Mondrian London (at Sea Containers)

Mondrian's maiden European entry
A splashy and big-statementy boutique-inspired hotel designed by Tom Dixon and opened in September 2014 – the first European outlet for the West Hollywood-based Mondrian chain. Located on the south side of the Thames just near Blackfriars Bridge, the Mondrian has taken up some but not all of the bloated and unbeautiful Sea Containers building and transformed the interior into a nautical-themed designer fantasy with 359 rooms and suites, many of them fabulously overlooking the Thames. Features here include playful foyer decor, a swish flagship restaurant, cocktail guru Ryan Chetiyawardana's bar Dandelyan, a glamorous and rather offbeat spa and a private Curzon-brand cinema showing the latest features. In short, next-generation Ian Schrager. Apart from the prices (for many), the one snag is the location, though the myriad excellent cultural offerings of the Southbank Centre (National Theatre, National Film Theatre, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Hayward Gallery etc) are close by. Local tube stations Waterloo and Southwark are within easy enough reach but a psychologically far ten minutes away by foot.