The Ace of Spades

Ace Hotel Kitten

This week’s hotel spotlight features the Ace Hotel of Portland, located off SW Stark St and 10th Avenue. This particular hotel trip was designed as an educational tour for my Terminal Studio Project at the University of Oregon. I hope to one day show more of my work on that project, but for now you get the beautiful shots of The Ace.

For those of you interested in hotel design, The Ace Hotel model is something very different than your cookie cutter sleeping pad. One of the most interesting aspects of the business is that each hotel strives to make the Ace brand unique to its city. For instance, the Ace Hotel of Portland heavily focuses on our three favorite R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The Portland Branch has done this by revamping an older Clyde Hotel, which according to Portland History was also a station for the Oregon Electric Street car during its 20ish years of service. With this simple step of adaptively reusing one of Portland’s historical treasures, The Ace Hotel of Portland feels rooted in fabric of the area plus the Pearl District’s New Urbanist Eco-Chic mentality crossed with the culture of weird piercings of the young 20 something, Stumptown Coffee drinking, skinny jeaned local flavor. And it works beautifully.

On top of the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, all Ace hotels hook up with local artists to design one-of-a-kind installations in each room. This includes the walls, blankets, desks, end tables and the bar of soap you use in your bathroom. Each room has a unique character while sticking to the same materials and colors. I have included some pictures to show you exactly what kind of pieces you would be living with as a client in one of The Ace’s rooms. To me, it is like living in a show room more than some crash pad in a hotel. Plus, how many hotels do you know include a record player and and library to its patrons? Or a full bookshelf filled with new books like, “The Tipping Point” or “The Omnivore’s Dilemma“? Plus, if you are not happy with their selection, you can always walk across the street to Powell’s Books and grab some other literary classic of your choosing.

You might be wondering, ‘Alright, you have sold me on The Ace but I have got a tight budget.’ No Problem. One of the other interesting parts of the Portland Ace is that while it has the standard single, double, and corner suites that we all know and love, although referred to at Ace with different names, it also has a little bit of the hostel flavor with their shared single rooms and shared triple rooms. These particular rooms share a restroom with one or two other rooms per floor. This was particularly easy to implement into the design of The Ace of Portland as the Clyde Hotel model only had shared restrooms. This also means that each restroom in the standard set is brand new fixtures and if I recall correctly, radiant floor heating. What more could you ask for?

IMG_5232ace hotel - 20Ace Hotel Art Installation

On a slightly sad note, this concludes the Hotel Thread for the time being. I have not been traveling for awhile and some of the hotels I have visited have little to no pics. Hopefully someday soon I will wander again and show you one more hotel. But as one thing ends, so begins a new project! Stay tuned for more.

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