Exterior of Ace Hotel London Shoreditch
Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

Ace Hotel London Shoreditch to close permanently as building owners plan new venture

American hotel company Ace Hotel has permanently closed its outpost in Shoreditch, London, after shuttering the venue temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ace Hotel Group confirmed on Instagram last night that the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch on Shoreditch High Street, which was shuttered temporarily in March, will not reopen under the Ace name.

"We're heartbroken to announce that our longtime home on [Shoreditch] High Street will no longer continue as Ace Hotel London Shoreditch," it said, hinting that it plans to open at another location in the city in future.

"We fell in love with that energy, and we're excited to build a new home in London in the hopeful, renewed future," it said.

Lore Group plans to relaunch hotel under new brand

Hotel company Lore Group, which operates the building, said it planned to renovate the hotel and reopen it under its own management.

"Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, the Ace Hotel and its outlets will remain closed so that we can invest in significant renovation that will both refresh and enhance the guest experience," a spokesperson for Lore Group told Dezeen.

"We are also taking over direct management of the hotel, consistent with the other premium hotels in our collection. We are grateful to Ace for helping us make the hotel what it is today and look forward to welcoming guests back once the work is complete."

Lore Group also operates the Sea Containers London hotel, which was formerly operated under the Mondrian brand, and features interiors designed by Tom Dixon.

First Ace Hotel outside the USA

Designed by Universal Design Studio, the 258-room Ace Hotel London Shoreditch opened in 2013 in a building that was previously the Crowne Plaza London.

Its opening helped seal Shoreditch's reputation as a hip, upcoming district and the hotel quickly became a hub for London's design scene, hosting numerous exhibitions and events.

"As our first hotel outside the US, it was built as an open satellite for the extraordinary energy ignited by the city itself," the brand said.

Tragically, Ace Hotels co-founder Alex Calderwood died in one of the rooms shortly after the hotel opened. In 2015, it was sold by previous owner Starwood Capital Group to a company called Limulus.

Guitars and turntables in rooms

The first Ace Hotel opened in Seattle in 1999. Designed to appeal to creative people, the hotels rapidly became signifiers of fashionable urban districts with their bustling multifunctional lobbies, quirky facilities such as flower stores and barbershops, and rooms featuring guitars and turntables.

The chain now has eight hotels in the USA and is opening a branch in Toronto later this year. The most recent Ace Hotel opened earlier this year in Kyoto, Japan with interiors by Kengo Kuma and commune.

Black Lives Matter backlash

Ace Hotels faced a backlash earlier this year over an Instagram post by Ace Hotel New Orleans, which aimed to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.

This was met with a backlash from former employees, who criticised the company's treatment of employees who are people of colour, LGBTQ or from minority groups.

In response, Ace Hotels' president and partner Brad Wilson issued a statement announcing measure the group is taking to address the criticisms.

"Our paramount goal at Ace Hotel Group is to honor the vision of our founders who, as members of the LGTBQIA+ community, were devoted to creating a welcoming and inclusive experience — particularly for those who are marginalized," Wilson wrote.

"The feedback we received in the past week made clear that in some instances, we have strayed from that vision."

London's h Club to close

The news follows the announcement that London's h Club, a members' club for people in the creative industries, is also to close permanently.

The Covent Garden club, formerly known as the Hospital Club, blamed the closure on the pandemic.

"The Covid-19 pandemic is having a devastating effect on the hospitality industry and has created an uncertain future, especially in central London," H Club said in a statement.

"Due to this and other changes globally within our organisation and after careful consideration, it is with a heavy heart that we regret to say that the Club will not be reopening its doors to members."

The photograph of Ace Hotel London Shoreditch is by Peter Guenzel.