Curtain Road cuts a swathe through noisy, vibrant Shoreditch and the Mondrian’s guests can spill conveniently out to join the nearby bars, clubs and night-walkers or look down upon them from their luxe, cool eyries. The Mondrian is a mini-chain with zingy locations in swinging spots like NYC, Miami, Madrid, LA and Cannes, and its aesthetic is bold and unconservative, making everywhere from the lobby to the loo feel like an adventure. The east London branch is designed with lashings of drama: as you go in there’s a mini-atrium full of lights, for your gram needs. Less naffly, many rooms come with curvaceous, generous baths next to the enormous white pressed beds, as well as impressive walk-in steam showers in the bathrooms. It’s stylish and a tonne of fun.
The buzzy five-star hotel is marketed with lush snaps of its Miami-style rooftop bar and turquoise pool - a rare asset in London where space is at a premium. However be warned, the rooftop is only partly open to hotel visitors. The pool is shared with a member’s club and is generally closed to guests outside daytime hours; on the evening we stayed, the whole rooftop was out of bounds for a private event. It does make for a gorgeous breakfast spot, and early birds can usually get in for a wee dip - but if you dreamed of Miami-style pool cocktail nights then: dream on.
Honestly, lap pools are never very satisfying anyway, especially in cities unblessed by Miami weather. Service here is charming, nonchalant and discreet. In the basement you’ll find Andalucian super-chef Dani García’s BiBo, a buzzy spot which had some restaurant critics reaching for their ear plugs when it opened in August 2021. Ignore the nay-sayers: it’s soused in sunshiny vibes by its beaming wait-staff, party-ready guests and a house soundtrack that’s far from deafening. Date nighters linger over shared risotto pans gleaming with black rice and seafood. These come with a £70 pricetag; the small plates are better value. The tapas is slick - highlights include a humming oxtail brioche, built a bit like a savory donut, with a round central well full of salty dark slow-cooked meat stew. Crisp, deliquescent croquettes were also a hit.
All in all, Mondrian Shoreditch is a buzzy one-stop party shop for travellers who can afford to have all the fun.
Eat, Drink, Do
Shoreditch, which rivals Soho for destination food spots and outclasses it for dive bars and nightlife. There are great options in every direction. Try Brat for butch Spanish sharing meats with a Michelin star; the Clove Club for sumptuous seven-course menus, as stately as Shoreditch gets thanks to its elegant former town hall building. Or, for a change of pace and volume, there’s the tranquil old school haven Rochelle Canteen, which quietly delights taste-hunters in its walled garden on Arnold Circus.
Keep your eyes peeled for Shakespearian graffiti commemorating a spicy local history. The Mondrian stands on Curtain road, within shouting distance of the buried site of the Curtain Theatre, where Romeo and Juliet was first performed. It is even closer to the spot once occupied by the wooden Theatre, also intimately connected with Shakespeare’s Shoreditch, which was notoriously and borderline legally dismantled one midwinter by the playwright’s company, carted across the Thames and re-erected as the original Globe.