Ace Hotel

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Ace Hotel
Founded1999; 22 years ago (1999)
FounderAlex Calderwood
Wade Weigel
Doug Herrick
Number of locations
Key people

Ace Hotel is a chain of hotels headquartered in Los Angeles, California and New York City. Founded in 1999 in Seattle, it operates hotels primarily in the United States, with locations in Portland, Oregon; Chicago, Illinois; New York City; Palm Springs, California; Seattle; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Los Angeles; and New Orleans. It also has hotels in Panama City, Panama; London, England; and Kyoto, Japan.


Ace Hotel Portland
Guest room at Ace Hotel New York
Ace Hotel New York

The first Ace Hotel was opened in 1999. Friends Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel, and Doug Herrick purchased and transformed a Seattle halfway house into an affordable[clarification needed] hotel that would appeal to the creative class. Calderwood and Weigel had previously founded Rudy's, a reinvigorated traditional barbershop concept they started in Seattle, which eventually expanded to more than a dozen West Coast locations. They also founded Neverstop, a marketing and advertising company.

In 2006, Jack Barron and Michael Bisordi (Tungsten Partners) joined the team as owners. That year the group opened a second hotel in Portland, followed by properties in Palm Springs and New York in 2009.[1]

In 2011, Ace Hotel collaborated with the cosmetics brand uslu airlines to create a nail polish sold in the hotels' mini-bars.

In 2013, an Ace Hotel opened in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London.[2] The company opened a property in Panama City, Panama, as the American Trade Hotel.

Calderwood had defined a goal of opening a new Ace Hotel every "one to two years". He died at age 47 in November 2013, shortly after the opening of the London Shoreditch hotel.[3]

Soon after, the downtown Los Angeles location opened in a former theatre, followed by a hotel in Pittsburgh in late 2015 and in New Orleans in spring 2016.

A location in Kyoto, Japan designed by Kengo Kuma opened in summer 2020.[4]


According to Calderwood, the style and furnishing of each Ace property is designed to reflect its location, with an eye towards re-imagining properties that are "challenged."[5]

  • Ace Hotel Seattle is a former Salvation Army halfway house located in the Belltown neighborhood.
  • Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, CA is a converted Howard Johnson motel, formerly a Westward Ho. King's Highway, the hotel's on-site diner, is a converted Denny's. There are two bars, the Amigo Room, and poolside, the Short Bus. The remodel was a collaboration with L.A.-based design firm, Commune.
  • Ace Hotel Portland occupies the former Clyde Hotel in downtown Portland. In its former incarnation, the hotel's lobby served as the setting for a scene from the film Drugstore Cowboy. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]
  • Ace Hotel New York worked with Roman and Williams[7] to redesign the former Hotel Breslin, a 1904 building in Midtown Manhattan. This location features a Stumptown Coffee and Chef April Bloomfield's[8] Michelin-starred The Breslin[9] restaurant.
  • Ace Hotel London Shoreditch is in London's Shoreditch arts district, on the site of the original Shoreditch Empire music hall.[10]
  • American Trade Hotel is a restored five-story stucco building in the Casco Viejo historical district of Panama City.[11]
  • Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles opened in January 2014 in the historic United Artists Building, with 180 rooms and a restored United Artists Theater performance venue.
  • Ace Hotel Pittsburgh opened in an historic YMCA building in the city's East Liberty neighborhood in December 2015.
  • Ace Hotel New Orleans opened in March 2016 in a 1928 Art Deco building in New Orleans' Warehouse District.[12]
  • Ace Hotel Chicago opened on July 1, 2017. This is Ace's first ground-up build. Situated in Chicago's West Loop, it features a lobby restaurant called 'City Mouse', 7th floor bar 'Waydown', and the first Stumptown Coffee shop in Chicago.
  • Ace Hotel Kyoto opened on June 11, 2020. This is Ace Hotel's first property in Japan.

In popular culture[edit]

The 2011 episode "Blunderbuss" of the sketch comedy series Portlandia had a sketch set at the "Deuce Hotel", where the obnoxiously hip staff hand out complimentary turntables and typewriters to all guests;[13] it was a parody specifically of Ace Hotel Portland.[14]

On her song Ace, rapper Noname talks about being at Ace Hotel in London.[15]

Bon Iver makes a reference to the Ace Hotel Los Angeles in the song "33 "GOD"" on the album 22, A Million.


  1. ^ "Sunday CEO: Alex Calderwood, Ace Hotel & Swim Club". The Desert Sun. February 1, 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  2. ^ "First Look: Ace Hotel London Shoreditch · HUH". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  3. ^ "Alex Calderwood, Creator and Face of the Unconventional Ace Hotel Chain, Dies at 47". The New York Times. November 15, 2013.
  4. ^ "kengo kuma to design ace hotel's first japanese location". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2018-04-09. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  5. ^ Torline, Monica. "Aces high on pop culture", The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, 1 October 2009.
  6. ^ "Ace's Sense of Place". Portland Tribune. May 29, 2007. Archived from the original on March 31, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
  7. ^ "Style & Substance". Metropolis. 22 July 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  8. ^ "The Breslin's Little Britain". January 12, 2010.
  9. ^ "Diet Someplace Else". January 24, 2010.
  10. ^ "Theatre-inspired interiors for Ace Hotel Shoreditch". Design Week. September 10, 2013.
  11. ^ "Panama City Gets a Facelift and an Ace Hotel". W (magazine). November 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Costello, Sara Ruffin (22 March 2016). "A Cult Hotel Opens in New Orleans". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Blunderbuss" review, The A.V. Club, February 18, 2011
  14. ^ Portlandia: Over | Flyer Wars | Deuce Hotel, Anne Adams, Portland Monthly Culturephile blog, March 1, 2011
  15. ^ Noname (Ft. Saba & Smino) – Ace, retrieved 2019-05-06

External links[edit]