Sea Containers, Chic or Dégoûtant?

The Mondrian is a five star hotel on London’s Southbank, inspired by the legacy of sea containers. The hotel features an edgy modern take on all things industrially nautical. But does this hotel live up to it’s five star rating or did one too many containers fall into the icy ocean.

The initial greeting from staff is warm professional and creates a positive customer ambiance. The lobby boasts a giant blue chain structure replicating that of a ships anchor in the centre, with a metallic curving reception desk representing the hull of a container ship. The modern artistic style complements the theme bringing one into a seemingly industrial oasis. But are there sirens in this oasis.


The lobby social space is catered for with attentive staff who understand the importance of what makes a great customer experience. The particular waiter we had (whose name escapes me) did not spare any effort to make us feel comfortable and welcomed in our new environment.

Now after some champagne it was requested for our luggage to be taken to the room as we headed for the city. *queue sirens*. Upon returning a full three hours later it was to my surprise to find somehow my luggage had not made its way to my room and another room key was on my desk? Initial alarm bells sound and one finds them thinking the worst. My luggage has been stolen. But no, a simple miscommunication had been made, the room key was from the previous occupant and the luggage was with the concierge.

So why was my luggage not in my room? Apparently in this “five star” hotel I should have handed in my tickets and collected my luggage…? Now it’s common of course that upon arrival you check-in and your luggage is taken and a ticket produced. But in my experience that ticket is simply for access to my cases prior to my room being ready for use. I’m sure you’d all agree that after check-in to have to go to reception and produce your tickets is seemingly absurd. Is this a premier inn? Apparently so. Surely since the receptionist checked us in and took our cases at the same time, knew to whom the cases belonged and to which room to send them to, common sense. But no. Apparently this five star hotel can’t get basic service levels correct. Yet this is one of the most CRUCIAL aspects of a five star service.

Now as for the room. Interesting. The continuity of the artistic style of the hotel flows into the rooms. I found the rooms to be fairly well designed. Modern comfortable furnishings with extravagant extras in the minibar and artistic murals on the walls. But of course they make some further tragic errors. Two people checked into the room and what do they provide…? One dressing gown, one pair of slippers and one complimentary bottle of bedside water. What are we the Olsen twins…? These are not amenities to be shared. Clearly communication and procedure appear to be lacking. What would Alex Polizzi say to all this?

Due to the earlier baggage issue I was called by the on duty manager who apologised. Though to my astonishment, they tried to justify a system that didn’t represent five star service. I was sent a card however, offering me something complementary (six options in total) to which we chose two free movies. A nice touch.

Five star? No. The Mondrian may be five star on paper but it lacks some key five star service procedures. Also it severely lacks some of the fundamentals on how to deal with guest situations that would advocate a five star rating from me. Would I stay again? No, London has better alternatives.

The Mondrian Hotel Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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