Hotel Review: A Week at CitizenM Hotel in London Bankside (Before It Became Ridiculously Expensive)…

Hi dear readers!

Back in July 2016, I went to London to watch the delectable Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play in theater and I booked a room for 3 days at the Citizen Hotel, London Bankside…

Credits photo: Fantac Cissé

And guess what? I loved it.

Yes, yes, you heard it right. I, who cannot stand to stay at any hotel for fear of contracting an unknown disease from barely-washed sheet or a stomach flu from dubious subpar food… I who cannot stand to take a shower in the same spot where someone else, a stranger, (potentially hairy and sweaty and gross in my head) washed its bits …. I who admit freely and kind of proudly that I’m a total antisocial person and an introvert to the bone…. I stayed in a hotel that I liked very much and that I’m sure, liked me back.

And why wouldn’t it? I’m very likable.

So after due consideration, I decided to give you all a review.

I figured that I must not be the only one who spend weeks, if not months, ridden with anxiety and filled with angst at the dreadful process of searching the right hotel. I always compare all prices, I look frantically for some last minute promotions and after I have chosen the cheapest hotel I could find, I convince myself that:

  • No, “I don’t need breakfast in bed”,
  • Yes, “I can walk ten kilometers from the hotel to the bus station”
  • And sure, “I’m certain those two and a half stars score reviews Google is displaying are just a bug in the system”

Seriously though, CitizenM was a huge relief on all of my OCDs and pet peeves. I was planning a trip to London for the first time. I never went to this city before, so I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I really wanted to be located in a place that had easy access to all public transports and where I was relatively sure I could not get lost trying to get back there… despite the fact that I’m one of those people who can still get lost in my birthplace.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

CitizenM London Bankside hotel is located in South Bank, across the River Thames and fairly close to some really cool places you need to visit, namely Tower of London, Imperial war Museum, Shakespeare Globe, etc.

The bus station is right there in front of you when you come out the hotel. I mean, literally right there. It takes you like less than 25 minutes to go to Soho, Palace Theater (There is still time to see Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, y’all!), Mayfair, Oxford street and all of that.

You have a straightforward and easy road to the King’s Cross St. Pancras station with the bus (if you loathe the subway like me) and you will find out that navigating into London city is not that complicated when you’re feeling confident about the emplacement of your hotel.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

Next, the hotel in itself. I took a lot of picture because well… the décor was bomb. It was really pretty and modern and VIP like… I felt so fetch.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

That’s the first thing I saw when I walked in. I was wearing my oldest pair of moccasins. I have sensitive feet. Still it’s a nice thing to read.

  • CitizenM: 1
  • Any other Hotel: 0

The check-in was really fast, blink and you miss it. All I had to do, (without any unwanted assistance and if you’re like me, you appreciate the independence) was to put the credit card I used to book my room into a sloth and the big-ass screen displayed a welcoming sign and prompted me to get my tushie into my brand new room.

I’ve gotten my CitizenM card (it’s seriously like entering a famous fraternity) and just… walk into the lobby and straight towards the elevator. I didn’t even need to talk to anyone, also there were employees looking at me with huge smiles and welcoming facial expressions.


Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

The decoration was totally on fleek and I must say, the whole room had an agreeable smell of cinnamon and old spices. It was nice. The magazines on display were also nice to leer at…. er… I mean to look at.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 



The musts deco-wise:

  • The modern design bar
  • The numerous leather couches, how very Magnum… (The TV show not the ice cream)
  • The large Business work spaces where you can sit and chill with your laptop
  • The posh sofas and cozy armchairs
  • The numerous cute red dining tables where you can snack to your heart content

Oh, in addition to that list, the main lobby hotel contains a lot of stuffs to entertain you or just to give you a good laugh. For example:

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

I don’t know what this is. I really don’t, but I sniggered a lot before taking a picture of it.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

In all angles. I need this decoration item in my home. This is goal.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

He must be so pissed to be painted in just one color… red at that. I can forgive the vulgarity. As a matter of fact, I kind of like it.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

Oooooh, pretty…

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

… creepy. But still pretty.

WARNING: Photo bomb coming through below!

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

They have a real library, y’all. Don’t worry. Also it contains a lot of classics… Not that there is something wrong with that, but it can’t hurt to upgrade with some Avengers’s comics… just saying.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

So, we can all agree that the decoration and the lobby hotel are bomb. The ambiance was great, the space was clean, and the employees were cool. The customers were all relaxed and chilling and talking to each other, as in strangers greeting strangers. That’s how much it didn’t feel like a regular hotel, at all.

I guess paying a reasonable price for enjoying luxury is really good for your attitude and social skills.

Now, let’s take the elevator,

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

And go see the hotel room.

First of all, the decoration upstairs is as weirdly wonderful as the one downstairs. Check this out:

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

That’s deep.

That’s abstract art. You can’t get it.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

That is sooooo pretty. I stared at this for a long time. I took a thousand of picture. (It’s been said that I’m also easily impressed, but whatever.)

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

I know there are just stairs, but I couldn’t help myself.

Now, the three pictures below were displayed on the corridor’s walls, on the way to my room. Isn’t life grand?

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

And finally, the room itself:

Ok, first of all, the concept of this hotel is that there is no room service. You won’t have someone with the hotel’s name branded on his ridiculous vest, knocking on your door at some uncomfortably late or early hour and asking you if you need more toilet paper.

The room itself already has everything you need for the facilities. Towels, toilet papers, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair straightener (yes, yes!) and a mini fridge with everything free in it.

The room, depending on the view you choose at check-in offers you a stunning view to everything outside. (Did I not say earlier that you can either choose to gaze fondly at the city’s modern buildings or at the nature scenery from your big –ass XXL window at check-in? My bad.)

The TV screen mounted in the wall display your name oh-so proudly the second you entered the room and on the nightstand, a shiny personal iPad is waiting for you.

This moment is when you’re feeling like the richest, poshest and most VIP person in the entire hotel. I mean, seriously, there is an iPad with your name on it and the TV screen is welcoming you. What more do you want in life?

The iPad is your personal remote control for the entire room. If you wish to change the lighting color inside the shower or all around the room, all you have to do is drag your finger on the tablet and let the magic happen.

You can open and close the curtains and the panel window with the iPad. You can shut down or turn on the lights and the TV with the iPad. You can turn on the air-conditioning and control the room temperature with the iPad. You can choose the channel or the movies you want to watch with the iPad. (Adult movies are free and numerous and possible to put on parental-lock. Fancy that.)

In short, you can rule the word with the iPad.

No dust, no broken items and no weird stain on the sheet. Trust me, I checked. Those three point were hyper important to me. It’s one thing to offer you a cozy modern bedroom to an affordable price, it’s another to rise up to the whole formula level and provide to top-notch service and clean facilities to your customers. I’m happy to report that CitizenM rise up to the challenge and meet its end of the deal.

The power shower was great, the bathroom spacious and clean and the nights very peaceful. (Didn’t I mention that the rooms are soundproof? Again, my bad.)

  • CitizenM: 2
  • Any other Hotel: 0

The bed is huge. Like XXL huge. If you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or both, you won’t need to worry about wet patches.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

Note that, once they know that you are out of your room, someone comes every morning to make the bed, change the towels, empty your trash can and give you a new soap. It’s like the invisible house elves. No disrespect.

Another great thing: This room is totally selfie-friendly.

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 
Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

I went a little crazy. But really, everyone would have felt the urge to jump on this bed. It can take it.

Overall my stay was excellent. I didn’t have anything to complain about, they even provided me with additional toilet paper, free of charges (not every hotel do that, trust me…)

When it was time to say goodbye to my room, I couldn’t resist taking one last picture:

Credits and Copyrights: @fantac.cisse 

Ain’t that pretty? Nostalgia…

Of course, after my stay, I discovered that CitizenM managed to open two new hotels in London, and since they have hotels in New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Glasgow (I don’t care about the Paris Hotel, I live there).

A year later, as I forlornly look upon the booking price per night, I know that I have to cherish this likely sole and unique experience I had at this hotel. Seriously, the success of the chain was so great that now, it’s like booking at the Ritz. 

I now feel like no other hotel will be able to top the ambiance, the concept and comfort I had with CitizenM, and I’m a creature of habits. Once I’ve got something good going I don’t feel the need to see if the grass is greener somewhere else, but, at the same time, I need to put food on the table, so…

Here was my review! I hope you enjoy it and if you have the chance and fanciness to stay in one of those hotels, let me know! 🙂




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