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Fodor's New York City 2014
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Ace Hotel Review
The Ace is not your ordinary boutique hotel. The lively lobby melds Ivy League library with curiosity cabinet—taxidermy, mosaic tile floors, wooden bookcases, antique sofas—while the staff wear custom Levi's, Converse sneakers, and collared shirts. The vibe is unstuffy and down-to-earth, making it a popular hangout for freelancers and creatives. The rooms run from "cheap" and "bunk" (yes, they really have bunk beds) to "superdeluxe," indicative of the hotel's inclusive high/low ethos. No two rooms are alike, with original artwork and curated found furnishings like turntables, Gibson guitars, and exclusive Pendleton wool blankets. With two in-house restaurants run by celebrated chef April Bloomfield—the Breslin gastropub and the shellfish-focused John Dory Oyster Bar—along with the crowd-pleasing No. 7 Sub shop and Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the lobby, you won't have to travel for trendy dining or celeb-spotting.
Ace is the Place
Are there any other hotel lobbies that require a bouncer for entry on Friday and Saturday nights? Not in New York City, anyway. The Ace had its genesis as a utilitarian brand in the Pacific Northwest offering inexpensive boutique stays with offbeat outfittings like sinks and flags salvaged from flea markets throughout the countryside. But here in New York, it has evolved into a creative collaboration featuring of-the-moment food from chef April Bloomfield at the Breslin and John Dory restaurants, and cult brands like clothier Opening Ceremony and Stumptown Coffee. The hotel has become the nightlife nexus in a newly hip neighborhood, the Garment District (recently rebranded as NoMad, i.e. North of Madison Square Park). Even by day the lobby is a mobile office for New York's startup set, so bring a hoodie and a cocktail dress for your stay.
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