This Group Is Reimagining the Future of Boutique Hotels
When it comes to accommodations, Aparium delivers much more than another place to rest your head at night. Thanks to its collaborative, community-driven approach, this company is paving a new path for hospitality with each additional opening.
From a bygone department store in Covington, Kentucky, to a shuttered candy factory in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Aparium aims to redesign unused structures in a way that pays homage to the building's unique history, while also celebrating the local heritage of each particular city.
Below, we've taking a peek inside four of Aparium's 13 hotels across the USA. Keep scrolling to see how—and where—you can join in on all the fun.
Detroit, Michigan: Foundation Hotel
One of Aparium's most recent projects, the Foundation Hotel in Detroit, Michigan, was launched in 2017 as "the re-imagination of the 1929 Headquarters of the Detroit Fire Department."
The company's ethos of embracing site-specific heritage is evidenced in the way they opt to leave the original architectural elements in place, such as the soaring ceilings and grand archway doors of the fire department headquarters.
In addition to reinvigorating historic buildings, Aparium prides itself on forming partnerships with makers and businesses to bring forth local products to hotel guests.
For instance, at the Foundation Hotel, the company partnered with Detroit is the New Black, a local apparel brand, to create customized uniforms for the hotel staff members.
By creating locally-formed partnerships, the company is able to "help local entrepreneurs grow their business at a much greater scale," says Kevin Robinson, Aparium's chief operating officer and managing partner.
LaCrosse, Wisconsin: Charmant Hotel
Another Aparium property is the Charmant Hotel, which is housed in the former Joseph B. Funke Candy Co. factory that operated from 1898 until 1933. The hotel is named after a premium line of chocolates produced by the candy company. Ironically, the name is also the French word for 'charming,' which is aptly fitting for this stylish space.
"It is essential for us to understand the significance of the building and celebrate it —not knock it down or hide its true character," explains Kevin Robinson.
Architectural details of the original structure—which is now considered a historic landmark—have been carefully preserved and integrated into the new design, including maple flooring, wood beams, and exposed brick. According to some hotel staffers, these original elements still emit the sweet smell of candy at times.
Covington, Kentucky: Hotel Covington
Originally built in 1910, Aparium's Hotel Covington is acclaimed for being Kentucky's first skyscraper. It formerly was the home to Coppin's Department Store, in which it maintained a reputation as "the greatest store in Northern Kentucky" until its closing in 1977.
Robinson explains the mission of Aparium is "to ensure that each property remains authentic and genuine to its roots, using its heart and soul to create an extraordinary hotel."
He further describes that, as a business model, this approach forces the company "to create hotels that are completely authentic and genuine to the local market, each time."
Along with seeking buildings that possess a unique story, the group looks for properties that can support restaurants, bars, and event programming, as well as structures that can be transformed into robust hotels while still maintaining historical elements and structural integrity.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: The Iron Horse
Guests visiting The Iron Horse experience modern loft-inspired rooms housed in a remade 100-year-old manufacturing warehouse.
Because Aparium works to minimize waste and reuse the infrastructure of its properties, the industrial origins of this building have been incorporated throughout the hotel.
Encouraging guests to experience and explore the rich cultural and entertainment scenes of each city, Aparium strategically seeks out properties in vibrant arts and entertainment districts. This type of community partnership showcases the company's vision of invigorating local markets and driving commercial growth, while honoring local culture and legacy stories.
With 13 reimagined boutique hotels in cities across the USA—and more in the works—Aparium illustrates the stunning possibilities of adaptive building reuse, and the endless growth potential of creative collaboration within community inclusion.
Interested in booking a stay at one of Aparium's 13 locations? Check out their website here.
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