Ace Hotels, International
Ace Hotel is a chain of very cool hotels with its headquarters in Portland Oregon in the United States. It operates hotels in Portland, New York, Palm Springs, Panama City, Pananama, London, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. This is a great story as the group focuses on re-imagining properties that they considered “challenged”. Instead of demolishing a structurally ok building they strive to bring them back to life and turn them into a place people want to be. How fabulous is that!
The first Ace Hotel opened in 1999. Friends Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel, and Doug Herrick purchased and transformed a Seattle halfway house into an affordable hotel that would appeal to the arty crowd. Calderwood and Weigel had previously founded Rudy’s, a barbershop concept they started in Seattle that eventually expanded to more than a dozen West Coast locations, and a marketing and advertising company known as Neverstop.
In 2007, Jack Barron joined the team, and a second hotel was opened in Portland, followed by properties in Palm Springs in 2009. In 2013, an Ace Hotel opened in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London as well as a property in Panama by the name of American Trade Hotel. Soon after, the downtown Los Angeles location opened.
Calderwood had stated a goal of opening a new Ace Hotel every “one to two years.” He died in November 2013, shortly after the opening of the London Shoreditch hotel.
The style and furnishing of each Ace property is designed to reflect its location.
- Ace Hotel Seattle is a former Salvation Army halfway house located in the Belltown neighborhood.
- Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs is a converted Howard Johnson motel, formerly a Westward Ho. King’s Highway, the hotel’s on-site diner, is a converted Denny’s (restaurant chain). There are two bars, the Amigo Room, and poolside, the Short Bus. The remodel was a collaboration with L.A.-based design firm, Commune.
- Ace Hotel Portland occupies the former Clyde Hotel in downtown Portland. In its former incarnation, the hotel’s lobby served as the setting for a scene from the film Drugstore Cowboy. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Ace Hotel New York worked with Roman and Williamsto redesign the former Hotel Breslin, a 1904 building in Midtown Manhattan. This location features a Stumptown Coffee and Chef April Bloomfie;d’s Michelin-starred The Breslin Restaurant.
- Ace Hotel London Shoreditch is in London’s Shoreditch arts district, on the site of the original Shoreditch Empire music hall.
- American Trade Hotel is a restored five-story stucco building in the Casco Viejo historical district of Panama City.
- Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles opened in the historic United Artists Building, with 180 rooms and a restored United Artists Theater performance venue, in January 2014.
- Ace Hotel Pittsburgh opened in a historic YMCA Building in the city’s East Liberty neighborhood in December 2015.
The common design theme has a hipster vibe, ahead of its time, and includes re-cycled furniture, contemporary art and unconventional design choices. Clients are granted access to record players, guitars and vintage phone booths.
Ace Hotels are known around the world for their fresh approach and for changing the way of the hotel industry across the board. With passionate, creative ideas driving them, Ace has lead the way for boutique hotels with a difference.