Alex Calderwood, founder of Ace Hotel chain, dies at 47

November 17, 2013 11:00AM

 Denver born hotelier and founder of the quirky and cool Ace Hotel chain, Alex Calderwood has died at 47 in London. The cause of death is unknown.

Calderwood began his career in the early 1990’s renovating barbershops with vintage materials, an idea that he soon transferred to a 28-room building in a bad part of Seattle. Calderwood’s vintage aesthetic – Eccentric Decor And Reclaimed Furniture Combined With Street art and turntables – is ubiquitous today, as is his low pricing model.

Discussing the origin of the name Ace Hotel, Calderwood said that the Ace is “the high and the low card in the deck. We employ that high and low principle in our hotel models.”

At the time of his death, Calderwood had opened Ace Hotels in Portland, Ore.; New York; Palm Springs, Calif.; and London, with hotels in Panama and Los Angeles on the way, according to the New York Times.

Patrons of the Ace Hotel at Broadway and 29th Street in New York told the Times that they thought of the hotel as a place “whose aesthetics and business model are redefining the overlapping worlds of drinking, dining, sleeping and shopping.” [NYT]Christopher Cameron