As with any enterprise that consciously caters to the hipster cognoscenti, we keep waiting to see if the Ace Hotel will hit a wall. We're big fans of their lovingly-curated outposts in Downtown L.A., Palm Springs and New York City, as well as the Portland original, but with each new property added to the portfolio the risk of falling into a rut increases exponentially.
So far that hasn't happened, and we're happy to report that their newest venture in New Orleans' Warehouse District is as compelling as the rest.
The two main ingredients in the Ace cocktail are in evidence – great architecture and brilliant design, this time from their longtime collaborators Roman & Williams, who did the Ace New York. R&W are masters of the "Dark Nostalgia" style which brings a vintage feel with an element of noir and a clubby Old World vibe.
Add on great food and cocktails – the Ace New Orleans has one of the best lobby bars we've ever seen, a cavernous, stylish restaurant from renowned chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of Memphis, a coffee bar, an oyster bar, a music club and a rooftop lounge – and the deal is sealed. Still to come is Friend, New Orleans' chic menswear boutique (more on that later).
Designed by Weiss, Dreyfous & Seiferth, the historic nine-story building which the Ace renovated and added on to first opened in 1928 and stood until the 1970s as Barnett’s Furniture Store. The Ace describes the rooms as "dim and moody" – which is actually better than it sounds – and there are homages to New Orleans' history and culture as a mecca for music throughout.
In short, it's a great place to grab a drink, eat a steak, meet a woman, stay the night, and feel like doing it all over again the next day.