The Vibe: Mid-century modern, Hollywood glamour and South Beach rolled into one.
The Area: Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The DNA: Animated by the hotel brochures she collected on family vacations, as a kid, Seija Ojanpera “drew small inns with wine bars and walls full of fresh flowers.” A service industry vet since she was 15, Ojanpera decided it was time to embrace her childhood calling when a circa-1909 building was up for grabs in downtown Chattanooga. Drawn to the city by her friend and now business partner Allan Davis, she fell in love with the growing town’s energy. “It was on the cusp of a culture boom, and you got the sense you could invent something here.” Chattanooga is small, she points out, but “when you are in our little nook,” you feel like “you may be in a larger metropolis. The old Times Free Press building, with Art Deco trim and lighting, is next door. The city council building behind us is marble and grand.” She wanted The Dwell to stand out as the only glamorous boutique alternative to the chain hotels in the area. And it does: The Dwell evokes the same sophistication of yesteryear by emphasizing a midcentury aesthetic; a base palette of black, white, and gold; and elements like milk glass globe lighting, black and white bathrooms with soaking tubs, and gas fireplaces accentuated by whitewashed brick and mosaic tile.
Suite-Me-Up: Each of the 16 rooms are different, so it’s possible to get a slightly different vibe in each. The Tiki (an executive suite) has a tropical-themed mini-bar, gas fireplace, and sitting room with bold palm frond wallpaper while The Pink Lady (king suite) has original art featuring a lady dressed in pink, a writing desk with blush accents, bold geometric wallpaper, and exposed brick.
Seen: dezeen, Hospitality Design, WeHeart
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 16 rooms (28-56m2) • hotel opened: May 2016 (originally Stone Fort Inn, 1909) • architecture: Cogent Studios • interior design: Seija Ojanpera • bathroom amenities: C.O. Bigelow • on-site parking (charged) • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk