The Southern Hemisphere's First-Ever Super-Sleek Ace Hotel Has Finally Opened in Sydney

The 257-room hotel is now welcoming in guests — and its ground-floor restaurant and lobby bar are serving up bites to eat and cocktails, too.
Sarah Ward
May 18, 2022

One of the world's most stylish hotel chains has finally opened its doors Down Under, ready for sleek-as-hell winter getaways across the ditch. Ace Hotel has built itself up a cult following since opening in 1999, with the boutique chain going for a luxe-vintage vibe — and now, after announcing its first Australian site back in 2019, dropping a sneak peek in 2021, and revealing its food and drink lineup earlier this year, the brand's 18-storey Sydney outpost is open for business.

This isn't just the US chain's first Aussie location. It's also its first in the Southern Hemisphere. The brand kicked off in Seattle, then spread to Portland, New York, Los Angeles, London, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Chicago in the US, and opened its first international location in London in 2013. And, before the pandemic, it was probably on your must-stay list thanks to its great bars, pools, cool branding and merchandise, and quirky locations — such as a converted Denny's and a historic YMCA building.

Each Ace Hotel is individually designed to reflect its surroundings. In Sydney, its new venue has been designed in partnership with Flack Studio — and it's making the most of its Surry Hills location. That spot: the site of Australia's earliest kiln discovery, where convict potter Jonathan Leak produced domestic pottery as early as the 1820s. It then became the Tyne Building, with the brick structure constructed in 1916 as the factory and distribution centre of Washington H Soul Pattinson Chemists.

Decor-wise, think minimalist designs, warm and earthy tones, and cues aplenty taken from the Australian landscape. Standout touches include an ochre-red marble staircase reaching up from the lobby, burnt orange and tan hues in the ground-floor sunken lounge and a heap of greenery.

And, an impressive art collection. On display, you'll find pieces by everyone from Tony Albert, Sydney Ball, Glenn Barkley, Karen Black, Barbara Cleveland, Laith McGregor and Sanné Mestrom through to Julia Gutman, Nadia Hernandez, Joanna Lamb, James Lemon, Nabilah Nordin, Jahnne Pasco-White, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran and Justene Williams. The venue also boasts an artist-in-residence program, which'll launch soon, as curated by Nina Fitzgerald of The Impact Lab.

Ace clearly boasts plenty to look at as soon as you walk in its doors — and it's also home to a number of spaces to hang out in, too. Open now is the site's lobby cocktail bar in that aforementioned sunken lounge, plus ground-floor neighbourhood restaurant Loam. In the coming weeks and months, they'll be joined by laneway cafe and bar Good Chemistry; Kiln, a rooftop restaurant and bar by chef and partner Mitch Orr; and a wine program by P&V Wine's Mike Bennie.

Obviously, staying in impressive surroundings is the main drawcard — and the cosy yet chic rooms here fit the bill. There are 257 of them, with some allowing pets. Among the features: custom lighting, furniture and fixtures; an in-room vinyl collection curated by Efficient Space's Michael Kucyk; Deiji Studios robes; and minibars packed with wares from local providers.

Already planning for your first Ace Hotels experience? Under high-season rates, rooms start at NZ$396.

Find Ace Hotel at 47–53 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney, Australia. 

Published on May 18, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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