As we anticipate a trip away and the search begins for accommodation, I'm sure I speak for most of us that there can be a touch of anxiety to be felt before you even start. Even more so when visiting London. Finding a nice but reasonably priced hotel in London can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, I think I've found a hotel that finally ticks all of those boxes and alas our search can end. Let me introduce you to CitizenM.
Their Bankside hotel is located in a quiet street on the southern bank of the Thames, about a 7 minute walk from Southwark tube station - a great base for exploring London from. I love Bankside and Southbank; with the Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, Borough Market and lots of great restaurants, bars and pubs on your doorstep. You could spend a weekend exploring without having to stray too far from the hotel. The London Bankside property may be quirky and individual, but it is conceptually identical to its sister hotels.
As I ascend the spiral staircase that lead to the 192 self-defined 'luxury for less' rooms the hotel offer, it's hard to not be impressed by the contemporary décor - all retro seating and lighting, quirky ornaments and books and brightly coloured murals. As we reach our level, I place the keycard into the door blazoned with my room number, and as it opens I am welcomed to a XL king size bed dressed in soft white linen, stretching from wall to wall. Whilst the rooms aren't made for spending lots of time in, CitizenM certainly make the best use of space. With a reduction in space this does of course mean that everything is that bit closer together, including your bathroom facilities, so I would definitely recommend that the overnight companion you bring is someone you are very comfortable with. Each room is paired with a Samsung tablet, designed to control almost every aspect of the room. You have the ability to tailor the lighting to your mood, adjust the temperature and also select an array of on-demand movies with the touch of a finger.
It is so interesting to see how CitizenM are pushing boundaries with modern, innovate touches to further appeal to their target customer, the business traveller. Suited to local young professionals alike, CitizenM's 24/7 Living Room made the perfect accompaniment to the incredibly well-designed hotel. They have cunningly created a living room for every occasion. Whether you want to work, relax, meet friends or browse through the library of design-led books. iMacs are dotted around for work, play and googling, and there's free WiFi throughout the hotel.
You could call the experience as 'affordable chic', combining as it does competitive prices (depending on when you book) with extraordinarily high standards of interior design, super-service, amenities such as in-room media and lighting atmospherics, no-hassle group-wide wifi, casual but business-friendly style and exceptionally personable and well-trained staff. Not only that, but are you interested in booking but saving yourself some extra pennies? Who's not! You can sign up to become a citizen here, and have the opportunity to choose from a flexible rate with free cancellation for the best yet non-refundable rate. This way you’ll save some money for important things like shopping and cocktails! It's great to find a hotel that can appreciate how travelling can be thirsty work, offering all of their esteemed citizens a well-deserved welcome drink. That's what friends are for. Am I right?!
As I was only in London for couple of days and to know it was only around the corner, quite literally, visiting Borough Market was top of the list of places to visit. If you're a foodie (like myself), as one of London's biggest and oldest markets Borough Market is a haven. They have everything you could possibly wish for. From grocery and deli stalls piled high with fresh produce, to freshly baked goods from around the world, you will quickly understand why locals and tourists alike crowd its stalls. It doesn't matter how much breakfast you've stuffed yourself with before you made the journey. As soon as you smell the aroma of all the sweet and savoury delights on offer I'm sure you will be able to make some room. What sold it for me was knowing that Borough is home to artisan chocolatiers, luxury confectionery and cute patisseries. Offering a wide range of goodies to bring you that little bit closer to type two diabetes. In essence it’s the ideal spot for anyone who loves their food, likes a good adventure and enjoys taking a few snaps. They’re open for lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and all day Wednesday through to Saturday. If you haven't been before I highly recommend it.