Chain hotels so desperatly want to encapsulate the feel of boutique hotel, but few get it right. Few also manage to juggle the being a destination for city breaks and bussiness trips, but some how, Citizen M do it. Stripped back, casual, with a focus on the things that matter (really great beds, waterfall showers and a great location) Citizen M manage to be perfectly metropolitan without feeling contrived. Basically, it’s fast become my hotel of choice when I’m away for bid’ness or fancy exploring a city.
The fact of the matter is, unless you are planning some romantic getaway with room service and roll top baths, you really shouldn’t be spending that much time in your room. Cities are for exploring, hotels are for resting, and Citizen M cuts right through the faff of weird biscuits and trouser presses with a focus on what matters for those who fancy a bit of exploring.
In the last couple of months I’ve stayed in Citizen M for both business and pleasure. For London Fashion Week I found myself in Bankside eating earl grey marmalade, starfishing on a king size bed and playing about with the mood lighting (no, it doesn’t get old.) Being so central meant being able to collapse after a long day pounding the streets, get some work done and watch some trashy movies. It was bliss. A few weeks later I found myself in the Glasgow Citizen M for the Turner Prize launch. It may seem silly to stay in a hotel in your own city, but quite frankly, I love seeing Glasgow through a tourists’ eyes. It wasn’t the first time I’ve done it and it certainly won’t be the last. Citizen M has the feel of a contemporary art gallery with the fanciest house you’ve ever been too. When not watching awful films (my choice, it’s a weakness) I’d be curled up downstairs drinking tea and reading one of the many books dotted around the place.
While chain hotels can seem formulaic, Citizen M manage to capture enough of each cities character to remain autunomous. Lining Glasgow and London up of course you can tell they are the same hotels, but it’s the details, the communal areas, the regional food that make them more like sisters than cold carbon copies. You know what to expect when you visit Citizen M. No nasty suprises, just hotels designed with travellers in mind. With locations in Paris, New York and Amsterdam, I’m making it a personal mission to stay in every single one. It reads like a bucket list of any traveller with a penchant for cities, and while I’ve already ticked a good few of these off, I’m always looking for a reason to return. Citizen M prove that chain hotels don’t need to be cliche, all you have to do is focus on the good stuff.