Since it's opening in early 2014 I've wanted to stay at The Ace in downtown Los Angeles. Like the beloved Standard Hotel that helped start the shift in downtown from derelict to hip in 2002, The Ace brings some much needed creative vitality to the area, and additionally some of its Pacific Northwest hipster charm.
Set in the revitalized United Artists building, The Ace houses a Stumptown serving coffee bar in the lobby, The LA Chapter restaurant, a mezzanine bar, and a rooftop bar and lounge — all of which are first rate.
My room was typical Ace fare. A comfy bed with crafty accoutrements. While the room was simple, there is something delightfully well designed about the place. Even the way the toilet paper hangs seems to have taken an incredible amount of thought. I'd say the style is somewhere between industrial modern, and 1920's ornate, with a few oddball Ace Hotel trademark touches here and there.
Coffee in the morning was a pleasure in the downstairs lobby cafe, and dinner at LA Chapter was incredible, striking the right blend between fine dining,and locally rustic. Cocktails at the mezzanine bar was more my speed than the über-hip rooftop lounge — save for the absolutely spectacular sunset I witnessed while mingling with people that were too painfully trendy for words.
Overall, this is one of those hotel experiences you won't forget. Eclectic meets quality. I'd stay here again in a heartbeat. Downtown LA is becoming the centre of this great city once again. A quick train ride to Hollywood, a ZipCar to the beaches, or an inexpensive Metro Bus via nearby Union Station to/from LAX airport keeps you smack in the middle of the action.
Chris Stenberg is a creative director, photographer, filmmaker, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.