These six hotels (Amsterdam, Glasgow, London, New York, Paris, Rotterdam) are functional, colourful and fun spots to call home when on the road.
Former MEXX clothing line founder Kul Rattan Chadha began the chain of sleek, minimalist concept hotels in 2008 at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport.
I booked in for three nights on a recent stay in Glasgow, arriving at night to see the glowing pink and purple-hued square building in its fully glory, a teaser of things to come once inside my room. Each of the hotel’s 198 14-meter square rooms are identical with gigantic king beds.
The order of the room is intelligent too: walk in, space to hang a few items, bathroom capsule (more on that shortly), sink, mirror, light and IKEA-like cubby for storage, desk, light and small red bench, chair, nightstand and XL bed.
The journey ends at bed, with a wall-mounted flatscreen TV and window including a blackout screen (note windows don’t open). Temperature can be controlled down to the half-degree for maximum comfort. A little privacy curtain can be pulled out halfway if you find the airflow too strong or just feel for a curtain between bed and capsule.
And everything’s controlled via a beside iPad mini. Flooring looks to be made of pressed bamboo and every piece of furniture reminiscent of IKEA, however in this case it’s all created by high-end German brand Vitra.
Check in is done electronically inside the lobby. There are citizenM ambassadors to help get you situated in case you’re too tired or have questions!
Wifi is free throughout the hotel and a row of international wall sockets are smartly placed under the desk in case you’ve forgotten about UK’s three-pronged beasts.
Luggage has its own place too: in a large drawer under the bed. Not a big fan of this method, I’d have preferred a standard suitcase fold-out rack (there’s enough space towards the front of the room to lay a suitcase down on the floor).
A second pull-out drawer under the bed stows an in-room safe.
Though there’s wall switches by the bed for lights, blinds and curtain control, the iPad Mini is ground control for the fun stuff: mood lighting in the shower capsule as well as through the entire room.
Branded the ‘mood pad’, you choose your preferred colour using the Apple colour wheel! Touch and move your finger around the wheel and find your dream scenario. A few other settings are there too: romance, business, party and movie (the latter will turn on the screen and allow you to cycle through numerous movie and TV options).
You can also stream content from your wireless device or use Apple TV via the hotel’s wifi network.
There’s even an amusing alarm clock system that will wake you from gently to loudly – your choice of four wake-up options.
The shower capsule is awesome! It contains the toilet on one end and a rain shower/hand-held combo on the other. Towel racks are on the inside and outside of the door; wall-mounted day and night shower gel/shampoo combos are there so you don’t need to fill up the space with your own stuff.
There’s a shower curtain that actually keeps the water away from the rest of the capsule. Good water pressure and that fun mood lighting make for a great cleaning adventure!
At the end of each floor is an ironing station, open 24 hours a day.
citizenM is a highly sociable hotel, hence the first-floor living rooms, loaded with stylish furnishings and cozy seating arrangements. There’s big round tables to plop a laptop onto for getting work done while enjoying a coffee or beverage from the adjacent canteenM.
Here’s where you can get a meal anytime of the day or night, ideal if you’ve arrived at night (as in my case) or need an early breakfast or late lunch. Hot food choices are limited after 10 pm but I was able to get a sushi box and croissant after a longer than usual train journey from London (long story, train and line issues in northern Britain).
When you check out, keep the room card: it’s got a punched-out slot and spaces on the back to fill out your name, phone number and email, doubling as a luggage tag (grab a fastener at check-out). It’ll reactivate the next time you check into a citizenM hotel anywhere in the world – an excellent reuse/recycle idea whose time has come.
This is a basic, affordable luxury chain with no room service, tea kettles and the like (“no bellboys, towel swans or boring pillow chocolates”). You’re meant to sleep in the room and hang out with your fellow citizens on the first floor. citizenM Glasgow is located in the heart of downtown at the corner of Renfrew and Hope Streets.
My stay at citizenM was courtesy of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and citizenM Hotels. Opinions, as always, are my own.