City Pulse

By Kelly Hushin

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There are only a few – in fact, I can think of less than a handful – hotel brands who really understand cool. It’s a tough concept to grasp because what’s cool is always changing and hotels, well, they’re not. But when you’re a Morgans Hotel, you needn’t really worry about such trifles because you’ve defined cool before anyone else knew it was so. Then, five years down the road, when everyone else has caught up with you and you’re ready for your hotel refresh, you’re right on schedule.

Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince (Hotel) of The Kills

Welcome to Mondrian SoHo, the latest iteration of the Morgans brand, another confirmation that their cool meter is working just fine. In case you’d forgotten, besides bringing us the still hip and always surprising Mondrians in Miami and Los Angeles, Morgans also brought us the Delano in Miami, the Hudson Hotel, the recently refreshed Royalton and the Morgans namesake with its infamous restaurant, Asia de Cuba – all in our dear city of New York. But the brand had yet to bring us its contemporary, edgy and fantastical Mondrian brand – until now. Perhaps they were simply looking for the perfect fit, and with nearby hotels like Crosby Street, Trump SoHo and the James paving the way, this downtown hood was more than primed for Morgans’ hip intro – an intro deserving of an equally hip opening party, naturally.

When the Mondrian officially opened two weeks ago (on March 10th), many who weren’t on the guest list paid $500 just to be at the event. A rather large sum for a party, especially when it’s not New Year’s Eve – but this is the rep behind a Morgans opening. And surely a performance by The Kills helped draw the crowd. The British band brought exactly the sort of edge Mondrian aims to deliver with its whimsical design by Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and its young, Top Chef star, Sam Talbot, heading up the restaurant, Imperial No. Nine. The opening said to the world that this hotel will never be just a place to rest a tired head, but a scene, an ‘it’ place, a trendsetter. But with amenities like floor to ceiling windows, marble spa bathrooms and iPads in every room, it won’t be so tough to stay a night or two either.

Originally published March 2011

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