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At Last, Inside citizenM Times Square

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  Site Where: 218 West 50th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10019
April 11, 2014 at 10:32 AM | by | ()

They finally made it. The long-awaited citizenM Times Square is open and welcoming guests as of last night -- but, sorry to those unhappy with the pricing, not for less than $199 a night.

We had a look around yesterday and were shown the room in the top photo. It is neat, clean, bright and, with features like a big bed and a large underbed storage drawer, makes good use of its limited space, but, yeah, pretty small.

The brand's mantra is that there are no hidden costs and so WiFi is free, the couple of bottles of water in your fridge are free and all in-room entertainment (including the naughty channels) are free, too. When you check in at the self-service desk, you have the option of paying for breakfast right there, as well as reserving a late check-out of 4 p.m., which costs an extra $49.95. You get a print out with your room number on it (hooray for no announcing your room number to everyone or flashing it across the screen). You can then use your key card to charge things at the 24/7 lobby bistro canteenM and, this is neat, your in-room preferences (temperature, lighting etc ...) are then stored on your key card and can be used at any other citizenM Hotel around the world.

As well as controlling your room settings, the in-room tablet stores 22 channels of music across different genres, curated by local djs, and also controls your in-room digital artwork to change according to your taste.

A 21st-floor rooftop bar with a wraparound terrace will open, hopefully, within a few weeks. The gym is up and running and has a yoga space on the outdoor terrace, which we loved.

Last, but not least, the huge lobby is filled with a seemingly random selection of kitsch that sits alongside stacks of books and artwork by the likes of David LaChappelle and Daido Moriyama, and a large specially commissioned piece by Julian Opie. Furniture is by Vitra, whose partnership with the hotel has created a kind of 'living showroom' for their pieces.

Times Square is just the first NYC stop for the brand. The second New York citizenM will open on the Bowery in 2016 and we are told they are aiming for "five or six" in total for the city.

[Photos: Karen Gardiner for HotelChatter]

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