Mondrian London at Sea Containers Should Be Your Next Port of Call
London’s South Bank area is still having a moment. While the Shangri-La Hotel continues to woo glitterati types from on high at The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building, the maritime-themed Mondrian London at Sea Containers docked along the Thames River to become one of the hottest hotels in the city. What was once an unsightly 1970s office building is now a five-star destination, featuring one of the world’s best bars and some of the most striking hotel views (and designs) in the capital.
The hotel’s transatlantic liner motif — devised by British design star Tom Dixon — is apt, as this is the Mondrian brand’s first settlement on European soil.
With the help of Dixon’s ultra-contemporary vision, the American import has done away with the traditional style of other luxury London hotels for a slick, sexy, and Millennial-ready look. The magnificent copper-clad hull that doubles as lobby reception and corridor wall, for instance, seems made for wow-factor Instagram feeds.
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Dixon amps up the theme inside Mondrian London’s 359 rooms and suites, which results in feeling like one’s inside a trendy cruise liner cabin. Front-facing rooms and suites with direct Thames River views, surely, help further achieve this effect.
The Mondrian London’s flagship restaurant (Sea Containers) and two bars (Dandelyan and Rumpus Room), all with river views, do not disappoint. New York restaurateur Seamus Mullen delivers international flavor to the Sea Containers restaurant, from raw small plates such as sea bream and prawn ceviche to the family-style servings of ribeye with bone marrow, comfortably feeding 2-3 people. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday, featuring a selection of egg dishes and freshly-baked treats, and there’s also a weekend brunch (with an option to add bottomless Prosecco or Bloody Marys) that stretches all the way from noon until 5 p.m.
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Also sharing the ground floor is the instant legend Dandelyan, ever so bold with its green marbled bar, retro fittings, and avant-garde cocktails (concrete-filtered cognac, anyone?). In just one year, it ranked on Drinks International’s “World’s Best 50 Bars” and won the Spirited Award’s “Best International Bar,” further cementing Mondrian London as the “it” place in the city. Although not nearly as extensive as the cocktail menu, bar bites are available, and include items such as rice paper vegetable rolls, ceviche corn tacos, and a selection of British cheeses. One can also take the party up top to the Rumpus Room, the hotel’s swish rooftop bar and lounge. It’s at Rumpus Room where you’ll find the most stupendous vistas of the city, stretching from Blackfriars Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral to the skyscrapers on the East End fringe.
Mondrian London’s South Bank location allows prime access to several London attractions; the world-renowned Tate Modern gallery, National Theatre, Millennium Bridge, and the London Eye Ferris wheel are all within a 15-minute stroll. However, one might find it difficult to leave the premises with the state-of-the-art Agua Bathhouse & Spa (guests receive complimentary access) and the 56-seat cinema, a suavely furnished, all-cobalt venue by Tom Dixon, where one can view the blockbuster du jour in sumptuous surrounds on weekends.