20 Lavington Street, London, United Kingdom
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
The first CitizenM hotel in London and the second both in the UK and outside the Netherlands, the CitizenM Hotel London Bankside offers a slick and modern accommodation option. While it may lack the idiosyncratic charms of traditional hotels, CitizenM justifies its slightly higher rates with stylish interiors and perks like free movies and Wi-Fi. With crash pad-like rooms and up-to-the minute technology, this hotel is ideal for those who have come to London to work or party – or both.
Pros: Clean rooms, friendly staff, convenient location, striking design, and all modern conveniences (free wi-fi, movies, Skype calls).
Cons: Double rooms only with no discount for single travelers, rooms are small and a little soulless, lacking in local flavor.
Citizen M’s 192 rooms are like swish identikit pods. Each is spotlessly clean and white, and as wide as the large double bed fitted at the end of the room. And, except for a soft toy left on each bed, the fittings are sleekly functional rather than decorative: a TV mounted at the end of the bed, a washbasin, a chair and a small area for hanging clothes, with additional under-bed. Rooms look out onto office blocks and, although a heavy-duty blind and tinted glass ensure privacy, they allow little in the way of natural light.
What the rooms lack in individual charm is compensated for by their amenities. All the bedrooms can be reached by elevator, while eight rooms have been adapted for wheelchair access. Each room is equipped with a tablet that can be used for everything from setting alarms, accessing the internet and selecting free movies to adjusting the room’s temperature and lighting scheme. There’s also a free Skype phone, a small fridge, hairdryer and a safe. No drink making facilities however – you’ll need to head downstairs to the bar for a cup of coffee.
If you’ve visited the Amsterdam City CitizenM (or at least read our review), you’ll probably be pleased to hear the bathroom facilities in the London branch aren’t quite so exhibitionist. Frosted glass separates a sparkling shower and loo off from the main room, stocked with CitizenM’s own stylishly packaged range of toiletries.
The pod-like atmosphere of the bedrooms is in direct contrast to the large communal space: a hub of activity as the friendly staff help people check in, and other guests tap away on their laptops while reclining in designer chairs. There’s a well-stocked bar, which is open 24 hours to guests, as well as a café where you can have breakfast (not included in the room price).
To compensate for the grey and uninteresting views from the windows, a central open atrium, with trailing greenery and pretty strings of lanterns, runs the height of the hotel and is the only bit where smoking is allowed. The rest of the space is decorated with interesting artworks, quirky lighting and stacks of reading material.
Set amidst office blocks, CitizenM is perfect for business travelers. But there’s plenty to recommend the location to sightseers too. It’s a short walk from the hotel down to the South Bank and the Globe, Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge. If you don’t buy breakfast from the hotel, there are plenty of independent options nearby, including Borough and Maltby Street food markets.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Bathroom: Private
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About the CitizenM Bankside neighborhood
South of the Thames, this area has become a dynamic and exciting hub of activity. It contains Borough Market, a pavilion of good food, and the Tate Modern, which takes up space in a massive, renovated power station. The ‘hood is connected to the City of London by the pedestrian Millennium Bridge.