Ace Hotel’s Sister City Opens in New York—and it’s a Beaut

Ace Hotel’s Sister City Opens in New York—and it’s a Beaut

By Jen Woo
Opening May 16, the 200-room hotel references Finnish saunas and Japanese bento boxes.

Brought to you by the creative team behind the Ace Hotels, Sister City is a new, 200-room hotel located next to the New Museum in New York’s Lower East Side. Atelier Ace took inspiration from Finnish saunas, Japanese bento boxes, prehistoric cliff dwellings, and composer John Cage’s experimental 4’33"—a score that comprises four minutes and 33 seconds of silence. The result is a series of serene, contemplative spaces that maintain a sense of buoyancy through organic shapes and playful touches.

A hallway of kiosks allows guests to easily check in, get key cards, and update reservations. 

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The mood is immediately set in the lobby through electronic musician Julianna Barwick’s "Lobby Score," a composition that uses Microsoft’s AI technology and a sky camera on the roof to translate shifts in the environment into soundscapes. An evolving, audio experience shifts with the clouds, snow, sunsets, and birds.

Atelier Ace subscribed to the mantra "Less, but better" in the design of Sister City.

In the light-flooded lobby, mismatched chairs huddle around a wooden table, echoing the different surfaces surrounding the vignette: an open-slat wall with an arched doorway; a white brick wall with open, metal shelving; and a speckled, checkered tile floor. Down an airy, wood-paneled hallway, lit by a stained-glass skylight, are a row of kiosks with intuitive digital interfaces for guests to make room requests, modify their stay, or pick up keys. 

A latticed wall with an arched door partitions the lobby.

Built-in furniture outfit the minimalist guest rooms. 

In the rooms, walls are left unadorned, while custom Italian built-in furnishings in cherry wood break up the alabaster palette. The interiors are restrained, but not without character—rounded curves, striped sheets, chunky stools, and bulbous bedside lighting add an air of whimsy. Hand-numbered and stamped Noguchi lanterns and custom, terrazzo vanities complete the ensemble.

Certain rooms have bunk beds to accommodate groups or families.  

The intricate, speckled design of the vanity is paired with clean, white walls and an illuminated, circular mirror. 

Perched on the 11th floor is Last Light, a neighborhood bar offering panoramas of the city through glass walls and two outdoor roof patios. Here, a darker aesthetic emerges: the restaurant is swathed in wood with concrete floors; leather seating; and moody, custom-designed lighting. The drinks menu includes inspired cocktails, curated natural wines, and local draft beers. 

Slatted wood continues in Last Light, a rooftop bar.

Set to open this summer is Floret. Situated on the ground floor, the restaurant will offer a seasonal menu by award-winning chef Joe Ogrodnek, formerly of Battersby, and executive chef Andrew Whitcomb.

Moody tones dominate the bar. 

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