GRADUATE HOTELS, ANN ARBOR
By Rhiannon Taylor, August 2016
It takes a lot in the hotel industry to be innovative. It takes even more to know your market and capture it succinctly. That's exactly what Graduate Hotels, a boutique hotel group launched in 2014, are doing. Popping up in college towns throughout the USA, Graduate Hotels give guests a taste of university life mixed with luxury that perhaps you may not have experienced in your college hey day.
Checking in to the brand new Ann Arbor property, smart looking staff in custom plaid button downs guide you through what's on locally. College parades, game day schedule and hot eateries are outlined and within walking distance. Directly across the street from University of Michigan's campus and only a few blocks away from Nickels Arcade, the hotel is smack bang in the thick of it.
The lobby is a hub for guests. Parents of students and out-of-town visitors gather around an opulent 40 foot wooden communal table with leather chairs for work and drinks. Chandeliers hang overhead, beneath a ceiling clad in a wallpaper mural of library books. Velvet couches are dotted along the walkways and vintage pieces, such as Eames occasional chairs, create a curated and unique space. The deep rich tones and warm lighting are incredibly luxe and provide respite from all the college action.
The rooms are no different, with the cosy space being maximised to it's fullest potential. A unique wing-backed chair sits serendipitous in the corner, in a very "contemplate the future" kind of way. The bed is plush and comes with embroidered "U" and "M" cushions, a nod to the town's University of Michigan. Vintage posters and checkered curtains give the space a feel of yesteryear, drawing on a college dorm aesthetic.
The bathrooms are top notch, with a giant shower surrounded by sea-green mosaic tiles. Luxe bath products are from boutique lab Malin and Goetz and no amenity has been overlooked. Even the Do-Not-Disturb sign is a college flag signalling study time.
Downstairs there's a cafe and bar. A full restaurant is soon to open, but the cafe offers simple food done well. Mezze platters, dips and burgers are brought out hot and fresh. There's also a selection of take-away ready options, like salads and sandwiches for those who are off for the day. The bar is fully stocked and has some unique local whiskey's and wines.
With other locations in Oxford, Charlottesville, Tempe, Georgia and Madison, you're likely to find a Graduate Hotel at a university near you soon. Each with their own personality, they're filling a gap that has been left empty for so long. Who doesn't want a chic stay when on campus? Go Graduate, we tip our hat to you!
FEEL: College glory days
ROOM PICK: Any King room. There are suites available but we prefer to lounge in the lobby.
WIFI: Yes, complimentary.
RATES: Starting from $220 USD per night.
I stayed as a guest of Graduate Hotels.