In a world of boring black suitcases, the Vera Bradley luggage brand stands out. To say that this American travel agency is anything but a cookie cutter would be an understatement. Famous for their French Provencal-inspired prints, Vera Bradley’s quilted backpacks, tote bags, handbags and accessories feature cashmere and floral fabrics in a range of vibrant colors. Their cheerful designs are virtually guaranteed to put a spring in your step (and save your sanity at the airport baggage belt). And now there’s a new hotel that’s a must-see for Vera Bradley fans – and they’ll love it.
What makes the Vera Bradley brand so popular with travelers? For my part, I love his captivating, cheerful and colorful designs. But it’s more than that. Having one of their products is like having some sun by your side, even on the most gloomy travel days. And I’m not the only one who appreciates the comfort of the brand. Travel writer and photographer Robin Tierney sums up a lot of people’s feelings when she says:
“As a very energetic spirit who frequently travels for my writing and photography concerts, I have found Vera Bradley’s designs to be pleasantly therapeutic. I can visually trace its graphics while telling myself to breathe and relax. Looking at the intricate graphics on my VB duffel bag even helped calm me down from delays and plane / train cancellations.
These highly calming and mesmerizing prints translate well to Fort Wayne, Indiana’s brand new The Bradley Hotel.
The Bradley is Fort Wayne’s premier boutique hotel and is the result of a collaboration between Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Provenance Hotels. Located in The Landing area of Fort Wayne, the property is right at home among pretty cafes, trendy boutiques and nearby waterfront outdoor activities. Plus, Vera Bradley’s headquarters are also in town, making Fort Wayne the perfect location to launch this hotel.
Here’s what fans of the brand can expect when they visit.
You can do anything when it comes to design
If you’re a big fan of Vera Bradley or someone who enjoys unique hotel rooms, you’ll be interested in booking one of the property’s nine specialty suites.
Seven of the Specialty Suites were curated by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and are designed to feel like a room in one’s own home. Customers can expect colors like red, indigo, canary yellow, and green, as well as plenty of patterned fabrics in the upholstery. The other two suites were curated by Provenance CEO Katherine Durant and reflect her Oregon roots and love of equestrian sports. You can expect subdued colors, leather accents, and rich wood. No matter what you choose, these rooms are anything but standard (and so is their luggage!).
You can also expect sober views
Besides the suites, there is a mix of over 100 king and double queen rooms. While a lot more colorful than your usual hotel (think blue walls and bright yellow accent chairs), these Standard Rooms are pretty understated. Bradley fans will always appreciate the floral upholstered headboards and funky wallpapers, while those new to the brand will appreciate the luxurious touches of staying at a boutique property (like gorgeous rainfall-style showers).
It’s all about art
Vera Bradley’s team aren’t the only ones experimenting with color, shape and materials. The hotel turned to local artist Julie Wall of HEDGE Studios to create personalized typographic prints of native plants. Her work has been installed in all standard rooms to add an artistic touch. Describing his work for the hotel, Hall says:
“Botanical bouquets are made from plants found locally. They can be commonly seen throughout our region and some are generally overlooked, but still stand out for their unique patterns and leaf shapes. I wanted to create vibrant pieces while using just one color to keep them clean and classic while playing on the Vera Bradley motifs known to so many hotel visitors.
Meanwhile, works by artist Theoplis Smith III (also known as Phresh Laundry) and the Purdue Fort Wayne University Art and Design Department can be found in the building’s public spaces.
Local drinks shine
Fort Wayne’s independent roaster, Utopian Coffee, has a strong presence at The Bradley hotel restaurant, Arbor. Meanwhile, another local favorite, The Landing Beer Co, is stocked up from in-room mini bars. The brewery created the Bradley Brew just for the hotel. Meanwhile, canned cocktails from Blommington-based Cardinal Spirits round out the local offerings. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit Birdie’s rooftop bar on the roof. The Trois Rivières cocktail (made with Saint-Germain, fresh mint and Crémant de Limoux) is a tribute to the three rivers that meet in the city (the Saint-Joseph river, the Sainte-Marie river and the Maumee).
Customers benefit from unique equipment
Pets are welcome at this hotel (at an additional charge of $ 25) with their own bed, bowls, toy, treat, and a list of local pet resources (for pet parents, well sure). Plus, The Bradley has a feature you might never have heard of before – a witty room service menu. They have a diverse library of spiritual texts from different denominations that you can have delivered right to your room.
Check out the wallpaper in the women’s restroom. It features the State Flower (a peony), the State Bird (a cardinal), and the Fort Wayne skyline. Better yet, the motif has been transformed into a Vera Bradley bag – a bag that will only be sold at the hotel.