In any definitive history of the hipster, Brooklyn surely looms large. And in the hipster’s little black book of travel tips, the Ace Hotel group is not just first alphabetically. Therefore one might have expected New York City’s “Borough of Churches” to have made the brand’s property list much earlier than July 2021. In fact, and to further illustrate our point, it had previously posted up in the now sadly shuttered Ace Shoreditch. Nevertheless, the wait was worth it and the newest Ace, in downtown Brooklyn, maturely strides the line between achingly hip and just plain cool.
The nods to locality begin before you even enter, with “The Stoop”, a streetside gathering spot that sets the tone with a Stan Bitters mural and the hotel’s first key calling card, a sculptural dodecahedral light installation that leads you in as you emerge from the nearby subway station.
Past the entrance into the lobby, a very clever trick has been played with the concrete and plywood interior decor. Far from cold and hard, this is a warm, inviting den that opens up in several directions once you’ve checked in. To the right, you’ll find the lobby bar in a state of perma-buzz, whether getting in at midnight after taking the borough’s taproom tour or rousing with the brunch crowd for broken brown rice porridge, griddled banana bread foster or the excellent pastries from chef Danny Alvarez at onsite bakery/restaurant/bar As You Are. Left of the front desk is a reading-room co-working space and attractive courtyard garden.
As on the ground floor, so up above, in the 287 rooms that occupy the 13-storey raw-concrete construction, which Ace stalwart designers Roman and Williams have dressed with custom fittings and furniture, featuring more patinated concrete and exposed woodgrain. Curated art is also a common feature, as are views through the floor-to-ceiling windows, in rooms with the right aspect, across to Manhattan, Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Final note: that record player in the photo? There’s one in most rooms. Like we said, hip. Aaron Callow
Rooms from £225 per night. acehotel.com/brooklyn