Staying in a London hotel can cost a bleedin' arm and a leg. No lie. But budget hotels can be so grim you end up wishing you'd stayed at home. The Citizen M Hotel has come along to end this quandry - providing a bit of luxury for an incredibly reasonable price. With the flagship hotel at Bankside in London, another hotel in Glasgow, and more opening up in London next year - this luxe for less chain is taking off.
The Citizen M Hotel Bankside features a huge and very stylish open-plan foyer and lounging space in which hotel guests and non-guests alike can enjoy delicious food and drink, desk spaces (with free Wi-Fi), comfy sofas and even a bookstore. Even though it's big, it's so cosy! There isn't a reception desk, so to check-in you simply enter your booking reference into a computer and get your key-card. It takes seconds, but there are friendly staff walking round to help should you need it, and they can also be contacted via your room phone at any time.
The rooms are everything you need (costs are cut by their being no room service, and the rooms are compact in size) with a few exciting extras. Each room has a GIANT bed, plasma screen TV, a waterfall shower, and a tablet from which you can control several mood lighting features, as well as pick one of many free films to watch.
For a small additional cost you can choose to have breakfast, which is a help-yourself buffet affair (below), also served in the open-plan lobby.
The rooms and foyer are no-smoking of course, but there's a cute outdoor terrace (below) right in the middle of the lobby in which you can smoke or just get some fresh air without having to leave the building. This is a brilliant safety feature - though the whole hotel felt incredibly secure. Although non-guests can enjoy the bar and lounge, the only way up to the rooms is via a lift with electronic security pass that only guests have.
I loved the laid-back atmosphere of the hotel, everyone downstairs was busy on their laptops or chilling out and reading or chatting. The decor is vibrant but not jarring, the rooms are so cool! The location (so close to Waterloo and London Bridge) makes it ideal for sightseers or those wanting an affordable stay after an event or party. I can't recommend Citizen M Hotel enough! If you want to take a closer look at the room I stayed in and see some of the exciting features - I made a short film:
Citizen M offered me a free room in exchange for a review. All words and opinions are my own.