Ace Hotel Brooklyn’s Confluence of Hospitality, Cuisine + Culture

From an alluring lobby bar to an endearing gym, an epicenter of activity and amenities

Running along the blurred, but developing border between Downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill, Ace Hotel Brooklyn opened this summer and, over the last few months, an alluring ground-level bar, an expansive high-design lobby space, a dynamic restaurant from chef Ryan Jordan, a rotating gallery space and arguably the most endearing gym in the borough opened. Now that all of the amenities are in service, fans of Ace Hotel‘s brand will find much to love here, and neighbors will be able to participate in the explosive cultural addition. More than a decade after Ace Hotel opened in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood, this property brings the same ethos and activity to another area that will surely benefit.

First, however, it’s worth mentioning that Ace Hotel Brooklyn is the brand’s second ground-up build. Longtime Ace collaborator Roman and Williams designed the 13-story raw concrete, metal and glass structure, working alongside architect of record, Stonehill Taylor. The facade is a Brutalist masterpiece and its artistry is underscored by the inclusion of Roman and Williams‘s enchanting sculptural light installation, which nods to Yoshiro Taniguchi’s Hotel Okura in Tokyo. Behind it, the artist Stan Bitters contributes a custom ceramic mural. These two works act as an introduction to the immense amount of art found within the hotel.

287 guest rooms populate the property. Also designed by Roman and Williams, they invoke the building’s concrete exterior, while introducing various woods and textiles. There’s a comfortable, organic artistry that those familiar with Ace properties will immediately align with. The brand refers to them as “creative refuges” and, when stepping inside, it’s understandable why. These rooms range from 250-square-foot offerings to expansive two-room Ace Suites. Views vary from picturesque skyline vistas to Hitchcockian rear window vibes; both, of course, are distinctly Brooklyn.

The third-floor gym, however, is a (design) destination unto itself. Imagined in collaboration with apparel brand Yeah, I Work Out (Y,IWO), the space comes complete with functional, modern exercise equipment but its nostalgic decor, wall of trophies, vintage gear and bodybuilder posters will embolden anyone with an inkling to explore. It’s clever and creative, bringing humor to a typically sterile space. Y,IWO even soundtracked the gym.

To dress for the gym, Y,IWO designed a collaborative capsule collection, too. From muscles T-shirts and tanks to quad shorts, the garments match the decor. Water bottles, towels and a duffel bag round out the collaboration. As Jason Thome, Y,IWO’s founder explains, they’re all inspired by Brooklyn’s working-class Italian roots—and they celebrate scenes in the film Pumping Iron “where Lou Ferrigno and his dad hit the weights in a tiny Brooklyn gym.”

Back on the ground floor, As You Are, chef Jordan’s restaurant, accommodates all-day dining. There’s a bakery component led by next-level pastry chef Danny Alvarez, and another bar with stools to sidle up upon. Regarding Jordan’s menu, there’s an (almost expected) emphasis on local, seasonal flavors, that come to life within delectable dishes that blend global cuisines. Chef Ryan was previously the executive chef at the Breslin at Ace New York, a beloved restaurant.

Perhaps the most successful attribute of Ace Hotel Brooklyn is its ability to surprise and delight despite the hotel group’s continuously expanding reputation. Ace may have developed the recipe for this style of boutique property, but the Brooklyn addition—from the carefully curated work within The Gallery to the spaciousness of its interior garden—bring something new to the bigger picture.

To point out Ace Hotel Brooklyn on the map, many (New Yorkers included) might struggle to name its exact neighborhood. And yet, with its proximity to Barclays and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and even the nearby magnificence of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill, it’s exactly where it’s needed. There’s also nothing else quite like it close by. All of this makes the welcoming nature of its lobby even more spectacular.

Images by Stephen Kent Johnson