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We're still not over the shocking news of Alex Calderwood's sudden death last week. And judging from the emails we've received and the tweets we've seen, people who knew Alex personally are still in utter shock as well.
While details of his death have not been released, the Daily Beast did find out that Calderwood passed away in a hotel room at the just-opened Ace London Shoreditch last Thursday afternoon. By the time The Daily Beast arrived at the hotel on Sunday, they could hardly find anything amiss in the lobby and restaurant. However, employees at the hotel were shaken.
But behind the game faces, the staff had, however, clearly been rattled by the events of recent days, which came to a dramatic head when an ambulance, preceded by a paramedic on a bike, arrived at the hotel at 2:30pm on Thursday afternoon, shortly after the body of Calderwood was discovered.
Calderwood was pronounced dead on the scene. The police said his death was not suspicious but would not give any further details until a post-mortem was carried out this week. Calderwood has publicly mentioned his struggles with alcoholism but it's not clear if that played any role in his death.
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"Traditional luxury belongs to the past." This is the epiphany that led Serge Dive and Sarah Ball (both of travel media company Beyond Luxury) to launch a trade show that would shake up the luxury travel market. Their vision for LE Miami was that it would be ‘more than just a trade show;’ an annual forum that would "literally define the contemporary travel industry ... your year-round source for the contemporary travel evolution."
The show's inaugural event took place over four days in June. In between the awards, the parties and the meetings, a couple of key events stood out: the "Ministry of Ideas," which featured speakers including Seth Godin and Ian Schrager talking on the theme 'Be Creative, Create', "and the Leadership Lab a conversation between 11 key influencers, including Claus Sendlinger of Design Hotels; Grupo Habita's Carlos Couturier, Priya Paul of Park Hotels and Ace Hotel president Brad Wilson, that discussed the topics bringing about the shift in luxury and the heightened influence of the "creative class. The results were recorded and you can now read the full report here.
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The Ace in DTLA in early August
Good news has come for hipsters who wait--The Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles is now taking reservations for JANUARY 15, 2014 and beyond. But there's a catch.
You can't make these reservations just by going to the hotel website. Instead, you can only make a reservation through a link that was sent out to Ace's e-mailing list, called The A-List. Oh don't worry, we've got the link for you right HERE. Even better, the Ace DTLA is offering a special rate for opening night--just $129 for a small or medium room. A medium room with a terrace is just $149.
Some other good things to know about the Ace--WiFi is free (woot!), pets under 25 pounds are accepted for $25 (woof!), valet parking is available (not sure for how much yet) and all rooms are non-smoking rooms (whew!). The amenities will also include Rudy's Toiletries, Pearl+ soaps and a Revo Radio as well as a flat-screen and a fully-stocked minibar. We're so there, will you be?
Now that Ace Hotels have crossed international waters to London and Panama, there's no stopping them. While they've still got Los Angeles and Pittsburgh as well as two new NYC hotels on tap, the hipster hotel brand is also thinking about expanding to the Far East.
A super secret hotel spy has given us the lowdown on the Ace's Asia hotel expansion plans but was reluctant to divulge the exact city. So now we're left to speculate. We actually think Beijing would be the perfect spot for an Ace Hotel, perhaps in the 798 Art Zone where art galleries and shops have sprung from former military factory buildings. But the Ace Hotel brand could also do well in Shanghai and Hong Kong too. Then again, maybe Ace will surprise us by opening in another one of China's big cities like Guangzhou, Chongqing, or Chengdu.
And it may not even be China. Maybe Tokyo is at the top of their list, especially now that the Summer Olympics are coming there. You never really know with Ace. But you can expect it to be in a historic building in a pre-revitalized area with a fascinating, if quirky, history. That's just the Ace way.
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It's hard to believe that broke artists once flocked to Manhattan's Lower East Side for the cheap rent; nowadays even a Holiday Inn will set you back over three hundred bucks for one night.
The last couple of decades of gentrification in the LES is now manifesting itself as a bundle of new hotel construction projects in the area. Hotels definitely in the works include the long-delayed 180 Ludlow, a third Hotel Indigo, Peter Poon Architects' skyscraping Hotel Bowery, and what will be New York City's second CitizenM. Just last week, too, we heard rumour of two new Ace Hotels also coming to the area. So we decided it was time for a round-up of what's on offer in the LES right now.
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Things are really looking up for Pittsburgh. The Pirates are in the MLB playoffs for the first time in 21 years and now an Ace Hotel is in the works! (Ok, there is definitely way more happening in Pittsburgh but this is what hotel nerds like us get excited about.)
That's right. Ace Hotels is keeping on with their expansion plans well into 2014 and Pittsburgh is next on the list. In typical Ace fashion, they will open the hotel out of an old YMCA building in the East Liberty nabe. Here's how Next American City journalist Nancy Scola described the location:
[T]the Ace is planned for East Liberty, part of Pittsburgh’s East End, once home to the Carnegies, the Mellons, the Fricks. East Liberty was once, well, hopping, but it was decimated as the result of an urban revitalization push in the 1950s and 1960s that attempted to turn the neighborhood into a little bit of suburbia right there in Pittsburgh. East Liberty is, inarguably, on the upswing once again. And the possibility is that an Ace in the neighborhood’s charming old YMCA building adds considerable weight to that momentum.
The Salvation Army owned Chinese Community Center at 225 Bowery was put up for sale a few years ago and has long been rumoured to have a future as a condominium building -- completing the Bowery's transformation from gritty to chic. Earlier this year it looked like the building was actually only set to undergo interior renovations and continue as an SRO, but this morning, Bowery Boogie is reporting that Ace Hotels are moving in -- and plan to turn it into something in the lower-priced "cozy" Pod style.
We've all been known to do strange things in hotel room, some of which we will admit freely to doing and some which we would never tell a soul. But if you stay at the Ace Hotel they might just tweet about it. Here's what we saw on their Twitter stream last night:
If only we could all whistle like whoever's in Ace NY room 595, whistling the Game of Thrones theme song like a boss. #wehearyou— Ace Hotel (@acehotel) September 27, 2013
So it's a somewhat complimentary tweet--whistling like a boss. But they included the room number! Fortunately for this Thrones
geek fan, there isn't a real way to track down his or her identity using the room number. Most hotel will ask for a name to accompany the room number before they connect you. Then again, we didn't try. Either way, we'll think twice before singing Broadway tunes during our next stay at The Ace.
Martin's classic DXMAE guitars can now be found in Ace's Superior Deluxe Double Double, the Superior Deluxe Double, and the Suite rooms. The guitars also feature a custom interior label and engraving on the body that reads, "The left hand is what you know. The right hand is who you are."
And no, they are not for sale. These are super limited edition guitars made just for the Ace Hotel. All the more reason to book a room. The Superior Deluxe Double starts at 269 GBP (about $432US) this weekend.
[Photos: Martin Guitars]
Created with rehabstudio, the Ace digital overhaul visually bumped up the individual sites yet retained that distinctive
hipster Ace style. Previously, the home page for each Ace Hotel was a smallish sort of box with various links and a small booking calendar.
Now, the sites have been zoomed in, so to speak, with larger text, larger photos and a larger calendar. Also, the sites feature a continuous scroll so you can just keep scrolling down for more info whether it be about the rooms, the public spaces or the amenities. That's pretty optimal for viewing on mobile devices and tablets as well.
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Does the first international venture of Ace Hotels deliver? A HotelChatter Review
We didn’t waste any time waiting to check out what Ace Hotels was cooking up in London’s Shoreditch neighborhood, showing up earlier this week on the very first day guests were allowed through its doors. Over four years after Ace New York made its debut, how did its British – and first international - sibling stack up? Read on to find out.
Check-In: we walked to the hotel from Liverpool Street Station, which is an easy ten-minute stroll. Part of the façade is still covered by scaffolding, but most has come out from underneath, showing the basics of what was there before, with key changes being a darker coat of paint and alterations to the ground and top floors.
A number of guests were being checked in by the enthusiastic staff, who seemed psyched to finally have real-life customers coming through the door. We liked the laid-back attitude, which included being addressed by our first name. Each of the guests on the first night received a voucher for another night’s stay once all the hotel’s facilities are fully operational; we’re not sure how long that will continue for, but it’s a nice touch.
Rarely do we stumble upon the announcement of a new hotel and check in for opening night less than two months later, but that’s exactly what Ace Hotels pulled off in London. It was June we first spotted the planned revival of the ‘aesthetically-challenged’ Crowne Plaza on Shoreditch High Street, and today, September 9, we were handed the keys to our very own Ace Shoreditch hotel room.
In fact, we’re writing this from the very bed you see in the above shot of our entry-level Standard room, courtesy of free WiFi that so far has proven easy to connect to and dependable.