The Ace is a useful card to play, it can be the smallest card in the pack or the Winner-Takes-All big gun. The Ace Hotel in Mid-Town New York City aims to cater to the whole deck – whether you’re counting pennies or splashing the cash. We really appreciate this democratic and generous spirit – afterall, isn’t diversity what makes NYC such an exciting place to visit?
What we love…arriving in the lobby bar. You get out of the cab, walk into the lobby, the music is up, the place is buzzing and you get a real, blood-pumping ‘this is New York!’ kind of feeling. By day it’s suited to coffee drinking and whiling away the hours on your laptop which is a real boost to anyone in a smaller or shared room who needs to take care of business.
As you’d expect the rooms vary enormously, from OMG lofts for the record execs to squeezier bunk rooms for the unsigned-band (but who’s sleeping anyway?). Throughout the decor vibe is rock n roll glam meets industrial army barracks (the ratio of ‘glam’ to ‘barracks’ increases with room category) so BYO camouflage & guitar case.
We stayed in the very special Room 408, which is not only bigger than many NY flats, it also has a huge dining table, guitar and record player – if you like that kind of thing (and who doesn’t like that kind of thing?). What it didn’t have were enough shelves to store clothes and it’s sparsely lit so you may want to pack a miners torch to wear on your head.
What We Love
The free apples, communal spaces, creative ambiance, in-house coffee shop by Portland outfit, Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
The in-house Breslin Bar & Dining Room looked like it was going to be a good thing; and our instincts were reassured when it went to win on a Michelin star.
It’s so popular that the atmosphere on our last visit could only be described as berserk, great if you want to party, but be warned if you were planning a quiet night in.
Room to Improve
The Mid-Town location makes it easy to get everywhere, but it is slightly limited in terms of eating and drinking – Greenwich Village is probably the closest neighbourhood with lots of cosy dining options. That said, with places like the Ace opening up, only good things can follow. Business visitors: the Ace lobby is so vibey that locals are happy for an excuse to pop in, using the Ace as your base could save you a lot of time travelling around town.
If you want to eat in-house make a booking well in advance. Rates are reasonable for NYC – definitely check out their on-line special packages devoted to art lovers and ‘starving artists’. This is a fun hotel – enjoy yourself!
Tips: Given their hair-cuts, the staff exhibit a lot less attitude than you might expect, but they aren’t always brilliant when it comes to dealing with problems or particularly attentive in relation to, say, the breakfast service when they might have something more crucial to do (such as talk about what they did on the weekend).
Without wanting to be paranoid, given the number of non-guests on the premises we echo the sentiments of hotel management and advise you to keep an eye on your stuff.
20 W. 29th Street
New York City, NY, USA
Perhaps this song is a little too exciting for bedtime, but then again, who’s sleeping? Patti Smith’s long slow take on Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit is perfect for The Ace.