GM Renaissance Center
The seven towers of the General Motors Renaissance Center are a symbol of hope for locals. The glass facades are at odds with many of the city’s grand old buildings, but the center’s modern flair and role as GM headquarters make it a symbol of a downtown’s rejuvenation. A project conceived to stimulate the city’s economy, the center was completed in 1981 and has since been a huge boom to the Detroit area.
For a quintessential Detroit experience, stay in the 73-floor Marriott Hotel that occupies the main tower of the Renaissance Center. The tallest all-hotel building in the Western Hemisphere, it has nearly 1,300 suites. If you haven’t booked a night but still want to check out the view, jump in the high-speed elevator and head up to the top two floors. Coach Insignia, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant and wine bar, offers great food and views. On a clear night, you’ll see for over 30 miles (48 kilometers). Make sure you dress appropriately for a fine dining restaurant, and be prepared to pay a premium.
Visit during the day to explore the dozens of floors devoted to retail, including an enormous food court, cinema, upscale restaurants and various shops. Be warned that finding your way around the center can be a challenge. If you’d prefer a guided tour, head to the meeting place outside the Pure Detroit store on level one of Tower 400. Tours are free and depart twice a day Monday through Friday.
Opening hours for shops and attractions vary, but most retail stores keep standard business hours. The Coach Insignia restaurant is open Monday to Saturday. Parking in the center can be expensive, though there are deals for restaurants and cinema patrons. (Check the website for details.) Detroit’s light rail system, the People Mover, makes a loop of the downtown area and stops at all major attractions in the area, including the GM Renaissance Center.