The Ace Hotels is one of the most visible hotel concepts created over the recent years - ambience-wise perfectly suited to the zeitgeist. Several years ago, it was designed by three Seattle-based friends with the objective of setting up an accommodation that would be the exact opposite of the traditional idea of a hotel, a place where their friends - DJs, artists, magazine editors, musicians, designers - would also love to stay. It had to be a hotel for creative people who appreciated style while not being inclined to be too extravagant with their expenses - an accommodation with a soul instead of the latest style fad that would soon grow old, a slightly bohemian place that would still offer the indispensable minimum of comfort. The two main elements uniting all Ace hotels are the type of location - usually it is an old building in a previously somewhat forgotten but currently increasingly popular district - and its treatment: the history of the building is always explored to the smallest detail and respected - as are the customs and traditions of the neighbourhood. Each of the Ace hotels is created in collaboration with the local designers and artists, making the interior embody the patina of the specific location - a fusion of a variety of historical periods, vintage and contemporary styles of design. The first two Ace hotels opened in Seattle and Portland; in February 2009 they were joined by another in Palm Springs but early April saw the latest addition to the Ace Hotels chain unveiled in New York. The hotel is housed in a 1904 building located a few blocks from Madison Square, formerly home to the Breslin Hotel; the hotel's list of famous past neighbours includes the well-known American photographer Edward Steichen. The interior was designed by the New York Roman & Williams architectural studio (past projects of which includes Gwyneth Paltrow's house among other high profile commissions). The historic carcass of the building has been fully preserved, complementing it with vintage and custom-made furniture and design objects. There is nothing exaggerated, over-designed or superfluous about the place; the creators of the hotel seem to have followed the principle that the new luxury is more of a unique experience of senses than a roomful of unnecessary things. The rooms house some canvas works of art by renowned local artists; the decor makes you feel more like at home than at a hotel. The wardrobe is open instead of being concealed by the traditional sliding door; the clothes rack consists of bent plumbing pipes and shelves are substituted by steel boxes. Quite a few pipes and tubes have been used as parts of the bathroom accessories and furniture legs. To listen to some music, you can use either your personal iPod or the classical record player you will find in any room, complete with a collection of new and vintage vinyl records. Incidentally, the records are there to be purchased, not just listened to. The fridge is a retro-style Smeg and contains, alongside the usual selection of drinks, some food items - thus making you feel as if you were staying with a good friend instead of renting a hotel room. Some of the rooms even carry a guitar - for spontaneous improvisation sessions. Rooms belonging to one of six categories are available, suited to budgets of every size: from cheap and bunk rooms to deluxe and a loft with a panoramic view of Broadway.
Rates: USD 99 - 559
20 West 29th Street
Keywords: New York, hotel, hotels