The Best New Affordable Hotels in the World: 2023 Hot List

This hipster-hotel titan has spent two decades establishing itself as a shortcut to a city’s pulse. Its first iteration in the Southern Hemisphere, located in Sydney’s city center in the cool-kid neighborhood of Surry Hills, doesn’t disappoint. The Ace, 18 stories high with 257 rooms, is located in a magnificent early-20th-century building that vibrates with top-to-toe creative energy. Revived by Australia’s most in-demand interior architects, Flack Studio, the former brick factory has kept its old bones—high ceilings and exposed brick and concrete walls—offset with one-of-a-kind furniture, art, and bric-a- brac by the country’s best designers, artists, and makers. The deeply comfortable rooms come in varying sizes, some with terraces, living rooms, and marble-clad bathrooms with deep bathtubs and kitchens; all rooms are soundproofed, and some have turntables and vinyl. By day, the lobby, an homage to 1970s suburbia with a burnt-orange-and-tan sunken lounge, is busy with freelancers fueled by flat whites. By night, the lights dim, DJs move in, and olive-leaf martinis flow from the high-shine ochre-and-red marble bar, while the wine bar, Good Chemistry, is a striking mint-green terrazzo-and-tadelakt space that champions the natural-wine movement. Upstairs, the retractable-rooftop restaurant Kiln has been designed by Fiona Lynch with linen walls and colorful Pollock-style splotches, and chef-about-town Mitch Orr delivers an on-trend wood-fired menu, with views every which way across Sydney’s cityscape . Rooms from $150. —Kate Hennessy

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