Well, we're not gonna lie: we couldn't see much in the lobby because it was under heavy, heavy construction. We mean heavy construction. Like it didn't really look like it was gonna be ready any time real soon but who knows, sometimes these things shape up more quickly than we think they will.
As far as the (surprisingly large, high-ceilinged) lobby space goes: expect massive white columns, super-cool restored ceilings, and this is pretty sweet an old mosaic floor which, incidentally, was discovered under several inches of concrete recently. The lobby bar is actually set up in a library-ish room that was salvaged from a Park Ave. apartment, while the front desk is built from old industrial tables covered in leather; behind the desk sits an old pharmacy case. And yes, there will be bookshelves. When it all comes together with the hand-picked vintage furniture, we imagine it will make for a pretty cool place to hang out.
Off the lobby will be a retail shop called Project 8 (we'll bring you more details on that when we get our hands on 'em), the first Stumptown Coffee Shop in the city, and the hotel's signature restaurant, The Breslin.
When all is said and done, the hotel will have 261 rooms. The hallways are fairly wide and well-lit (with a distinct lack of fug carpeting), and unlike other hotels converted from SRO buildings, everyone's got their own bathroom here. Nothing communal even in the bunk bed rooms.
Each room had impressively large bathrooms, many with heavy-duty double doors on 'em. Our favorite parts of the bathrooms were, unsurprisingly, the smaller touches: clawfoot bathtubs in some rooms; a huge canvas caddy hanging next to the sink to store our toiletries; "Love Makes Us Glad" printed on the mirrors; Rudy's Barbershop soap, shampoo and conditioner in the showers (in pump containers, not teensy environmentally-unfriendly bottles).
Also, many of these rooms especially the one-bedroom suite with hardwood floors and huge windows looked more apartment-y than hotel-room-like. Though one thing really stuck out to us: the bunk bed rooms, which will be going for a price point of somewhere around $99, reminded us of a hostel. Actually, it reminded us a lot of this hostel.
We're going to reserve most of our judgment here and give you our fully-informed opinion once we've had the chance to spend a night in one the rooms. Oh, and as we mentioned, we were pretty jazzed by the full-sized Smeg fridges in place of the minibar fridges in some rooms (other rooms have mini-fridges hidden inside old amp cases).
The Smeg fridge, full-stocked. Heiney and all.
Naturally, we had to ask the bigshots behind the hotel about the drama going on behind the scenes. We've heard that the conversion from SRO building to hip hotel wasn't exactly seamless, but both Alex and the GM, Jan, were glowingly positive about the whole situation, insisting that they faced very little resistance and that, as a whole, many of the Breslin's former tenants were pretty down with the Ace concept. Whether that's true or not, we're not so sure.
As for the opening delay, both also said that there were very few complaints from guests who had held reservations for early April and were relocated to other properties. Apparently, they were also offered the opportunity to come back to the Ace later on and they'd get the same opening rate they'd booked the first time around.