It’s the hipster hideaway that has gained a reputation worldwide for doing things a little differently and it’s finally opened its first Southern Hemisphere branch in NSW’s Surry Hills.
The Ace Hotel brings an Indie vibe to Sydney’s hotel scene – think record players and vinyl in the rooms, a plant-forward menu at Loam and recently opened rooftop restaurant Kiln, led by renowned chef, Mitch Orr.
The Ace Hotel group have transformed the historic Tyne building on Wentworth Ave in the super-cool Surry Hills neighbourhood. Built-in 1916, the building was once a kiln and pottery facility and its makeover has been under the eagle eye of architectural firm Bates Smart who have preserved the original 10-storey structure and added eight floors.
The hotel’s Surry Hills location means guests have some of the city’s best restaurants on their doorstep. Mod-Asian Chin Chin, edgy wine bar Poly and the new tapas offering Gildas, has already gained top marks with food critics.
A short walk away is Crown St with more pubs, restaurants and shopping to while away the afternoon.
Forget black and whites, staff here are most likely to be found in a pair of vintage Converse, Levi jeans, studded belts and printed tees. Check-in is casual and genuinely friendly.
Its carefully curated design is apparent at reception where a funky front desk is decorated with colourful blocks designed by ceramicist, James Lemon, and an oversized tapestry by Julia Gutman hangs from the wall.
Flack Studios, the team behind the interiors, has commissioned a stack of contemporary Australian artwork to adorn the hotel walls. You’d be forgiven for mistaking the hotel for one of the country’s newest art galleries. Flack’s founder, David Flack, is an avid collector and supporter of Australian art.
Set the scene
Channelling the Aussie outback, the interiors are a colour palette of burnt oranges and walnut browns. Around the corner from check-in is the art-filled lobby bar that is already humming. Perched on a stool I order a margarita, the bartender knows his stuff, and chats away happily.
A sunken lounge area beckons like a 70s lounge room. Brown leather couches, grey and maroon marble table tops and cane chairs start to fill up. Hotel bars aren’t usually a destination for Sydneysiders, but guests and locals mingle together here. The brand is a magnet for the fashionable set, and its Sydney clientele doesn’t disappoint.
There are 257 rooms of varying sizes from small and medium rooms with or without city views to spacious suites.
Retro in style, guests will check in to rooms with exposed brick walls, terracotta tiled floors and grey marble benchtops. Greens, oranges, maroons and mustards warm the room. There’s a woollen blanket from New Zealand’s Stansborough draped over the bed and long linen robes by the Byron Bay-based Deiji Studios.
The walls feature soundproof straw panelling in case you feel like trying your hand at the Rega record player and stack of indie vinyl. A small couch and desk should you need to fire up the laptop. Although most guests are found working away in the communal lounge downstairs. Wi-fi is free throughout the hotel.
If you want to stock up on hotel merch when checking out there’s a wall of collectables for its cult followers of all the tidbits found in your room.
Food & Drinks
There’s the all-day eatery, Loam, on the ground floor, popular with locals and guests. Its menu heroes sustainable seafood and meat as well as plant-based dishes. Think Fremantle charred octopus, portobello mushroom burger and grass-fed riverine sirloin. The service is friendly with a side of quirk. A magician appears at our table for an unexpected card trick. Our waitress sits down for a yarn.
The recent opening of the much anticipated Kiln restaurant under the helm of acclaimed chef, Mitch Orr, is being promoted as one of the most exciting of the year. The restaurant sits on the 18th floor with a retractable roof and features dishes from the woodfire grill and Orr’s signature takes on the jatz cracker. The drinks list has been curated by local legend, Mike Bennie, from P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants, the hi-rise venue gifting views out over the city skyline.
Radiating good vibes only, the Ace Hotel is already a hipster magnet thanks to its carefully curated design and a bar and restaurant offering set to shake up Sydney’s hotel scene.
Need to know
Rooms from $349 a night; parking, $50 a day. Loam opens daily 7am-10pm; the Lobby Bar offers drinks and snacks, 12pm-1am. Kiln will trade Tuesday to Thursday, 5pm until late. The hotel is pet friendly.
This writer was a guest of Ace Hotel Sydney. This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com