- Beach is a eight-minute drive away
- Located outside the South Beach party scene
- Limited on-site dining
Hip and relaxed, with a high-design aesthetic
Following in the footsteps of its big brother in L.A., the Mondrian is part of the stylish Morgans Group, a chain that owns the beachside Delano and Shore Club further north. Like its high-design siblings, the Mondrian draws a clubbing crowd, but also aesthetes who come to gawk at the work of designer Marcel Wanders (shiny white interiors, stark black accents, the luxury-goods vending machine, the twirling black staircase at the far end of the lobby, the crystal chandeliers hidden inside pendulous golden bells). Overall, its vibe is more laid-back and loungy than wild and rowdy. Guests, mostly young adults and couples and the occasional beautifully groomed family, spend most of the day sitting around the pool taking in the sun and the undeniably lovely view of Downtown Miami across the water. (But remember, there's no beach here.)
Off the beaten path, which makes for quaint local dining options but a lot of time in cars
The Mondrian is on the west side of South Beach, which means that it looks out over Biscayne Bay toward the high towers of Downtown Miami. On Ninth Street and West End Avenue, the Mondrian is in an area not typically visited by tourists. The beach is an eight-minute car ride away, and the club- and bar-heavy party strip up on Collins Avenue is 10 to 15 minutes away. But the neighborhood has charm, with restaurants, cafes, and bars patronized by real (!) locals. Imagine: restaurants where people have family reunions and cafes where students actually work on their laptops.
Large, bright, and stylish, with rainfall showers that have to be seen to be believed
Rooms here are modern and minimalist, but full of imaginative details; for example, doors ingeniously have peepholes both at the top and halfway up for children. Studios are the standard room type, with the floor plan hovering at around 435 square feet. One- and two-bedroom suites are 875 and 1,264 square fee, respectively. Rates for studios and suites depend on the view (hotel grounds, Biscayne Bay, South Beach, or partial views of bay and ocean), and rooms with balconies are higher-priced.
Large windows let in lots of light, which is reflected in colored mirrors lining one of the walls. Not to be outdone, other walls sport a stark black-and-white floral pattern that brings to mind the wrought-iron fences at Buckingham Palace. Add to this the wall decals of anime superheroes with giant beaming eyeballs. Tech features include Bose speaker docks and 42-inch plasma flat-screen TVs. The beds are on platforms, not box springs, so they may be firmer than usual hotel beds. All rooms at the Mondrian have kitchenettes, which is pretty unusual for a hotel in South Beach. Set in alcoves tiled with ironic homages to Delft pottery, they feature two-eye burners, sinks, mini-fridges, kettles, coffeemaker, microwaves, teas and coffee, and full sets of cutlery, plus two-person dining tables.
Bathrooms feature minimalist is-it-a-counter-or-not sinks and Malin+Goetz toiletries. But what set these bathrooms apart are the showers. Tiles in various shades of blue and turquoise compose stormy, Impressionist mosaics on two shower walls, and a floor-to-ceiling mirror forms the third. It's hard to photograph, and impossible not to notice. Best of all, though, are the rainfall showerheads hidden in chandelier fixtures in the middle of the shower's ceiling. There are no tubs, but with such memorable walk-in showers, you'll hardly notice.
The Morgans Group calls the Mondrian its family-friendly alternative to the party-centric Delano and Shore Club. Although the Mondrian doesn't offer more kid-friendly features than its siblings, it's far more relaxed and sedate. Cribs are free and available on request, while rollaway beds are a daily fee. There's also a maximum occupancy of four people to a room, just like at the other Morgans Group properties. The huge (literally) advantage of staying at the Mondrian is that rooms (which start at 435 square feet) actually have enough space to fit in a crib and a rollaway. Plus, every single room comes with a fully stocked kitchenette.
A lounge-all-day pool scene surrounds the gorgeous bow-shaped pool
The Mondrian's main feature is its large, bow-shaped infinity pool looking out over Biscayne Bay. By day or night, it's a beautiful view, and guests idly float in the pool watching the horizon. Many guests emerge from their rooms at the crack of dawn, go down to the pool, pick a chair on the Astroturfed sun deck, and then stay there till dusk. Their early arrival isn't because they're trying to snag a spot -- there's plenty of room. They're just making full staycation use of the pool area, which has food and drink service available from the indoor/outdoor Mondrian Bar and massages available from the spa. Two outdoor living rooms with tables, chairs, and rugs, are free of charge and open to all. Free yoga classes are held on the deck every week.
The on-site restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy-hour specials, and frequently hosts a rotating pop-up restaurant series. The gym has cardio and weight-training machines and a great view of the pool and the bay (be careful of midday workouts on bright days; the sun streaming through the windows might make you woozy). For those who prefer outdoor sports, the hotel offers free bike rentals.
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