Sisters turn 19th century Detroit mansion into luxury bed and breakfast

Posted at 8:56 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 10:33:05-05

(WXYZ) — "We're a community. We're in love with our city and we want to share that love with everyone else," said Roderica James, co-owner of The Cochrane House Luxury Inn Detroit.

You could say sisters Francina and Roderica James are the hostesses with the mostest.

"It's funny because people come back, they come back several times and we're like, 'oh, you're family,'" said Roderica.

Photo courtesy The Cochrane House

Together, Roderica and Francina own The Cochrane House, a luxury bed and breakfast in Brush Park, just north of Downtown Detroit

But the journey to their dream inn took work, especially because they had to remodel a 19th century mansion.

Photo courtesy The Cochrane House

"It was built in 1870, so the building is 152 years old, so construction was scary," said Roderica. "The journey was so long and it became one of those things where, well, I guess this is what we're meant to do, because we never quit."

Their perseverance and Roderica’s love of design gave way to a cozy space with eye-catching art pieces, a hub where guests can stay to enjoy the city.

"We meet so many great people and then we're always so excited when they actually love us, too," said Francina.

Photo courtesy The Cochrane House

From homemade bath salts to a thoughtful breakfast every morning, the sisters are focused on the details.

"The definition of luxury probably is the personal touch and the love that we put into our place," said Roderica.

Their interest in entrepreneurship was inspired by their mother, who passed away just a year after they opened their doors.

"She helped us put a lot of this together," said Roderica. "It helped her to to lay to rest peacefully, because she knew, I think at that point, when she was gone, we were able to take care of each other."

And it’s that sisterly bond that really makes The Cochrane House shine.

Photo courtesy The Cochrane House

"I love my sister, but I like my sister, right? And that matters. So that's the thing ... that's why it's such a great working relationship, because we have those things in common ... that we feel for each other," said Francina.

Roderica added, "we're actually best friends. We've been this way our entire life."

They're best friends working toward a common goal of fostering love for the Motor City.

"Even people that come through our door, that's never been here before, we want them to leave Detroit and love Detroit. And I think that if we can do that, we've done our job," said Roderica.

The pair says when you go to a hotel, no one really gets to know you, but at The Cochrane House, there’s that special connection.

Roderica and Francina say they offer special promotions and discounts to their subscribers to help people experience their bed and breakfast. So if you want to keep up with the latest coming out of The Cochrane House, you can sign up and find out more at