A cosy stay and community space in Surry Hills
Opening in May 2022, Ace Hotel Sydney has established itself as community space featuring Australian art and local musicians.
Sitting on Wentworth St, this site housed Australia’s first kiln, dating back to the 1820s. In 1916 the Tyne Building was erected as a dispensary and warehouse for Soul Pattinson chemist, and later became a garment factory and a college, before sitting derelict for 35 years. Along came the Ace Hotel team who, with architect Bates Smart and designer Flack Studio, have created a 257-room boutique hotel inspired by the industrial past of Surry Hills.
Ace Hotel has a musical history. In 1999, three friends, who owned a Seattle nightclub, decided to buy a boarding house for the musicians to stay in, rather than putting them up in their own houses. This became Ace Hotel Seattle, and featured art from a then-emerging artist. Since then, Ace Hotel has opened venues all over the world, including Palm Springs, New York, and Los Angeles to Kyoto and now - the first Ace Hotel to open in Australia - Surry Hills in Sydney, NSW.
Ace Hotel Sydney is full of original works by Australian artists, with a focus on ceramic art. Entering the foyer, the standout is the unique concierge desk created by artist James Lemon. The friendly staff make check in smooth, a welcoming start to your stay.
With names like Small, Medium, Double Double and Suite, you get an idea of the size of the rooms. The Loft Suite is a corner suite that feels like an apartment, complete with leather lounge and high ceilings.
The rooms are comfortable. Substantial block out curtains and soundproofed rooms make your stay private and peaceful. No stark minimalism here - the colour palette is warm with earthy hues.
If you’re travelling with kids, or more than two people, you can request connected rooms - a Small and a Double Double. Their two adjacent doors open onto the hallway, which is then closed off by a separate door, allowing you to access both rooms freely.
Pets are welcome, (read: dogs, although Ace Hotel Sydney is happy to consider other pets), with a floor dedicated to your canine companions. They get a bed, and a bowl, and are allowed to hang out with you in the Lobby Bar. Petsitting is also available.
In keeping with the musical theme, rooms contain a Tivoli radio, and a record player and selection of records from local music shops. When you book, you can request a guitar in your room if you feel like playing some tunes, and there’s blank sheet music in the leather stationery folder if you feel inspired to write your own music.
Along with extra hooks and little nooks to store your belongings, and custom-built furniture and joinery, it's these small touches that set Ace Hotel Sydney apart from a basic hotel stay.
Head to the ground floor to the Lobby - a cocktail bar and lounge inspired by 70s modular design. Bright and airy in daylight hours, it seems a good place to work from as a mix of guests and locals sit using their laptops in the sunken lounge.
Later in the day, the Lobby welcomes the neighbourhood in for a dance and a drink. There is a focus on Australian spirits, and an extensive list of local wine and beer. Local DJs and musicians play in the bar from Fridays to Sundays.
Also on the ground floor is LOAM restaurant - open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Loam means 'earth', and the seasonal menu focuses on vegetables, and sustainable meats and seafood. The relaxed area features a striking artwork by ceramic sculptor Glenn Barkley, and was made replicating pieces found in the original kiln.
On Foy Lane, is Good Chemistry - a cafe by day and wine bar by night. Serving Sydney-made Mecca Coffee, and Tea Craft, Good Chemistry is open all day and is a great spot for pastries and toasties. Featuring an installation 'City Lights' by Callum Morton, Foy Lane has hosted street events for the community, and World Pride.
Take the lift to the 18th floor to Kiln. The rooftop restaurant and bar has a unique view of the Opera House, and the retractable roof opens for fresh air and light. This area was designed by Fiona Lynch, who collaborated with Spacecraft Studio. The walls are lined with fabric, coloured with pigments made by powder from salvaged materials from the original kiln. The restaurant is led by Chef-Partner Mitch Orr (formerly of Duke Bistro, ACME and Pilu), and features a seasonal menu designed for sharing.
Close to Central Station, Ace Hotel Sydney is less than 10 minutes' walk away from Hyde Park, Australian Museum, Chinatown, and Capitol Theatre. The Queen Victoria Building, The Galeries and the Art Gallery of NSW are within a 15-minute walk.
If you're coming by car, the closest parking stations are Secure Parking – Goulburn Street Car Park and Wilson Parking – 175 Liverpool. Ace Hotel Sydney guests are offered a special rate of $50 per 24-hour period at either garage.
Heading to Vivid? Ace Hotel Sydney has a limited offer - 'Double Down On Vivid Sydney' with some special extras like complimentary parking and free lunch and dinner at LOAM for diners under 10 years old.
Image credit: Anson Smart
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Ace Hotel Sydney and proudly endorsed by HUNTERhunter.