Images by Stephen Kent Johnson
Now entering its 20th year of history, Ace Hotel Group has been surprisingly cautious taking the brand international, with only London in the portfolio to date. Toronto is coming later this year—but we also now have first images of the inaugural Ace in Asia, which will open to guests in Kyoto this April 16.
To accommodate 213 rooms, a totally new build was added onto the existing historic structure that once housed the Kyoto Central Telephone company (by architectural legend Tetsuro Yoshida).
“We’ve been wanting to do a project in Japan for twenty years now,” says Kelly Sawdon, Ace Partner and Chief Brand Officer. “Kyoto has been a longstanding global hub that has provided inspiration for countless artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers and poets. It’s a city that generates creativity and inspires travel, and we hope Ace will serve as a central gathering place for locals and travelers.”
For the project, they paired longtime design collaborators Commune with a visionary architect Kengo Kuma for an aesthetic that crosses local flavor with the stylistic signifiers of the brand. Notably, the Ace Hotel Kyoto will feature landscaped gardens, and a central courtyard connecting the historic and contemporary.
Accommodations will be characterized by the brand’s familiar hip-plicity (don’t be surprised to find a turntable or acoustic guitar in your room), but will also feature Japanese soaking tubs. The Garden Terrace rooms will surely be coveted…as will the Tatami Suite, with its Tatami style floor futons. Of course, the public spaces will be the usual galvanizing forces for the local and international creative set.
Kuma enthuses, “I intended to design a ‘Cultural Catalyst’ for various people to visit and create a seamless relationship with Kyoto’s community.”
Reservations for the Ace Hotel Kyoto are being take now, for the mid-April opening.