Mondrian London Hotel at Sea Containers
South Bank, London, England
Telegraph Expert Review & Rating
This Southbank hotel’s interior is an unabashed one-off, melding installation art with fusion cocktails and knockout bedroom views.
Expect an open shirted, high heeled international crowd intent on late nights in the rooftop Rumpus Room bar and languid breakfasts in the Manhattan brasserie-style restaurant.
Starting From: € 267
The olive coloured waters of Old Father Thames are inescapable; book a balcony river room and you’ll feel you’re on a cruise ship moored up for the night.
If you’re in London for the weekend with a cultural bucket list, this is a location supreme: 10 minutes’ walk along the Thames Path gets you to the Tate Modern, Globe Theatre and Borough Market. Blackfriars station, one minute walk away, has direct trains to Gatwick airport.
Style & character
In lesser hands, the nautical Atlantic concept could have ended up as plastic lobster kitsch. But designer Tom Dixon has created something genuinely original. The reception desk is encased in copper, shaped to resemble a ship’s hull; the design bursts through the front of the hotel and extends back to an open kitchen.
Add on a giant plastic blue ships anchor (another Dixon oddity) and a pleasingly retro scale model of the Queen Mary and you’re already on stimulation overload without having left reception.
Lighting is on the sexy and subtle side throughout helping create a gallery vibe, but minus the pretence.
Service & facilities
The in-house Curzon cinema is a quirky delight, with a small screening room showing mostly break out indie films and a to-your-seat menu including truffle hotdogs and club sandwiches. The Agua Bathhouse and Spa has an all-white, 70’s sci-fi, glacial cool vibe to it, with an emphasis on social bookings for groups where food and drink are served up amid the pedicures and mud baths. Checking both in and out is a gratifyingly brief experience with staff seemingly incapable of losing their languidly cool yet brisk poise.
- Steam room/hammam
- Fitness centre
- Room service
There’s a slightly haughty, modish cool to the rooms which share a uniform style from the entry level rooms to the river view suites. Choosing grey and burgundy as a colour scheme is a gamble but Tom Dixon succeeds with a sizable drip painting in those signature colours forming the centrepiece around which wingback chairs, a raised bed, copper lamps and mirror topped tables have room to breathe.
The mini-bar disappoints with the bog-standard inclusion of Pringles but generosity is restored by proper-sized Malin and Goetz toiletries in the marble bathrooms where the water pressure in the walk-in shower is impressively vigorous.
Food & drink
The Mondrian has ended its association with US chef Seamus Mullen, meaning farewell to the over-complicated menus of previous years. The restaurant is a buzzy, Big Apple-style brasserie with a huge stainless steel circular bar and frantic open kitchen. Dinner is now split into simple farm, field and sea sections with the piscine options the standout including fresh bream and prawn ceviche and a sublimely flaky and creamy whole brill for two.
Pre- and post-dinner cocktails come from the florally accented cocktails at the ground floor Dandelyan bar, whilst the rooftop Rumpus Room has a more macho lounge lizard vibe with a credible selection of American bourbon’s and ryes. Breakfast is a generous and robustly meaty buffet with eggs cooked to order.