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Ace Hotel Sydney - cultivating an inclusive approach to hospitality

One of the more appealing things that a hotel can offer, is a refuge from home. There is something reassuring about entering a hotel when a well-calibrated melange of comfort, luxury, style and secrecy instantaneously imbues one with the feeling that it is a place one could stay at permanently.

For the last twenty-three years the Seattle-born chain of no-traditional, post-modern lifestyle hotels known as Ace has established itself firmly on the forefront of offering third spaces that appeal to creative types by infusing its public spaces with its idiosyncratic yet contextualised artistic touches and thereby redefining what hotels can offer in terms of collaborative, accessible and social spaces.

Needless to say, having had the privilege of spending time at Ace’s NYC, Shoreditch and Kyoto locations, I was intrigued to check out what its first incarnation on terra australis has to offer.

With the brick façade of Surry Hills’ Tyne Building serving as a canvas, Ace descended on Sydney by employing the services of Flack Studio and the outcome of the collaboration is testament to the fact that they could have not found a more suitable partner: With respect for the past and an eye to the future, Flack Studio’s approach results in a difficult to fabricate creative flair combined sophistication and ease: Furniture, lighting, textiles and fittings coalesce into a wholistic, definitive experience.

Executing Ace’s DNA with considered élan, materiality is primordial and that textural complexity creates compelling tensions in the over two-hundred and fifty rooms and suites, two restaurants (with the piece de resistence still to be completed on the rooftop), a lobby cocktail bar, lounge, Technogym along with a laneway cafe-bar named Good Chemistry to not merely pay homage to the building’s heritage as the distribution centre of Washington H. Soul Pattinson Chemists but making it a hyperlocal hotspot.

A common theme is the custom lighting, a colour palette ranging from a bright orange towards a slightly broken yellow, where it lingers to create an otherworldly cinematic ambience, which seamlessly transitions into gloomy yellow-burned orange seemingly reflecting the Australian outback.

By counterpointing hard surfaces with lush greenery, exposed brick is further accentuated by evocative art installations of contemporary and indigenous Australian artists.

The mood is playful and during my stay it became apparent via omnipresent banter that the occupants share feelings of warmth and as if a piece of themselves is rooted in the space as they would in their own homes.

The at times quirky arrangement of mismatched furniture, both of which have become trademarks of the brand identity, are framed by suburbian 1970s inspired designs inside and outside the confines of the ten cosy and residential room types.

Equipped with curated local snacks laden mini-bars, upper tier rooms feature textural and tactile elements, e..g D’Angelioc guitars and Tivoli Radios,in-room Rega turntables complemented by vinyl collections curated by Melbourne-based record label Efficient Space and custom robes designed by Deiji Studios featuring motifs by artist Jason Phu.

Sustenance is provided courtesy of the seasonal vegetable forward neighbourhood restaurant LOAM with its eclectic beverage menu curated by vino luminary extraordinaire Mike Bennie of P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants and it was a pity that the much anticipated rooftop genrebending fusion restaurant KILN was yet to be completed. Word around the campfire has that Kiln officially opened its doors on 11 October 2022 and given its location on the eighteenth floor paired with the fact that it features a menus by chef-partner Mitch Orr, a wine list curated by Mike Bennie and interiors designed by Fiona Lynch Office, it is surely to become a destination restaurant.

Animated by open-to-all arts, culture, music and culinary programming informed by a cohesive narrative, Ace Hotel Sydney is an example par excellence for a warm and inspired lifestyle-driven boutique hotel aimed at nurturing a unique community that reimagines the historical location it is situated in.


photos courtesy of Ace Hotel

T - 14 January 2023


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