20 Lavington St, London, SE1 0NZ
With six hotels now and many more in the pipeline, CitizenM is a hotel brand you’ll be hearing a lot more about. Rooms at the brand's London outpost are all identical (16sqm), and come with the same features and amenities. I say rooms, when “luxury airplane suits” would be more apt. Their XL king beds (at 2m x 2m), which take up most of the room, offer an excellent antidote to jetlag. And with the rooms’ incredible sound-proofing, black-out shades and luxury Italian linens, you are all but guaranteed an amazing sleep. Even with such a bed, there’s still enough space for a small work desk and a snug reading chair and table—and luggage fits nicely within the built-in drawers underneath the bed.
All of the room's tidy features—from TV (with unlimited free movies) to ambient mood lighting and temperature and alarm controls—are accessed by the hotel’s Mood Pad, a tablet device that also allows free web browsing. Bathrooms here are tiny but actually do the job nicely, with high pressure rain showers, excellent bath amenities and warm fluffy towels.
These are features you’re more likely to find in hotels double or even triple the price of the budget-friendly CitizenM Bankside. There is free WiFi throughout the hotel and very decent business and meeting facilities—so you could work if you had to!
Art and culture lovers will approve of the hotel’s location—a short walk to both the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe theater (not the original one, mind you)—but it’s a bit of a hike to public transport (London Bridge Underground is a good 15min walk, while Southwark is closer to ten).
Whatever you do, don’t refer to the hotel’s lobby as a lobby. Call it a living room, which is actually what it feels like, with a curated collection of art, fashion and travel books lining the shelves, cool Vitra contemporary furniture and a pretty decent modern art collection sprinkled on the walls.
One common complaint we see is very minor—no tea or coffee facilities in the rooms. Not a big deal in our book.
Food and drink options at the CitizenM Canteen run from grab ’n go snacks to light lunches and simple dinners. The food is fresh, prepared well and actually comes with a smile (CitizenM staff all seem weirdly happy as they bounce around the hotel helping guests or making drinks).
The hotel’s full English breakfast is a bargain at £12.50 and should be ordered in advance. And the hip, friendly bar is open 24hrs a day, so you can plan your perfect London itinerary over a cup of tea or a pint of lager.
We love this funky brand from Amsterdam, and appreciate the value that the hotel offers budget-minded travelers. In short, CitizenM Bankside is a hotel for solo travelers and couples, unless you don’t mind sticking your kids in a bunch of rooms, as rooms are 2-person max capacity.
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