Its quirky title may allude to themes of industry and enterprise—and there is a bit of that thanks to the buildings maritime history—but the super stylish Mondrian Sea Containers is a grand boutique hotel with all the art, interior pizazz and river views you could want. Equally suited to corporate visitors with a penchant for dramatic design hotels as it is for vacationing guests inspired by the Thames-side location and thoughts of late night cocktails surrounded by a glamorous crowd, Mondrian Sea Containers does boutique style on a large scale. And as for that river view, well, there aren’t many hotels in London that can beat it.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Between the sculpture, the art and the slick clientele, the hotel presents a stunning image at all times, so if keeping up with the cool crowd doesn’t sound appealing, this might not be the place for you.
A hotel of clean lines and sleek, shiny surfaces, the rooms follow the look. Elegant and contemporary, neutral greys are warmed up with pops of color and have a masculine mood about them.
The pick of the rooms are those with river views and if you have the means to stretch to the top of the price bracket, the suites with impressive river view balconies are unbeatable.
Walk-in showers are standard in most rooms, but bathtubs can be found if you’re keen to upgrade to a premium room. The grey color scheme from the room is brought into the bathroom and large swathes of marble make showering feel like a reassuringly luxury experience.
If the rooms are a little uniform, the public spaces take up the slack to wow on their behalf, with art works, sculpture and custom finishes throughout the hotel. A vast entrance lobby features a great copper ships’ hull that scythes through it—to, you know, both look amazing and instil a sense of awe in everyone that passes through.
The Agua Bathhouse and Spa is likely to attract guests on its own merits. A wide variety of treatments and pampering processes are available in the space which, once again, is strikingly designed.
The 24-hour gym is filled with high-end cardiovascular machines and a range of free weights in the one room in the hotel that keeps things functional.
Owned and operated by American company Morgans Hotel Group, the transatlantic themes are exploited in the Sea Containers Restaurant with the British-American menu, which goes big on gourmet meatballs, grilled meats and seafood. Most public spaces within the hotel seem to have a killer view and the dining areas are no different, with vistas of St. Paul’s in the distance proving an excellent entrée.
Choose between the incredible views from the Rumpus Room rooftop bar and the more refined cocktail bar Dandelyan, with its art deco emerald, green and gold color scheme and creative drinks.
Recline in the purple velvet chairs of the Mondrian cinema, where new releases are screened throughout weekends.
Located between Waterloo and Battersea Bridge, the hotel has the culture of the Southbank on its doorstep, St. Paul’s and The City a short trip across the river and Westminster and the Houses of Parliament a little way to the west. And then there’s the bars and restaurants of Borough and Bermondsey. In short, walking is an excellent way to explore, otherwise Waterloo Station has great city and national links.
Eat creative dishes made with the best of Borough Market’s produce at Elliot’s (16-minute walk). For more great views go to Skylon (11-minute walk), the grill restaurant that takes up the third floor of the Royal Festival Hall, or the OXO Tower Restaurant (2-minute walk) for fine dining and great wine eight floors up.
It will take some doing to drag you away from the drinks at Dandelyan, but if you must move on then avoid cocktails—because they won’t compare—and go drink wine fine at Bedales of Borough (18-minute walk). After all that contemporary style at Mondrian Sea Containers, it might be time to go back in time a little, so head to The George Inn (17-minute walk), one of the oldest pubs in London.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Flashy, chic and arty, Mondrian Sea Containers is kind of everything you’d expect from the company who invented boutique hotels. It may ring heavy with design wherever you look but add in the views, the first-rate bar and the luxurious spa and we’re convinced there’s plenty of substance to go with all that style.