Even though I live in London, I absolutely love staying in its many, many hotels. London's hotel scene is wonderfully eclectic; each one has its own personality, like a microcosm within the city. Plus London's so big and full of surprises that it makes the ultimate staycation without having to travel more than a tube ride away.
I guess I'm also kind of nosy (okay, make that very nosy) and most of London's hotels seem like they were designed with us nosy people in mind. Each one is different, even if it's part of a chain or group of hotels, with its own little quirks and secrets.
CitizenM is the perfect epitome of London's hotel scene. They have 3 London hotels in total - including the flagship Tower of London hotel and the newest addition in Shoreditch, which is perfectly located for exploring East London's foodie scenes and graffiti-ed streets - all offering a luxury boutique stay at an affordable price.
I've now visited two of the three London hotels and the first thing you notice when you walk into any CitizenM hotel is the technology-led set-up - and the lack of staff. If your least favourite thing about staying in a hotel is the lengthy queues at the reception desk, you'll be pleased to hear there's no check-in desk at CitizenM; you simply tap your name or email address into the touch screens that greet you and your room card is made up for you there and then.
When we checked into the Shoreditch location last weeek, we were also given a choice of which floor we'd like to stay on (we chose a high room with amazing views of London, obviously!) and there's someone on hand to help if anything does go wrong.
Once you arrive in your room, an iPad awaits, ready to put on your favourite movie or set the lights to just the right brightness. There are loads of movies to choose from (hello, Bridget Jones's Baby) and everything else you could need: a mini bar, wardrobe with built-in safe, pod-style bathroom with rain shower, a desk and chair, and two shower gels - one for evening and one for morning. No, I never thought of having separate morning and evening shower gels either...
The rooms are modern and clean without feeling clinical, which is probably down to the bold cushions and cute touches (like the "welcome Citizen Jodie" message waiting on the TV screen when we arrived). The only disappointing thing was the lack of lock on the bathroom door; there isn't a load of privacy if you're sharing the room, but there is a curtain you can draw across the middle of the room if you want more.
3 reasons to check-in to a CitizenM hotel in London:
Even though London's vibrant hotel scene is one of its best qualities, sometimes it can make the choice of where to stay a little overwhelming! Aside from the fun decor, quirky messages on everything from the hairdryer bag to the cushion covers, and the amazing locations of CitizenM's three locations, here are 3 more reasons to consider staying there:
The beds are ginormous
Seriously, I don't know if a bigger bed exists. On their website, the beds are described as "XL" but that should be more like XXXXL. The beds stretch from wall-to-wall, with a full-width window from one side to the other, and could easily fit 4-5 people across if you wanted to.
They're the kind of beds you wished you had when you were young and wanted to stay up gossiping and munching on 'midnight snacks all night at your bestie's sleepover.It has the best hotel breakfast
Yes, it's always about food with me... and breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so I always go in with high hopes and expectations. CitizenM did not disappoint in the slightest, with the widest variety of breakfast options I've ever seen (no exaggeration!). From a full English to pastries, to fresh fruit and a fridge full of every juice and health drink imaginable, there's not much you can't have for breakfast at CitizenM. It was heaven - I just wish we'd gotten up an hour earlier to enjoy it more!
Everyone is welcome
CitizenM is for everyone: walking into the breakfast area in the morning, groups of young European tourists sat next to solo business travellers, who sat next to couples who looked like they could own a house in Shoreditch. It seems everyone feels welcome here. Unlike other hotels that are aimed at a particular type of resident, CitizenM has done an incredible job of appealing to pretty much everyone - and still manages to make your stay feel really personal. It's a really unusual quality in a hotel, but one that makes the stay even more special.
Have you ever stayed in a CitizenM hotel? What makes a hotel stand out for you?