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Ace Hotel New York 3.5

Flatiron, New York City, New York

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Strong attention to design and details for a hip ambience
  • Walking distance to the Empire State Building, Eataly, and Madison Square Garden
  • A good range of smartly curated rooms with a fun grunge meets vintage feel
  • Cool touches like SMEG fridges, Pendleton blankets, Music Hall turntables, and Gibson guitars in some rooms
  • Home to iconic eateries, Breslin Bar & Grill and John Dory Oyster Bar; 24-hour room service
  • An active and cozy lobby bar popular with locals
  • Sub shop and Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the lobby
  • Modern fitness center 
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Fun events like DJs in the lobby 

Cons

  • A gritty (but perfectly safe) Manhattan setting 
  • Some rooms are on the small side, even for New York City
  • The eclectic grunge look is not for everyone

Bottom Line

The upper-middle-range Ace Hotel showcases meticulously curated, vintage-inspired design that's the brand's hallmark. Its 258 rooms continue the hyper-cool design, but they vary greatly in size. Some (like Large Rooms and Lofts) are wonderfully spacious, while others (Minis and Bunks) are teeny and, in some cases, dark. The moody, library-style lobby and lively lobby bar attracts an eclectic mix of locals and guests alike. Both restaurants are excellent dining options, too, with a Michelin-star chef leading Breslin Bar & Grill. The location in the Flatiron District is a commercial area that's not entirely central for sightseeing, although attractions like the Empire State Building and Eataly are in walking distance. Despite being comfortable and inviting, the property's downtown hipster vibe isn't for everyone. Travelers seeking something more sleek could try the The Muse - Kimpton

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Scene

A Seattle-inspired blend of grunge, vintage, and modern that’s low in formality, but big on style 

Walking into Ace Hotel New York feels like strolling into a Seattle coffee shop: Everyone treats you like a regular, and informality is the norm. Ace Hotel New York was established as the fourth outpost of this funky, Seattle-based mini-chain started in 1999 by a group of Emerald City natives. The landmarked 1904 building, formerly the Hotel Breslin, has been completely renovated and is now furnished with meticulously curated objects, some actually found at flea markets and others vintage reproductions. Many of the building's original details, including mosaic-tiled floors and coffered ceilings in the lobby, have been preserved. Along with the vintage-inspired furnishings, the hotel commissioned more than 70 artists to create unique artwork for the rooms and public spaces, including graffiti sticker art by Michael Anderson in the lobby. 

The giant lobby, with the Breslin Bar tucked in the back, is filled with cozy leather couches, plaid upholstered chairs, and fur throws. By day the atmosphere is Seattle coffee shop, with rows of bespectacled faces peeking over Apple laptops at the long, library-style tables. By night it's a hip neighborhood bar, with clusters of guests and New Yorkers chilling out and sipping cocktails into the wee hours.

Some may be put off by the aesthetic, or think it's too contrived. But unlike many downtown boutique hotels, the overall vibe never feels too-cool-for-school exclusionary. Guests are a mix of tourists, locals on staycations, and dedicated brand enthusiasts. 

Location

Manhattan’s Flatiron District, with shops, restaurants, and subway lines nearby 

The somewhat gritty Flatiron location on 29th and Broadway isn't half as stylish as the hotel itself, but that may be the point. "Ace is in the center of Manhattan," says the Ace Survival Guide which guests will find in each room. That's only sort of accurate. Broadway and 29th Street is one of the northwestern blocks of Flatiron, a distinctly commercial area. Counterfeit watch, jewelry, and fragrance emporiums crowd this stretch of Broadway. To some critics, the gritty location is a head-scratcher: despite having solid restaurant options in all directions, and although Madison Square Park is just a few blocks away, this is certainly not among the most picturesque parts of town. Even if the immediate surroundings are lackluster, it is true that the hotel is central to loads of other great spots -- though guests will generally want to hop in a cab or on the subway to get to them. Taxis are easy to find outside the front door, and one block away (under a minute’s walk) is the 28th Street station on the R/W subway line, which travel up and down town. Walkable highlights include Madison Square Park (seven minutes), Eataly (seven minutes) the Empire State Building (six minutes), The Flatiron Building (eight minutes), Madison Square Garden (eight minutes) Bryant Park (13 minutes), and Times Square which can be reached in under 20 minutes. Depending on traffic, it's about a 50-minute drive to J.F.K. International Airport or 27 minutes to LaGuardia Airport. 

Rooms

Efficiently designed and tastefully curated 

The Ace's rooms are heavy on design. The effect is an unimaginably cool and cozy college dorm room. The aesthetic mixes vintage with modern, honoring the historic building and its New York surroundings while injecting an appropriate dose of Northwest flavor. The walls feature custom art by contemporary artists, making each room different. The brainy design takes a cue from the building's industrial surroundings; accents like garment racks for example, are made of repurposed plumbing pipes fitted with black metal shelves. Dark, industrial notes aside, funky elements like turntables, Gibson guitars, and cozy Pendleton wool bed covers made in Portland, Oregon, nod to the hotel's roots and the grunge music that originated in that region. All rooms include a flat-screen TV with cable channels, free Wi-Fi, and air-conditioning. Mini Rooms have just enough space for the bed, while Bunk Bed Rooms are a better choice for two people on a budget. The bigger the room, the higher price. 

For ecological reasons, the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are in large pump dispensers, like at a health club -- but it's high-quality stuff from Rudy’s Barbershop. Most rooms have showers, but a few have shower/tub combos or soaking tubs. Most rooms overlook the city streets, but some have smaller windows and feel dark. 

Features

A library-style lobby with the occasional DJ, two excellent restaurants, a modern gym, and free Wi-Fi 

The Ace's features appeal to both guests and locals. The meat-centric Breslin Bar & Dining Room happens to be a favorite (especially amongst NY carnivores), with a cozy English pub-like vibe and hearty dishes. The second on-site dining spot, John Dory Oyster Bar, is equally as popular, with a classy, coastal-influenced bistro feel. Two huge globe aquariums dedicated to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans flank the bar, and the menu is driven by English-influenced seafood and, of course, oysters. Located on the Broadway side of the hotel, No. 7 serves classic submarine sandwiches for on-the-go snacks. Twenty-four hour room service is available. The expansive library-style lobby doubles as a popular laptop-friendly workspace that’s open to the public, and hosts DJs on the weekends. It shares the space with an active, cozy lobby bar hidden up the back. Stumptown Coffee Roasters cafe, serving good espresso coffee, is located off the lobby. There’s an in-house underground gym. A curated shop off of the lobby sells high end and hip clothes, jewelry, and toiletries. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout.

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Things You Should Know About Ace Hotel New York

Address

20 West 29th Street, at Broadway, New York City, New York 10001-4502, United States

Phone

(212) 679-2222

Also Known As

  • Ace Hotel New York City
  • Ace Hotel NY
  • Ace Hotel NYC

Room Types

  • Cheap Room
  • Large Room
  • Loft
  • Medium Room
  • Small Room
  • Twin Bunk Room

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