Solo reviews: citizenM in Shoreditch, London

The citizenM London Shoreditch is the hotel equivalent of the modern hipster: cool, stylish and a sucker for technology. It loves its coffee too.

It’s obvious as soon as you set foot inside the citizenM London Shoreditch that this hotel ain’t like the rest.

The first thing to strike you will be its attention to style, art and colour. Leading up to the lobby and lounge is a spiral wooden staircase that opens into a vast space decorated with psychedelic art, Vitra furniture and printed multi-coloured cushions.

The second thing you’ll register is the lack of a check-in counter. In a head nod to technology and time poor travelling professionals, guests are able to check themselves in via touchscreen computers in under a minute – it’s an incredibly efficient way to do things.  However, just in case you need it, friendly staff members are always on hand to help.

But that’s just a taste of what you’ll experience staying here.

If you’re travelling to London and looking for a modern hotel in the heart of the coolest part of London, here’s what you can expect with a stay at the 4.5 star citizenM London Shoreditch

 

The location

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Shoreditch is to London what Fitzroy is to Melbourne and Newtown to Sydney: hipster-friendly havens of commercial activity and after-hours entertainment – think quirky cafes and bars, high-end and vintage fashion, and quality restaurants and eateries serving yummy food inspired from every corner of the globe. In other words, think cool.

Tucked away on a side street in one of the best parts of Shoreditch, which is also a mecca for street art, staying at the citizenM puts you smack-bang in the middle of all the hipster action. For some local experiences, head to nearby Brick Lane for your shopping and the Pump Street Food Market for filling your belly.

It’s also conveniently located within walking distance of multiple tube stations on multiple lines (Shoreditch High Street is only a two-minute walk away, whilst Liverpool Street and  Old Street can be reached within 10-minutes on foot), which makes getting around London totally easy – especially now that London’s tube is 24 hours. And don’t worry: this part of London is totally safe and well-lit at night.

 

The room

It’s fair to say that the modular rooms at citizenM London Shoreditch aren’t the biggest, but never did I feel cramped. The designers have – incredibly – managed to fit each room with a bathroom (toilet and high-pressure rain shower with free shower gel/shampoo), a sink and mirror (with hair dryer), a comfy XL king size bed (with Italian linen), a closet space and even a desk/working space. It’s functional and flawlessly designed, with enough technology inside to (probably) power a small spacecraft.

Speaking of technology, each room comes with its very own moodpad, which is an iPad that guests can use to control everything inside the room, including the TV (FYI: you can watch movies for free at citizenM), the lighting (intensity and colour depending on your mood), room temperature and the room’s curtain and blinds. Basically you can control everything whilst lying in bed with a simple touch of the screen. It’s a really cool part of the citizenM experience, and appeals as much to the tech head as the average traveller keen on just making their stay as comfortable as possible.

There are also multiple international power plugs strategically placed throughout the room, as well as USB 2.0 ports to ensure all your devices stay charged during your stay in London. Each room also features wall-to-wall windows, and the Wi-Fi is super strong too.

 

The hotel

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The citizenM London Shoreditch has brought the concept of the hotel into the 21st century, and it all starts with the lobby. Designed to feel more like a contemporary living room than your stock-standard hotel lobby, this hotel is different right from the get go. The lounge space has been furnished with stylish (and comfy) furniture, design books adorn the tables, and the walls have been decorated with the kind of contemporary art you’d expect to see hanging in gallery.

Bright and airy, the lounge area is very inviting to the modern digital nomad or freelancer, with more power plugs you could poke a stick at and super speedy Wi-Fi. It’s the perfect work environment for a few hours of slogging away on the laptop. There are also a couple of iMacs that guests can use during their stay.

The lobby floor bar also serves excellent coffee and stacks great beers, including a selection of IPAs and signature cocktails. Food is also available 24/7 if you decide to stay in and eat. The optional buffet breakfast (£13.95 when pre-ordered; otherwise £3 more on the day) includes barista-brewed coffee, mountains of croissants, rolls of crispy bacon, litres of fresh orange juice, enough scrambled eggs to feed a small horse and all the yogurt and fruit you can eat.

 

The verdict

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The citizenM London Shoreditch is ideal for solo travellers keen on staying in the coolest part of London town whilst still being within easy reach of all the major sites and attractions – thanks to the numerous tube stations nearby. The rooms, although small (to be honest, where are rooms not small in London?), are totally functional and contain everything you need for a pleasant and comfortable stay. Digital nomads, freelancers and professionals will find the downstairs lobby a more than suitable environment to spend a few hours attending to business.

The excellent location, friendly staff, yummy food, coffee and drinks downstairs – as well as the general stylish and creative layout of the place – are the real drawcards of the property. The free movies, self-check in and moodpad are nice details that really add to the whole experience.

However, the more tech-challenged travellers may find a stay here a little too much to handle. Technology reigns supreme here, and if you aren’t able to find your way around an iPod or touchscreen, you should probably look elsewhere.

But the citizenM London Shoreditch hasn’t been designed for this demographic. Their ideal guest is a 20, 30 or 40-something, tech-savvy traveller who appreciates great design and functional rooms with only the bells and whistles that matter, like free movies, fast Wi-Fi and barista brewed coffee.

With prices starting at around £100 (or A$160) for a stay here, it would have been great to see the buffet breakfast thrown in for free. But when you consider the quantity and quality of the food and drink included, it really isn’t such a bad deal at all – it’s filling and will get you off to a good start to the day.

 

citizenM London Shoreditch

Rooms start at £98 per room (max two guests) per night without breakfast (an extra £13.95 with brekky).

Check out time is 11am.  However, a late check out until 4pm is possible for an extra £29.

To make a booking at citizenM London Shoreditch click here.

The writer stayed courtesy of citizenM London Shoreditch during March 2017.

*Featured image credit:  citizenM London Shoreditch

Have you had the citizenM experience before? What did you think?

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If I was friends with a magician, I’d message them on FB and ask them out for a beer. Then once at the bar, I’d plead like crazy for them to turn me into a bird so I could spread my wings and fly all over the world – for free! In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to settle for being a travel writer with an incurable case of wanderlust and a remarkable ability to get lost. @shaunbusuttil #theshaunbusuttil

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