I have been a fan of the hotel group, citizenM, ever since Tim and I first stayed with them a few years ago. Since then, we have stayed at both the Bankside citizenM and Tower Hill citizenM in London, and I even regularly head there for a drink and a work session when I’m visiting London for a day.
I love the vibe of their hotels, they’re so modern, inspiring, motivating and incredibly stylish. You always feel at home at citizenM. The friendly staff connect with you like friends, and despite the futuristic styling, their spaces always feel warm and welcoming, so much so you never want to leave.
The founder of citizenM, Rattan Chadha, actually came from a background in fashion. The entrepreneur built the brand, Mexx, from the ground up in the 1970s, which was eventually sold to American fashion designer, Liz Claiborne in 2001.
Throughout his years in fashion, Rattan had many designers who would travel around the world, and would complain about how uninspiring the hotels they stayed in were. They were creative people, who wanted to stay in hotels which connected with their arty flair and lifestyle, and where they could meet like-minded people, but there was nothing like this around, especially within budget.
This frustration between designers, made Rattan start thinking about new opportunities. He gathered a group of frequent travellers together, who shared similar complaints about the hotel industry. They discovered that there was no one doing something different or pushing the boundaries. Unlike other industries, such as what EasyJet did with the airline industry, or what Apple did with retail, the basic way hotels operated had been the same for years, so Rattan jumped on this opportunity and ran.
The Modern Traveller
citizenM is for the new type of traveller. In the past travellers were either a 5-star traveller, or a budget traveller, there used to be no real in-between. These days, consumers like to experiment with both luxury and budget. You might choose to stay in a luxury hotel for one holiday, and a budget hotel for another. You may fly economy and take the train from the airport, but then you’ll have the extra money to treat yourself to the best restaurant in the city or have a luxury spa treatment. Or, you’ll wear mainly high street brands, but you’ll always style them with a Gucci handbag.
Luxury has changed – it used to be diamonds, pearls, limos and fine champagne, but it’s now anything from good wifi, to a big glass of wine and a comfortable bed. Travellers, and consumers in general, are more value conscious, and citizenM has done exceedingly well to build a brand around this. They have created affordable luxury for modern travellers, who value luxury, design, style, tech, central locations, delicious food, wine and coffee, good showers and big beds, all at an attainable price.
We at The Emasphere really connect with this. As frequent travellers, we look for hotels which are cool, stylish and contemporary, and don’t tend to cost an arm and a leg. Of course, we do love splashing the cash occasionally on extremely luxurious hotels, but most of the time we really define ourselves as the modern traveller, who wants these luxuries at an affordable price.
The Beginning of a New Breed of Hotel
In 2008, the first citizenM opened it’s doors at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Almost a year later the second citizenM opened, citizenM Amsterdam, a short distance from Amsterdam’s city centre.
citizenM couldn’t have picked a better city than Amsterdam to debut this new concept hotel. Amsterdam is a cultural city filled with art, fashion, design, start-ups and independents. Uniqueness is embraced here, so citizenM would have felt right at home.
Since their opening in 2008, citizenM has gone on to also open in Glasgow, London, New York, Paris and Tapei, and there’s no slowing down, with plans to open in Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Hollywood, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston.
Our citizenM Stay in Amsterdam
While we were in Amsterdam, we were lucky enough to experience both the citizenM Amsterdam hotel and citizenM Amsterdam Schiphol Airport hotel. We had an incredible time at both hotels, and our stay just reinforced our love for the citizenM brand even more.
Our Stay at citizenM Amsterdam
citizenM Amsterdam is a fantastic place to base yourself while you’re visiting this wonderful city. Located just a ten minute tram ride from the city centre, you really get the best of both worlds by staying here, an insight into a local area and the accessibility to all the touristy sites.
We stayed here for two nights, and enjoyed every moment of it. As it was my birthday, citizenM kindly surprised us with balloons, snacks and a cocktail each, which we were super excited about. We popped downstairs to the bar and lounge area to enjoy our cocktails, which were the most unique we’ve ever tasted, they were delicious. We popped our laptops open and worked away in the ultra funky space, while we sipped on our cocktails.
The bedroom was fantastic. Although they’re rather small, they’re designed so well, that they actually feel quite spacious and you have room to hide away your clothing, toiletries and suitcases. The bed was huge and incredibly comfortable, and the shower was such an interesting design – it was round in shape and you had to close the see-through glass doors before it turned on. Of course, it wouldn’t be a citizenM room without disco lights, which you can control (along with everything else in the room) from the iPad each room comes with.
We would certainly choose to stay at citizenM Amsterdam again. We loved seeing the contrast of the local area compared to the city centre. As we enjoy exploring local areas and finding where to locals eat, drink and shop, it was fantastic for us!
Our Stay at citizenM Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Located at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the hotel is the perfect spot to rest your head after a long flight, or to freshen up before one. The hotel has 355 rooms and has everything you need to enjoy a magical stay, no matter who you are! Business travellers will also rejoice over societyM, the most stylish meeting/conference rooms you’ll come across. The hotel is super close to the airport, only a few minutes walk away from Arrivals Hall 6. If you have some time on your hands, you can simply jump on the metro, where you can travel to the city centre in approximately 20 minutes.
We stayed in a room with a view here at citizenM Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, where we could see the planes landing and taking off, a pretty magical sight. We were also lucky to enjoy the incredible citizenM breakfast. We indulged in granola and berries, fresh bread, cheese and pastries, hot breakfast bits, such as roasted tomatoes and eggs (Tim enjoyed the eggs, as I don’t eat them), and all the juices – cucumber, grapefruit, beetroot and orange. We finished our breakfast with a divine almond milk cappuccino.
We stayed at citizenM Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on our last night in Amsterdam, and although our flight didn’t leave until late the next day, it didn’t matter, as they staff kindly looked after our bags for the day while we went off to explore the city. Staying at this hotel ended up being so incredibly handy, as we were able to take our time in the city and not rush back to get to the airport. Once we finished up for the day, we picked up our bags and walked the tiny walk to the airport, without getting flustered or rushing. It was perfect.
citizenM will always be a winning hotel for us. We connect with their brand so much and we love how they’ve pushed the boundaries to be unique and different.
They ooze style, embrace individuality, let creativity shine, and best of all, have fun! Their futuristic rooms are unlike any other hotel I’ve seen, the beds and pillows are plush, the disco lights are hilarious and the fact you can control the room with an iPad, is genius.
Their relaxation zones, bar and work areas are fantastic places to chill out, work away, read a book, catch up with colleagues or friends, or even meet new people. The staff can’t go unmentioned too. They’re so lovely and friendly, and really do treat you like a friend.
If you haven’t been to, or stayed at, a citizenM before, you really must, you’ll really love it.
citizenM Amsterdam is located Pr. Irenestraat 30, 1077 WX Amsterdam, Netherlands
citizen M Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is located Evert van de Beekstraat 202, 1118 CP Schiphol, Netherlands
Editor’s Note: We were guests curtesy of citizenM, however all opinions, photography and creative direction of this article are of our own.