Ace Hotel & Swim Club
The Ace Hotel & Swim Club, in Palm Springs, represents an exponential leap forward for Ace. In addition to its 180 rooms, the hotel is an expansive, self-contained, five-acre resort, the kind of carefree, slightly enchanted place where you could easily while away several indolent days without ever leaving the property. In lieu of curtains or solar shades for the oversize plate-glass windows in the lobby, for example, property design firm Commune tapped artist Michael Schmidt to create a massive macramé installation. Nearby, adjacent to the front desk, there is an ATM and a period-perfect photo booth where, for $3, you can get four quickie self-portraits. To help support the “urban camping” conceit, two of the rooms’ four walls are hung, floor to ceiling, with loose canvas, which gives the spaces a soft, rippling, tent-like quality. The other two walls are covered with white slatted-wood panels that come complete with S-hooks and clips for hanging clothes and art. For the windows and for the French doors that lead out to the walled-in patios on many of the ground-floor rooms, there is a layer of mosquito netting to blunt the light and, over that, a second layer of canvas to completely block it out. The bedcovers are also canvas, punched up a bit with silk-screened abstract graphics by Free City. The bedside tables are the work of sculptor and furniture maker Alma Allen, who created a stumplike wooden cylinder for the telephone on one side and a low rectangular four-legged table on the other for a Revlon-red Music Hall turntable and a black amplifier-receiver, complete with five vintage vinyl records handpicked by Ace. Rather than buy conventional reading lamps, Commune commissioned Los Angeles artist Robert Lewis to design what he calls “love lights,” stubby, baton-like cylindrical white metal fixtures with a high-watt white reading light on one end and a low-watt red bulb on the other end for…mood. In the spirit of the red-bulb end of the mood-enhancing lamps, each room comes complete with a round tin—marked xxx—containing two condoms.