If you’re the type of person who likes efficiency and ergonomics, then the quickly expanding citizenM hotel chain is worth checking out.
I dipped my toe into the brand recently, with a stay at citizenM Bankside, which boasts a great location on the doorstep of Tate Modern and down the road from Borough Market.
On walking into the hotel, you’re immediately hit by a distinctive design aesthetic, which blends clean contemporary style with a good dose of playful flair.
A sexy black and red colour scheme runs throughout and there are modern artworks peppered around the place.
In the lobby, I was instantly drawn to shelves lined with books, which is part of citizenM’s recently launched Library Project.
The initiative, which means that 100 of the ‘world’s best travel books’ are available to peruse, started in June and will run to September.
After having a brief flick through some of the tomes, I went to check-in.
The process was quick and efficient and I was directed to a standard floor on the 3rd floor.
I hopped into one of the elevators, emblazoned with the playful instruction ‘let’s get together’.
Like I mentioned before, if efficiency and ergonomics is something you like, you’ll feel right at home in one of citizenM’s compact rooms.
The small spaces have been well thought out to include everything you’d need for a city break.
There was a toilet and shower inside a capsule-like pod, with a washbasin and mirror unit outside almost opposite a hanging clothes rail.
Moving further inside the room, there was a small desk and chair, with a very large bed dominating the space.
Giving it a quick test, I gave the bed a thumbs up with the mattress and pillows extremely comfortable.
Other perks in the room included USB charger sockets, a small refrigerator, hairdryer and nice-smelling own-branded bath products.
I also liked the way, instead of including irons in all the rooms, there was a dedicated ironing room down the corridor. Much more efficient!
The only thing I was unsure of in the room was the lighting arrangement.
There was an iPad to control things (you can choose lighting to reflect your mood) but I prefer old fashioned switches and I often found myself pressing the wrong buttons and blinding myself in the middle of the night.
Before heading out for the evening, I had a quick dip in the shower.
There were two shower heads, with one being standard and the other being rain.
The pressure was good and the semi-transparent bathroom pod meant you could give your partner a peep show if you felt that way inclined…
Venturing on from citizenM Bankside is easy and Southwark tube station is just down the road. There is also a road in front of the hotel which makes it a convenient spot for Ubers to park up.
Later that evening, I returned to the hotel and buzzed in through the front door using my keycard as the downstairs area isn’t manned after hours.
That night I slept like a dream in the huge bed.
I did fancy opening the window at one point, as it felt a little stuffy but discovered they didn’t open.
The efficient air conditioning helped cool me off instead. In the end, I managed to sleep longer than usual thanks to the blackout blinds.
If you’re staying at this spot, definitely opt for breakfast in the morning as the spread is quite impressive.
There is also a lovely outside courtyard within the hotel, which is the perfect place to graze in the morning or enjoy a cocktail at night.
Venturing around the breakfast buffet I discovered a smattering of hot items, cold nibbles such as smoked salmon and cheeses, and a plethora of healthy options.
There was a big bowl of strawberries, cuts of melon and a selection of chunky jams to play with.
On the drinks front, there were juices, with a spinach and celery offering quite punchy to taste.
After spending a good hour or so gradually grazing I ventured out for the day and checked out.
Netherlands-headquartered citizenM opened its first hotel at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in 2008, and this travel-efficient way of thinking still shines through.
This hotel chain is designed for the hardy traveller, who works hard, plays hard and relishes in the beauty of simplicity…
citizenM Bankside is located at 20 Lavington St, London SE1 0NZ
To book a stay call 020 3519 1680 or visit www.citizenm.com