What happens when a Los Angeles-based design studio and an esteemed Japanese architect join forces? We get the Ace Hotel, the freshest contemporary haven amid the city's cool Downtown neighborhood.
Crafted and curated by iconic architect Kengo Kuma and California's Commune Design, this Kyoto kingdom is the first hotel unveiled by the Ace Hotel chain in Asia – and they have set the bar extremely high for all future endeavors.
While Commune Design is celebrated for its holistic work across creative industries worldwide, Kengo Kuma is best-known as the lead architect for the Tokyo Olympic Stadium. Together, they created a maze that combines traditional Japanese craftsmanship with colorful home decor and laid-back minimalism in a wholly unique setting.
Nestled in Kyoto's old Central Telephone Office, which was designed by modernist architect Tetsuro Yoshida in the 1920s, the hotel draws from its twentieth-century features to showcase its history – in the most stylish way possible.
Key original assets include exposed brickwork, arched windows, and high ceilings crowned with stylish brass light features. Alongside the former office building, Kengo Kuma designed a new space with a statement-gridded façade that mirrors the design of Kyoto's machiya townhouses.
While we are inevitably in awe of Ace's architectural splendor, the hotel's interiors are equally as inspiring. In the same way that the buildings blend the beauty of Kyoto's past with modern design, the interiors also follow suit.
The rooms combine wooden Japanese furnishings with quirky features that bring the room into the present day – including freestanding bathtubs, (not so mini) minibars, and a vinyl player – complete with an unrivaled record collection. For modern bedroom ideas, we could do far worse than follow Ace's stylish lead.
Beyond the boutique guest rooms and lobby, Ace has a verdant courtyard that is warmed by the distant buzz of activity from the nearby Nishiki Market. We're also taking urban garden ideas from this curated sanctuary that acts as an oasis in the heart of the city.
Plus, this isn't only a hangout for interior and architecture lovers – but art lovers too – thanks to its adjoining art gallery.
There are also three restaurants, including Mr. Maurice's Italian and the chicest taco joint in the city. The hotel is also home to Japan's first Stumptown Coffee Roasters Coffee Shop because, of course, it's not morning in Kyoto without coffee.
Discover more about Ace Kyoto and reserve a room online at acehotel.com/kyoto/.
Be The First To Know
The Livingetc newsletter is your shortcut to the now and the next in home design. Subscribe today to receive a stunning free 200-page book of the best homes from around the world.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, well-being stories, and celebrity-focused pieces.
Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.
The Holiday Cheat Sheet
This one-stop shop has all the holiday presents, chic décor, and hosting essentials you need.
By Natalie Gray Herder Published
I’m Livingetc's Editor and I Know Gifting - These 39 Timeless Presents Will Impress Anyone Who Is Tricky to Buy For
These timeless presents all go along way to making a home a more wonderful place to live in - from the perfect French Press to the a pitcher that's a work of art
By Pip Rich Published