Every Sunday I write from the lobby of The Ace Hotel. I sit next to babes on their MacBook Pro’s at a long desk and listen to The Velvet Underground being blared on the hotel speakers and love every absurd moment of it. For those of you who aren’t in the know, The Ace is a boutique hotel that’s transforming into a lifestyle brand. In the New York branch, they have a coffee shop as well as an Opening Ceremony, you know, in case you feel like blowing $600 on a dress designed by Chloe Sevigny while you wait for your car to arrive to take to you to the airport.
Other than New York, they also have locations in Portland, Seattle and Palm Springs. I’ve had the fortune of staying in the Palm Springs location, which is essentially a motel in the desert with lots of gay guys and a swimming pool. It kind of feels like you’re on the set of a 70s gay porn movie when you stay there. There’s something deeply nostalgic about the place, like it’s some weird homosexual utopia that stayed preserved though out the AIDS epidemic of the ’80s.
At first I hated The Ace because I felt like it promoted itself too aggressively towards the rich hipster, the kind of guy who made it rich with his eco-friendly clothing line, but still likes to wear his Chuck Taylor’s, drink PBR and be “real.” But now having spent many Sundays here over the past few months, it’s become what I’ve loved about it. The Ace is unabashed in presenting this kind of bourgeious bohemian lifestyle. They’ve catered to a very specific and profitable type of consumer—someone who’s young, wealthy and ready to spend their cash on a $10.00 free-trade organic mocha. Hell, they’ve even partnered with Butt magazine to develop a line of porn videos for its Pay-Per-View channel. Personally, I prefer in-your-face marketing over the subliminal kind. It’s more honest.
The real reason why I keep coming back to the Ace though are the people. Fact: Rich travelers who stay in hip hotels are the biggest freaks on leashes. They’re like some parody of a Sofia Coppola film brought to life and I live, breathe, die to overhear their conversations. Here are some sample quotes:
Girl: I’ve been really getting into Buddhism lately, but the chanting has actually been kind of stressful.
Weird Rich Dude: People think having a doorman would be great, but it’s actually kind of a hinderance. I feel like I’m answering to Mom and Dad whenever I come home drunk or something. It’s bullshit.
Weird Rich Mom: I gave August (her toddler son) some Ambien on the flight. Worked like a charm. Ugh, sleeping pills are a must for the kids when we travel.
Why is there such a shocking lack of self-awareness amongst rich people? I love them, I love their insanity, and I especially love their refusal to acknowledge the insanity. It makes for some beautiful exchanges of dialogue here at The Ace Hotel. Which reminds me, I have to scrounge up $8.00 to buy these french fries with garlic aioli and eavesdrop on this hot foreigner. Happy Sunday!