First Images: The Mondrian Shoreditch Hotel Opens in London
Though Ian Schrager already had the Morgans Hotel in New York and the Delano in Miami, it wasn’t until he opened the Mondrian on the conspicuous corner of Sunset Boulevard and La Cienega in 1996 that his Morgans Hotel Group truly became the great cultivator of the burgeoning boutique hotel trend. Twenty-five-years later, every major corporate hospitality behemoth has its own “boutique” brand or brands, Schrager is these days busy with his five-star EDITION Hotels, and Morgans is now owned by sbe Entertainment, the result of an $800 million buyout in 2016.
And wouldn’t you know, the Mondrian name lives on, with six global properties and two more on the way. The latest of those six is actually the first UK hotel, the Mondrian Shoreditch, which just opened its stylish doors this week in its namesake and perpetually hip London neighborhood. It’s actually a remake of the former Curtain Hotel at 45 Curtain Road, smack in the middle of all the bleeding edge East London nightlife goings on – those that of course haven’t been going on these last seventeen months, but are very much expected to start back up soon, if the Delta Variant doesn’t have other ideas.
Some of those goings on will be at the Mondrian, obviously, most especially at BiBo Shoreditch, the first British venture from exalted, three-Michelin-starred Spanish chef Dani García – who closed his beloved namesake restaurant in Marbella in 2019, and has been busy building a mini-empire ever since. It’s the sixth outpost of his more approachable but no less foodie-coveted tapas concept (there are four in Spain and one in Doha). There’s also Christina’s Shoreditch, a plush (black leather banquettes, extravagant Murano style chandeliers) all day and night cafe and bar with an ideological mission of sourcing all ingredients locally. Turmeric and beetroot lattes can be paired with Chestnut Bakery products (we obviously can’t wait to try the caramel miso chocolate croissants), and cocktails like the Yuzu Negroni and Birch Bark Martini are complemented by a selection of trad Japanese “sandos” – tasty little handhelds from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Upstairs there are 120 rooms and suites, designed by Goddard Littlefair (known for the Mayfair Townhouse, Villa Copenhagen, Gleneagles Scotland), with pendant lighting fixtures, boldly patterned flooring, and dramatic curtains opening on to floor-to-ceiling windows, framing the fascinating urban jumble that is Shoreditch. Some also have cool, retro-style soaking tubs, positioned right up against those prodigious windows, in fact, for maximum exhibitionist opportunities. (We’ve been known…)
Shoreditch, if you somehow managed to miss it, is two decades into its run as London’s Williamsburg, with all manner of hipsteriffic action happening wherever one looks. And the Mondrian will take advantage of that by engaging local cultural eminences and buzzy brands for regular artistic pop-ups and even live performances in the on-site screening room. And hitting the proper zeitgeist notes, the hotel boasts ample co-working spaces, as well as a rooftop pool and lounge reserved for members of the exclusive Curtain Club.
Promisingly, the UK has just dropped travel restrictions to and from the US (no more ten days of quarantining after landing); and a bit of playtime in Blighty’s capital may be just the remedy for more than a year of doing really nothing much at all. We’ll be doing it at the Mondrian, naturally.