Los Angeles is one of those places absolutely blessed with an interesting hospitality culture.
Hotels are ever new, ever changing, and ever busy.
AirBnB may have fundamentally altered the access, and way in which people view travel & luxury, but mega hotel groups like Radisson and the acclaimed Small Luxury Hotels, are keeping interests piqued and satiated.
Today’s exploration of the City of Angels, takes me one cheap 15 min train ride from Hollywood Boulevard to Downtown LA, where I made sure to capitalise on the patchwork boroughs bargains and panoramic cityscape, to enjoy some hip luxury.
Welcome to Ace Hotel.
As you’ve probably noted from my various reviews around the world, I have become deeply engrossed in global hotel chains – especially when observing their evolution (or lack thereof) in the techno-powered age, and alongside the narrative discerning Millenials & Generation Z as the apparent destabilisers of many a industries.
The Ace Hotel is my next foray into the conversation being had about what should stay and what should go, in global hospitality.
This particular chain was borne in the late 90s – a trendy US hotel chain which today, maintains a firm foothold in a fair few bustling metropolis across the globe (think Kyoto and New York).
The chain spent up to two decades shaping their image, as being ‘forever fresh’ hotels in the cities they made their home – buzzing with frenetic energy and throngs of tourists annually.
The “how?” of booking a hotel, may have too many options presently – reputable and otherwise – but Ace Hotel has never lost sight of what will motivate visitors to darken their doorstep…but also what will keep them in (and spending) longer.
- Ace Hotels are all about great bars and cool pools.
- Their visitors are juxtaposed, but all don’t mind a good time.
- The hotels locations are endearingly quirky (they’ve even found success in converting a property that housed a fast food joint)
- And their branding is trendy.
Ace Hotels should be commended for having an in-house design team too, aptly named ‘Atalier Ace’, whose purpose is dedicated to basically ensuring all the properties speak the same vibe in relation to their distinctive locale – not from regurgitating the exact same design & decor though, but feeding off the landscape and visitors interests.
I enjoyed the LA skyline over cocktails, and it was rewarding and humbling to get perspective at that (height, price, distance) range.
Much like Mama Shelter, their Downtown LA hotel marries traditionalism and modernity, in a way that could probably be characterised as ‘art deco hospitality’.
I nearly missed the 13-storey building while munching on (legal as hell) edibles I bought after finishing a shoot in the fashion district.
The buildings former life as a movie theatre, which the hotel chain decided to keep the airs of, such as in the geometrically-lined external architecture (laden with concrete, terracotta, stucco, and smooth-faced stone), ensures it doesn’t stand out irksomely in the concrete landscape.
Legitimate art deco furnishings, wall drawings by the Haas Brothers, and windows stylized from representational forms, greets anyone entering the hotels vibey spaces – the inside and outside, a stark contrast to its white-washed Cali’ sibling, in Palm Springs.
I wasn’t kidding about the implication of Ace Hotels uniqueness keeping scores of people coming through their doors.
Did you know that the Downtown LA hotel, exists within a local landmark built by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford?
Ace Hotel has had a 20 year residency within the downtown Broadway space which is home to a theatre – known as the United Artists Theatre, formerly.
Visitors have the option of visiting Ace Hotels 3 bars, their rooftop pool, or booking in for some R&R within the hotels luxe rooms or suites.
I am very obsessed with the furnishings in the hotel, because a talented high-desert artist created some of the custom fixtures and furniture decorating the hotel.
One of my hotel weaknesses, is a fully-stocked in-room bar situation, as well as a luxurious tub. Whether small or large, suite or loft, the Ace Hotel does not disappoint in its delivery of snacks and quiet comforts within their rooms.
In order to appease hotel guests with new-age travel sensibilities, rooms here include:
A Smeg fridge
I did not know I needed it…until it was presented as a functional (and aesthetic) room perk
…because some people legitimately cannot even fathom travel without their best friend.
A hypoallergenic mattress
The general population is not actually aware of how privileged they are to not have their body react violently to what is actually within their mattresses and pillows. These types of allergies have inhibited so many children and adults, from choosing to travel.
However, the changing hospitality world, has begun considering this markets needs, as a necessary consideration for future profitability – as is evident in the evolution of restaurant menu options.
I wont even lie: I can no longer consider hotels without free Wifi.
Now, while the hotel rooms are a divine roll-out of reasonable luxury, its the dining offerings that bring Angelenos and tourists in, time and time again.
I stan a rustic aesthetic; And the Ace Hotel rooftop pool with its accompanying bar, is a nod to LA’s stripped down downtown, with its exposed brick, pipes and such.
Chrome and concrete have their severity tempered by: the bounty of fine liquors, warm inlaid bar lighting, and pops of colour that come from ever-changing colourful menus, and the ingredients lining the bar-top.
If you’d like to forgo the rooftop or room service, and maybe just want a bistro-style dining experience while in the vicinity, Ace Hotel has you covered there.
Best Girl, named in honour of the momentous occasion in 1927, when My Best Girl was first film screened at The Theatre, is known to be a favoured neighbourhood bistro…
“serving a menu inspired by the vibrant city of Los Angeles. Chef Michael Cimarusti of critically acclaimed Providence and Connie & Ted’s helms the menu with Chef Edward Carew running the kitchen, and Beverage Director Clay Wendel generously pouring the wine, beer and cocktails.” – Ace Hotel
Come to Ace Hotel for the cultural interactions Ace Hotel has crafted into the very fabric of their downtown hotel. Immerse yourself in hip ideation done right, or gather yourself while delighting in good food prepared by award-winning chefs.
*Key Cocktail Recommendation: The Super Bloom with Gentian amaro, pink grapefruit soda and even edible flowers, Or The Dizzy Bar made superbly, with Honey, lime, Puerto Rican Rum, chili liqueur and Caribbean Rum
*Key Food Recommendation: The Shredded Beef Street Taco or the Wild Shrimp Taco (because damn! That East LA Salsa verde is life).
I’m a fan of the philosophy painting the Ace Hotel with a comforting air of momentary freedom, and hospitality flexibility. I like their conscientiousness and their effort to reward visitors with something damn sure worth their money and time!
Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Address: 929 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015, United States
Tel: +1 213-623-3233
Open to the public every day from 11:00am–02:00 am.
Open every day from 11:00am–02:00 am.
Sun–Thurs 07:00am – 23:00pm
Fri–Sat 07:00am – Midnight