The Ace Hotel: Giving New York a run for its money

Ace Hotel
20 W. 29th St., New York
212-679-2222, acehotel.com/newyork

The Pitch  Originally built in 1904 as the Hotel Breslin, the address that houses the Ace Hotel has undergone some serious transformation since opening in 2010 in its latest incarnation. Still, some of the most beautiful historic details of the space have been left untouched, including the lobby’s ornate coffered ceilings and original mosaic tile floors. Well-situated in midtown, just north of the Flatiron District and Madison Square Park, the property has all the makings of a great weekend under one roof.

While it’s unthinkable to spend more time in your hotel than necessary when visiting New York, you could have a hell of a good time without leaving the premises, which is designed to allow guests to stock up on fancy toiletries at Le Labo, eat at the Michelin-starred Breslin Bar and Dining Room, shop their hearts out at Opening Ceremony, caffeinate at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, get a haircut at Rudy’s Barbershop, and knock back oysters and Prosecco at John Dory’s Oyster Bar, then hit the sack upstairs.

What We Love  Its hum, which comes not only from guests staying in the hotel’s 280 rooms, but from locals and visitors lounging in the lobby, milling around the bar at the back of the lobby, or at the front, waiting for a serving of Stumptown coffee. The space was conceived to be a modern-day salon, which explains the hive of coolness and plethora of Macbooks. The hotel is staffed with an army of hip locals: There is no uniformed, stoic hotel falseness to be found, just a lot of skinny jeans and sincerity. My request for 3 a.m. pizza was met with great enthusiasm by the staff,  and a robust discussion around local pizza partisan lines ensued (with nary a push for their 24-hour room service).

The rooms are as charming as the staff. If it weren’t for the immaculately made beds and piles of plush towels (the hallmarks of hotel living), you’d forget that the Ace is a hotel at all. Each room is unique and feels like a funky little apartment. You’ll find custom artwork, maybe a guitar or turntable (with records, naturally) and uber-efficient designs like sculptural racks made from piping, a reference to the area’s industrial roots. Washrooms are generously sized by New York standards, and are well-appointed with hipster-approved Reigning Champ hooded robes and divine products from Rudy’s Barbershop.

Don’t Miss  While there’s always something competing for your time in this city, be sure to check out the fun that is to be had right under your nose. The in-house entertainment lineup is impressive, with a calendar that’s always evolving. Start or end your evening with a great indie band or cool-kid DJ. Or heck, stick around all night long.

Rooms from US$299 per night

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