Australia's first Ace Hotel: The hippest hotel chain in the US lands in Sydney

Ace, the US born hotel chain so cool it inspired decades of hipster hotel copycats, has finally arrived in Australia.

For the Ace Hotel Group's first southern hemisphere property, they've nabbed the site of a 1916 former brick factory in Surry Hills.

The project has been spearheaded in partnership with developer Golden Age Group, who bought the Wentworth Avenue Tyne Building back in 2018 with plans to convert the site into a $350 million luxury hotel, according to Australian Financial Review.

Ace Hotel Group CEO Brad Wilson has described the Australian opening as a "dream fulfilled".

"We are eager to warm its civic spaces alongside our friends and programming partners who will continue to shape the character of Ace Sydney," Wilson said. 

"We're excited to share our take on hospitality — one rooted in community and inclusivity, and built for discovery and fun — and to see the hotel become a home for everyone, from our Surry Hills neighbours to travellers from far afield."

A swathe of Australian design and culinary heavyweights have been tapped to oversee Ace's transformation.

Fitzroy-based Flack Studio is behind the 18-storey, 257-room hotel's hip aesthetic, which takes its design cues from the city's rough-hewn history. 

On the food and drinks side, top Sydney chef Mitch Orr (CicciaBella, ACME) is headlining the offerings at the helm of the hotel's soon-to-open rooftop restaurant and bar, Kiln, designed by Fiona Lynch Office (the name references the building's pottery past; it's also the site of Australia's earliest kiln discovery).


In the meantime, patrons can get their culinary fix on the ground floor's lobby cocktail bar and Ace's all-day eatery LOAM, a sister location to the Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles restaurant of the same name (the moniker derives from the nutrient rich soil, ideal for growing). The casual 65-seat diner, headed by executive chef Heidi Flanagan, includes a coffee shop spruiking Mecca beans, and a dinner service with a strong plant-based proposition (breakfast and lunch is on the way). 

Mike Bennie, Sydney's natural wine king and co-owner of cult wine store P&V, has curated a drinks list that champions local drops.

Soon to join the ground-floor offerings, laneway cafe and wine bar Good Chemistry is gearing to launch in the coming weeks with a menu of freshly baked pastries, toasties and seasonal salads, alongside a selection of tap wine and beer.

As with previous Ace properties, art and design is front and centre. Flack Studio has incorporated nods to the building's industrial past with an Australian colour palette, melding ochre and burnt oranges with marble, open brick and concrete. As well as hosting a permanent art showcase, the hotel has launched an artist-in-residence program curated by The Impact Lab to promote First Nations artists and stories.

Guest rooms, which start from $359 a night, are heavy on the hipster essentials Ace has become known for – robes with custom artwork, minibars stocked with "goods from local friends", Tivoli radios, Rega record players, D'Angelico guitars, and an in-room vinyl collection hand-picked by Melbourne label Efficient Space.

Ace Sydney's remaining food ventures are set to trickle open over coming months, with cuisine-bending Orr's Kiln already generating plenty of buzz in the Sydney dining scene, with a menu that draws on Italian, Japanese and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Golden Age Group's new Ace hotel adds to the neighbourhood's strong boutique accommodation offerings, joining fellow conversions Paramount House Hotel and Crystalbrook Albion.


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