Ace Hotel New Orleans
In 2016, Ace added another link to its chain of ultracool hotels when it opened an outpost in a renovated 1928 building in the Central Business District of New Orleans. While the Ace employees here are just as edgy as their counterparts elsewhere, they temper that cool with the warm ease of New Orleans’s locals.
Guests enter the hotel through a lobby of mismatched low-slung sofas and vintage coffee tables set in conversation-friendly groupings beside a lovely and ornate wooden bar. Most of the furnishings and artwork complement the hotel’s dominant forest green hue, which itself seems to have been inspired by the color of the streetcars that trundle past on Carondelet Street. Afternoon and evening and late at night, the lobby bar is kept busy by hotel guests as well as a stream of others drawn here by the stylish vibe.
Some, of course, come for Ace’s dining options: Josephine Estelle is a well-regarded Italian restaurant (in a town full of stellar dining); Seaworthy offers cocktails and a wide array of oysters in a narrow tiled bar; a branch of Portland’s Stumptown Coffee serves the morning people strong coffee and pastries; and Alto, a covered bar beside the small rooftop pool, has a selection of snacks to offset a sizable menu of cocktails.
Back on the ground floor, another attraction, Three Keys, is a small music venue that programs a busy schedule of live performances and deejays. Upstairs, past the old-school photo booth in the elevator bank, you’ll find eight floors of guest rooms in several configurations, all with black-out curtains and cork floors, amenities which nicely muffle any noise from the lobby and rooftop party scenes.
All rooms come with a curated tray of local snacks (and some condoms), and a full-size refrigerator supplied with beer, wine, soda, and water, as well as a freestanding and dangerously well-stocked bar. Toiletries in the black-tiled bathrooms are from Rudy’s Barbershop. The guest rooms, painted in the same dark tones as the lobby, can feel a bit dimly lit, but are kept airy by the large windows and high ceilings. Your fellow hotel guests will certainly include bachelor/bachelorette parties, couples, people traveling with dogs, and some business people, but few families with children.
Finding distractions in New Orleans is never a problem: The Ace’s CBD neighborhood has some notable restaurants (Willa Jean, especially, for great breakfasts) and is walking distance to the French Quarter and the National World War II Museum, among other attractions.