If you know me you know that I am a sucker for a carefully crafted experience. A couple of months ago I had one such experience at NY's Ace Hotel. I would consider myself a fairly seasoned traveler who has had the pleasure of some nice stays and the discomfort of some poor choices. Walking into the Ace Hotel was like going to the apartment I wish I could afford and decorated almost exactly as I would have envisioned. I arrived at the check-in desk and was greeted by 3 super friendly and helpful young and hip "kids" who were dressed casually but somehow still cooly professional. To my delight one of them informed me that I had been upgraded to a loft. Umm, thanks?? The bad news? My room wasn't ready yet. The good news? Did you hear me say loft? Yeah. They handed me a couple of perfectly designed and packaged drink tickets for the cozy jam-packed lobby bar and I took my seat in the inviting living area on a big worn leather couch alongside a gentleman busily typing away on his computer. I was giddy on the inside and trying to keep calm on the outside like I do this sort of thing every day. I sat listening to the good jams, drinking my old-fashioned and people-watching until my room was ready. Having this pause to observe the lobby life was even more interesting. The vibe was military, rustic, and industrial all rolled in to a mellow cool package complete with a retro photo booth. The Ace is known for having cheap accommodations all the way up to...the loft. It brings a mixture of people from different financial weight classes but what they all have in common is style and an appreciation for a certain level of artful consideration. Everyone was dressed so stylishly and creatively. It was like the Sartorlialist had just lined them all up at once to be there looking fashionable. These are Mac people. This place was so ridiculously cool but somehow not at all pretentious. It was a 1-2 punch of approachable design and comfort. I was hooked. Upon getting into my room I was transfixed by the signage across the hotel leading me to the door. Walking through the door my heart skipped a beat. Wow. This place was enormous and beautiful. Every detail was considered. Perfectly placed KEXP albums sat next to the beautiful bright record player. Humor and wit was dripping from more signage thoughtfully inserted throughout the space. And I had a view of the Empire State Building. I used the stationery, I melted in the incredible shower, and I slept like a baby in the bed. I have nothing else to say other than the Ace is an exceptional experience and truly inspired.