Our First citizenM Experience
Visiting London is frustratingly expensive sometimes, with a long weekend costing just as much as a week abroad. As amazing as the capital is, it’s somewhere I don’t visit half as much as I’d like. In fact, until my visit earlier this month, it had been the best part of four years since my last visit.
We spent a long time deliberating over hotels, but as CitizenM had been a brand we’d wanted to try out for a while now, we ended up picking their CitizenM Shoreditch hotel for our stay. There wasn’t much difference in price between this and some of the other hotels we’d look at, mostly around Shoreditch or Tower Bridge, with three nights setting us back just short of £380. This didn’t include breakfast, which was an additional £16 per person.
The CitizenM Shoreditch hotel is easy enough to get to – after arriving in Euston we hopped on the tube to Old Street, and from there it was less than ten minutes walking. It’s tucked away down a side street, but you can’t miss it as it’s pretty tall. The main lobby is on the first floor, as opposed to the ground, and consists of a bank of self-check-in desks. There was a short queue when we arrived, but it had soon dissipated before we’d even had a chance to find our booking reservation.
The check-in process was simple, and I loved that it gave you the option to pick which side of the hotel your room was based on and if you’d like a higher floor. We picked a high room on the east side of the hotel and ended up with a room on the seventh floor looking directly over to Boxpark and the Shoreditch High Street station, as well as a view over the city. The views were complemented by the huge window, which let plenty of light into the room.
The CitizenM rooms are all very similar, near enough identical really, and everything is designed with space saving in mind. The majority of the room is taken up by the huge king sized bed, but there was still space for a chair and a desk alongside the bathroom and plenty of storage. Last time we came to London we stayed in a hotel that operated on a similar “compact” design, however, it seriously lacked storage and was incredibly cramped in comparison.
The bathroom was small but had a great shower with plenty of room. I loved that they had two options for complimentary shower gel, one for mornings and one for evenings, which just felt like a lovely little example of their attention to detail.
The CitizenM Shoreditch rooms offer smart functionality, controlled by an iPad, including coloured mood lighting and a full entertainment system. The huge window had both a curtain and a blackout blind, which would be perfect for a decent daytime nap. When I woke up in the room for the first time on the Saturday morning I was convinced it was the dead of night, only to discover it was actually 7am when I opened the blinds a crack to be blinded by the glaring sun. Those blinds were good.
Despite looking out onto a train line and being in a busy part of London, the room was so peaceful. When walking home on the Saturday night we realised that there was a club night on in the arts space next door that ran until 6am (that alone gives me the fear), and we were preparing ourselves for a disrupted sleep. Nope, not a peep. They’ve got some serious soundproofing in that hotel and it was very much appreciated.
Our weekend in London coincided with some of the sweltering heat we’ve been seeing this summer, and we were very grateful to have a room with decent aircon, controlled through the iPad. At first, I thought it wasn’t working, as it was just so quiet – but that wasn’t the case. Quiet air conditioning that actually works is a dream come true, especially with this heatwave.
These crucial ingredients, combined with an incredibly comfortable king sized bed, made for a great night’s sleep. It was brilliant not being woken up by Paddy asking me to move over or fighting for a share of the duvet during the night.
Although we didn’t have too much time to use the CitizenM Shoreditch in-built entertainment system much, I was absolutely delighted to see some excellent films like The Greatest Showman available to watch – amongst others. We ended up putting on a couple of films whilst getting ready, and being able to connect my phone to the TV to stream from my Netflix account was a brilliant touch. I was finally able to introduce Paddy to the wonders of Queer Eye after we woke up stupidly early on the Saturday morning but didn’t feel like getting up just yet.
We only ate in the hotel one morning, paying £16 each to help ourselves to the breakfast spread available in the sprawling open lobby. As well as the check-in desks, the first floor is also home to lots of comfortable spots to sit and work – including a lovely balcony area where I could definitely spend a couple of hours tapping away at my laptop – a bar, and the CitizenM canteen.
Our only experience of the canteen in CitizenM Shoreditch was our breakfast, but it was pretty delicious. We arrived with about 20 minutes to spare before the end of breakfast, intending on just picking up a few bits to see us through to lunchtime, but instead I was delighted to grab some fresh pastries alongside plenty of fruit, bread, deli meats and cheese. I even ended up sneaking some of Paddy’s cooked breakfast and can confirm the sausages were delish.
Although we didn’t have too much time with the staff at the hotel, whenever we did get to experience it the service was nothing short of great. They have a really friendly team who are always happy to help, making for a comforting presence throughout.
As much as I love boutique hotels, and CitizenM is most definitely more of a chain, with properties around the world, it blurred the lines enough that I’d happily stay at any of their hotels around the world. Their set up is perfect, the beds are dreamy and the room has all of the essentials in a compact setting without compromising. I loved the attention to detail throughout, and everything felt very on brand. The copy on their materials, including the soap and the shower gel, was just brilliant. I’d stay there again in a heartbeat, and I’m planning on booking one of their New York locations when I eventually get to return to the city.