citizenM

A photograph of the citizenM logo with domo hailing a cabMe and my wife like to travel, and the picturesque streets of Amsterdam and it’s many canals have always been appealing to us. We were looking through hostel after hostel and several different hotels when this particular hotel caught our eyes. From the hotel website we were looking at the pictures it displayed of the citizenM hotel looked as though Ikea had decided to build a hotel. The pictures of the lobby were amazing, they had unique chairs arranged in little communal areas with a TV and magazines available to read. The bar was bright and inviting with tables for guests to eat at either side, and an entire wall filled with different pastries, sushi, fruit and drinks. If that wasn’t enough to win us over there’s also a little “working” area with four Apple iMacs that are free to use as well as extra sockets for you to use your own laptop. Again, if that wasn’t enough (by now we were in the process of looking for a price) the rooms are unique and just.. amazing.

citizenMThe hotel stands out a lot because they don’t offer “single” “twin” or “double” rooms. They offer one room, that’s identical to the others. Each room has two space-like pods that hold an amazing “rain” shower and a toilet, the bed is probably the most comfortable looking bed you could ever imagine and that’s because it’s an XL king size bed.

That was it for us, we had found our hotel, we wanted to stay there and the price of the hotel was the only thing we didn’t know and we were hoping this wouldn’t stop us from staying.

Now, here’s something from their website:

“citizenM is a hotel driven by one desire: to create affordable luxury for the people. By “the people,”

Fortunately for us this statement couldn’t be more true. Prices have increased a little since  we first stayed, but it’s not at all a bad price for the quality of the hotel. A four night stay at their Amsterdam City Hotel is 465.52 eur (£379.47 as of 23/04/2012) with their flex tariff (no cancellations or amendments) and around 500eur with their hot tariff (changes and cancellations can be made). Back in around 2009 we paid around 380/400 eur (about £330/£350) for our room, so with that, and the flight to Amsterdam being about £100 we were stoked!

The position of the hotel itself is about a 15 minute metro ride from the city centre, and it’s a little difficult to find at first but as soon as we did find it, it’s very easy to remember the route.

citizenMChecking in is ridiculously easy as it’s just a touch screen and a lovely citizenM staff member is always around to offer a helping hand.

Once you’ve checked in and decided what side of the hotel you want to face (North (Facing the Amsterdam World Trade Centre) or South (Facing some gardens that belong to the apartments opposite)) you take the elevator to your floor and walk along the corridor to your room. (The corridor walls and doors have short world facts and anecdotes on them which is a really nice touch)

When you enter your room you’re welcomed to a bright and clean hotel room with the bedding folded up into a neat bundle in the centre of the bed. There’s a HUGE drawer under the bed for your luggage (you’ll also find some extra pillows in the drawer too) and a recent addition to the room is a nice table, so if you’re staying there for work it’s perfect for a laptop or in our case, to hold all of our food from Albert Heijn! There’s a nice comfy chair that’s always occupied by one of the citizenM mascots, like Marvin or Malik!

Here’s the cool bit, the entire room is controlled by a remote, the MoodPad.. All of the lights, the TV, the air con, and the blinds are controlled this;

moodpadCitizenM have developed with Philips an entirely new concept using Ambient Technology to not only make the hotel experience really awesome, but really affordable at the same time. The Integrated Hospitality Experience as Philips has named it, is their way of creating more of a hotel experience rather than a hotel visit.

Before you even leave your home you get to set up how you’re welcomed into your room, you can pick lighting brightness & colour, the temperature and even what ambient music you’re welcomed with. (N.B. This feature wasn’t available the previous times we have booked so I’m unsure if they still do this.) All of this information is then transferred onto their key cards (which you get to keep too!) and the key card will always remember your settings! This is Philips own CRM (Customer Relation Management) / PMS (Property Management System), which enables the hotel to ‘remember’ returning guests and their preferences. Pretty Clever eh? The room uses “lighting using efficient and highly controllable LED technology, VoiP phone, WiFi internet connectivity and a flat-screen entertainment centre.” – You can read the citizenM Testimonial Here.

The hotels amenities are great too! They always have a huge selection of free movies that are available at your fingertips absolutely and their Wifi is free too and it’s available all over the hotel with out a single dropped connection! The bar staff are always really friendly and offer up some great cocktails and some really nice world beers and have occasionally offered us some free drinks.

The hotel also offers breakfasts, for 9 eur each and these breakfasts are AMAZING. You get a choice of hot drink like tea, coffee or hot chocolate, you now have an unlimited choice of pastries, fruit, yoghurt, jams and spreads, and fresh fruit drinks. (I say ‘now’ because they used to offer a breakfast bag that contained a croissant, jam, fruit, yoghurt, and fruit drink).

This is possibly the best hotel in the world at this incredible price, and they’re currently expanding to the UK, their Glasgow hotel has been opened for a couple of months now, and they’ve almost finished their London Bankside, and that’s not including their Amsterdam City and Amsterdam Schiphol (airport) hotels.

Amsterdam is an amazing, beautiful city and this hotel completely made our experience so much so we’ve been there three times and one of those times was our honeymoon!

Why not check out citizenM for yourself over at their website.

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