Writers Craft Letters to Surprise Ace Hotel Guests

Writers Craft Letters to Surprise Ace Hotel Guests
Arts & Culture

Ace Hotel offers micro-residency Dear Reader program for writers

Simone Spilka
  • 9 february 2015

The Ace Hotel is notorious for providing its guests with a better way to eat, play and sleep: a hybrid space for locals and travelers to share creative ideas over Stumptown coffee.

With seven global locations that celebrate design and cultural experience, the collection of hotels continues to build on its vision as a creative hub. The Ace provides a modern take on old-time classics and continues to refresh the hotel room experience beyond a nice bed and comfy room service.

A recent collaboration with writer Alexander Chee proves that hand-addressed letters are equally celebrated among curators as they are enjoyed by the readers.

Dear Reader

In an intimate, Grand Budapest Hotel-like experience, the Dear Reader initiative will invite a writer each month of the year for a prolonged sleepover at the Ace Hotel New York.

alexander chee

Chee, curator of The Amtrak Residency (a project which saw writers on US trains)  has selected 12 writers for the mini-residency who will be responsible for creating an open letter to hotel guests. The letters, written in epistolary format, will be delivered on a surprise date with turn-down service, hand-stamped and numbered. The limited edition objects will likely be a mystical and curious surprise for unsuspecting guests. Throughout 2015, the Ace will host seasonal readings as a kind of “living anthology.”

It was Chee who came to the hotel with the original concept. In Chee’s own letter written about the project, he explains he was always impressed by the hotel’s commitment to artists and writers and wanted to create something that would set them a part.

The writers were asked to participate in Dear Reader based on their previous experiences with Chee. The curator selected 12 artists whom had once told him a story he couldn’t forget, including Saeed Jones, Catherine Chung, Lucas Mann and others. Some are pictured below.


Catherine Chung Credit: Ayano Hisa



DarkMatter. Credit: Nerdscarf Photography


Chinelo Okparanta, Literature Finalist, in Midtown, New York.

Chinelo Okparanta Credit: ©Rolex/Bart Michiels

Their collective work has been published in literary and cultural journals such as n+1, Electric LIt, and the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. Atticus Lish debuted Dear Reader while the remaining order of appearance will be a surprise throughout 2015.

Ace Hotel / Dear Reader

+ACE Hotel
+Ace Hotel Dear Reader
+Alexander Chee
+Dear Reader
+The Amtrak Residency

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