More about Ace Hotel NYC
A well-intentioned misfire
I am sitting in room 210 of the Ace Hotel, New York. I booked it instead of my usual Murray Hill haunts (70 Park Ave and the Roger Williams) because it was new, because I'm traveling with my little sister and wanted something a little more youthful than the Kimpton crowd, and because I was intrigued by the buzz surrounding Ace Hotels. We arrived this afternoon only to be told that the room we booked--with two beds--was not available. Could we make do with a king bed? We're brother and sister, I explained as cheerfully as possible, eliding all of the other possible replies (like: you guys claim to be a serious outfit, and you expect that someone who's booked two beds will necessarily be happy with one? What if we were allergic to each other? Or about to get divorced?). The front desk folks, to their credit, were as obliging as they could be: I was promised they would transform the couches in our king room into something that resembled a comfortable bed. What has happened, alas, instead, is the equivalent of what happens when you crash at a friend's: sheets thrown on the leather loveseat, which is about five feet long, a duvet haphazardly arranged on top. The thought of the sheets sliding across the slick surface of the couch, my feet dangling from the edge, already has me tossing and turning, and I'm not even asleep yet.
I'm going to try to talk about other things now. The room is enormous, and not without charm: there's the promised turntable and the SMEG fridge, although with the creepy oxen painted on one wall (they have no eyeballs, I kid you not), there should be a Gram Parsons (or, heck, Ozzy Osbourne) record in here. The black faux-fur throws, on the other hand, are *so* 2007.
The front desk staff has (again) been repeatedly upbeat and winning: when I called to say, uh, this is the best you could do at changing a couch into a bed?, the guy I spoke to sweetly suggested various other ways in which the existing furniture could be rearranged. All this would be awesome--see, this is the kind of place that makes me say things like 'awesome'-- if the guy in question were a friend putting me up for the night, and if I weren't paying for the privilege. Okay, I clearly failed to stop talking about the bed thing.
One more practical piece of information: our room is dark: not mood-lighting dark, not olde-tyme-supper-club dark; but more like please don't drop anything on the floor, particularly in certain corners of the room, or you may never find it again dark. Our tv was unplugged when we checked in, and we had to ask the technician to come up with his little flashlight to determine exactly what was unplugged from where. Mere eyesight wasn't enough. If only the whites of the eyes of the oxen on the wall would light up...
So. I dig the lobby (cavernous, kind of a cross between an old library and the room where the bankers meet toward the end of Mary Poppins) and the staff seem affable. Our room is enormous. But the design is hit-or-miss and the organization clearly needs work. I think this place could someday be charming, but right now do yourself a favor and ask a friend if they can put you up instead. That way, at least you'll know whose couch you're sleeping on.
Ace put me in a uniquely NYC Frame of Mind--highly recommended
I had a very enjoyable stay at the Ace Hotel in mid-town Manhattan, near Penn Station, and only a block away from a subway stop from which you can get to just about anywhere you’d want to go. The Ace Hotel is moderately priced (by NYC standards), recently remodeled, clean, and features excellent service by a friendly staff.
I liked the offbeat motif of the hotel. As it could be described as “stark,” it will not be everyone’s cup of tea. One person’s “starkness,” however, is another person’s “bold statement”; and in any case the industrial appearance is only a style; the hotel does not lack comfort or amenities (although at the time of my visit it did not have its own restaurant; they do, however, provide room service using the resources of nearby restaurants; and they serve a breakfast of croissants and coffee). All this fits in with a corporate sense of humor that includes its motto, “Thank you for sleeping with us.”
One disclaimer about this review: I received a free upgrade due to the unavailability of the class of room I had booked. I don’t know what my cheaper room would have been like; but the room I got had a refrigerator, coffee-making supplies, a manual pencil sharpener (more of that sense of humor!), a guitar (I didn’t check to see if it was functional), and some op-art-ish wallpaper to offset the mostly black-and-white décor. There was a flat-panel TV and a feature-packed but austere-looking clock radio into which one could plug personal audio devices.
I highly recommend this hotel, all the more so if you’d like a place to put you into a uniquely New York frame of mind.
fantastic, funky chic boutique hotel
The hotel and rooms were amazing for the low price we paid. It is a very stylish designer hotel without the price tag or the fussiness of a designer hotel. The atmosphere is young and trendy but laid back. There are lots of nice finishing touches, lcd tv's, up market toiletries, free fruit, free breakfast, nice robes, free internet access. The hotel is in the perfect location -close enough to attractions like Times sq but far enough away to be peaceful enough to get some sleep. It was the staff that made this hotel, they were so friendly helpful and enthusiastic and went out of their way to help us. I have stayed in hundreds of hotels all over the world including several in New York City and for the price this was definitely the best by far and that is not something that i would say lightly. I normally stay in much more expensive hotels but the Ace really exceeded my expectations which are pretty high. And one last thing the photos on their site look good and unusually are a true representation of the hotel (in fact i think it looked better in real life)
Funky but noisy
I recently stayed at the Ace for 2 nights when in NY on business. I had been pretty excited about ACE having a hotel in NY because I'd stayed at their hotels in Seattle and Portland and very much enjoyed both.
There are a lot of things to like about this hotel if you enjoy alternative, hipster decor. It is a very cool place although I can't help feeling as though some women might find it a bit too masculine in character.
When you travel on business you still don't like to feel like you're getting reamed every which way so it's great the hotel has free internet and breakfast. Overall the staff are friendly and in line with the hipster vibe of the place.
My biggest complaint was the noise. I stayed 2 nights and as it was mild, the first night I had the window open. No problems as my room faced the courtyard. The second night however an adjacent air conditioning unit (not from a room - this was like an aeroplane) was on and made an enormous racket. Even with windows closed I struggled to sleep. As it was day 2 and my stuff was unpacked moving room was not practical so I unfortunately had to put up.
My complaint at the front desk was met with a typical hipster-like shrug and it did definitely leave me with a bad taste having not slept and then having to front up to all day meetings.
So - worth checking out but choose your room carefully and don't expect any sympathy if things aren't perfect.
Wait until they've worked out the kinks!
I booked two different stays at this hotel when TravelZoo advertised their sale of $99/night. I booked a room with a full or queen size bed. The first night I arrived at 9pm and they said that they didn't have any of these rooms available, so I'd have to stay in a bunk-bed room. They were supposedly fully booked, so I had no choice but to stay on the bunk beds hitting my head three times during the night.
The second stay I was with my husband. We met there at 5:30 pm and they said that our room would be ready in 5 minutes. Half an hour later, we were still waiting and late for our Paul McCartney concert. We finally got into our room about 15 minutes later and the A/C wasn't working. We called from the concert to have them check it and we were assured that it would be fixed. When we got there at 12:30 am, it still wasn't working. There was also this industrial smell. A manager came to our room and said that they were having problems with the A/C in half of the hotel. It's only been open 7 weeks, so they're still working out the "kinks". The smell was from the new carpet/furniture. He brought us a fan and took $25 off our room which was considerate. The hotel overall is nice, but I definitely would not recommend it until they figure out how to reserve and have rooms ready on time and fix their A/C!
Terrible Smell--Needs work!!
I stayed @ The Ace, NY for one night on 23 July 2009 & wasn't overly impressed at all. The lobby is very cool, the complimentary breakfast was great, although they ran out of paper plates, so only napkins could hold the croissants, the front desk staff guys & girls were cool & laid back (Ariel & Ben were great) & the overall theme of the hotel is cool----those are the high points. My room (1709) (King Deluxe) had a horrible smell the entire time---it smelled very much like new carpet, combined with a dank smell from the Ancient A/C unit in the room---the A/C also never worked, as it would only go down to 65 degrees & it was hot outside the night I was staying. When I stopped by @ the Front Desk, I explained about the smell, & they offered to bring up some room spray---they couldn't find it, so a girl brought me a candle & matches to alleviate the smell----this worked somewhat, but I could still smell, what the reviewer before me stated as an "Industrial scent"---it was also definitely coming from the A/C unit---once I turned it off (it was very loud), the smell did stop, but the odor was still in the room---it was disgusting! I went to other floors to see if it was still bad, but I smelled the same thing on every floor----really gross. Also, the room was really Dark & felt a little seedy, like the whole hotel.....I don't know, but the corridors to the rooms are enormous & feel dilapidated, seedy & run-down---Honestly, it felt like something out of a Horror film or a Run-down hostel-----just really awkward....I know the building is a typical 1900's building, turned into a hotel, but it felt odd staying here----I arrived around 8PM, & left by 9:30AM or so the next day----I was ready to leave, even though I live in NYC----(The computer lab on each floor never worked, there was trash on the floors, cracked elevator interiors) Also, the bathroom was impossibly tiny (No tub & the shower is TINY, with the curtain clinging to my skin the entire time)---so bad, & there was only 1 tiny window, which made the room dark, even though it did overlook the street a little......If they were trying to achieve a cheap look, they they succeeded-------I was excited for this new group, but was really ready to leave......
Right Place for the Right Price
Stayed at the Ace after being moved to different hotels on 2 previous occasions due to the delays in opening. Glad to actually have had a chance to stay there and overall would stay again IF the prices remain low. For higher prices, there are better places in the City.
What I liked:
-The staff. VERY young, energetic crew. The "doormen" were 3 different young men dressed like they belong in LA rather than NYC. All very sweet and yet professional. The lady behind the bar during breakfast in the morning was also very pleasant. I was less than impressed with the front desk staff, not because they did anything wrong, but because they weren't as "peppy" as their counterparts.
-Room was clean, bed (full "cheap" room) was incredibly comfortable and linens soft
-Bath amenities were full-size and included shower gel--thank you Ace!
-Loved the lobby. So stylish. And the complimentary croissants and coffee in the morning were a great added touch--I wish the coffee shop wouldn't open anytime soon so they wouldn't charge for coffee.
What I was less-than-thrilled about:
-Location: not the greatest in NYC. Yes, close to the subway (NRW line) but not as convenient if you're a walker. The area is a little shady at night though I never had any problems. Plus, the hotel faces a house of worship where the "call to prayer" is sung several times a day. LOUDLY. This is somewhat disruptive if you're facing 29th St. It doesn't last long, but did wake me up on a couple of occasions.
-The bathtub was small. That in itself was not a problem for me, but the showerhead is the center of the tub as opposed to one of the ends. This was VERY uncomfortable.
-AC broke down for a day while I was there. It wasn't terribly hot (I'm used to TX weather) so it was tolerable. I feel this will hopefully not be an issue once the hotel is fully operational.
-I'm curious to see what the upkeep will be like...the carpet in the rooms do give off a musty smell and the shower curtains in the bathtub were ALREADY starting to show the wear and tear (water stains)...we'll see.
Overall, if I got an amazing deal I'd stay here again. It is a funky little boutique hotel and if you get a good deal, I wouldn't hesitate to stay here, keeping in mind this is not a place you come to be pampered.
Intimate, boutique hotel with a mix of bohemian luxury and hipster edginess..
I stayed in Room 301 (a deluxe double) with my 16 yr old niece and her friend. We slept well on comfortable beds and perfect pillows - soft and fluffy. The girls especially liked the water pressure in the washroom (rain shower heads, lots of hot water, great bath products, nice towels and comfy robes). The flat screen tv seemed small, and according to the girls, did not provide enough channels.
The hotel is dark but inviting. The lobby is designed with comfy sofas, great background music, and a littering of newspapers that encourage lingering in the morning. A complimentary breakfast of croissants, jams, juice and coffee is a nice touch. There's a photo booth set up in the lobby which echos the tone of the hotel - relaxed fun. All of the staff we encountered were extremely helpful and friendly!
Over the last few years, I've been staying at various W hotels for my semi-annual jaunt to NYC. The Ace isn't as sleek, styled, grand or luxurious as the W, but that's not not a bad thing! I rather enjoyed the laid-back, worn-in feeling of this hotel. A bonus was the size of the room - it felt spacious for new york standards. The proximity to Penn station, times square, and the number 6 subway line was great for booting uptown or downtown. It was my first time staying in this neighborhood - a safe and convenient location.
We didn't dine in the area, but we did have a great breakfast at nearby Penelope's (on lexington). We arrived at 9am on Saturday and only had to wait a few minutes. It seems to be a popular spot.
**NYC with teens/budding fashionistas**
My niece and her friend declared a lack of interest in museums, broadway shows and site seeing. So, ignoring my pleas to wear comfortable shoes and lighten their handbags (did they really need to lug around all that makeup, change of clothes and ipods etc.?) we headed out to explore the city. We had a fabulous time. Some things they loved:
1. The Ace ("so cool!")
2. Soho (shopping and the 'scene')
3. St. Mark's Place (great for people watching)
5. The Shake Shack (Burger, fries & shakes! I've discovered that the more they eat, the happier they become. Also, one of the girls loved how relaxed it was here and noted that it was the first place we'd eaten where we could 'hear ourselves and have a conversation" :)
8. Tao (ridiculous scene, loud music, servers with attitude...all of which they soaked up! It was an occasion to dress up and have a late dinner. The attendant in the restroom was a new experience for them and they liked the fact that they were in a 'fancy' restaurant. We're all huge fans of authentic Asian food and were surprisingly impressed with how flavorful and tasty the dishes were here).
9. Subway to High St. followed by a walk over the Brooklyn bridge (subway rides were fun for them - lots of people watching, grime and graffiti; the walk over the bridge offered nice views and photo opportunities for the budding photographer in our group). budding
9. Grimaldi's Pizza under the brooklyn bridge (declared, the best pizza ever and worth the 30 minute wait in line. The distinct brooklyn accents heard here did not go u unnoticed by the girls :0. We had fun here; my niece treated us! A sweet moment).
10. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (followed by our pizza lunch...vanilla-chocolate chunk is a must)
11. Central Park horse&buggy ride at night (we didn't do this, but it's one touristy activity that they showed interest in)
12. Times Square at night (the crowds and energy and lights were fun but they were not interested in going into the stores shops etc. My niece was almost pick-pocketed here by someone who bumped into her and managed to unzip her bag).
13. Skip the circle line tours or trips to the Statue. We hopped on the Staten Island Ferry for a fun ride (although even so, the girls seemed were barely impressed).
14. Penelopes (they enjoyed the cute charm and the waiter with piercings. Oh, and the food was delicious too).
15. Movie theater (Late show, of course. Cab ride to save blistered feet, even better)
15. Catching fireflies - unplanned of course, but having never scene fireflies, they spent almost an hour enthralled to the point of chasing, catching, photographing and videotaping them. We discovered 'the green glow bugs" after our evening meal in the park at the Shake Shack. They claimed that this "was the most amazing experience ever". :O)
16. Museum of Sex (We happened across this on one of our walks but this is one museum they would have liked to have visited - they took pics of the display. I haven't had a chance to look into it though...)
17. Sleeping in. (I took advantage of this to exercise, do some shopping, go for a morning walk, plan the route on the subway map, or just linger over coffee).
18. Hanging out, doing nothing (i think it was a great move to invite my niece's friend along. They had fun hanging out and never once did I hear the words "I'm bored". They liked walking the streets and people watching, taking frequent snack or walking breaks in the many public spaces. They amused themselves by taking more pictures of themselves and interesting people for posting on facebook than they did of the sites).
They have thought of everything. It is absolutely perfect.
I love Ace Hotels. This one is no exception. I got the double king suite- which is one of the bigger rooms, for a very good price. Compared to other boutique hotels in NYC- this place has THE best value. Our room had a guitar, a record player, and an awesome retro fridge. I will definitely stay here for the 2 times a month I have to work in New York.
Got a "cheap room" was pleased with the price. The hotel itself is in a less attractive neighborhood but in walking distance to Midtown so I was fine w/ that. Elevator was musty along w/ hallways. Room was cozy, comfy bed with feather pillows - it reminded me of a guy's dorm room (color scheme).. However I would suggest they vacuum since I dropped something and found a gnarly pube on it...very gross and a disappointment. You can easily hear people in the hallway and the street but that's not too unusual being it's NY...so if you're expecting a good night of sleep you probably won't get it. Breakfast was pretty simply - croissants and jam with OJ or coffee.
View from the Park
a sabrett stand
at subway off peak hour
Art, Theatre & Architecture best area to stay in and more
I have spent a few hours reviewing the forums and finally decided to post the specifics and look forward to your replies with much anticipation and appreciation!
We are two 40-something female left coasters visiting NYC for the first time around the third week of September.
What I'd really like to know are which neighborhoods do you recommend for our stay?
We want to:
- visit Art Museums
- admire Architecture
- visit Central Park
- catch some theater.
- visit Zabars
- eat a slice of NY Pizza
- eat a NY Bagel
We are happy to use the subway and buses.
We will have at least 5 days to do all of this.
We are trying to keep the hotel room to under $200 a night, and yes for this amount we'd like it to be clean, have air-conditioning, and NO bedbugs or mice.
Once I know which neighborhoods are recommended I will read reviews but of course any particular hotel recommendations in these neighborhoods are also appreciated.
Re: Art, Theatre & Architecture best area to stay in and more
It doesn't much matter which neighborhood you're in, as long as you're near the subway. Personally, I much prefer the residential neighborhoods. They're more pleasant to explore, especially at night. Residential areas are cleaner, and you'll find more local shops and restaurants. Most of the commercial areas seem to be wall-to-wall fast-food restaurants, tourist traps and chain stores, with many streets deserted at night.
My favorite area is the upper west side, the neighborhood celebrated in the movie "You've Got Mail." My first choice of hotel there is the recently-renovated Beacon Hotel. Big rooms, full kitchen, and right across the street from the fabulous Fairway Market. Right near the subway -- the express #2 or #3 trains will get you to Times Square (and the theater district) in under 10 minutes.
While most of the museums are on the upper east side, it's a short hop crosstown on the M79 bus.
Other UWS hotels to compare are the Excelsior, Lucerne, On the Ave, Milburn and Belleclaire. A friend recently stayed in a shared-bath room at the Belleclaire, and reported that she never once had to wait, and the bathroom was cleaned several times each day.
In midtown, I highly recommend the Salisbury. The furnishings are dated, but the rooms are very clean and spacious. Great location, away from the Times Square craziness and yet very central.
Have a look at the reviews on tripadvisor.com, and see how the prices fit your budget. September is very expensive, so take a deep breath before you check prices! And browse through the candid traveler photos on tripadvisor as well. You can learn a lot more from those pictures than you can on the hotels' own web sites.
Re: Art, Theatre & Architecture best area to stay in and more
I recommend staying midtown- its vibrant,has plenty of hotels to choose from, and most attractions are easy to get to from midtown.
Greenwich Village is funky- we have stayed there too- has old world charm, great night life , live music clubs and great restuarants.
There are hotel tips with reviews on my New York page. (Link is on my homepage)
Re: Art, Theatre & Architecture best area to stay in and more
I agree that it does not matter so much where you stay, only that it is not that far from the subway. Your budget is unfortunately not that high for a late September visit (I know that is ridiculous given that $200 per night buys you a palace in other parts of the country) - especially the third week, which is the week of UN assembly. The prices, even for cheap hotels, are skyrocking.
Having said that, I recommend priceline.com - and bid your price for a hotel. Start with one area and a lower price and then start adding other areas. I did this very often and ended up with fantastic deals.