Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is citizenM New York Times Square, a low-cost option in New York City.
If you are looking for an affordable luxury hotel in New York and don’t mind very small rooms, you should check out citizenM.
We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points. We hope to run one review per day for the next few weeks. There will be a deliberate mix of European and worldwide properties, super luxury and mid market, branded and independent. You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.
Today we are going somewhere with an overload of hotel choices: New York City. The citizenM Times Square in New York is reader Natasha’s favourite hotel and here is her review:
For those who haven’t heard of the citizenM hotel brand, they’re ‘affordable luxury hotels’ that hail from the Netherlands. The first citizenM opened at Amsterdam Schipol Airport in 2008 and since then, they have opened in cities across the world.
My first experience with citizenM was at their Bankside property in London. I booked the hotel on a whim, not choosing the property for a specific reason and the moment I left the hotel, I knew I wanted to stay there again. When I started planning a New York trip the following Summer, citizenM in Times Square was the only hotel I considered.
I always like to book hotels through their website rather than a booking agent such as Booking.com and Expedia. citizenM had an added bonus of booking direct. As a ‘Citizen’ (i.e. signed up through their website to their mailing lit), you received a discount on your overall booking price.
Where is citizenM Times Square?
There are two citizenM properties in New York City. I stayed at the one near Times Square. The other property is located in Bowerey.
The location of the Times Square property is ideal as it’s just off Broadway & 50th, close to three different subway stations and easily accessible by taxi from JFK.
We mostly walked everywhere from the hotel and nothing seemed too far away. Central Park was 10 minutes walk away and there was an abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, take-outs and food vendors within a small radius of the hotel.
How big are citizenM rooms?
The rooms at citizenM were small.
This was not just because it’s a Times Square property where they’re trying to maximise the space. The rooms in all the citizenM properties are small. This did not bother me, but may be an issue for someone who needs for more space to move around.
I stayed at the hotel for seven nights and found there was plenty of storage space for two big suitcases (and a lot of shopping) and I didn’t feel as if I needed additional space.
The hotel only offers double beds across all of their 230 rooms. The bed was absolutely huge and one of the most comfortable beds I’ve slept in.
The bed was located next to a large window, which looked out onto a busy roads which led up to Times Square. Even though we were in a very busy area, we didn’t hear any noise from outside and slept soundly every night.
The bathroom was a ‘pod’ built into the rooms (see image above taken from the citizenM website) – so there was not much privacy. Some people may have an issue with this, however it didn’t bother us. The showers were waterfall showers (with amazing water pressure) and the toiletries provided were bespoke for citizenM and split into a morning and evening shower gel. The morning shower gel had a citrus scent and the evening one smelled like lavender.
In each room, there was a MoodPad tablet which controlled different details of the room. You could set ‘mood lighting’ to make the room feel atmospheric, control the blackout blinds as well as the TV. The TV had a wide range of channels as well as free movies.
The facilities could be seen as relatively basic but you were in the centre of New York City so anything else you could possibly need was only around the corner. The hotel offered free WiFi, a canteen which was open 24/7, a workspace for anyone needing a computer and printer and a shop where you could buy things displayed around the hotel or the shower gel used in the rooms.
The two other facilities which I enjoyed the most were the gym on the 20th floor as well as the rooftop bar located on the 21st floor. The bar was available for residents only, through a key-card operated lift.
When checking in, we received a voucher for a free drink. Overwhelmed by what I wanted and jet lagged from the flight, I let the friendly bartenders pick my cocktail for me and they made an excellent choice. My partner was hankering for a whisky, so picked the ‘finest’ one – the hotel did not seem to have limitations on which drink you could choose. We both enjoyed our first night in New York city on the rooftop bar, with out complimentary drinks. A perfect first evening.
I love the citizenM brand and have since stayed in the hotel which opened by Tower Bridge in London, built above Tower Hill underground station. When I returned to New York, I stayed in a different hotel in the same area and regretted it. I wouldn’t stay elsewhere in New York City again. It’s the perfect hotel for couples or solo travellers.
The citizenM Times Square website is here if you want to find out more or book.
Hotel offers update – September 2021:
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.
Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Marriott Bonvoy (‘mystery’ 45% or 50% bonus to 25th September), Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 30th September), IHG Rewards (‘mystery’ bonus, usually 100%, to 8th October) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 31st October).