New (very stylish) kid on the block: Mondrian SoHo
We can’t help it: We love when a new hotel opens. So you can imagine our delight when the Mondrian SoHo opened last Tuesday in New York, after being the talk of the town for months. With so much fanfare around its opening, we had high expectations -- especially on the heels of so many big openings in 2010 (Trump SoHo, Gansevoort Park Avenue, The Setai Fifth Avenue). But as you might expect based on it's popular predecessors (Mondrian Los Angeles and Mondrian South Beach), this hotel did not disappoint.
Some parts of the hotel are yet to be finished, but we loved its romantic-yet-contemporary design and unique features. The hotel wouldn't let us take our own photos, as it prohibits any outside photography, so we're using a few marketing photos in this post. We'll compare them to our very own Oyster photos as soon as we can!
Upon entering, the world turns white, blue and silver-- all of it inspired by the Jean Cocteau 1946 film “La Belle et la Bete.” Lights are low, flowers cover the walls and carpets, and sofas, ottomans and cushions resemble the original tone of Belle’s dress (we were told designer Benjamin Noriega Ortiz even went through the director’s notes to get the details right).
Though on the small side (they start at 190 square feet), the all-white-and-blue rooms are cozy, sleek and modern. They all come with large flat-screen TVs, queen or king beds, and -- best of all -- an iPad for guests to use, and from which they can even print to the front desk. The impressive floor-to-ceiling windows provide breathtaking views of Manhattan and made us instantly forget the room's faux-pas (for example, to save space, the mini-bar is hidden in a cupboard below the bathroom sink, which is outside of the actual bathroom and right next to the room's entrance).
Although the hotel has not yet opened its restaurant, we were able to take a sneak peek, where we saw the stylish dining room and the attached garden room, with lots of natural light pouring through the glass ceiling. The hotel also features a small 24-hour fitness center with brand new machines and a few terraces with great views.
It’s funny how the Shanghai-inspired bar, Mr. H, is the only nod to the hotel’s true location. Yes, despite having the world-famous acronym SoHo in its name, the property is actually in Chinatown. To be fair, it is just a few blocks from SoHo, but we can’t just wave away the fact that the busy, crowded Chinatown shops on Canal Street are right downstairs.
Nevertheless, we will be excited to go back once everything is up and running. It is a wonderful, stylish hotel with great views (even from the hallways), despite its small rooms.