Dutch hotel chain CitizenM is opening its biggest property to date, a 370-room hotel opposite the Tower of London, on 11th July.
The new build hotel, the group’s second in London and eighth internationally, is above Tower Hill station and has an eighth-floor terrace bar offering sweeping views of the iconic attraction, as well as Tower bridge, the City of London and landmark buildings including the Shard.
The group, which opened its first property in Amsterdam in 2008, set out to challenge the hotel industry by dispensing with traditional features – such as check-in desks, overpriced mini bars and an onsite restaurant – offering instead small, but hi-tech rooms and large, stylish communal areas at an affordable price. Room rates are based on the low-cost airline model: the earlier you book, the cheaper the rate. Prices start at £109, room only.
The ground floor features a cocktail bar, self-service check-in terminals – where guests pick up their room key – coffee bar, breakfast area (breakfast costs extra, at £12.95 in advance or £15.50 on the day), and numerous sofas and tables with power points for its predominantly business clientele. But with Vitra furniture, a distinctly modern mishmash of antiques and funky knick-knacks, and large-scale multimedia and sculptural art installations, it’s clearly aimed at the creative, tech and media worlds. Its funky decor and friendly, laid-back approach will also appeal to leisure travellers eager to keep costs low, but who want something more stylish than a bland budget chain.
As in its other hotels, rooms are a standard size: small but with king-size beds, rain showers and an iPad mini that controls lighting, sound, temperature and TV, with free Wi-Fi and movies. A third London CitizenM is due to open in Shoreditch in September, and will be similar in style, but with a more music-inspired decor. The group is also expanding internationally with new hotels being built in Paris and New York, while Los Angeles and Seattle locations are also being explored.