Ace Hotel Portland
What We Love
- Snapping shots in the black-and-white photo booth
- Original art fits well with the vintage furnishings
- Pet-friendly accommodations
- Exploring Portland's Pearl District on wheels on the Ace's free rental bikes
- Happy Hour scene at Clyde Common
- Free WiFi
What To Know
- The tongue-in-cheek vibe jives best among young 20- and 30-somethings.
- The Ace has a boutique party atmosphere
- Portland gets a lot of rain from December through February; bring your galoshes
Leather couches, bartenders in fedoras, check-in clerks with suspenders, girls in Frye boots and art, art everywhere. Just about every demographic of Portland’s scenesters is represented at this rehabbed downtown SRO (single room occupancy) where Drugstore Cowboy was filmed. Now it’s buzzing with the trademark Ace style that’s the talk of the travel world, from New York to Palm Springs. Upstairs, rooms are stocked with primo Ace goodies like record players with old-school vinyl, Pendleton blankets, and wooden desks with Eames shell chairs. The hub of activity, though, is the lobby, where guests park themselves on worn-in leather couches with coffee from the adjacent Stumptown or inside the vintage self-serve photo booth. In the evenings, the scene moves to Clyde Common, the Ace’s bar and restaurant that serves vaguely European bites such as carrot gnudi and pan-roasted cod with eggplant and where mixologists make sure the cocktails come out precise and strong.
In the Area
The Ace is right in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District, home to some of the city’s best eating, shopping and coolest art galleries. Trek a block and find great secondhand goods at Magpie, which has everything from Member’s Only jackets to Lucite cufflinks. Brunch is big at Mother’s Bistro & Bar, and the lines get long early at this popular spot. Try the migas. Another popular brunch spot, Screen Door is a hit with anyone who wakes up hungry. If you’re not worried about your weight, the breakfast corn dog with cracked pepper maple syrup is transcendent.
How to Get There
I have stayed at this hotel several times for business and decided to stay again when visiting the area for a long weekend. The rooms I had in the previous two stays were nicely appointed, turntable, records and with a upholstered sofa for relaxing in the room after hours. So for my third visit I booked the same upgraded room that I had booked in the past, but upon arrival the room we got was a nice quiet location off the backside, but that is where the positives ended. The room had uneven floor with half of the room raised one step up with the “bed”, a mattress on the floor in the center of it which made half the room basically unusable for anything other then sleeping. A mattress on the floor is not romantic or inviting for couples, felt like we were squatting in an abandoned house. No comfortable seat or sofa. The bathroom was cut up and spread out throughout the room with the shower right in front of you when you walk into the room, the sink also in the room and the toilet in an alcove next to the bed. We were told that the hotel was fully booked and there were no other rooms. Needless to say we felt that we got a crappy room, management didn’t even offer us any compensation or seemed to care that we were unhappy. Looking forward to our next visit to Portland and staying at the Hoxton.
We had a lovely stay at a corner suite room here. Exceptional bed and couch, great view with windows all around this spacious corner room. Fantastic bathtub which open on to the main room. Great mini bar friendly and accommodating staff. Local shopping a must.
Overall the experience was great, from check-in to check-out the front desk staff was friendly and helpful. We got free drink tickets to the hotel's bar "Pepe Le Moko," which was a welcomed amenity. The bar has a cozy modern-speakeasy vibe. We stayed in the "Basic Shared Triple," the price was a bit high for the bunk-bed-dorm style room where you have to walk down the hall for a bathroom and shower, BUT if you appreciate good design and attention to details worth at least one night stay. Other perks: they have bikes you can borrow, good downtown location, and they provide a cheap breakfast option
My wife and I stayed here for a night in advance of a cruise on the Columbia River. The location seemed reasonable, and it seemed edgy. I hate to give a poor rating but...the room was weird, the tub was a dangerous old cast iron one (with a handy dandy wooden stool to get in), the king size bed was wedged closely between two walls, there was no chest of drawers at all, and one of the two window shades had a pull cord almost ripping its fastening cleat out of the plaster window frame. I didn't want to fool with it, and therefore made due with some unwanted late night illumination. Altogether, the experience reminded me of my post graduate school days staying in deplorable hotels in Paris. At 6:30 AM I went downstairs for coffee, to find that the coffee emporium in the hotel did not open until 7 AM on Saturdays (after all, who gets up early on weekends?).There was an edgy turntable in the room, sealed with a plastic wire wrap, and a warning that if you unsealed the turntable to use it, that you were fully responsible for any possible damage to that cool turnttable. There was a similar turntable next to the checkin desk downstairs with the stylus riding the inside ring of the revolving table. The desk clerk didn't seem to notice that no music was being broadcast to the lobby. The stylus just kept riding. I speculate that younger guests stayed at the Ace for the very happening bar adjoining the lobby. It was packed when we returned at about 9:30 from our dinner. All in all, this stay was a downer for the opening night of a very good week in Washington and Oregon.
The hotel is a remodeled old building. 4 floors with wood floors so be prepared for noise if you have anyone above you or if you are near the slow elevator. The bathrooms were massive, rooms nicely decorated and staff was very friendly and helpful. I would stay here again if on 4th floor and not on business travel.