tuesday night.

The attention to detail shows — an early preview of the lobby and “living room space” showcased a variety of artwork ranging from canvas, to black-and-white photography. Books lie around the spacious room varying in topic from design to classic literature, and a real fireplace throws heat as you walk down a grand staircase that includes the original hand-railing from the old building.

Eventually, there will be three restaurants, but San Morello is the initial draw — chef Andrew Carmellini will run all three through his NoHo Hospitality group. Known for a variety of eateries in New York, Carmellini said he jumped at the chance to open the Italian restaurant on the first floor of the Shinola Hotel.

“Detroit has an amazing chef culture already, especially the last five years there are a lot of great chef run restaurants here,” said Chef Carmellini.

The focus for San Morello will be on southern Italy food — so, food you’d find in Sicily, Campania and Puglia. Dinner will be served initially, but eventually breakfast, brunch and lunch will be added to the fold. According to Chef Carmellini, the must-have dish is a family recipe he’s simply calling, ‘my grandmother’s ravioli.’

Tuesday’s opening of the first Shinola Hotel begins with tours at 4 p.m. — speakers including Bedrock’s Dan Gilbert and Shinola Founder Tom Kartsotis will speak about their partnership to make the hotel become a reality. WXYZ will be in attendance and plans to take our viewers behind-the-scene for a look at Detroit’s newest hotel. Check back later for a more in-depth look, or watch the video posted above for a sneak-peak inside the main room as you enter the lobby of the building.