I felt as though I’d been invited to join the most prestigious fraternity on campus. That’s what the guest experience at the Graduate Ann Arbor hotel is like. A cozy club ambiance welcomes you to the lobby, which is richly attired in re-imagined classics. Handsome millwork, wide planked wood floors layered with worn Persian rugs, immense Williamsburg chandeliers and a grand center staircase are interspersed with local artwork and mismatched accents.
The lobby focal point is a 40-foot community table where locals and guests hang out with a cocktail or cup of coffee. Perhaps a staffer will sit down at the grand piano and accompany your thoughts.
Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, a Big 10 school and a Midwestern academic jewel. The collegiate theme carries throughout the 204-room hotel, as I discovered during a recent stay sponsored by the kind folks at Visit Ann Arbor.
In my chocolate-brown guest room, the king-size bed was topped with a plaid stadium blanket and wrapped in a wool herringbone dust ruffle. The dresser was fashioned from a wooden library card-catalog cabinet. Whimsical artwork, retro light fixtures and traditional upholstered chairs suggested a “preppy eccentric” decor. The bath was on the small side but styled with a mix of modern and vintage references along with Malin + Goetz shower products.
It’s the dorm room I wish I’d had during my college days.
The hotel also has a lobby coffee shop, cocktail lounge and supper club restaurant, fitness room and meeting rooms.
A peek inside the ladies’ room reveals a pin-up wall of black-and-white snapshots, ticket stubs and school-daze memorabilia.
The Graduate Ann Arbor opened in April 2016. Formerly the Campus Inn, it was an Ann Arbor and U-M institution for more than for decades. The new owners, Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners, renovated the property and changed the name, adding it to their Graduate brand of about a dozen boutique luxury hotels in college towns. More are under development.
Whether you’re in Ann Arbor for a foodie weekend, art show or Big Ten football game, the Graduate’s location is a smart choice. It’s directly across the street from the University of Michigan’s Central Campus and walking distance from restaurants, shops and galleries.
Graduate Ann Arbor, 615 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Learn more about Ann Arbor here. Feature photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor.