Living the high life in London

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Contributed by Jens Hoffmann.

The set up minmalist design – think NYC loft space

I checked in at “The Ace Hotel” in Shoreditch, already a London legend.

Beautiful located in East London.


In the lobby, there is a long and busy shared table. Elegant library-style reading lights run down the middle; to either side there are two dozen plain wooden chairs.

Most of them are occupied throughout the day by people with laptops – young, or youngish, and carefully dressed in casual clothes. Some are guests, some are not; yet none of the hotel staff seems to draw a distinction or try to move anybody on.

London-based architecture and interior design firm Universal Design Studio took the lead inside and out with Ace Hotel, the façade using a rather interesting dark ’engineering brick’ grid pattern with a heavy feel. Inside you’ll find the heart of all Ace properties, the lobby. As well as the reception and a well-stocked collaboration goods store, locally-sourced materials, including a cork ceiling fitted with copper light fixtures and timber parquet flooring have been used throughout, not to mention a sweet selection of Ercol seating and a work desk for getting on with business. Coffee of course makes an appearance via Bulldog Editions featuring Square Mile Roasters and much cake.
Most important however, the rooms. Ace describe them as “a friend’s Shoreditch apartment, a collection of furniture and objects acquired over time, each with stories and memories attached.” Inside, pieces from local makers including maps and sketch pads, as well as Revo radios, Rega RP1 turntables, Farmers’ bath products, quilts by A.P.C. and leather trays from Ally Capellino.

Your neighbours in Brick Lane will enjoy your guitar music, each room has its own beautiful guitar.

Once you’ve had a good nights sleep restaurant Hoi Polloi from the Bistroteque crew serves from breakfast to late night ‘supper’, treats come courtesy of Lovage “a seasonal farm-to-street elixir stand” offering sorbets and granitas, there’s a basement bar and lobby DJs for booze and music and even somewhere to stock-up on flowers with ‘That Flower Shop’, founded by Hattie Fox. So, basically, you’re going to have to find a pretty good reason to leave your hotel at all.

London calling.


Outside, the pleasures and opportunities of booming inner east London extend in all directions: Dalston’s nightclubs to the north, Old Street’s digital start-ups to the west, the City of London’s financial honeypot to the south.

The 264-room hotel is largely the creation of Alex Calderwood, an American entrepreneur and self-styled “cultural engineer”. Starting in Seattle in the 1980s, straight out of school, he constructed an idiosyncratic, hyperactive, ever-diversifying career, involving fashion design and retail, nightclubs, a barbers’ shop chain, a record label, an advertising and marketing agency, an art book publisher and, most recently, an international chain of hotels that successfully overturned many of the rules of the hospitality trade.

Before the London Ace, he had established hotels in Seattle, Portland, New York and Palm Springs, each starkly different in atmosphere and design, and therefore lacking the usual benefits of standardisation and economies of scale.

I love it to be in London, always…

Living in style.