An Inspector Calls: CitizenM’s Tower of London hotel offers affordable glamour paired with lukewarm service
- The Inspector called in at citizenM’s ‘eclectic’ new Tower of London hotel
- Prices can be anywhere between £129 and £269, depending on demand
- While the terrace bar is buzzing, the service can leave much to be desired
CitizenM threw a huge party to launch the third of its ‘affordable glamour’ hotels in the capital.
‘This is so cool,’ was the consensus as revellers drank cocktails looking out over the Tower of London.
A week or so later the tempo has dropped, but so have standards.
Chic: CitizenM’s rooms all come with double beds, desks and iPad-controlled lighting
‘What do you think that is?’ I ask a smiley member of staff as we stare at a bowl of gnocchi or could it be marinated garlic? ‘I have no idea,’ he says.
Then I wait nearly ten minutes for a glass of wine at the bar.
Let’s hope this is no more than teething troubles because citizenM Tower of London, a Dutch import, has its heart in the right place. It’s certainly different. You walk into a huge space with trendy sofas, TV areas and communal tables.
The dread word ‘eclectic’ was made for this place.
Stuff is everywhere: a boar’s head, a collage of mobile phones, wooden soldiers standing to attention. Somewhere in the middle are self-service check-in machines (there are online bookings only).
There’s just one category of room because they are all identical with double beds that you can only get in from one side. But the price can be anything from £129 to £269 depending on demand.
Right address: With sweeping views over Tower Bridge, the hotel certainly has a good location
Don’t come with a big suitcase. Shower rooms are small and the tiny basin is near the bed.
Everything from the blinds to the lighting and free movies are controlled via an iPad.
Let’s hope this is no more than teething troubles because citizenM has its heart in the right place
The seventh-floor bar with its terrace is destined to become a London hot spot and I’m surprised there’s no restaurant above it on the eighth floor. Instead, there’s a round- the-clock buffet downstairs offering ready-made wraps or sushi.
Breakfast is not included in the rate, but for £13.95 you get the full works, though the powdery scrambled eggs look singularly unappetising.
Most people have invited their laptops for coffee and croissants, and groups of young tourists are waiting for another day of street-pounding.
The idea is that we are all citizens of citizenM. We’re pleased to be here because right now this is the coolest place to stay even though you are hermetically sealed in a glass box and likely to be looking at others in their glass boxes.
It’s an acquired taste, but it’s fun and, forgive me, ‘eclectic’.
Travel Facts: Plan your own stay