Hotel Indigo Detroit Downtown Opens Following $11M Renovation and Rebranding

Hotel Indigo Detroit Downtown has opened following an $11 million renovation and rebranding. // Courtesy of Nadir Ali/Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo Detroit Downtown, located at the southeast corner of Washington Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, has completed an $11 million renovation and rebranding, including the introduction of updated guest rooms, suites, and meeting spaces.

Hotel Indigo is a boutique lifestyle brand from England-based IHG Hotels and Resorts that captures the spirit of the neighborhood it is in. The renovation also brings a new bar and restaurant to Detroit’s dining scene — the Trolley Room, which showcases locally produced food, beer, and spirits along with the work of Detroit-based artists and live music. It is managed by Griffin Hotel Management.

“Before the era when trolley cars carried Detroiters past our front doors on Washington Boulevard, this neighborhood has been driven by the vibrant rhythm of the city’s downtown business and entertainment culture,” says James Gilmore, general manager of Hotel Indigo Detroit Downtown.

“As momentum builds behind the public’s desire to meet for drinks, take in theater and sporting events, and travel for trade conventions and weekend getaways, we’re finding that the introduction of Hotel Indigo to downtown Detroit is perfectly positioned to make this hotel every guest’s ideal anchor point, whether it’s for business, pleasure, or both.”

Originally built in 1966, the former Holiday Inn Express was converted to Hotel Indigo through a renovation in September 2020. The hotel is owned by Detroit CBD Hotel, an LLC owned by HPI Hotel Opportunity Fund, which is a joint venture between Hamilton Point Investments and BPM and Co. Inc. An additional $2 million in renovations has been invested since August 2022.

Hotel Indigo Detroit Downtown features 241 renovated guest rooms within the 17-story building, including 48 luxury suites. The suites feature additional living and sitting areas suitable for small meetings or social gatherings, and include kitchenette space, large screen monitors, and sofa beds. Guest room options include single king and double queen beds, with fully updated furnishings, bathrooms, and fixtures.

The building’s infrastructure underwent a comprehensive modernization and overhaul, and the hotel’s amenities have been expanded to include new meeting spaces, a fitness center, and an art gallery. Among the most significant additions, the hotel reconfigured the first floor to establish a full-service bar and restaurant.

The Trolley Room is a reference to the historic streetcar route whose tracks ran along Washington Boulevard. Featuring picture-window views on the boulevard and installations created by local artists, the menu incorporates locally sourced ingredients, and the bar offers spirits and selections from area suppliers such as Detroit Distillery and Rusted Crow Distillery.

In addition to semi-permanent and rotating visual art installations, The Trolley Room hosts a weekly Jazz Night series, which kicks off every Thursday at 5 pm Active support for working artists is a core commitment for the hotel’s management team, and between the second- floor gallery and the first-floor common areas, curation of the rotating program is a collaborative effort with the creators involved. Among the visual artists currently featured are Sydney G. James and Rachel Goad.

The second floor of the hotel features “The Michigan Room,” a refurbished conference room that can accommodate up to 100 people for a meeting, or 75 for a banquet-style event. This room can be configured to meet guests’ unique seating and audio/video needs and is among the areas with artwork on display. Pet-friendly rooms are now available, as well as an executive boardroom and valet parking.

“By redefining the possibilities of this location, which is central to downtown’s geography and its identity, we take our responsibility to contribute to the advancement of this neighborhood seriously, not only through our support for working artists, but also by investing in our ability to offer a place to connect the people who are making Detroit’s future happen,” says James Kirkland, partner and chief sales and marketing officer for Griffin Hotel Management.

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