Sleeves full of Aces.

Ace Hotel, Portland Oregon

While we’re talking about the Ace Hotel guys (okay, it was a couple posts ago… but who’s counting), we also visited that hipster haven while in Portland and drank coffee like rock stars. We ducked in on our last day in town to get out of the rain and kill a few morning hours and were immediately bummed that we were only then making our way over there—this place is Kool with a kapital K. “The country’s most original new hotel” according the NY Times Style Magazine, Ace offers (in their words, this time) “all the comfort of a business class hotel without the soul-killing blandness of a faceless chain or last year’s design school fads,” which rightly sums up about 95% of the hotels I’ve stayed in over the last 5 years of business travel. Each room is unique and amenities include Malin + Goetz bath products, clawfoot bathtubs and free WiFi. Keeping true to their Seattle rocker heritage (Portland was their second outpost and New York will be their third), Ace Portland has $95 “band rooms” complete with bunk-beds, a turntable and fat stack of records, and a shared bathroom down the hall. Private-bathroom rooms start at $130 and max out at $250 for a deluxe suite, which almost seems unfair.

The Ace in Portland smartly shares its historic building with a Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a local mini-chain of coffeeshop-cum-art galleries that serve up excellent single-brewed cups to like-minded customers. The plush couches and big picture windows in the lobby invited lounging and lounge we did, steaming cups of organic Ethiopian blend in hand. We weren’t guests of the hotel but no one seemed to mind. Music ranged from Jose Gonzalez (cup #1) to Animal Collective (half an almond croissant) to The Cure (cup #2), to which a cute brunette sang along while carefully tending to her large collection of spindly coffee table plants.

We could have stayed all day but alas, had quality time with the fam to get back to. We took the vintage photo booth for a spin before heading back out into the rain and the strip of photos the machine spat out were the classic, flattering, black & white kind, not the weird-looking color ones. The devil’s in the details and Ace seems to have nailed every one.

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