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Last week, CitizenM Hotels dissed Holiday Inn on the internet by "selling" an old front desk on Craigslist as part of an April Fool's Day joke. Today, they've done it again--by parking a stretch-limo out in front of the Trump International Hotel near Central Park with a sign on the side of the car that says,
"Luxury is free WiFi and XL beds, not a stupidly long car."
The limo also drove by a few other NYC hotels like the Grand Hyatt and The Plaza as CitizenM said to "to make our point and also annoy the doormen."
We kinda love CitizenM for calling out these hotels are their WiFi policies and for annoying the doormen with a ridiculous limo but hello, Citizen M! Rates at your Times Square property aren't exactly affordable either, with one reader telling us rates were over $300 a night after your grand "reopening." For teeny rooms. At least at the Trump, we get some more space.
So keep on fighting the good fight but also maybe consider lowering those room rates a touch.
UPDATE: The Trump Hotel actually has free WiFi so this kind of didn't work out right.
[Photo: CitizenM Times Square/Facebook]
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It looks like CitizenM Hotels were getting ahead of themselves when they opened up bookings for their Times Square property. When we stopped by earlier today to take a peek, we were told that, while a few guests are staying tonight (the projected opening date) opening date has now been pushed back to April 12. Given that this is the rather unwelcoming scene we were greeted with at the front door, we'd say that's a wise decision.
While the opening rates of citizenM New York bum us out a bit ($199 in March?), the news in London doesn’t do much to cheer us up. The good bit is that citizenM is bringing a third addition in the hipster paradise of Shoreditch in 2015, but that’s overshadowed by the fact that both Holborn and Tower Hill also won’t arrive before next year. In some ways it's not a surprise given how dormant Holborn looked a few weeks ago.
If citizenM does pull off opening all three of them next year, it means they’ll add close to 900 hotel rooms to their portfolio, and all in one city. Holborn should have just under 250 rooms, Tower Hill will be the flagship with 370, and Shoreditch will be a bit smaller at 185.
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We've been eagerly anticipating the stateside debut of the CitizenM hotels so we're extremely pumped to see the hotel is accepting reservations for March 25th.
We found a room for $199 a night on opening night which, to be honest, is a little bit of a buzzkill. It's March and still pretty cold in NYC. We sort of hoped this would be the starting rate in warmer times like May-ish, especially given how small these rooms are.
But no matter, that rate includes free wifi andmovies in all rooms, XL kingsize beds, a power rain shower, Skype phone rates, wall to wall windows and an "ambient room experience with touch screen control for colour, temperature, blinds, television and more."
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UPDATE 3.17.14: The CitizenM Times Square will now open on March 25.
The long-awaited CitizenM Times Square keeps on keeping us guessing about its opening date, but after taking a walk past the site yesterday, we're feeling pretty confident that things are going to be happening very soon.
Like many of us, NYC's first outpost of the cool Dutch brand has been shedding its winter layers over the past couple of weeks, and, in the Citizen's case, this has allowed us a peek as what looks like some very funky interiors.
We spotted bright murals, chrome, steel lampshades, what appears to be a bookstore to the right hand side and, to the left of the front door, cool wall-mounted shelves filled with objets d'art including red horses' heads and little men.
Although we still await a firm date, CitizenM's website says that "bookings starting from March," which is, like, now so...
We’re on a roll when it comes to scoping out the latest on citizenM at the moment: the exterior of citizenM at Paris Charles de Gaulle seems pretty much finished, New York Times Square is getting ever so close to being done, and the Holborn location in London looks like this. When we walked by the latter, we wondered what the third London opening at Tower Hill would look like et voilà: here are the renderings.
This citizenM is interesting beyond the fact that it will bring more high-style, affordable hotel rooms to London: it will be the group’s flagship, and at 370 rooms, its largest hotel. It is being built over the exit hall of Tower Hill tube station, which will get an upgrade as part of the work. Opening is scheduled for the fall.
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Rosewood London may have dominated headlines for the past six months as the new kid on the block in Holborn (sorry Boris, we’re still not down with calling it ‘Midtown’), but this year should see two new hotels opening in the same area, albeit in a very different segment: citizenM and Hoxton, both representing the much appreciated wave of stylish but affordable options that most cities need more of.
It’s also seconds for both when it comes to the British capital: citizenM Bankside is a twenty-minute walk across the river, and Hoxton Shoreditch has been doing its things just east of the Old Street roundabout for eight years. We walked past both hotels to check out what the buildings are like and how construction is coming along.
We've been anxiously awaiting the opening of the citizenm Times Square for a while now. But while the "affordable luxury" hotel with capsule-sized rooms is closer than ever before to opening, there's still no firm opening date.
We've put down mid-2014 on our master openings list and we think that still holds true. If the spot opens before May, we'll be pleasantly surprised.
That said, citizenM has promised to announce its date on its Facebook page soon, saying as much on a recent FB comment:
In the meantime, here's what we do know about the hotel:
We hope one of you readers out there was able to head over to citizenM Rotterdam and be a test guest earlier this month. For the rest of us, the hotel is now accepting normal reservations, with opening specials (non-refundable) starting at an affordable €59 ($81) a night.
citizenM partnered once again with Dutch design firm Concrete for the look of the 151-room hotel, with furniture by Vitra. Rooms will be familiar to those that have stayed at, or seen our coverage here and here of, citizenM Bankside in London. Public spaces include canteenM and look equally inviting to set up shop for a few hours and work, read, eat, or socialize.
We've always fantasized about being a "test guest" for hotels where we would stay in a hotel before it actually opens to the public and test out everything in the room and on-property. Alas, that has never happened so we settle for being one of the first guests in there on opening night.
But with the upcoming CitizenM Hotel in Rotterdam, they have put out a call for test guests via social media. Here's what we found on their Instagram yesterday :
Fancy a FREE night in Rotterdam? We are looking for people to test our brand new Rotterdam hotel before it opens!! No tricks, it's free in exchange of your thoughts and feedback. Follow #citizenmrotterdam on Twitter for news, or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/citizenMrotterdam
Venturing to that Facebook page yielded this link where three nights are listed for test guests to check-in. Except two of those nights are already sold-out, leaving just December 8 open. So if you plan on being in Rotterdam that day and need a hotel room, or if you're just hotel nerds like us and really want to test it out, then hurry up and book.
The stylish yet affordable CitizenM Hotels is getting closer and closer to opening their first hotel in the U.S.
Last we heard, the Times Square hotel at 218 W. 50th Street would open sometime in Summer 2013. While there's no website up and running for reservation yet, there is a Facebook page but more tellingly, CitizenM recently applied for a liquor license which could mean an opening is coming soon.
According to the hotel's developer, Brack Capital, the 22-story hotel will have 230 rooms, a living room-like lobby, pantry area, fitness center and most importantly, bars (plural) and a rooftop lounge. You can also expect free WiFi and stylish albeit small rooms (see photo above.) The liquor license application goes in front of the community board this Wednesday. Fingers crossed!
More on what's in store for CitizenM after the jump!
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London is an expensive place to stay the night, that’s nothing new. Moreover, despite the influx of new hotels we’ve seen this year, a post-Olympics slump seems to have been avoided with particularly strong occupancy levels (i.e. the percentage of rooms filled with guests) after the summer’s events. That means it won’t get any easier finding a pleasantly priced hotel room in the city anytime soon.
So what to do if you want something sweet but easy on the wallet?
To help here's five London hotels that offer a bit of style without requiring a second mortgage or limitless credit card to enjoy them.