Luminescent Ln-Pt2 metallohairpin complexes have been developed, and their intercalative recognition with DNA has been demonstrated with linear dichroism spectroscopy. The heterotrimetallic complexes were formed in a one-step reaction, by assembly of an aminopolycarboxylate ligand, a platinum terpyridine unit, and the lanthanide salt. The metallohairpin complexes bear a neutral lanthanide moiety and two positively charged platinum-containing intercalating units. The Nd(III) analogues are luminescent in the near infrared, and this near-IR luminescence is retained upon binding to DNA. The DNA recognition was demonstrated by linear dichroism spectroscopy. The linear dichroism spectra suggested that the complexes bind perpendicular to the DNA helical axis, confirming intercalative recognition accompanied by dramatic stiffening of DNA, which suggests bis-intercalation of the complex.