Look inside new Detroit firehouse hotel

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Detroit — The public’s appetite for renovated hotel rooms in downtown Detroit was evident Monday at the grand opening of the Detroit Foundation Hotel as hotel officials said all available rooms had been booked for weeks.

The view of the Apparatus Room in the Detroit Foundation Hotel on Monday in Detroit.

Reservations opened in early May for the refurbished hotel inside the former Detroit Fire Department Headquarters downtown, said Amber Rose Powers, a hotel spokeswoman. About 50 rooms were spoken for on Monday, Powers said. Once complete, the hotel will offers about 100 rooms.

“We are so excited that we can finally open the doors in Detroit. There are so many unique collaborators on this project. So much of Detroit is a part of what we are doing.” Powers said. “So we are excited to experience their work, too. They are the makers of this place just as much as we are.”

Powers could not provide an exact date for completion of the remaining rooms, but said they would be available in the next few weeks. Rooms range from $219 to $429, according to the hotel website.

The five-story hotel, which sits on the corner of West Larned and Washington, across from the Cobo Center, is a contrast of “old and new,” with features such as the iconic red arched firehouse doors and historic glazed brick tiles, which are set along side modern fixtures.

The hotel was designed by Detroit-based McIntosh Poris Associates and Simeone Deary Design Group, who together created a space that demonstrates an appreciation for Detroit’s past while celebrating the city’s exciting future, said Mario Tricoci, co-founder and CEO of Aparium Hotel Group.

Guestrooms contain reclaimed and repurposed moldings and “a reinterpretation of fordite sitting side-by-side with industrial chic and automotive inspired furniture pieces,” according to the hotel.

Powers said the hotel encompasses the former Pontchartrain Wine Cellars building, which is directly next to the old firehouse, and will house a new rooftop ballroom with views of downtown Detroit.

Local artists who took part in the hotel renovation include Detroit Wallpaper Co. and Architectural Salvage Warehouse Detroit. A small retail shop area near the front desk includes wares from local makers such as Rebel Nell jewelry, 1701 Bespoke, Mills Pharmacy and Aphothecary and Detroit Rose candles.

Guest and amenities services include high-end linens and SERTA mattresses, free Wi-Fi access, a 24-hour business center kiosk, pet amenities and 24-hour access to the fitness center featuring Peloton Bikes and Torpedo weights.

The hotel is also home to the Apparatus Room, a new American restaurant run by Michigan-native and two Michelin-starred chef Thomas Lents.

“I am thrilled to return home and join this exciting moment in Detroit’s story,” said Lents in a press release. “As a chef, I am eager to work alongside the local farmers and food purveyors to bring our menu to life.”

Spanning the entire ground floor, the Apparatus Room, named after its original purpose to house fire engines, has a central communal bar and is anchored by an open kitchen.

Serving modern American cuisine, the restaurant, which also opens Monday, will focus on craft cocktails, craft beer and will include a coffee counter featuring Anthology Coffee drinks and pastries.

Detroiter Anthony Lombardo sat at the restaurant bar Monday afternoon studying the new menu, which offers entree dishes such as Farro Risotto for $18 and Smoked Michigan Beef for $39.

“This is exciting stuff,” said Lombardo, a chef at Bacco in Southfield. “This is something Detroit has not had before. The menu, there is nothing like that in Detroit right now.”

Detroit Foundation Hotel

250 Larned St.

Detroit, MI 48266

(866) 808-6100