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‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – citizenM New York Times Square

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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.

review - citizenM New York Times Square

Booking

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.

review - citizenM New York Times Square

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.

review - citizenM New York Times Square

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.

review - citizenM New York Times Square

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.

Facilities

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.

review - citizenM New York Times Square

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.

review - citizenM New York Times Square

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.

Conclusion

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 – August 2021:

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Comments (20)

  • Michael C says:

    Thanks for this, Natasha – have thought before that it’d be a good bet for a solo trip, and you make it look v appealing!

    Nowhere near as swish, but my other fave-with-a-rooftop-and-usuallyyyy.not-bank-breaking NCY hotel is the Fairfield Midtown, right opposite Penn Station. 2 x double beds, ok b-fast included, walking distance to loads of sights, plus train direct to EWR for flights.

  • tony says:

    Excellent review – and the sort of quality/value balance where I’d hope the HfP community can really contribute.

    I’ve stayed in a couple of their London properties, so wouldn’t hesitate to use them in NY – didn’t know they operated over there!

  • Rob says:

    Great review if put my name forward to review the Bowery property but as there was already a review coming they politely declined.

    I think personally Bowery is a better location as I don’t like to be right on top of Times Square and Bowery still offers a great location to attractions and I prefer the vibe of the Lowe East Side plus the prices generally come up slightly better.

  • Stu N says:

    Stayed in the Bankside one for work – main gripe was total absence of a master light switch. Spent ages faffing around with the tablet trying to turn every last light, lamp and mood light off. Then the screen on the tablet wouldn’t dim, ended up having to put a black t-shirt over it to more the room go proper dark.

    Also worth highlighting that the bed is side-on to the window so the person on the window side would have to climb over the person on the floor side to get up in the night.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      I hate those tablets. They take up bedside table space, the glare prevents you from sleep, and sometimes they check you out of the room without your consent (looking at you Bloc Gatwick!)

    • Geoff says:

      I think the idea is, or so I read in the CDG Citizen M, that you can watch the TV lying across the bed, and sleep lying the other way – feet towards the room. At least that lets both parties out!

      Cant understand though why those iPads only work in landscape – so that when they are in the charging dock the writing is all sideways.

  • Phil says:

    I’ve stayed in citizenM hotels in Amsterdam Zuid and Glasgow and have to say I love them. The rooms are physically small but incredibly well designed. The beds are big, the shower is big and there is plenty of storage. Ideal for a 2-3 night city break.

    Similar to the reviewer, I’d recommend booking direct. You’ll get a good discount and free drink. Both the Amsterdam Zuid and Glasgow properties took the same approach as the NYTS property and offered any drink of your choice.

    I’ve always found the bars to quite cool places to hang out as well.

    I’d highly recommend trying out a citizenM if you ever get the choice.

  • A13 says:

    Stayed in the new one at Boston North Station last August. They’re fantastic value as a base if you don’t require loads of space. Very comfortable beds and lots of tech in the rooms. Communal areas great too.

  • Simon says:

    I stayed at the Citizen NY also and I agree it’s really cool. We booked breakfast also in advance which was good value. The staff are very friendly but the cost per night was still on the expensive side but I guess it is right in the centre of NY.

  • Novice says:

    Good review.

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