I first toured the Ace Hotel over the summer and was impressed with the thoughtful layout and design, the general vibe of the place appealed to me right away. We were thrilled when they agreed to let us shoot the upcoming Boy Crisis video there. I can’t say enough about how great the staff was to work with and, as a result of the Ace being so accommodating, I think the video is going to be amazing (more details to come on that soon).
Owner Alex Calderwood opened up the first Ace Hotel in 1999 in a former Salvation Army halfway house in Seattle. In an effort to accommodate, and appeal to, musicians and artists, affordability was a top priority. Ten years later, Calderwood has opened up three more Ace hotels—one in Portland, one in Palm Springs, and the newest hotel in New York City. The Ace Hotel New York has 12 stories and 260 rooms. The affordable rates make you feel like you know about a secret inside deal at one of the coolest hotels in the city. As you enter the lobby, you can smell the coffee brewing at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a Portland favorite, that has a small coffee shop set up adjacent to the front of the lobby. Although there are long lines at times, it turns out that the coffee is worth the wait.
The reception area features an apothecary case filled with taxidermy (birds) and reclaimed laboratory tables that are used as the reception desk. The hotel commissioned artworks by local artists to decorate the lobby and many of the rooms. The lobby is a scene —bustling all day and night— with a laid-back vibe where at any given time you could find some hipsters on their laptops next to an eccentric artist sketching and a group of European tourists mapping out their next move. They kept the original mosaic floors and coffered ceilings in the lobby and it’s obvious that great care was taken in the construction and layout of each room, with a nod to the historically land-marked buildings’ origins.
Each room has a somewhat different layout and design; many include vintage refrigerators, chairs, and tables, customized Gibson acoustic guitars, plumbing pipes refashioned into clothing racks, and fur and leather accents and upholstery. These varied layouts enhance the illusion that you are in a cool apartment rather than a standard hotel room. And check out this view:
The event space downstairs, Liberty Hall, is another find. I first saw the space when it was raw, and then went to the Fader/ Levi’s show there in the fall and now it is completely finished and it looks great. You can use the whole space for a large event or break it down into three separate sections. If all of the above wasn’t enough of a draw already, The Spotted Pig’s Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield helm the newly opened Breslin Bar & Dining Room, which is located adjacent to the main lobby in a simple, elegant space.