The CitizenM is a sort of luxury 3-star hotel, an oxymoronic concept that works out pretty well if you are looking to save money on a trip, without compromising on hygiene or safety.
We chose the one near the Amsterdam Zuid rail station, about 25 minutes to the Central Station on the #5 rail line. We arrived at a high-tech self check-in counter, and a helpful young multi-national staffer walked us through the process. Taking a pair of electronic room keys that double as bar tabs and luggage tags, we headed up to our room. Walking down the hallway, you get a feel for the high-density approach that characterizes this innovative new hotel chain.
The rooms are on the spartan side, with a high-tech euro-hip look that apparently doesn’t require closets. The back half of the room is dominated by the bedcouchthing, a wall to wall mattress topped with a duvet and a pair of pillows. A small night stand with lamp is attached to the left front, and a small blog-writing desk with lamp is attached to the right front. A chair under the desk is the room’s only movable furniture.
The front half of the room is dominated by a pair of pods that look like transporters from a sci-fi movie. One of these is the shower cell, which only operates when the round glass doors are fully shut.
The other pod serves as the throne room. It actually does function without the necessity of fully shutting the doors. But you might want to. A small sink stands close to the two cells with power sockets in three languages, a mirror, and room for a hairbrush and deodorant. A curtain can be drawn between the plumbing section of the room, and the sleeping section. Its small, but hip and efficient.
The CitizenM doesn’t offer room service, but it has a lively bar with a food area that is available around the clock. It has a small breakfast bar that runs almost until noon. Evening always has one hot meal choice, and a set of prepared Japanese and Indian meals that can be microwaved. The prepacked sushi doesn’t need heating. The bar is well stocked. And they’ve got free loaner bikes.