Art and rebellion: Ace Hotel primed for debut Down Under

Martinez

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US-based Ace Hotel Group is soon to launch its very first hotel in the Southern Hemisphere with the opening of Ace Hotel Sydney this Autumn.

The 264-room boutique hotel, set in Surry Hills’ historic Tyne House brick factory, is now taking reservations for stays from May 1, 2022.

Speaking exclusively to HM, Ace Hotel Group CEO Brad Wilson said each Ace Hotel is designed to serve as a welcoming public space for both the traveller and members of the local community.

“The ground floor at Ace Sydney promises to be a model of this — with a beautiful bar and public lobby, laneway café, and ample space from which to work — whether on a business trip or just looking to escape your home for a while,” Wilson said.

“We like to open our doors to the public, and celebrate the makers, innovators and artists in the cities we call home — and we’ll be doing the same in Sydney, with exciting programming partners who will highlight some of the most inspired culture in Australia. We’re looking forward to sharing much more as we open our doors in the next few months.”

Community-first approach

The hotel’s ground floor F&B offering presents a variety of dining occasions for locals to enjoy at the hotel, including at the restaurant, the communal lobby’s all-day cafe and bar, with a drinks menu curated by local drinks expert Mike Bennie.

“The ground floor also offers free Wi-Fi, and it’s common at Ace Hotels across the globe to see people studying or doing work on laptops in the lobby while enjoying drinks and bites,” Wilson said.

“Additionally, the lobby will offer all kinds of music, arts and cultural programming that’s open to everyone, not just exclusively hotel guests.”

The property also features a rooftop bar and restaurant. Respected Chef Mitch Orr is at the helm of the 18th floor restaurant Kiln, which offers wood-fired cooking.

“Our F&B program is always created community-first, looking at what the local area needs and loves,” Wilson said.

“There will be a huge focus on working with local producers and people across all of our F&B spaces.”

Rich history

The Surry Hills location, at 47 Wentworth Avenue, was a carefully considered choice, with the hotel company eager to invite the local culture, commerce, art and community through its doors.

“Surry Hills has long been exciting to us,” Wilson told HM.

“It has been a centre of art and rebellion for many decades, and that spirit feels very aligned with Ace’s ethos. The area also feels a lot more in tune with everyday life than the harbourside locations normally chosen by hotels — you’re still close to all of the cities’ landmarks, but with a relaxed, neighbourhood feel.”

Ace Sydney was designed in partnership with Flack Studio and inspired by the warm colours of the Australian landscape and the rich history of the area, from the underground liquor trade of the 1920s and 1930s, the modernist art boon of the 1960s, through to the Gay Solidarity Group protests of the 1970s.

“Surry Hills has been home to so many culturally important movements and people and has always been a home for creatives and migrating cultures,” said Flack Studio Founder and Director, David Flack.

Guest room furniture, joinery and lighting have all been custom designed by Flack Studio, and organic materials are at the forefront of the design — from acoustic textural straw walls to the ochre red concrete staircase.

“We wanted to preserve the creative, slightly renegade energy of the space since its origins as one of Australia’s early brickworks. We were committed to creating a warm space that brought together Australia’s cultural history with Ace’s unique, community cultivating approach to hospitality,” Flack added.

Wilson said Ace has “always felt a strong affinity with Australia”.

“[Australia’s] intrepid optimism and renegade spirit resonate with Ace’s roots on the Pacific Coast of America,” he said.  

“We love the country’s distinctive brand of modernism, particularly in the use of local organic materials … David’s eye for colour and space is completely singular — a dream design collaborator for our first hotel in Australia.”

The Seattle-born hotel group today has locations in Seattle, Portland, New York, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Chicago, Kyoto and Brooklyn. Ace Hotel Toronto is also due to open early this year.

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