Once a year all my friends come back to Glasgow from their different places in the world they call home to relive for a few days our Glaswegian youth. This involves dining out and drinking into the small hours. So I was super excited to be asked to try out citizenM Glasgow for my weekend meetup as I had tried the Amsterdam one a few years ago on a business trip and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
citizenM is Dutch in heritage but international in thinking. Their ethos is about providing affordable luxury, doing away with the unnecessary that drives up the room price and they execute this concept very effectively. What started out as just one hotel in the Amsterdam has quickly grown across the UK, USA, France and Asia. With the latest opening now in London – Tower of London. citizenM Glasgow has been open for a number of years, but its stylish design by Vitra of Germany still looks as fresh as when it opened.
Located on Renfrew Street which runs parallel to one of the cities shopping streets Sauchiehall Street, you are moments away from the main malls, restaurants, the Royal Concert Hall, Queen Street Station and other key amenities.
Ambiance & Check In
Check-in is self-service (think airport style) and you can check in from 2pm onwards. It’s a painless experience and there are staff available if you run into trouble. Whilst ALL rooms in the hotel are the same, you can opt for a high or low floor or a front or back room. I was told back rooms were quieter at night so I went for a high back room and you can add late check out on for an additional cost.
It is important to note that check out is 11am the following day – if you are late checking out an automatic charge is applied to your room, there is no wiggle room by phoning down to reception with a hangover 😉
There are 198 rooms but only two lifts, we did have to wait a few mins for a free one to become available, perhaps we timed things badly.
With 198 rooms in the hotel it is not boutique in size but also didn’t feel too busy either (apart from the lift). Bedrooms are all identical so no-one looses out. Now bedrooms are where you may have a Marmite moment you will either love them or hate them. I personally loved them, but I can see why they don’t suit everyone.
The are pod in design with no space wasted, everything in the room serves a purpose. The bed is XXL in size, sleep in any direction, you could even fall out with your partner on a night out and there is still space to push them to the other side.
Next to the bed is a small token table, I’m not sure you could sit and do a full days work at it, but it does serve the purpose of being a table. There are plug points next to each side of the bed and a small bedside table – which acts as a pedestal for the most important piece of kit in the room – the tablet that controls the entire room.
I love pressing buttons so I am in my element with the tablet – you can control the heating from it, the window blind and curtain (when both are down the room becomes pitch black, so ideal if you have jet lag). The room can be turned a rainbow of different colours, just pick what colour suits your mood and you have your favourite colour lighting up the room.
If you don’t have music with you – pick one of the different channels – party, chill, romance, and the room plays music, the colours of the room change and some matching images are played on the TV screen above your bed – ingenious.
The TV has a wealth of TV channels from around the world – far more than most hotel TVs, there is also an abundance of free films (not straight to DVD ones, but ones that have just come out).
If you have an iPhone connect it to AppleTV which is also build into the room. And of course there is free WIFI, connect and you are running.
This is where things could get a bit tricky depending on how well you know your partner as the toilet/shower is literally built into the room and made of frosted glass. It looks super cool, but doesn’t offer too much privacy. The next morning after a heavy night out you might not feel that comfortable 😉
There is no bath – but the rain shower and paddle shower are powerful and indulgent. Now I am not usually a fan of built-in amenities, but the citizenM shower gel is AMAZING, offering an AM and PM option – I love the PM option, I am going to buy some more in their online shop.
There is also a small wash basin in the room and plenty of mirrors to check yourself out in.
Other Parts of the Hotel
The hotel really comes into it’s own in the communal areas on the ground and first floor (which are accessed by the main spiral staircase or lifts). Designed to be open-plan living room areas, you would be forgiven for thinking you had walked into an Italian design showroom. Books, Magazines, ornaments and large sofas break up the spaces, with TVs in each living section. The spaces are large so there is plenty of space for everyone.
Food and Drink
The hotel doesn’t have a ‘restaurant’ as such, but rather a 24 canteen which offers premium meals and snacks which can be picked up and eaten immediately. Alcoholic drinks are also served there daily and breakfast is served till 11am and offers a selection of hotel buffet food, pastries and juices and hot drinks.
citizenM is a great brand, it offers affordable luxury and certainly within Glasgow there is nothing else quite like it. The room layout won’t suit everyone, but for the price, location, overall finish and execution it gets 5 stars from TLE.
Finances and Details
All rooms are the same, I stayed on a Saturday night which cost £140 per room per night, breakfast is additional (you receive an additional 10% off when you book direct)
Address: 60 Renfrew St, Glasgow G2
Phone: 020 3519 1111