Hotel Indigo Detroit now open after $10m revamp

by | 18 Sep 2020 | Hotel Openings, Projects, Refurbishments

Following an extensivetwo-year transformation, a building in Downtown Detroit has been rebranded as a stylish Hotel Indigo property celebrating the spirit of Motown and Motor City.

Based at 1020 Washington Street in the centre of Downtown Detroit, Hotel Indigo is now open to the public after a US$10 million makeover, complete with an eye-catching design concept. We look at what this exciting scheme has to offer.

Geared around Motown and Motor City

The refurbished property, managed by Pyramid Hotel Group, has 241 revamped guest rooms and more than 1,700 sq ft of meeting space decorated with tributes to Detroit’s renowned musical past. The new aesthetic pays homage to the original building’s design when it opened in 1966 as a Howard Johnson Motor Lodge.

Hotel Indigo Detroit’s general manager Ray Balkey said: “Reimagining this space to become a Hotel Indigo is more aligned with the visitors to Detroit today – savvy business travellers, curious adventurers, and people inspired by new experiences – and together with our team of associates, we are pleased and excited to serve these guests and the Detroit community. Travel looks different than it has in the past, but our entire team has embraced new protocols and implemented cleaning and distancing standards to welcome guests to our updated property with care, comfort and hospitality befitting of the Detroit community.”

Immersing visitors in the Detroit sound

The property’s design takes into account modern aesthetics, such as bright fabrics, minimalistic furniture and rosewood-inspired wood finishes, with imagery based on the music of 1960s Detroit, such as rugs and headboards incorporating sound waves and musical instruments. Architecture, interior design and furniture specification services were provided by Detroit-based Kraemer Design Group.

Bob Kraemer, principal and co-founder of Kraemer Design Group, said: “Each building in Detroit tells a story and telling the Hotel Indigo story here in our hometown allowed us to bring the city’s history to life in a new way. Detroit’s musical history spans generations and reaches people around the world, and we envisioned a design that would welcome world travellers back to the place where it all began, with fixtures and features that would make them feel truly immersed in Detroit sound, but in a visual way.”

The restaurant and main lobby will host permanent art pieces, organised in partnership with a local gallery. Jennifer Dwyer, director of design at Kraemer Design Group, added: “Collaborating with local artists in the renovation was very important to the ownership and design team on the project. Sydney G James created an energetic Motown-inspired painting for the lobby and Chad Davis created an abstract mixed material collage/assemblage for the restaurant.”

Glenmont Capital Management purchased the property in 2018 when it was branded as a Holiday Inn Express & Suites. The hotel, whose new restaurant The Trolley Room will launch at a later date, remained open during the transformation process due to a phased approach to the renovations and rebranding.

Measures to tackle the risk of Covid19 have been implemented throughout, including deep cleaning, face-covering requirements, social distancing in public spaces and other policies led by the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan.



Hotel Indigo is a new innovative brand designed for the style-conscious traveller looking for the individual approach and facilities of a boutique hotel.