Ace Hotel Portland occupies an entire city block, built in 1912, situated in the heart of an emerging neighborhood once known as Portland’s Gay Triangle, bordering on the Pearl District. The building has been a hotel ever since its beginnings, previously operating under the name of the Clyde Hotel. Many of its original details, such as the deep cast-iron roll-top baths and capacious sinks, have been retained and refurbished. With its large windows and high ceilings, the 79-room hotel is characterized by ample proportions, luminous spaces and a reassuring sense of early twentieth century solidity.
“We’re retaining as much of the historical character as possible,” Alex Calderwood explains, “and marrying it with clean lines,” to create a look he describes as “warm minimalism.” Features restored to their original beauty include polished wood paneling in the lobby, patterned mosaic-tiled flooring and ceiling moldings.
The team at Ace has also looked to local artists, suppliers and craftsmen for a mix of modern and vintage elements to create a distinctive Ace aesthetic while at the same time being a reflection of the locale. “We really wanted the hotel overall to reflect Portland and the Northwest,” Alex Calderwood explains.
In addition to its vibrant music scene, Portland is a hotbed of graphic art talent which draws strongly on a local skateboard/graffiti culture, illustrated comic and ‘zine culture and a handmade aesthetic. Many artists work with localbands such as The Decemberists, Copy and The Blow, creating visual identities for album covers, websites or concert flyers. Reflecting this strong graphic art culture, Ace Hotel has worked with a group of artists, some local, others international, to create murals in individual rooms and public spaces within the hotel.
Portland is something of a retro mecca– a haven for architects seeking reclaimed building materials, record collectors hunting down second-hand vinyl, or stylists looking for inspiration from retro threads. The Ace team has also sourced lots of quirky vintage elements locally.
Elegantly disheveled yet uncluttered, comfortable and bohemian, not one room in Ace Hotel is alike. One of the most important factors for the Ace team was that rooms should not look like hotel rooms – rather how you might want to have your own home. Comfort was also an important factor, from the choice of mattresses to the roomy sofas. Ranging over three floors, the accommodations offer a variety of options, from giant, airy deluxe rooms costing $250 USD a night, to more inexpensive options – nicknamed ‘band rooms’ for the touring band on a budget – which eature bunk beds and shared baths for only $95 USD.
Photography: Jeremy T. Pelley, Lauren Coleman, John Mark Sorum
Source + info + words : ACE Hotel Portland