I was on Twitter the other day when I saw a few Tweets advertising a free hotel night in Glasgow. I looked at it and thought..hmmmm…can this be right? My curiosity took over and I clicked on the link. It turns out CitizenM were opening up their first hotel outside of Holland and were looking for testers to stay one night (over a period of 4 nights) and give their feedback once it was over.
Being the bargain hunter that I am I quickly signed up to a night. I chose the Wed and the first night it was open. It occurred to me that this was the first night and therefore likely to have a few teething issues but on the other hand I couldn’t resist being the first visitor to a hotel I mean, how good is it that we were most likely the first people to sleep in the bed, use the pillows, go barefoot in the shower!
I arrived at the hotel for check-in around 3pm. It’s quite strange that you enter into a foyer that has nothing but a flight of steps and a lift when you’re used to seeing a receptionist straight away. It’s not a traditional set up for a hotel but then CitizenM don’t aim to be traditional either.
Check-in was easy as there were loads of staff on hand to take you through the process. It was unclear whether there would always be staff on hand like this but it’s a pretty straightforward process to follow if they aren’t.
The first floor is dedicated to a small check-in area, a well stocked bar/food area (the ‘canteen’) and what can only be described as a ‘play area’. About 50% of the first floor is massive comfy couches, bookshelves, big TV’s and some fun furniture that you can climb on, you can’t ask for more than that can you! Usually I never sit in hotel bars as I find them a bit clinical but we sat in this lounge area with a drink and chilled which made for a nice wee change.
The room itself is about 2m x 7m and is really compact but is not lacking in any way. The bed take up the entire width of the room so it’s massive and hugely comfy. The shower/toilet area takes up just under 1/4 of the room. It sounds from my description as if there’s not much room but trust me, there is it’s just that space isn’t wasted. Anyway, once you’ve sat on the bed you don’t want to get off it anyway, not with the big TV above it!
The other thing that has to be mentioned is that CitizenM is a technology savvy hotel so if you’re a technophobe you’ll have to just learn to love it!
Just about everything in the room is controlled by a remote control. The blinds, the TV, the mood lighting and the radio you can literally sit on your bed and control everything – it’s fantastic!
Oh, and the mood lighting is something else. You can set it to a static colour (to match your mood) or leave it to rotate through all the colours of the rainbow. The Fiance was mucking around with it when I was in the shower so I ended up having a ‘disco shower’ which was…interesting.
As I was at the hotel so early I had time to watch a movie (all free and a decent selection but if you’re there with kids set your parental controls!) and finish my working day (sitting at the provided work station) thanks to their free WiFi.
After my movie I reluctantly popped out for dinner and was able to lock my laptop securely away in the provided safe which was a bonus as I’d been stressing about leaving it on show.
As it was the first night there were a few teething issues but it was to be expected in a hotel that makes use of so much technology. Our air conditioning wasn’t working which is worth mentioning if only to tell you how amazing the staff were. They checked it out while we sat in the bar then came up later and moved us into another room (when it wasn’t cooling). They had smiles on their faces the whole time and were chatty and friendly – they must have had so much on their plates that day but you’d never have known it from their attitude. Hopefully their loveliness wont change once they’ve had a few months of arsey customers! The staff are what make this hotel such a pleasure to stay at…well…the staff and the mood lighting.
There are one or two things I think the CitizenM could improve on for example, there are no tea and coffee making facilities which, if you’re spending a few hours working it would be nice to be able to grab a coffee. I don’t even think it would be necessary to have these facilities in each room but an area on each floor would be helpful. Also, a guide in the room would be good saying check-in/out times, how to use the safe/remote control etc. for those who were not too tech-savvy.
All in all, I loved my stay and would heartily recommend it to friends and family (in fact, I already am) and I am incredibly jealous of all my friends who also booked the tester night and are in the hotel with a glass of wine as I type.
Ihearttravel began as a travel blog for the Fiance and I but over the years circumstances have changed and it's now the travel/holiday version of www.and1makes4.co.uk for all our family activities and places we love to visit. Less of the exciting trips to California an the likes and more of the UK :-)