Furniture retailer West Elm to launch hotel brand

American furniture retailer West Elm has announced this week that it will launch a boutique hotel brand – West Elm Hotels – in partnership with hospitality firm DDK.

The first properties are expected to be located in Detroit, Minneapolis, Savannah, Charlotte, and Indianapolis and are planned to open in late 2018. Additional locations will be announced at a future date.

“After twenty-six consecutive quarters of double-digit comparative growth, including our successful entry into the commercial furnishings market with West Elm Workspace, we’ve created an active bond with our customers that can extend beyond home and work,” said Jim Brett, president of West Elm. “By adapting the framework design of each hotel to reflect the mood and identity of its host city, we will continue to engage the adventurous spirit of our customers as they follow us to our next level of hospitality.”

As part of West Elm’s ongoing commitment and relationship with makers around the world, each West Elm hotel will feature local design elements that celebrate community and reflect traditional décor, handicraft, cuisine and culture from the region. Artwork will be commissioned and curated locally for each guest room as well as for the communal, common areas in each hotel.

To test its ideas for West Elm Hotels, the company built mock rooms in a warehouse in Brooklyn. The room furnishings are custom designed for the hotels, including marine blue tile in the bathroom, marble coffee tables and 280-thread count cotton sheets.

“There is a growing desire among modern travellers to immerse themselves in the place they are visiting. They want a boutique experience, and expect great, reliable service that caters to their needs,” said David Bowd, co-founder of DDK. “Our general managers will serve as innkeepers, and West Elm HOTELS will focus on making real community connections for visitors and residents alike.”

A network of locally managed properties, West Elm HOTELS revolves around three key tenets:
– Wholehearted hospitality: Great service, personalised attention, regional knowledge and community connections will help guests feel like a local and at home.
– Distinctive, thoughtful design: Each property will have its own design point of view, from the exterior architecture to custom installations, such as locally crafted art and bespoke furnishings.
– Community connection: Communal spaces and one-of-a-kind experiences will bring guests and neighbors together in a relaxed, collective setting.

True to the West Elm brand, these tenets will be reflected in the design, programming and overall guest visit to offer an inviting and accessible hospitality experience. Guests will also be able to purchase the furnishings and artwork found in any room on-line.