Downstairs at the new Ace Hotel in LA, all is civilized but take the elevator up 14 stories to the rooftop lounge, where the music is playing and a bar and pool await, and things really get going. Only open since January, the place is the spot to take in all of downtown.
The new Ace Hotel in LA occupies the 1927 Spanish Gothic United Artists Building, back in the day the tallest tower in the city. The Upstairs cocktail lounge is literally the height of downtown—and the place to take in the city lights and transforming neighborhood. LA design firm Commune oversaw the tower’s transformation from top to bottom. The potted tree is a coral tree hung with ceramic lanterns by Adam Silverman of Atwater Pottery.
Commune’s use of concrete tiling in the lounge and pool was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, one of four concrete block houses Wright designed in LA and a setting in Blade Runner. The alcove at the end was created by LA ceramicist Kevin Willis and features pocketed concrete tiles that are brass-lined and hold flickering candles.
The hotel is filled with the work of local artists, including Joshua Tree sculptor Alma Allen, who created the tables and stools from pencil cedar.
The bar is run by LA Chapter; the group also operates the equally great-looking brasserie off the hotel lobby. Tables on the open deck are protected from wind and weather by a concrete wall with steel-framed windows and an awning by LA artist and girl about town Alia Penner.
The building’s original Spanish-Gothic detailing has been well preserved.
The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles is at 929 South Broadway