CitizenM Tower Hill London // Affordable & Authentically Designed
Since I left the UK over a year ago now, I still find myself coming back to London every couple of months and am often in need of a place to rest my head. Not one for AirBnb’s and I can only crash with friends so many times a year, I was longing for a hotel I actually wanted to stay in, and that I could afford.
CitizenM is a relatively new breed of design hotel. Designed for people like us. You appreciate design, you want plenty of space to tap away at your laptop somewhere other than your room, it’s almost a members club style space with very clever rooms.
One of the living room spaces above as you check in on the ground floor of the hotel. All authentic Vitra design.
I checked in earlier last month to the Tower of London branch of CitizenM. The hotel is practically sitting on top of Tower Hill tube, so you can’t fail to get lost finding it. Check in is a breeze using their self check-in system, I opted for the standard b&b tariff (make sure you opt for a room with a view – some rooms face into the hotel lobby so no exterior view). I whisked myself up to my room directly facing the Tower of London with Tower Bridge to my left.
The rooms at all CitizenM hotels follow the same design layout. Beds are wall-to-wall, you have plenty of storage underneath for your luggage, and any items you choose not to hang. The TV, lighting, sound, and blackout blinds are all controlled using the iPad in your room. There is a small desk to work at, and a pod style bathroom with huge rain shower, next to an open wardrobe space. The sink and mini-fridge stand opposite the pod, and you have a great sized bright space to do your make-up or shave. Honestly anything you need in a room for a night or two is right here.
If you need an iron, each floor has a dedicated ironing room for you to do your thing. Hairdryer, huge towels are also supplied.
One spot I was super eager to visit though was the Cloud Bar on the top floor. A space only accessible to guests of the hotel, swipe your room key for access to the floor in the lift. When I arrived the space was quietly humming with guests on their laptops, a totally calm, quiet space with incredible views of London.
Order a drink at the Cloud Bar and walk out on to the wrap around terrace for some mega vistas. Above this space are a series of very smart meeting rooms, what an amazing environment for a workshop I thought.
The space is again furnished by Vitra (as are all the spaces in every hotel), with Wrong for Hay cushions, Bestlite reading lights and fun vintage style pendant lighting. The shelves are packed with books you are encouraged to borrow and read, and plenty of quirky London gift shop items such as model black cabs, Tower of London statues and figurines of our waving Queen Elizabeth filling the shelves. There is a fun gift shop on the ground floor too.
I waited until sunset before I headed back down to my room. My overnight stay was entirely indulgent, after a long week of travel, meetings and appointments I was planning on doing absolutely nothing the night I checked-in.
On the ground floor of the hotel, there is a second bar for non hotel and hotel guests, alongside a serve yourself canteen of pre-boxed sushi, salads at hot plates which is set up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner wasn’t for me that night, although the place was buzzing, so I hit the movie channel and ordered a Deliveroo to meet me at the hotel entrance. Usually I would never do this, but there’s something different about this hotel, CitizenM is a place for you to use as you wish, I felt no judgement and was offered cutlery by the staff as I was waiting by the lift to go back to my room.
The views from my room by night. I had to sleep with the blinds open, it felt like such a surreal place to sleep. It was also wildly entertaining to me to be sleeping across from the Tower of London.
When I was 17 years old, I joined my army brother on a ‘Changing of the Keys’ ceremony there. We joined his friends at their army apartment in one of the turrets that evening. The host’s bedroom (my brothers friend) had a direct alarm set up next to his bed. If the crown jewels were under threat, the alarm would ring it was his job to react first. An extraordinary sight for a 17 year old girl to see (and a pretty good chat up line from him).
I woke up feeling completely disorientated, the view will do that to you, but I was excited for breakfast. Check yourself in with the host who’ll serve you tea or coffee, and you’re free to help yourself to the breakfast buffet. I noticed plenty of people pile their trays and scurry back up to their rooms, also an excellent idea I thought.
The great thing about the ground floor is that it is set up like a series of living rooms. Choose your nook, (there are also dining tables) grab the weekend papers, and relax into breakfast mode. If you’re on the run, there is also a cafe at the front of the hotel for a muffin and take away coffee or juice.
Honestly, this is the perfect style of hotel for business travel, or a place to rest your head for a few hours if you’re in transit. CitizenM have their brand down to a T. CitizenM have two other locations in London, Bankside and Shoreditch, with hotels also in Taipei, NYC, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Rotterdam and Paris.
I think my next stop will be to try the branch at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Now I just need to book that next holiday…
LWSY February 2017