With a prime riverside location, a destination cocktail bar and a cinema, the Mondrian is a hotel for international travellers and Londoners alike.
First things first: the Mondrian isn’t just for tourists. Since it opened it has wooed Londoners (Time Out included) with its award-winning Dandelyan cocktail bar, governed by the hand of Ryan Chetiyawardana (or Mr Lyan as he also known). Then there’s the decent Sea Containers restaurant and the Rumpus Room, a stunning 12-floor bar offering panoramic views across the Thames to St Paul’s and beyond. Oh, and there’s a 56-seat cinema should you be too lazy to venture further down the South Bank to the nearby BFI.
It’s this South Bank location (next to Blackfriars Bridge) which gives it unparalleled access to London’s cultural quarter. Guests can tick off the Tate Modern and the Globe to the east, and the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre to the west, should they want to cram in more culture than ‘The Culture Show’ during their trip. On the flipside, this does mean you’re a bit of a schlep away from the party spots and world-class restaurants of, say, Soho, but that’s nothing a short Uber ride can’t fix.
Arriving from the riverside entrance makes a much more favourable impression than the rear which is remarkably unremarkable (it’s surrounded by offices and flats). Once inside, the main foyer, with its curvy bronze cladded walls designed to mimic a ship’s hull (the building used to be a shipping company’s offices), is an impressive sight. And this slick design runs throughout the building. Corridors to rooms are sultrily lit, and rooms lend themselves to the feeling this is a hotel where you can get up to all sorts of naughtiness. Standard rooms can be bagged for under £200 per night during quieter times, but those with deep pockets can live the dream in a riverside balcony suite – a palatial space that’s bigger than some one-bedroom flats in London. These come equipped with roll top bath tubs, dining tables, Tom Dixon-designed furniture and fittings, and a bed so comfy you’ll want to chain yourself to it in protest at having to leave.
The Mondrian is part of the Morgans Group, a company that also owns the Sanderson and St Martin’s Lane in London, as well as Mondrians in LA and Miami. This is easily their best property in the capital. In fact, it’s one of the very best hotels in town – whether you’re a guest or a local.
Time Out tipThe whole stretch along the Thames is an absolute joy to walk along, and if you’re planning to propose, it also makes a beautiful backdrop for popping the big question (she said yes, by the way).
By: Mark O’Donnell
Friday November 18 2016