There are now Ace Hotels in several U.S. cities and London, but back in 1999 there was only one, and this was it. The idea and aesthetic behind Ace is an appealing one: Convert old(er) buildings into cool new hotels using reclaimed materials and architectural details; have some of the rooms share bathrooms, European style; and charge a reasonable rate. So this is not a hotel with frills and frou-frou, but it is a hotel that is something of an adventure to stay in. In the century-old building in Belltown, Ace made use of the original brick walls and wood floors but painted them white. Bathrooms were created from scratch, using white tile and small stainless steel sinks as accents. Half the rooms share (immaculate) bathrooms, the others have private bathrooms with showers. Each room is unique. Two of them have wall art by famed graffiti artist Shepard Fairey. Others are decorated with nostalgic photos of Washington scenes. The furnishings are simple and minimal—no more than a 1960s-era sculpted plastic chair in some, a vinyl sofa in others. They all have work desks, but the lighting in some rooms could be better. Green plants add a nice living touch to this minimalist urban aesthetic. This is the kind of intriguing small hotel you might find in Europe, and it draws people of all ages from around the globe. There are several good restaurants within easy walking distance, the fabulous Macrina Bakery is right across the street, and you can get to Pike Place Market on foot in about 10 minutes. The reception area is up a fairly steep flight of stairs and there’s no elevator, so if mobility is an issue, you probably don’t want to stay here.