I loved Downtown LA. From Skid Row to the bustling farmers market, I felt as though I had found an honest city that wasn’t afraid of its own obscurities. Downtown LA and The Ace Hotel
Former cinemas and theatres have become boutique hotels, thrift shops and juice bars, and rooftop patio umbrellas complete an already enchanted skyline. Downtown LA and The Ace Hotel
I loved that one could buy crack and macaroons on the same block…although I only did one of those things (Hint: Macaroons).
It felt different than the rest of LA- Less of a show than West Hollywood or Santa Monica Pier (which I also loved). It wasn’t trying too hard to be- it just was.
Perhaps it is the many years of romanticizing the old, Broadway inspired Downtown LA of the 20’s and 30’s that seemed to hypnotize me with its many diverse players and backgrounds. Whatever the root of my fascination, I was enchanted. Downtown LA and The Ace Hotel
All of that being said, I was only there for two nights so my take on the area is probably skewed. I spent one evening on the rooftop patio of the Ace hotel, drinking margaritas and telling a brand new 21-year-old that he should follow his dreams (he wanted to be a Chef but didn’t have the confidence).
The other I ate market Pad Thai (delicious!!!) before deciding that although I was feeling brave, perhaps I shouldn’t go for a wander on my own. Downtown LA and The Ace Hotel
I stayed at the Ace Hotel which opened in 2014. This ornate and inspired monument to American performing artists was originally built in 1927 for the Maverick film studio. Many famous stage and screen performers such as Mary Pickford (born in Toronto) and Charlie Chaplin, sang, danced and wow’ed audiences in this grand tower.
These artists were known as pioneers in their fields, the first of ‘Hollywood Royalty,’ making the current Ace Hotel building a temple to Arts in America. As the Ace says of itself, ‘The mixture of reverent awe and irreverent independence is right up our alley — this is the kind of project we dream of.’
Some may call his hotel ‘Super Hipster’ and I wouldn’t disagree although I don’t think the term deserves a sneer or negative connotation in this instance. Yes, the lobby is tiled in black and white, the beds are in the middle of the rooms and the walls are concrete but I feel as though it is a shout out to their unique Hollywood past as opposed to ‘just going against the grain, bruh.’
The staff were fabulous. They all seemed to love their jobs and the people they worked with, all while carrying a certain reverence for the building itself. They seemed to know that they were sitting on a time travelling gem and were proud to be there. Downtown LA and The Ace Hotel
I spent Sunday sitting by the rooftop pool where I occupied a sun lounger for the better part of a sun filled morning. I talked to the people around me, (a PR exec from San Francisco, friends from Korea Town, a waitress in Hollywood), and they all told me why they chose to Ace Hotel for a lazy Sunday afternoon: Impeccable drinks, yes, great food, uh huh, but the the general consensus was the unpretentious, unmatched relaxed Downtown LA vibe. Downtown LA and The Ace Hotel
If you are headed to LA, leave the shiny lights of Hollywood and sparkle of stunning Santa Monica to ensure you head downtown.
And if you stay at the Ace, check out the 27th floor. They say Mary Pickton’s ghost still shows up now and again for a show.
Downtown LA and The Ace Hotel