We were recently invited over to the launch of London’s shiny new concept hotel – citizenM. Welcomed by waiters with painted mustaches and fabulously fruity cocktails, my first impressions were “this place is awesome”. Surrounded by vibrant and stylish decor, the party was in full swing – and it wasn’t even dark yet! Generously offering a whole evening of entertainment including an acoustic set by Lianne La Havas, with delightful canapes and party classics such as mini fish ‘n’ chips… the hospitality highlight had to be the sparkling elderflower or summer(ha!) berry concoctions that were out in abundance.
‘Affordable Luxury for the People’ is the founding philosophy behind citizenM. In the centre of the business and culture district of SE1, it’s within walking distance to Tate Modern, Shakespeare Globe and Borough Market. The urban hotel boasts 192 uniform pod style rooms, which come fully equipped with today’s modern necessities; including tablet mood-boards for light and temperature control, free WiFi (this should be free in all hotels, right?), a global plug system, and many more modern delights. Simple and efficient design includes XL beds with under storage, wet rooms, and full length mirrors… these guys really have thought of everything here.
The Dutch team behind citizenM have already established hugely popular sites in Amsterdam and Glasgow, with quick plans to launch in Paris and New York. Not only a blessing for the techno-traveller or the budget-savvy, the design-conscious will most definitely find the large scale ground floor lounge a treat. With shelves covered in gorgeous books, found curiosities from all over the globe, comfortable sofas, a communal dining area, art and decorative lighting; citizenM is a real grown-ups’ playground.
Visitors are more likely to spend time here, having cocktails, watching TV or glued to their laptops and only using the bedrooms for sleeping. There is self check-in and their canteenM has refreshments and snacks – including sushi and wraps – and is open 24/7 (self service of course), so pretty much doing away with the hideous bedroom mini-bar. Oh and if you fancy sitting outside, there is a central open atrium with red benches and easy-chairs surrounded by birch trees and lanterns, which is really quite lovely.
With prices starting from £99, staying at citizenM is a no-brainer. Vibrant, fun, modern and – very importantly – throws out all of travel’s elitisms. This is the future of city break travel and a great example of both style, efficiency and affordability.