I was on a working trip to Prague and Amsterdam recently and during the nine nights there, I stayed at four different hotels! The first three were the run-of-the-mills international hotel chains, but I was totally awed by this last hotel.
Beneath the unassuming façade lies a gem of a hotel.
Instead of the usual check-in counters, guests perform self check-in, check-out and bill payment at these computer terminals, and the 2-3 hotel ambassadors will be ever ready to offer any assistance.
And instead of the usual hotel lobby, you get exquisitely furnished and comfy lounges with sofa, magazines and flat screen TV – they are so comfortable you can practically just laze around the hotel.
And if you need to work, or some space for a brief meeting, you can always use one of these long tables.
Mind you, you can even surf for free with these ultra cool Apple Macbook. And if you have your own laptop or portable devices, wifi is free anywhere in the hotel.
If you are feeling peckish, you can always drop by the food outlet for a quick bite, which also doubles up as a bar for the evening.
Throughout the hotel, you get interesting, witty and quirky quips such as these:
Once you get past the excitement at the ground level, get ready for the visual attack of contrasting stark white walls and bright red carpet leading to your room.
As you unlock the door to your room, an inviting super sized bed awaits you – this can easily sleep two adults and two young children. The bed occupies the full width of the room. A pull out drawer under the bed is large enough to store your belongings.
Next to the table lamp on the right is the Philips moodpad, a all-in-one device to control the lighting, air-conditioner, alarm clock, window blinds and TV. Besides the usual TV channels, there’s a HUGE selection of movies (and they are FREE!). And this being Amsterdam, there’s also two channels which offers adult entertainment (FREE as well). But if you are travelling with children, don’t worry. You can lock the adult channels with the moodpad.
The circular full glass shower booth with both hand-held and rain shower. The shower will only operate when the door of the booth is tightly shut. Smart eh? And the circular light on the ceiling of the booth changes colour throughout my shower :-) And if you are not staying alone, fret not, you can cover the booth with the curtain for modesty.
The toilet booth with frosted glass, and next to it is a panel with face mirror and shelves holding a hair dryer. There’s also a UK plug point besides the usual European plug point. Turn the panel around and you get a full length mirror.
The wash basin with a cabinet to store an extra roll of toilet paper, tissues and dustbin. There’s even a safe cleverly built into the wall just beside the door, underneath the clothes rack (there’s no cupboard by the way).
Even the toiletries are not spared from artistic expressions of the hotel owner. The shower gel/shampoo comes in two variants – Darjeeling tea for morning, and evening talc for evening.
All this for Euro 107.10, inclusive of tax and credit card administration fees. Even the receipt comes with a witty quip!
And when the email for feedback came, it started with, “We apologise if you find your bed too small after you’ve tried ours” – can’t help but laugh at it!
A hotel with full facilities, Citizen M is certainly not. But for independent travelers looking for an affordable luxury accommodation, you can’t go wrong with Citizen M. I am so in love with this hotel – can’t wait for them to spread their wings further and wider.