citizenM, the recently opened ( to rave reviews) hotel, has changed Times Square forever. Its vibe is part Northern European and part Northern California. Yes, it’s that hip and high tech; comfortable and high touch. Literally. From the moment you check in; operative word, YOU– meaning, you check yourself in. It’s easy: simply insert your credit card into their system, out pops your room key card. This all takes place around a kiosk with pretty spectacular lighting overhead, lots of color, and an energy that is, just, different. No worries, there are plenty of citizenM employees eager to assist if you’re feeling too weary from traveling to focus on technology.
The staff call themselves “citizens” too, (citizen Alex, for example, helped me) and they are the nicest, most helpful, and friendliest group of hotel folks I’ve encountered in New York City in a long time. The European based company has brought something special to NYC, and I for one, applaud them. Soon, they’ll open their second outpost in the Bowery, and I can’t wait to stay there.
The brand was born in Amsterdam, and now has hotels in London, Glasgow, Paris and Rotterdam. This is the first in the USA.
How can you not love a hotel that declares: “Our rooms bring you free wifi, and free movies, so you’ll, feel, well, freer.” Yes that’s the idea.
I found other things to love, too: The (fast) elevator, with its fun to look at mural -a black and white photo of faces at the beach.
I loved my room, which I thought of as my “capsule.” And that’s a good thing. To me it meant, yes, small, but playful, fun. It was a long narrow space with the width of the room measuring the length of a king size bed, which is placed against a large window at the end of the room. LOVE THAT VIEW of skyscrapers as I gaze from my wide window. No burdensome codes to enter into your laptop, just operate everything in your room- and I mean everything- from raising the blinds, to raising the temperature, turning on the lights and TV, all with one simple tablet that sits by your bedside.
The cool, modern design of the lobby offers an abundance of visual candy for the visitor to take in. While the rooms are simple, pared down and all you need is there.
Ah, the bed, everyone loves the bed! It’s fantastically comfy with crisp white sheets.
I loved the rain shower in the sleek, smoked glass shower, which is like a cylindrical chamber. It’s addictive.
I loved the warm buttery croissants in the “canteen” (the citizenM restaurant) found every morning, with giant bowls of yogurt and fresh fruit.
I loved the cool baristas who graciously made me beautiful foamy cappuccinos.
I loved that I could go downstairs for dinner, help myself to the buffet style spread that was available in the canteen. The informality of it, the long communal tables, where all of us tired souls sat, each doing whatever we wanted. It did, indeed, feel freer.
For those who live in NYC, I recommend a ‘staycation’ at citizenM. On the next hot sticky, too humid, weekend, when your own apartment is just too uncomfortable; book a room, head over to the hotel, plant yourself on that fabulous bed, after you’ve chilled down in that rain shower. Then, in one touch on your tablet, watch movies and crank up the AC.