Mondrian South Beach sells cars, electronics by machine
n the market for a Bentley sports car, a Jean Paul Gaultier dress or a cell phone, but don't feel like dealing with a pesky salesperson? Literally at the touch of a button, visitors to the Mondrian South Beach can buy those items — as well as more prosaic hotel gift-shop staples like toothbrushes — from a new lobby vending machine called a Semi-Automatic. In a postmodern echo of the early 20th century's Automats, where office workers could buy coffee and comfort food without talking to a soul, the Semi-Automatic peddles a jumble of more than 60 items priced between $10 and $1.2 million in a large, sleek rectangular display. "We don't have a newspaper stand or some place where you can just buy a sundry item," front office manager James A. Bryant III said. "We've got Semi-Automatic, which is sort of an 'in-your-face' gift shop. Just like our hotel is really sort of brash and out there."