This New NYC Hotel Takes On The Philosophy 'Less But Better'

Sister City is going the minimalist route.

This New NYC Hotel Takes On The Philosophy 'Less But Better'
Photographed by Brian W. Ferry for Sister City.

When it comes to design, many hotels take the route of producing big, bold spaces that are just waiting to be Instagrammed. Well at Sister City, the new NYC retreat from the team behind Ace Hotel, minimalism is the name of the game. While the spaces are simple, they are in no way less inspirational or 'grammable.

"Sister City was imagined as a revisioning of hospitality that champions empathy, delight, and transcendent human experience," shares Ryan Bukstein, VP of brand at Atelier Ace. "Our guiding question was ‘What is truly needed?’ Yes, we need food. We need shelter. We need water. We need light. But, we believe that aesthetic fulfillment, mindful design, and a perfected functionality are human needs as well — and to feel accompanied, accepted, and well cared for."

"The design takes Scandinavian and Japanese influence, using natural materials in refined, beautifully-lit guest rooms," he explains. "And most importantly, we wanted to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere — with great views of the city."

Want a closer look at this new kind of hotel? Read ahead to see why a minimalist experience is the perfect addition to your travel itinerary.

This New NYC Hotel Takes On The Philosophy 'Less But Better'
Photographed by Brian W. Ferry for Sister City.

"This year is Ace Hotel’s 20th anniversary, so we have taken stock on the evolution from our roots, and decided to re-think what a hotel brand could be — taking it back to its core elements: intentional, considered, refined. Friends taking care of friends," says Bukstein.

"We thought about Sister City being a hotel distilled to its most beautiful working parts — an idea that takes its inspiration from the same place as minimalist art, architecture, and music," he notes. "We looked to modular architecture, elemental geometries, Montessori schools, Alvar Aalto, and our Ace Hotel Seattle roots when creating the hotel."

This New NYC Hotel Takes On The Philosophy 'Less But Better'
Photographed by Brian W. Ferry for Sister City.

When forming the philosophy for Sister City, the Atelier team wanted something that felt both organic and modern. "We started thinking about everything we love about hotels, and how to revisit the values that we built Ace Seattle with, but for a different time," shares Bukstein. "Something democratic and open-minded. Something built for evolution, and where the guest is in the driver’s seat."

While Sister City is in the same town as another Ace Hotel, both take a different to integrating NYC into their DNAs. "Both celebrate the cities they’re in and offer ways to connect guests with their environment," he notes. "However, the way they do that differs."

"Ace invites the city in, activating our public spaces with community organizations and work by local artists. Conversely, we see Sister City as a sanctuary that offers you the tools necessary to go out and fully explore the city at large," explains Bukstein. "It’s a bit quieter and stripped-down."

This New NYC Hotel Takes On The Philosophy 'Less But Better'
Photographed by Brian W. Ferry for Sister City.

"We want our guests to be granted a bit of nourishing serenity during their stay — a notion inspired by the simplicity and generosity offered in the natural world," say Bukstein. "Our goal is for guests to be able to determine for themselves what’s essential for their stay. Before and during their stay, guests can make requests via our website for things they’d want or need while they’re with us — an extra pillow, a wake-up call, a late check-out."

When it comes to the aesthetic, things are at once simple and bold. "The most direct translation of minimalism in the hotel is the materials we used in the interior design and architecture," says Bukstein. "Plywood, combed plaster walls, exposed masonry concrete, Crema Valencia marble counters, custom stained glass, and a number of custom terrazzo patterns are all presented in their post stripped down form while still incorporating high touch design elements."

This New NYC Hotel Takes On The Philosophy 'Less But Better'
Photographed by Brian W. Ferry for Sister City.

So if you're heading to NYC, consider making a stop at Sister City to get a whole new hotel experience.

As Lonny's Editor, you can find me writing about interior tips, scouting out the coolest new spots, and rallying behind amazing female entrepreneurs. You can reach me at shelby.wax@livingly.com or on Instagram @shelbywax.
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