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New York City is getting a dose of the Pacific Northwest’s alternative lifestyle. The Ace Hotel, part of a Seattle-based chain, will open its doors to visitors in downtown Manhattan on May 1. There they’ll find funky flea-market furnishings and rooms with a wide range of price tags ($99 for a compact room with twin bunk beds to upwards of $1,000 for an 1,100-square-foot two-bedroom suite).
Although opening a new property — even one with wallet-friendly options — in the era of the “staycation” seems misguided, Ace founder Alex Calderwood isn’t worried. “Ace is well positioned for this economy,” says the hotelier, who also owns outposts in Portland, Ore., and Palm Springs, Calif. “We’ve always been a value for the price we charge.”
This story first appeared in the April 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
THE LOCATION: NoMad, a newly minted real estate term for the no-man’s-land north of Madison Square Park. Ace developers believe the hood is up-and-coming and others agree. The NoMad Hotel, which will feature more traditional accommodations, will open across the street this winter.
THE AMENITIES: New York-based design firm Roman & Williams (whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson) filled rooms with a mix of items, including vintage high school chairs, retro-style Smeg refrigerators (stocked with quirky goodies, including organic vodka and Korean instant noodle soup), Epiphone guitars, murals by local artists and Music Hall turntables. Those willing to shell out the most cash get views, too — Ace’s priciest suites feature curved corner windows that look onto the downtown Manhattan skyline.
THE RESTAURANT: The Breslin, an eatery from Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield, the toques behind downtown hot spots The Spotted Pig and The John Dory. The duo intends to serve up their signature gastro-pub fare.
THE BAR SCENE: No clubby rooftop here. Ace’s specialty libation is java, courtesy of its very own branch of the Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
THE SPA: Well, not exactly a spa. But guests can freshen up at Rudy’s Barbershop, an in-house branch of the kitschy unisex salon chain. (Rooms come stocked with Rudy’s toiletries, too.)
THE INFO: Ace Hotel, 20 West 29th Street; 212-679-2222, acehotel.com.