With ICFF in full force this past weekend, NYC has been a hot bed of creatives and design enthusiasts- all here to scope out what’s new in furniture and interiors. As a kick-off, the Morgans Hotel Group and lead designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz were kind enough to give us a guided tour of one of their newest properties – The Mondrian Soho. With a recent opening party featuring performances by The Kills and an art installations by Poppy Villeneuve, in addition to being situated downtown between internationally renowned shops like Opening Ceremony and Jil Sander, The Mondrian is certainly giving the Ace Hotel a run for its money with the taste making jet-set.
Designed with Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film La Belle et la Bête in mind, Ortiz has created a modern wonderland- a visual feast that fits with the aesthetic of the neighborhood. The Soho Mondrian is a dream come true for romantics with an eye for interior design, and everything from the smallest lamp to the claw-foot seats in the lobby are placed to conjure feelings of seduction, enchantment, and magic. A sensory vacation for the travel weary, its subtle sense of whimsy and low-key demeanor are what set it apart from some of the other more nightlife-centric boutique venues.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by an ivy covered awning and a winding entry which Ortiz noted gives visitors the feeling of “wafting down a red-carpet runway.” Once you enter into the lobby and absorb the blue and white color-scheme it’s hard not to notice the blue mirrors which mark both the walls, elevator interiors, and hallways. In La Belle et la Bête these mirrors transport the heroine into a maze of fantasy. The same could be said about walking through the Mondrian, seeing as how once you step off the elevator and into your room, you’re treated to a spectacular view almost impossible to usually see in this area.
Besides its pristine and tranquil rooms, one of the main draws of the hotel is its much-hyped restaurant, Imperial No. 9. Under the watchful eye of Top Chef Sam Talbot, the restaurant specializes in fresh and locally sourced fish. With a centerpiece of blown glass crafted by artist Beth Lipman especially for The Mondrian, the restaurant is one half greenhouse, one half enchanted picnic, as wooden decks and swing chairs dot the landscape and potted plants and greenery add an earthy ambiance.
For those looking for a slightly less G rated evening, head to MR H’s lounge and VIP room. Emanating an eternal red glow and patterned after both a speakeasy and an Asian trading post, exotic paintings and lavish details create an ideal location for the aesthetically minded, which made it one of the more popular after-hours destinations during this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.