Detroit’s historic Westin Book Cadillac will undergo a $20 million renovation starting in January. Originally built in 1924 by the Book brothers—J.B. Jr., Herbert, and Frank—it was considered to be one of the top luxury hotels in North America during its initial decades of operation.
“This hotel is somewhat of an icon in the city,” says Scott Stinebaugh, director of sales and marketing. “Everybody has been to or has a story about celebrating a milestone at the Book Cadillac. So many Detroiters have a story they’ll tell you about weddings, anniversaries, the special occasions they celebrated at Book Cadillac.”
The hotel closed in 1984 and remained shuttered until The Ferchill Group of Cleveland, Ohio, bought it in 2006. Stinebaugh joined the organization the following year, and he was on hand for a $200 million restoration project that was completed before the hotel reopened in 2008. “It served as a catalyst of revitalization of the city that’s continued to progress forward since it opened in 2008,” he says.
He says it’s common for a hotel to undergo another “soft renovation” after about 10 years, but the Book Cadillac hasn’t had one—not that it shows that much, he notes. “If you come onto the property, it doesn’t immediately look like it’s in dire need of renovation,” he says. “But the hotel ran significant occupancy in the four to five years leading up to COVID, so the guest rooms had a lot of wear and tear and are ready for upgrading.”
Meanwhile the hotel changed hands in 2021 when Oxford Capital Group of Chicago bought it. Now it will undergo a thorough design overhaul that basically will leave no space untouched. The project will feature a new, contemporary look for its 453 guest rooms and suites, 36,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space—and for that matter, all public spaces on the property. Chicago-based Gettys Group is in charge of the redesign, which is expected to conclude in the summer of 2023.
Guests can also look forward to a new dining option. Stinebaugh says details about that will be announced soon. “The look and feel is going to be completely new and refreshed,” he says. “I think the public is going to be pleasantly surprised.”