100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ
You don’t need a fixed gear bicycle, bushy beard or skinny jeans to fit in at the Ace Hotel Shoreditch, but it surely helps. A magnet for design-types, tech start-up CEOs and everyone else in search of an alternative hotel experience, Ace Hotel does a few things very well: atmosphere in its common areas, minimally hip but high-functioning rooms and authentic hospitality.
Ace Hotel has become known as the antidote to boring hotels, and has been slavishly copied the world over—though most have been unable to capture the pixie dust magic that makes these hotels so special.
Housed in what was probably London’s ugliest and most drab hotel (a former Crowne Plaza), Ace Hotel Shoreditch is the product of a year-long renovation and design overhaul by the Ace team and local London designers, UDS. With an already acclaimed restaurant, the “modern brasserie” Hoi Polloi, from the London team behind Shrimpy’s and Bistrotheque, a third-wave coffee bar Bulldog Edition powered by the legendary Square Mile Coffee Roasters and a bar by Max Lamb, the hotel has everything you need under one roof.
And while the clientele may sometimes be a bit too cool for school, the staff stand out for their eager helpfulness and lack of pretension—and we might add that the hotel is a bit of a bargain when compared to hotels north and west of here.
Even though rooms have a custom-designed table and chair set (as opposed to a boring desk stuck against the wall), most guests treat the hotel’s stylish and welcoming lobby as a mobile office. But note that the hotel can be quite loud in common areas, and this gradually builds until the evening when it can be downright noisy.
Shoreditch High Street can be very busy on weekends, so if you are a light sleeper, ask staff for a “quiet” room in the back when checking in—though admittedly you’ll miss the great city views.
Rooms do have some issues, like smallish and a bit plain bathrooms, tin tea cups (instead of glass or ceramic) that Brits have universally railed against and not the best room-to-room sound-proofing.
Shoreditch is one of London’s most vibrant and buzzing neighborhoods, so you’ll have a wide selection of cultural, culinary and creative spots within walking distance, including the famed Brick Lane (which has a fantastic market on weekends) and the shops in Boxpark.
The hotel is a good 10-15min walk from the Liverpool Street tube station, and unless you are feeling sporty, we’d recommend cabbing it. Ace Hotel does not have a spa, but that’s ok, as you’ve got one of the coolest on the planet, Cowshed, just a few blocks away at the Shoreditch House.
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