Why book Mondrian Shoreditch?
To remember that London is one of the most exciting, energetic cities in the world – and that there’s still no better base than Shoreditch to be part of it all. After some of East London’s big-ticket hotel brands decided not to reopen following a series of lockdowns (The Curtain, The Ace), there was space for a new kid on the block – and the Mondrian has stolen the limelight effortlessly.
Hotel address: Mondrian Shoreditch, 45 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3PT
Price from £299
Set the scene
At ground level, Shoreditch’s streets, on the edge of the City, are instantly recognisable. From the rooftop pool – a rare commodity in London – things look different. Glassy skyscrapers rise to the west, red-brick houses unfold to the east. Free-wheeling freelancers flit from their laptop to a dip in the water and back again, fuelled by expertly poured flat whites from Altitude, the top-floor restaurant. Whizzing down to more familiar ground, the colourful lobby is dominated by huge plants and playful artwork, including a secret light-filled mirror room next to the lifts that is prime for Espresso Martini-inspired photoshoots.
For the better part of 2020 and into 2021, there were no tourists in London. Most of Zone One was deserted, the City itself eerily quiet. Even Shoreditch, still one of the East End’s most fun-loving neighbourhoods, was empty. Members-club-meets-hotel The Curtain, which made a splash on the London hotel scene when it opened in 2017 with its bold Banksy artwork, nightclub and outpost of Harlem restaurant Red Rooster, shuttered its doors for the final time. Enter the Mondrian, the city-slicking hotel group dreamt up by Ian Schrager in the 1990s. Owners the Reuben brothers made the most of the enforced downtime of yet another lockdown to bring in design studio Goddard Littlefair (also behind Gleneagles, Villa Copenhagen and The Mayfair Townhouse). The team gave the space a costume change to join the brood of Mondrian hotels in New York, LA, Doha, Seoul – and, soon, Australia’s Gold Coast, Singapore and Paris. The opening brings the Mondrian brand back to London for the first time since 2019 when the team handed the keys of its Southbank property over to the Sea Containers – making this Shoreditch spot the group’s European flagship.
While this is in some ways a familiar spot, a serious refresh has left the space feeling sparkly and new. The 120 whitewashed, exposed-brick rooms are light filled (soaring windows overlook the thrumming day-to-day life of the streets below) and jazzed up with eclectic illustrations. The biggest suites have enormous bathrooms and private balconies for sundowner drinks. They’re smart, handsome and have bags of space for making yourself at home – but this is the sort of hotel where you won’t spend much time in your room.
Food and drink
When The Curtain closed, so did Marcus Samuelsson’s London outpost of Red Rooster, as a result the lower-level dining room was prime for another big name. The restaurant has reopened as Bibo – the first UK spot from Andalusian chef Dani Garcíía, who closed his Marbella restaurant of the same name just three weeks after it was awarded three Michelin stars in 2019. But this doesn’t feel like a hotel restaurant at all, fitting right into Shoreditch’s cutting-edge food scene. The tapas section of the menu is where you’ll find all the classics (squidgy pan con tomate, crispy croquetas topped with jamón ibérico), as well as more unusual bites such as a melty oxtail brioche and salty ink croquetas. Mains of excellent burgers and pork presa are served straight from the grill, while family sharing platters of paella and deep-fried sea bass will feed the whole table. We recommend the Basque cheesecake for pudding – but be warned, it comes piled with shaved Parmesan, a Marmite moment that divided our party. Breakfast is served back on the rooftop, where plates of fluffy pancakes and posh full English are delicious, but second rate to the view. The ground-floor bar Christina’s is a fresh hangout for laptop-wielding locals who are tired of their work-from-home set-up, as well as hotel guests seeking out coffee from Redemption Roasters or a glossy pastry from Belgravia patisserie Chestnut Bakery.
This is slap-bang in central Shoreditch. Walk in any direction to find some of London’s best bars and restaurants (unfussy Michelin-starred spot Leroy is one minute away, it’s three minutes to convivial wine bar Passione Vino and four minutes to Basque-grill hangout Brat) plus shopping at Brick Lane, Columbia Road or Spitalfields Market.
Far from buttoned up – tattooed, peppy young staff cheerfully discuss everything from their favourite local bars to make-up recommendations (our barista spotted the Glossier pouch poking out of our handbag, prompting a long discussion on brand favourites).
Sadly the little notice in the bathroom urging guests to consider their eco-footprint when using housekeeping fell a little flat considering there are single-use plastics in the bedroom and bathroom.
Anything left to mention?
Members’ club The Curtain will reopen in September, bringing with it a co-working space and members-only events that will make this an obvious choice for roaming digital nomads.
Scroll down for more pictures of the Mondrian Shoreditch hotel…
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