You may have seen on my Instagram account that a couple of weekends ago, myself and Stew enjoyed a staycation, here in the city, and treated ourselves to a one night stay at citizen M Tower of London. Having only moved to London last Spring, we still very much feel like tourists in the city, and whenever we explore a new area, it often feels like we’re on holiday. So it was wonderful to actually be on holiday here for a weekend, and enjoy London in a different way.
The whole idea of a staycation is quickly becoming popular, especially in a city as large and diverse as London. You can live here for years and years and not see everything. With there always being so much to do, so much to eat, so much to visit, it’s a lovely idea to book into a hotel for a night or two and finally get around to doing something you’ve been thinking of for a while. It’s so easy to take the city for granted when you live here! I know I am often guilty of doing this. I have a never-ending list of restaurants I want to try, galleries I want to explore and gigs I want to attend. So it was so much fun to pack a small bag, head into the city and relax for the entire weekend, soaking up a new area that we hadn’t previously explored and taking time for ourselves for a change.
It was also really nice to see London with fresh eyes again and take time to enjoy it. When you work here, life can easily become all about the commute, the fast pace of everything and everyone around you, and you soon become disenchanted with the city. It was great to take a step back, ignore people running for the tube, walk at our own pace for a change and soak up the atmosphere.
The citizenM hotel chain has locations all over London, in Shoreditch, Bankside and where we stayed – Tower of London. But they’re not just limited to London, they also have hotels in Glasgow, Amsterdam, New York, Paris and Rotterdam.
I had previously seen many other bloggers and influencers stay at their beautiful hotels. Their bedrooms in particular, have become quite iconic. Not least for their giant square bed that sits wall to wall under the window, but also for their high tech gadgets! There is an iPad in each room that is personalised to its guest, which allows you to control the lighting, heating, blinds and TV. There are different mood settings creating an ambience to the room, plus you can make the bathroom any colour of the rainbow! Not only this, but each iPad gives you information on the hotel, its restaurant and bar, and the local area.
It’s safe to say that we spent a fair amount of time playing with this like the big kids that we are!
The hotel lobby was spectacular with floor to ceiling book shelves, creating a library of both boots and ornaments around the entire space. There were countless books, magazines, clocks, London memorabilia and just about anything quirky and cool, adorning the wall everywhere you looked. Their collection is extensive, with a similar set up upstairs in the bar area (more on that to come).
The reception area provides a chill out zone for guests, plus a coffee shop at the front and a collection of Apple Mac computers at the back. Check in is simple, with touch screen monitors that allow you to pick your room on arrival. Plus there’s a small bar, and restaurant type seating for breakfast and lunch.
As we arrived slightly earlier than check in time, we found ourselves a spot on the sofa towards the back and took a load off whilst we waited.
As I mentioned, upstairs on the 7th floor, there is a bar that is disguised as a library with hundreds, if not thousands, more books set in beautiful towering wooden shelves. The bar offers a range of cocktails, spirits, wines and beers, and 180 degree view over the Tower of London! Unfortunately for us, it was a miserable foggy day. However we did still step outside on to the terrace to grab a quick photo of the view.
We were directed to take a seat, and found a cute spot in the corner overlooking the Thames. The bar offers waiter service and we enjoyed fantastic cocktails. I had a watermelon, gin concoction and it was delicious!
Once we finished up, we headed out for dinner, exploring a little further north of the area, towards Liverpool Street station. Here we stumbled across a Pizza Union branch, one of our favourite places to eat in London. We stayed there for a couple of beers, before heading back to citizenM to take advantage of the fantastic TV and films that come free with the room. The TV also has a USB port so we were able to hook Stew’s hard drive up and catch up on some of our shows.
Before going to sleep we used the iPad to set a timer so that at 9am the outer blind of the window would slowly rise, and the lighting would come on to a dim, warm glow. This was a fantastic way to wake up. I only wish we could install something similar in our own bedroom!
Sadly we didn’t get the view from the front of the hotel, overlooking Tower of London, but if you take a look at the hashtag on Instagram you will see some incredible shots from the bedroom windows. If you stay here, do everything you can to try and guarantee a room like that. It looks amazing!
Check out was at 11am, so we packed our bags, headed down to breakfast and checked out at the same time. Breakfast is buffet style, offering both continental and cooked breakfasts. There’s also a range of fresh juices, flavoured water, pastries and spreads. The earl grey marmalade is amazing!
You can also order a fresh coffee of your choosing, at the bar, all included in the price. Unfortunately I was so taken a back by the gorgeous looking food, and my belly was crying out to be fed, that I completely forgot to take a photo! SO unlike me. So I apologise, but I’m sure there are photos using the hashtag somewhere.
Have you heard of citizenM hotels before? Have you ever stayed in one? If you have, and you’ve blogged about your stay, I would love to see it 🙂