Although the Industrial Revolution has long passed, the architecture, history and charm of manufacturing’s heyday is being captured in hotels around the world. From former paper factories to automobile plants and warehouses churning out chocolate, these seven former factories – previously manufacturing giants – are now some of the world’s coolest hotel conversions.
Refinery Hotel, New York, New York, United States
New York City’s Garment District was the birthplace of clothing production as we know it, revolutionizing ready-to-wear garments and swaying Americans to buy their clothes rather than make them by the mid-1800s. One such factory once spoiled shoppers with hats and a tearoom – today, it spoils visitors to the Big Apple in its latest incarnation as the luxurious Refinery Hotel. Chic and modern, the Refinery Hotel doesn’t forget its factory roots: exposed pipes and concrete ceilings are used as design features in this modern hotel. Another nod to the Refinery Hotel’s past? The pins with sewing needle, thread and scissors that staff members don in the former factory.
Cork Factory Hotel, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Industrial roots have remained strong in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country, where you can immerse yourself in Lancaster’s history at the boutique Cork Factory Hotel. Once a cork-producing factory during the 1800s, the building was later used to manufacture bottles and caps in the mid-1900s. It wasn’t until the 2000s that the then-abandoned brick building was reborn as a mixed-use community with residential, commercial and retail space. In 2009, the Cork Factory Hotel debuted with rooms that draw on the hotel’s factory past, as seen through the exposed brick walls and wood ceilings. You’ll be swept away by Pennsylvania’s historic charm here.
Craddock Terry Hotel, Lynchburg, Virginia, United States
Modern urban design comes from industrial roots at the Craddock Terry Hotel in historic Lynchburg, Virginia, once one of the country’s richest cities thanks to its manufacturing efforts. Before Craddock Terry presented itself as a boutique hotel, though, the name was better known as a shoe brand. The Craddock Terry Shoe Company once called this factory home, producing more than 2,500 pairs of women’s shoes daily. Shoes continue to dominate this building, where the hotel serves guests a continental breakfast in their very own wooden shoeshine boxes and treats their kicks to overnight shoe shines. Each room also features a shoe silhouette on the door, and yes, that is a larger-than-life red kitten heel hanging over the hotel’s sign. Dare we say the Craddock Terry Hotel is a “shoe-in” for your next stay in Lynchburg?
Fairmont Heritage Place, San Francisco, California, United States
Did someone say chocolate? Maybe not, but the Fairmont Heritage Place has certainly seen its fair share of the sweet treat. Before becoming one of San Francisco’s most luxurious places to stay, this hotel in Ghirardelli Square was churning out delectable squares of Ghirardelli chocolate. Today, the factory is home to one-, two-, and three-bedroom serviced apartments that offer a sweet way to stay in San Francisco. Beyond the in-room iPads, ocean views and marble tubs, you’ll also be treated to a fitting amenity: Ghirardelli chocolates, of course.
Paper Factory Hotel, Long Island, New York, United States
We’ll give you one guess as to what Long Island’s Paper Factory Hotel once produced. Yes, this 100-year-old building was once a paper manufacturing giant on Long Island, and today it offers a rustic escape from the hustle and bustle of New York. Exposed brick, multi-colored wood beams and metal doors are all a nod to the building’s past, as is the antique paper machine, floors embedded with newspapers and the column made of stacks of books in the downstairs restaurant.
The Factory, Kaikoura, New Zealand
Luxury digs and beachfront views are the new name of the game at The Factory, once a dairy farm on the beach of Hapuku. Today, this century-old building, its oceanfront location and views of New Zealand’s snow-capped mountains can be yours alone to enjoy, as reservations are only taken for one party at a time. The charm of the former Hapuku Dairy Factory comes from the hotel’s blend of the historic (wood beams and panels play a major part of the design aesthetic here) and the luxurious (including chic furniture, bright pops of color and no shortage of tech-heavy amenities). While you won’t find cows at this former dairy farm, you can spot dolphins, seals and whales swimming through the ocean just outside your door.
NH Lingotto Hotel, Turin, Italy
Floor-to-ceiling windows once offered workers a view as they produced Fiat cars, but today, those very same window views are enjoyed by guests of the NH Lingotto Hotel in Turin, Italy. The upscale hotel offers an art gallery, tropical garden area and a 1,600-foot long shopping area, but rest assured, NH Lingotto Hotel’s automobile past is not forgotten. Just ask the front desk for a key to the roof, where you’ll find an oval racetrack that was once the factory’s test track. For more fuel-driven fun, check out the nearby Museum of the Automobile while you’re in Turin.
(Main image: Paper Factory Hotel)