Reusable Citizen M room key that doubles as a room key (can be used at other Citizen M hotels worldwide)
Slumber parties are a natural rite of passage for the average teen-girl. An overnight bag and comfy PJ's are the regular requisite for a night (or two) away from home where pizza, gossip and other devious delights transpire in stacked sleeping quarters for an evening of friends and frivolousness. This weekend, I'm invited to a "grown-up"/blogger slumber party at the citizenM Times Square, ahead of its official opening April 10th. It's been about 15 years since my last "sleepover" and while I'm always up for a new adventure, I'm not too sure what to expect. Armed with my honey and this fleece-lined silk robe, I'm ready for a night of fun and relaxation. Keep reading for the details, but please be patient--the photos may take a minute to load!
A warm welcome from citizenM
"Chic" and "Boutique" hotels pepper NYC. Most are commercially affiliated and price is generally indicative of what to anticipate in terms of location, decor and amenities. Positioned as "affordable luxury," citizenM bills itself as a new breed of international hotel for "the mobile citizens of the world-the suits, weekenders, explorers, affair-havers and fashion grabbers looking for boutique hotel accommodations" [source: citizenM]. With prime location in Times Square and a concept catering to the conscious traveller, I'm excited to give it a go.
The check-in and check-out process is an automated breeze
A red tin robot and bobbling hula dancer greets guests as they check in. The automated process is seamless and a team of eager "ambassadors" is on hand to answer questions and present bloggers with the night's festivities. Looking up, I'm in immediate awe of the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and the assorted knick-knacks that have settled on the shelves. The high ceilings, open floor plan and Vitra furniture give the lobby a contemporary modern appeal, with a touch of homespun comfort.
High ceilings, open space and excellent decor
With time to spare before dinner, I wander upstairs…past a communal table and a library/bookstore with oversized tabletop volumes for perusal and purchase. The mezzanine is equipped with Apple workstations and tabletop work areas. For convenience, free wifi is available throughout the building. Further up, 22 floors hold 230 guest rooms, a fitness center and a rooftop lounge. The rooms remind me of being on a cruise shop--small, yet functional space. Each room holds a king size bed framed by a large window, both of which span the width of the room. What the room lacks in space is supplemented by innovative design and tablet technology. A portable Samsung tablet controls all functionality within the room, from lighting to blinds to music; I spend the better part of 30 minutes experimenting with mood lighting. Typical of a 300 square foot NYC living space, storage is at a premium and neatly tucked under the bed and behind the mirror.
I love the "open" layout
The rest of the evening is history--limitless food and drink…and late night snacks. The Bumbys, a pair of performance artists with typewriters, give bloggers "A Fair & Honest Appraisal of Your Appearance" by typing a personalized narrative of an individual's appearance. Later in the evening, Alex Winston performs a few sets in her PJs and illustrative artists Chris RWK, Mike Perry and Jon Burgerman draw portraits of guests. The evening ends early Saturday AM with a cup of green tea and a couple episodes of reality TV.
Further evidence of well-done design
In addition to having a ton of fun, I've now become acquainted with new friends and a new consideration among a pool of travel options. Would I choose a citizenM hotel in the future? Possibly. The space encourages an upbeat sentiment, the environment holds a subtle creative slant and the food is tasty and freshly prepared. The rooms are small, but the location is ideal; how much time is spent in a hotel room anyway? While all good things come to an end, there are limitless possibilities of positive experiences to come… Thanks citizenM for your hospitality and NYKeiko for a fun evening :) !
Have you stayed with citizenM? If so, let me know what you think in the comments below…
Bookstore with technology connection capability in the table
Birds-eye-view of NYC embedded in the carpets
No swiping needed! Just tap the card to open the door
Compact, but functional
All the furniture is Vitra!
A king bed and window takes up the whole width of the room!
Everything in the room (including the blinds and mood lighting!) may be controlled by a portable tablet
The whole space (or only a part of it) can be color-lit
View from the bed
The Bumbys giving "A Fair and Honest Appraisal of Your Appearance"
Two bloggers with the same name - Steve Morgan - what a coincidence! Jon Burgerman in action
Portrait by Mike Perry
Chris RWK at drawing my honey and I
Late night sweets
The morning view from Room 1211
Choices, Choices… all FRESH!
citizenM Times Square NYC, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Glascow, London