The city of architecture now has a forward-thinking, trendy hotel that matches its cosmopolitan allure and modern design: Citizen M! The hotel will officially opens its doors on December 11 but this weekend brave guinea pigs had the chance of testing the rooms, hotel, breakfast and all the facilities they offer. I was quick to book my free room because 1. It’s free and 2. I love the Citizen M experience and here’s 10 reasons why.
I was introduced to the Citizen M in Glasgow. Since I was used to the traditional concept of hotels I didn’t immediately find my way when I entered as the check in point is on the first floor and is self service. Savvy travelers want short check in and short check out times and a self service check in/out point ensures that. If you’re not sure how it works, the employees working there are super friendly and will help you with any questions you might have.
“We qualify people on their degree of smiling. And their degree of friendliness, and we hire on that. And as we travel the world, we’re interested to find people that basically are cultured, have something interesting to add to our lives as we’re those nomads that travel the world. And that is done with a friendly smile and warmth, and it’s not done with “Did you have a nice trip, sir?” – Michael Levie
The rooms were designed with great attention for detail and creating a lovely atmosphere where mobile travellers can feel home when abroad. Things I loved the most was the colored lighting, the bed, movie selection on TV, funny touches, eye for detail (plugs to serve all travellers) and mood lighting.
With the tablet you can adapt the lighting in your room from romance (red shower), relaxed (turquoise shower), party (all colors of the rainbow) to movies (red shower). With a different touch you can also select the color you want your room to have. The tablet allows you to control everything from the lighting, TV, shower light to air conditioning. It’s all in the detail baby
With pastries, fresh fruit salad, bread, eggs, yoghurts, organic chocolate sprinkles and more the breakfast selection at Citizen M Rotterdam is much larger than Glasgow’s which was small. You can sit at the several tables or sit on the large chairs in front of the window which is my preferred option.
Citizen M hotels offer a distinctive ambiance filled with stylish furniture from Vitra design, colorful books, pop art and modern technology. The modern, clever appeal ties all Citizen M hotels together but nonetheless each hotel has its distinct character. Staying true to its Dutch origins some national touches in the decor were a must and although Dutch clogs and Delfts Blue can look cheesy, Citizen M Rotterdam managed to incorporate it into their state-of-the-art decor with a little ‘imperfection’ to underline its out of the box character. Notice the little saucy gnome in the left corner above?
Other noted, cool features were the Vitra elephant chairs, ALGUE Room divider and red street map carpets that adorn all hallways.
Drinks & Coffee
Even if you’re not staying at Citizen M Rotterdam you’re free to come have a drink here and please do because the venue is absolutely gorgeous! Citizen M is also a great hotspot for mobile entrepreneurs and students as you can work here, enjoy free WIFI while enjoying their great coffee and drinks
If you want to use the elevator you need to swipe your room card first. In Glasgow there was a little fun character that stated this (since most people don’t know) but that wasn’t the case here (yet). The elevator on the left was quite confusing as their were two rows next to one another of the floors and you had to click the most right one to go to your floor. The girl at check out said they will probably add notes there since more people complained about this.
I was lucky to get the harbor view with my room but since the harbor was at my utmost left I was faced with a construction field in front of me. The area around the hotel is still a work in a progress so I’m sure when it’s done it will be sublime but for now it’s not.
These are minor points that I’m sure won’t be an issue when Citizen M Rotterdam officially open on December 11. That’s why getting test sleepers is good to hear what clients value and what needs more attention.
Citizen M: Dutch Concept & Design
Citizen M is the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneurs Rattan Chadha, Michael Levie, Robin Chadha and Jan Wulf van Alkemade. The idea for this new type of urban hotels originated in 2005 and started life in 2008 at Amsterdam Airport soon followed with other Citizen M openings at Amsterdam City in 2009, Glasgow in 2010, London in 2012 and now Rotterdam in 2013. With their slogan “affordable luxury for the people” Citizen M strives to provide a unique experience to mobile travellers. Over the course of the following years a total of 13 Citizen M hotels will open in cosmopolitan cities such as Taipei and New York.
When savvy, creative people from different areas come together I believe you get the best of both (or more) worlds. The Citizen M founders come from the hospitality and fashion sector which results in a forward thinking urban hotel concept that will for sure become the standard in the future.
One of their strongest points is that Citizen M focusses on the essentials for travellers.
“Our guests just want a good bed, a good shower, and then they spend most of their time out in the city or in our hotels’ social spaces,” said Michael. When you travel I’m sure you can agree that (unless you’re a business man) you spend more time outside, exploring the destination.
Citizen M New York?
So what’s next? Although the opening of Citizen M New York was planned this year it will open March 1st. If you want to be one of the lucky test sleepers, write down February 20th in your agenda because that’s the weekend you’ll have a chance to sleep for free at Citizen M New York!