We’re always glad to see a classic American roadside motor inn de-branded, renovated and repurposed. It’s a shame to see these mid-century buildings torn down, and as the building disappears, so does an example of an authentically American cultural form. Luxury boutiques can stay in the cities, and luxury villas can stay in Bali, where they belong — on the highways of the American west the motel is king.

Admittedly, though, we didn’t see this one coming. For the Seattle-based Ace Hotel group, an expansion into downtown Portland was always in the cards. An outpost in Manhattan presents a challenge, but not a total re-invention. Palm Springs, however, is another matter entirely — but if anyone’s capable of swimming against the twin tides of faded mid-century design museums and bland contemporary luxury resorts, in the process making Palm Springs both hip and affordable once again, you have to imagine it’s Ace.

Text Courtesy of Tablet Hotels

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Theirs is not the intimidating, almost alienating brand of cool that seems to be the goal of the typical modern urban boutique hotel. Though design is a vital element in the Ace hotels, nowhere is it prankish or self-consciously avant-garde. One struggles to find a better word than


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