No other hotel captures Portland’s independent spirit better than the Ace. It’s an environment unto itself, with a Stumptown coffee bar on one side of the lobby and Clyde Commons restaurant on the other. In between, the lobby is anything but fancy-schmancy, so younger travelers won’t be intimidated. The hotel was always a working-class hotel, started in 1912. It’s on the historic register, so much of it couldn’t be altered, except for the room decor, which is what really sets the Ace apart. The hotel skips overstuffed luxury and sticks to the basics without sacrificing comfort, although you have to be willing to look on your stay as a bit of an adventure if you're a budgeteer. The lowest-priced rooms have a sink but share a bathroom (another Ace feature); in the rooms with private bathrooms, you can soak in an original claw foot tub. I love that the beds have woolen Pendleton blankets, a true Oregon touch, and that some of the funky furnishings and artworks are refashioned from found objects. All of it works, and adds a touch of creative ingenuity that the overly decorated boutique hotels miss entirely. There are wall murals in some rooms, turntables with vinyl records in others. For an additional $10, you can enjoy a real breakfast with all kinds of choices. Older visitors probably wouldn’t be as comfortable at the Ace, but they would certainly be welcomed.