We’ve never wanted to be the type of traveler who goes to an amazing, faraway city and rarely leaves their hotel room—until we saw the new Ace Hotel in Kyoto, Japan, opening this spring. The brand collaborated with its longtime partner Commune Design on the project, but it also brought a new, local talent into the mix: architect Kengo Kuma, the principal designer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium. The rooms have all the makings of a typical luxury hotel (minibars, lounges, spacious vanities) but with a new and improved spin (tatami mattresses, Tivoli radios, original works from local artists, and undeniably beautiful storage). Our three favorite upgrades:
The Better Medicine Cabinets
The boxy mirror-and-shelf combos over the sinks, crafted from tamo wood (a local variety similar to western American ash), aren’t your typical apartment contraptions. We’re all about the sliding door at the bottom that has the ability to hide the boring stuff (i.e., medicine) as well as show off prettier bottles. In the double vanity scenario, a conveniently located column of niches offers couples a place to store shared toiletries.
The Multipurpose Sofa Bed
Most hotel room couches that transform into beds are exhausting to unravel and put back together in the morning—not this super-simplified version, inspired by traditional Japanese futon seating. The bolster cushion happens to be a blanket, so when it’s time for a power nap after sightseeing, all you have to do is undo the leather straps.
The Refreshed Room Divider
Shades aren’t just for windows—they can split up a large, open room, too. The perforated black ones in the hotel’s Historic guest rooms roll all the way down to the desk partition, creating a haven within a haven.
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