08 Jul CitizenM NY Times Square Hotel
As this was Mr Munch’s first trip to NYC, we thought it would be fun to stay near Times Square – it’s got to be done! He found us CitizenM’s hotel just off Broadway. I have no idea what the ‘M’ officially stands for but my guess is ‘modern’ judging by their sleek arty approach to design. As soon as you walk through the revolving doors you’re welcomed with a plethora of eye candy from kooky art to cute figurines and fun balloon-like lighting. The lobby acts as a cosy lounge where you can chill with a newspaper and coffee as well as providing a communal work space with long tables and super fast unlimited WiFi. The red, white and black colour scheme is bold and I love it! Combined with posters and artwork on the walls, it feels conducive to good creative thinking.
Fortunately it’s not all style over substance. To the left of the entrance is the least reception-desk-looking reception desk I’ve ever seen. Touch screens and contactless room cards make for a quick and easy check in, literally a minute! Up in the lift to our room and I’ll admit – it’s small. Think Tokyo hotel small. Yet small can be beautiful and CitizenM has been clever. Everything your modern traveller could want has been thought of – the aforementioned free speedy WiFi and all the electronic plugs/know how have been included, along with a tablet with maps and helpful tips for getting around the city. Said tablet also controls the air con and lights should you not be near the physical switches. It’s a fun little gimmick to be able to change the colour of the bathroom lights – I like a calm purple or jungle green but if you’re feeling a bit Psycho why not go for the red? 😀 Speaking of the bathroom, it’s less of a room, more like a opaque screened off section. It’s simple but roomy enough and actually, any bigger and it would just be wasted space. This is not for dawdling bathers, this is for get up and go travellers with things to do, people to meet and places to see! I think the room is really smartly considered. You feel like you have all you need and because there is a space for everything it doesn’t feel cluttered. Most importantly there are black out blinds, the bed is super comfy and surprisingly large once you’re in it!
Breakfast is the usual selection of hot and cold, continental and american. Mr Munch sampled their pastries and obligatory-when-in-America pancakes with maple syrup. I enjoyed granola with fruit salad and a mixture of eggs, smoked salmon and bacon from the hot counter. All super tasty and fresh – I’d avoid peak breakfast time if possible as refills were a bit slow on one occasion but that could have been a one off. It’s fun to eat in such a visually rich setting. You certainly won’t get bored gazing around the room!
Transport links are handy for getting to JFK Airport. 50th Street subway station is just opposite with lines A, C and E. E is what you want to get to Jamaica Station and then an Air Train to JFK. Added to that for general getting about is 50th St Broadway station with the 1 line. Take this south for South Ferry station where you’ll find boat trips for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
My overall impression of our CitizenM Hotel stay was a good one. I loved its uncompromising attitude, high tech features and above all, comfort. The fact that they’re striving to work on sustainability, equality and healthy working environments for staff is commendable. I would like to try staying in their hotels nearer home, I’d be interested to see how they differ between Europe and Asia too. If you’re looking for a central Manhattan location with all the mod cons but still cosy and with ship loads of character then check CitizenM Times Square out!
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