Ace Hotel

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Ace Hotel
Founded1999; 23 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 and New York City. Founded in 1999 in Seattle, it operates hotels primarily in the United States, with locations in Portland, Oregon; New York City; Palm Springs, California; Seattle; Pittsburgh; Los Angeles; and New Orleans. It also has hotels in Panama City, Panama and Kyoto, Japan.


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

In 1999, the first Ace Hotel was opened. Friends Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel, and Doug Herrick purchased and transformed a Seattle halfway house into an affordable 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 locations, along with an experiential marketing company known as Neverstop, and an audiovisual arts platform known as ARO.Space with Pearl Jam co-founder Stone Gossard and Kung Faux creator Mic Neumann, who is credited for bringing in such artists as Kaws and Shepard Fairey to decorate the walls of various Rudy's and Ace Hotel locations.[1]

In 2006, Jack Barron and Tungsten Partners founder Michael Bisordi joined as owners. The group then opened a second hotel in Portland, Oregon followed by properties in Palm Springs, California and New York City in 2009.[2]

In 2011, Ace Hotel collaborated with Uslu Airlines to create a nail polish sold exclusively in the hotels' mini-bars.

In 2013, an Ace Hotel opened in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London,[3] where Calderwood had defined a goal of opening a new Ace Hotel every "one to two years", before his untimely death at age 47 on November 16, 2013.[4]

In 2014, a downtown Los Angeles location of the Ace Hotel opened in a former theatre, followed by Ace Hotel locations in Pittsburgh in 2015, New Orleans in 2016, and Chicago in 2017.

In 2020, an Ace Hotel location opened in Kyoto, Japan that was designed by Kengo Kuma.[5] In September 2020, it was announced that Ace Hotel London Shoreditch would not reopen after being closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.[6]

In 2021, two new Ace Hotel locations are planned to open in Brooklyn, New York and Toronto, Canada.


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."[7]

  • 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.[8]
  • Ace Hotel New York worked with Roman and Williams[9] to redesign the former Hotel Breslin, a 1904 building in Midtown Manhattan. This location features a Stumptown Coffee and Chef April Bloomfield's[10] Michelin-starred The Breslin[11] restaurant.
  • Ace Hotel London Shoreditch is in London's Shoreditch arts district, on the site of the original Shoreditch Empire music hall.[12] The groups first location outside of the US, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch closed in September 2020.[6]
  • American Trade Hotel is a restored five-story stucco building in the Casco Viejo historical district of Panama City.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • 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;[15] it was a parody specifically of Ace Hotel Portland.[16]

On her song Ace, rapper Noname talks about being at Ace Hotel in London.[17]

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


  1. ^ "The Man Behind The Ace Empire" by Matt Gross, The New York Times, January 8th, 2011.
  2. ^ "Sunday CEO: Alex Calderwood, Ace Hotel & Swim Club". The Desert Sun. 1 February 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  3. ^ "First Look: Ace Hotel London Shoreditch · HUH". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Alex Calderwood, Creator and Face of the Unconventional Ace Hotel Chain, Dies at 47". The New York Times. 15 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Kengo Kuma to Design Ace Hotel's First Japanese Location". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b Gibson, Eleanor (12 September 2020). "Ace Hotel closes London branch permanently". Dezeen. Archived from the original on 12 September 2020. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  7. ^ Torline, Monica. "Aces high on pop culture", The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, 1 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Ace's Sense of Place". Portland Tribune. 29 May 2007. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Style & Substance". Metropolis. 22 July 2009. Archived from the original on 31 July 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  10. ^ "The Breslin's Little Britain". 12 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Diet Someplace Else". 24 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Theatre-inspired interiors for Ace Hotel Shoreditch". Design Week. 10 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Panama City Gets a Facelift and an Ace Hotel". W (magazine). 6 November 2013.
  14. ^ Costello, Sara Ruffin (22 March 2016). "A Cult Hotel Opens in New Orleans". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Blunderbuss" review, The A.V. Club, February 18, 2011
  16. ^ Portlandia: Over | Flyer Wars | Deuce Hotel, Anne Adams, Portland Monthly Culturephile blog, March 1, 2011
  17. ^ Noname (Ft. Saba & Smino) – Ace, retrieved 6 May 2019

External links[edit]