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60 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. G2 3BW.
Tel: +44 203 519 1111
CitizenM has been described as the new Dutch kid on the Glasgow block — a stylish showroom of ultra-modern design and tech-centric facilities that aims to make travellers feel at home within relaxed living and dining spaces.
Situated in the northern part of the city centre, within easy reach of theatres, concert halls, cinemas and shopping malls. Citizen M offers a quirky mix of futuristic fashion and hospitality that is gaining popularity and recognition by many awards bodies. A swirling red staircase like a fairground helter-skelter leads from street level to the airport-style self check in terminals and a succession of living rooms with armchairs, sofas, and work tables separated by partitions filled with books and ornaments. The designer furniture is by Vitra of Germany and the overall feel is a bit like a high-end IKEA store, but all decked out in red, white and black. The effect is nevertheless very agreeable and comfortable, the overall consensus being that it appeals to guests of all ages.
The hotel has achieved a sense of ‘home from home’ in the city, where one may enjoy the privilege of choosing just how much interaction to have with staff and other guests. The experience is free from such lengthy rituals as the ‘300 point brand check in’ that is prevalent among larger chains.
The staff members are generally young, always enthusiastic and very helpful. This attitude stems from a positive, contemporary company culture where employees are all ‘ambassadors’ for the brand, regardless of their specific role in the business. Citizen M’s ambassadors are selected through a rigorous process, which concentrates on their personality long before their experience is even looked at. The result is that Citizen M employs people who are naturally suited to a service environment and this shines through in their dealings with guests.
Those with a penchant for integrated technology will love the minimalist sleeping and bathing pods in which virtually everything, from mood lighting to temperature, blinds, music and TV, is controlled from a bedside tablet computer. Continuing the futuristic theme, the shower cubicles bear an uncanny resemblance to transporters on the starship Enterprise. There’s limited storage space and no fridges, but big square beds (2m x 2m) on which guests decide which direction they wish to sleep, free national and international phone calls, and free movies on demand. Cream walls and laminate flooring accentuate a sharp and clean look. All 198 rooms are the same.
There’s no restaurant, but a ‘grab and go’ 24-hour delicatessen with a good range of salads, sandwiches, sushi boxes, microwave ready meals, and one cooked dish of the day. Popular with both business people and younger guests heading out for evening gigs, it’s also worth noting that the bar is open until 2am.
The initial and inevitable teething issues with a high-tech hotel offering have been ironed out and clearly Citizen M have listened to their guests as they strive to evolve the offering into a seamless experience. Citizen M broke new ground when they opened in the Glasgow hotel scene and it is refreshing to see that they have maintained their leading position in the market place. Since opening, in many areas the hotel has not merely outstripped the comparable competition, but almost created an entirely new category of hotel that has left other brands scratching their heads.
Citizen M dares to be different and is doing it very, very well. It’s small wonder that others are now starting to copy their model…