The Dwell Hotel

photo by Anna Beth Corson

photo by Anna Beth Corson

The Dwell Hotel sits on a snug street in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. The three-story building, built in 1909, houses 16 rooms—each of them unique, thanks to the owner since 2016, Seija Ojanpera’s eclectic styling.

The hotel has been a dream of Ojanpera since she was a kid. She traveled extensively to look at other hotels in search for inspirations while dreaming up her hotel masterpiece. Driven by a profound appreciation for luxurious comfort and functional, beautiful design, Ojanpera single-handedly created this unique space.

“I wanted it to be a lot of fun,” Ojanpera says on her hotel’s website. “Almost an art piece; a little gallery in each room.”

The hotel is the perfect place for color lovers. Everything from the logo to the lobby exudes retro, mid-century modern sophistication. Each of the 16 rooms feature a unique timeless design complemented by vintage furniture and curated art pieces. Each one also includes exposed brick walls, memory-foam mattresses, and fireside sitting nooks.

Ojanpera personally selected, styled, and arranged unique pieces from the 50's, 60's, and early 70’s. Ojanpera collected all the art and furnishings, scouring eBay and thrift stores for patterned club chairs, funky lamps, and period figurines. This wonderous style is where Hollywood’s Wes Anderson meets the flower power of The Mamas and the Papas. This gives The Dwell a timeless visual flavor that cleverly transports its guests someplace wholly original, and costs around $275 a night.

When walking into The Dwell Hotel, guests can immediately see the care that has been put into the design because of the hotel’s continuity.

The Dwell’s hospitality is surely a well-executed work of art. The hotel is set apart by their prodigious service and unique design—it’s where luxury meets retro meets convenience. Because there are only sixteen rooms, the staff can give each customer the attention they deserve.

Ojanpera’s taste is not only visible through the thoughtfully designed rooms, but also the culinary program, and everything in between. The Dwell Hotel is also home to the elegant Matilda Midnight cocktail bar and the five-star restaurant Solarium—a plant-filled seating area where guests can enjoy breakfast in sun-flooded tranquility.

On the dinner menu, you can find eclectic dishes like pork osso bucco and a perfectly cooked honey-lavender duck breast. In the morning, a complimentary made-to-order breakfast includes omelets, grits, and biscuits and gravy. With two days notice, the chef will prepare a special menu just for you at the private chef's table. Colorful treats, prepared by an in-house pastry chef find their way to your room each day.

The hotel’s staff can map out hiking routes and arrange paddle trips. They’ll even pack picnic lunches or set up an in-room massage afterward. Hotels like the Dwell, give us a sense that we matter in any location. The very purpose of this hotel’s existence, is to tend to our needs, make us feel at home and indulge our childish whims as dotingly as any grandmother.