The Ace Hotel review, downtown Los Angeles

Our rating

4 out of 5

 The Place

The Ace Hotel, downtown Los Angeles

The Location

Choosing its locations wisely, the Ace brand settled on a prime piece of real estate in the burgeoning area of downtown LA, where gentrification is happening at an alarming pace. You'll find the LA instalment in the heart of the old Broadway Theatre district, not far from major success stories and landmarks such as the Grand Central Market and the Broad modern art museum. 

The Space

The Ace occupies a unique piece of Los Angeles history in the old United Artists building, which formerly belonged to the legendary Charlie Chaplin. The area is bumper-to-bumper with classic art deco buildings, once lavish theatres during the 1920s and '30s when the area had a thriving thespian community. Take in the building's ornate features, from its chequered lobby floors to the iconic "Jesus Lives" neon sign to the building's rear – from one of its former lives as an evangelical church. Do not miss any opportunity to see a performance at the magnificent gothic UA theatre, which Ace restored to its former glory, and represents more than just a tip of the cap to Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. There's also a pretty decent gym open 24 hours.

The Room

I love my room instantly. Filled with glorious Los Angeles sunlight thanks to the enormous, almost floor-to-ceiling windows, the room is a curious L shape which ends in the doorless marble and brass bathroom, nestled out of sight around the corner. Directly out the window sits the "Jesus Saves" sign, as well as the phenomenal DTLA skyline, which looks even more spectacular by night. A street side room on my floor contains its own 'terrace', or tiny balcony, from which you can peer over and watch life go by on Broadway beneath. It's largely industrial style, all polished concrete walls, with warm touches such as Pendleton blankets and aztec cushions. I couldn't leave without buying a bottle of the inhouse Rudy's Barbershop body wash with its intoxicating tomato scent.

The Food

It's hard to find an excuse to eat at LA Chapter, its inhouse restaurant, with so many unique restaurants and bars nearby and only a small number of meals to spare. I did, however, make use of its Stumptown coffee counter, and there's a tempting juice bar in the theatre's former ticket office.

Stepping out

Leaving the Ace for a cocktail is unnecessary when it's got one of the best bars in the business on the rooftop. The Upstairs Bar has a DJ that spins tunes until late, a killer cocktail menu, and views of the DTLA cityscape. The huge, cosy Moroccan-themed space has a pit fire (for those chilly LA nights), deck chairs and cane seats spanning the Ace rooftop, including the pool area, making it the perfect place for a nightcap.

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Not far away is quirky bar and diner Cliftons, an iconic piece of old LA. You can also hit the Broad, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Grand Park LA, which is near Grand Central Markets, opposite the historic Bradbury Building. To the west, you have LA Live, STAPLES Center and the Grammy Museum. There's also Little Japan and Chinatown. Plus the metro stops are close so you can easily travel to Hollywood or as far as Santa Monica and Long Beach. Guests can hire Ace's hip Tokyobikes, which are a great option for sightseeing.

The Verdict

Classic, historic LA with modern comforts in an increasingly exciting area.

Highlight

My bright and sunny L-shaped room with its tremendous views. If felt genuinely unique and sure beats struggling to find a shard of light in which to apply make-up.

Lowlight

The rooftop pool is photographed so as not to reveal its actual size. It's literally the size of a postage stamp. For posers only!

Essential

929 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA

Phone: +1 213-623-3233

acehotel.com/losangeles