Midwest Living Review
In upscale Novi, 30 miles west of Detroit (right off Interstate-96), the 155-room Baronette has been taken over by Marriott's Renaissance brand, their boutique upper-end offering. The hotel's new look emphasizes Michigan themes -- music, manufacturing and cars. The lobby emulates a Northern Michigan lodge -- with a sleek twist. Next door, a library-type space incorporates a farmhouse table with outlets and jacks for computers and phones. Even the white-shelved gift shop is charming, with personal items stored in tin basins and local candy (Detroit-based Sanders and Morley) displayed in apothecary jars. The extensive collection of art -- all locally produced -- is from Detroit's Center for Creative Studies and Cranbrook Art Academy. The identical bedrooms are large and comfortable, with flat-screen TVs, big walnut dressers with brushed-nickel pulls and lots of closet space. The restaurant is another Michigan shrine and features several distinct spaces. One room is a cozy, dim-lit space, the next is diner-esque. The third houses the market and bar, which sells about 100 kinds of wine for consumption at home or in the restaurant. Guests can purchase these at retail prices to drink with dinner for a 7 percent corkage fee. Next to the wine shrine, a deli counter showcases house-cured meats. The chef studied under Brian Polcyn, a local culinary demigod who has fronted the locavore Michigan foraging movement, and local ingredients are the menu's backbone. The restaurant uses many Michigan ingredients, including Zingerman's cheese, Vernors ginger ale, Pinconning cheese and Lake Huron trout. Entrees are $15-$25; rooms from $129.