BACKGROUND Part of Morgans Hotel Group, Sea Containers is the newest of four Mondrian-branded hotels, the others being in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Doha and Istanbul are coming soon. The luxury property opened in September in a converted 1970s shipping office by the Thames. WHAT'S IT LIKE? Continuing the building’s nautical heritage, interior designer Tom Dixon took inspiration from transatlantic cruise ships, constructing a 68-metre-long copper hull that protrudes from the exterior at the front and forms the wall behind reception, curving around to meet Sea Containers restaurant. The lobby features model sailing boats, grey velvet banquettes and a giant purple sculpture of a knot. The vibe is smart yet hip with a sense of humour – the holographic lifts are fun. WHERE IS IT? On the South Bank, near Blackfriars Bridge, on the edge of the Square Mile. ROOM FACILITIES Standard rooms start from 29 sqm and are cleverly designed to maximise space – you can store luggage under the beds, and there is a living area with a workdesk and signature Tom Dixon wingback chair, and a wardrobe in the hall behind a curtain. The compact marble bathroom has a walk-in rainshower. All guestrooms have a punchy colour scheme of grey, black, white and raspberry, as well as free wifi and HD TVs with media panels. About half of the rooms look on to the Thames. My 65 sqm River View Balcony suite had an open-plan bedroom, lounge and dining area, and a spacious bathroom with a freestanding tub (provided in all suites). It felt very comfortable and homely, with high-quality fixtures. RESTAURANTS AND BARS Rooftop bar the Rumpus Room is a stunning venue, with berry-coloured chairs, sweeping city views and a terrace. Dandelyan, on the ground floor, was conceived by renowned bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana (AKA Mr Lyan). It specialises in “botanic” cocktails divided into four types – Cereal, Mineral, Vegetal and Floral. I had dinner in Sea Containers. It feels a bit big and echoey, although the semi-circular banquettes are cosy. There are hearty mains such as lamb rump (£24), but I enjoyed the house-made ricotta with fennel and pickled squash (£8). Lunch and breakfast are also served here. BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES One level below ground is a large studio that can host 200 people theatre-style or be divided into four smaller spaces. Dandelyan can be hired for parties of up to 250 people (there’s a VIP area for 40), as can the Rumpus Room (250 guests standing). The 56-seat on-site Curzon cinema can be taken over for presentations and screenings during the week. LEISURE FACILITIES On level minus two there is a spa with a glam mani/pedi zone, six treatment rooms and a chill-out area, as well as a gym with Star Trac machines. VERDICT Tom Dixon has done a great job of reimagining Sea Containers, and the Rumpus Room bar is a destination in itself. As with other Mondrians, the London property will probably appeal to younger business travellers, but still ticks all the boxes in terms of facilities and amenities. Well worth trying. FACT FILE
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 359 – 128 Standard, 110 Superior, 29 Superior Double Double, ten Superior Patio, 35 River View Deluxe and three River View Deluxe Double Double rooms, 13 Studios, six Loft suites, five River View Loft suites, 18 River View Balcony suites and two River View apartments.
- HIGHLIGHTS The city views, lively rooftop bar, cinema and cocktails by Ryan Chetiyawardana.
- PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in March started from £232 for a Standard room.
- CONTACT Mondrian London at Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground; tel +44 (0)20 3747 1000; morganshotelgroup.com