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When in Detroit, Sip Cocktails at Candy Bar

One of the most beguiling attributes of a superior hotel bar is its ability to transport guests to a desirably different world. Candy Bar, at the Siren Hotel in downtown Detroit, is one such romantic lair that promises fantasy from the moment you pull back the lobby curtain fringed with beads and step inside the cotton candy-hued wonderland. 

Brought to life by ASH NYC in 2018, the New York development and design firm also behind the Dean Hotel in Providence and Hotel Peter and Paul in New Orleans, the Siren is situated in the historic (and pre-revamp, sadly deteriorating) Wurlitzer Building. This high-rise “music house” dates from 1926, so naturally the intimate Candy Bar, like the rest of the hotel, has vintage vibes aplenty. 

Resting the night’s final Rob Roy atop a blush-colored marble table before sinking into dark red plush velvet is an elegant scenario indeed. ASH NYC, however, ramped up the old Hollywood glamour by weaving in nostalgic standouts like a faux white palm tree nestled into a corner, a disco ball that evokes the hedonism of chic bygone nightclubs, and most dramatically, a 1,500-pound Mazzega Murano chandelier from the 1970s suspended above the curvy bar, its glass spirals appropriately reminiscent of rippling bonbons.

This set-up is undoubtedly an ideal one for sipping classic cocktails, such as the under-the-radar rum-based Hotel Nacional originating in Havana, or the attention-grabbing Blue Hawaii with roots in Honolulu. There are also Candy Bar originals to choose from, including the Erin el Diablo with Del Maguey Vida mezcal, lime, ginger, and made-in-Michigan Water Hill blackberry liqueur. After an essential outing at the Motown Museum (the icon re-opens for tours in summer 2022), Candy Bar, at the crossroads of Detroit’s past and future, is exactly where you want to hole up for the evening.  

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