Friday, 8 September 2017

CitizenM New York Times Square


citizenm new york times square

As you might remember if you read my blog back in October of last year, I had a little staycation at CitizenM Glasgow and I absolutely loved my time there. So much so, that as soon as I even contemplated visiting New York, there was only going to be one place that I wanted to stay and that was CitizenM.

After doing quite a bit of research and a whole lot of saving, I booked 11 nights at CitizenM New York Times Square and as soon as I arrived, I knew that I had made the best of decisions. So here's why I would easily recommend staying at CitizenM New York Times Square;

Location, location, location

Many people had warned me that Times Square wasn't their favourite district or area in New York and I have to agree a little bit but as this was my first time visiting NYC, I wanted to stay right in the heart of the city. I really could write a whole blog post on what I loved and loathed about Times Square and most probably will but as soon as you see those bright lights you'll feel like you've properly arrived in NYC! Even if you're not keen to do all the touristy stuff, I'd definitely recommend making a trip, preferably both at day and at night, to experience the real hustle and bustle of the city.

citizenm times square new york

CitizenM New York Times Square is located just steps away from Times Square, great for anyone using their hotel and room as a base from which to explore the city. There were several Subway stations literally steps (one is only a few doors down and there are four at the end of the street) away from the front door. As this was what I would be using every day (see my full blog post on using and navigating the Subway here), I found it incredibly helpful having so much choice when it came to which trains I could take each day. It's also really easy to navigate this area too. I knew if I came out of a Subway station and saw Applebees, for example, then I was heading in the right direction. I found it much more difficult to get my bearings in some of the other areas of the city as a lot of the streets looked the same. There's definitely lots of places to use as signposts in and around the Times Square area.

citizenm new york times square reviews

And despite being so close to Times Square (I could literally see the billboards from my window, as you can see), it was so quiet (hello triple glazed windows)! I never once had an issue sleeping, which is a big thing for me, especially as I'm often awoken by the smallest of sounds. Sure I heard the odd police siren at night but I think you can expect that in a city like New York. It's also ideally located right in the heart of the theater district so if you've planned your trip around seeing a Broadway show, this is where I'd stay!

The room

citizenm new york times square room
Image Credit - Adrian Gaut (courtesy of CitizenM)

I knew I was going to love the room, having stayed at their Glasgow branch but even it exceeded my high expectations. It had a mini fridge (great for filling with American treats and drinks), a giant drawer to store my luggage in and the cosiest bed imaginable. Everything is just perfectly placed and there's no wasted space. If you're used to staying in huge suites or hotel rooms, it might be a bit of an adjustment for you but personally, I loved it. If you aren't familiar with CitizenM's room style, everything is clean, sleek and designed to fit perfectly in the space. There's a brilliant rain shower in a self contained wet room of sorts, mood lighting and everything from the lights, blinds, TV and air conditioning are all controlled from an iPad. You also get free access to a fantastic range of new movies (see my recent What I've Been Watching blog posts for what I watched during my trip).

I also couldn't believe my luck when I arrived and found out that my room (1912 for reference) was on the highest floor. The view was incredible and unlike in Glasgow, where my room was right next to the lifts (or elevators for US readers), the lifts were at the end of the hall meaning I didn't hear any commotion during the night.

Amenities

citizenm new york
Image Credit - Adrian Gaut (courtesy of CitizenM)

As the rooms are compact, you might want to spend some time in one of the hotels' living spaces. The lobby is unlike any I've ever stepped into and it's where the main 'living room' is located. There's plenty of tables and seats if you want to eat your meals there, although I definitely didn't mind eating any food at the desk in my room or in bed. There's also a little patio area outside too, which you simply have to see, even if just to pay Lady Liberty a visit (see below). Up one floor you'll find the mezzanine level which has 6 Apple iMacs, which are completely free for guests to use, as well as a printer. Again there's another outside space on this floor which lets you do some serious people watching as you overlook the street outside. But the real showstoppers are on floors twenty and twenty one.

citizenm new york times square

On the twentieth floor you'll find a state of the art gym with all the equipment you could need during your travels. And whilst I didn't personally use it, mainly because my legs and feet felt like they were ready to fall off each and every day, having a gym is a nice added extra, especially if you're looking to work out during your stay. There's also an outdoor space on this level where you can relax or roll out your yoga mat.

citizenm new york times square bar

Then there's floor twenty one, which is home to the cloudbar. Visiting in the middle of Summer meant I could truly enjoy this perk. Open from 4pm to midnight, the cloudbar is just unreal! It was such a nice place to relax, take in the spectacular view, sip a cocktail or two and soak up the sun. And just look at that sunset! It was also fun to Skype and Whatsapp back home from the rooftop, even if friends and family were more than a little jealous as I showed them the view.

Added extras

I also really appreciated the little added extras that you get at CitizenM. Of which the most important one for me had to be the free bottled water. No matter when you go it's always good to stay hydrated but visiting in one the hottest and most humid months meant that it was crucial for me to do so. Every day, when my room was cleaned, they would leave two bottles of Evian (fancy!) in my mini fridge and if I needed any more all it took was a quick phone call down to reception and one of their lovely members of staff would bring more. This saved me a lot of money in the long run as bottled water from the neighbouring Duane Reade was insanely expensive! It also meant I could take a bottle with me each morning to drink on the Subway and when I was out and about. It really did make a big difference.

citizenm reviews new york

Image Credit - Simply Audree Edit

As in most hotels but not all in NYC, shampoo and shower gel was provided and both smelt SO good! And in addition to this CitizenM also provide a whole range of complimentary toiletries such as makeup remover pads, a nail file, a shower cap, ear cleaners, body lotion and conditioner. And these would be replaced each day too, had I used them. Little things like being able to borrow one of the hotels umbrellas on the rainy days or evenings that I experienced when I was there, was also a really nice little extra touch.

citizenm times square reviews

As I mentioned above, you have access to a library of new movie releases but you can also use Apple Airplay to watch Netflix or YouTube on the big screen, as well. And WiFi is free too, no matter what floor you're on and unlike my WiFi at home, it never froze or went down while I was there, which was such a nice change from my crappy BT WiFi back in the UK.

No service charges or resort fees

When researching where to stay, as well as what I could afford, this was something that really surprised me. A lot of hotels have a resort fee or service charge. So you might think that you're getting a really good deal only to find that you've got hundreds of dollars (I think it was in the region of $250-300 for my stay) to pay when you get there. A lot of websites don't make this explicitly clear and it was just another reason I was glad I did my research on Expedia.

You can also choose if you wish to pay before you leave for your holiday or when you arrive at the hotel, which again, not all hotels allow you to do. That kind of flexibility is really great, especially if you're saving for your holiday in the months and weeks leading up to it.

citizenm new york reviews

If you're not already a citizen, you can get 10% off your booking, guaranteeing you the best rates simply by signing up with your email and this applies to all of its hotels. As a citizen, you also get a free welcome drink. Now doesn't that sound like a nice way to start your holiday?

Overall, I absolutely loved my stay at CitizenM! And just in case you were wondering, my first night at CitizenM New York Times Square was complimentary, as I'd worked with them before but the other 10 nights were paid in full by myself.

Have you ever stayed at a CitizenM hotel? If so, what did you think of your stay? Would you love to visit New York one day? Or do you have a trip planned?

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