Review: the new citizenM London Victoria Station hotel
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This is our review of the new citizenM London Victoria Station hotel.
Last year, I reviewed the citizenM London Tower of London. Almost exactly a year later I’m back in a citizenM, but this time a brand new one: the citizenM London Victoria Station. Rob and I were invited to the opening party on Thursday night, and I was invited to stay over afterwards.
Before we start, a quick recap on what citizenM offers. There are just over 20 hotels in the brand worldwide, with a handful in London. In essence, citizenM an affordable but funky hotel chain. The rooms are small and virtually identical because they are normally prefabricated off-site in Poland or China before being assembled in-situ.
They are, in effect, lots of shipping container-sized rooms stacked together. This obviously keeps the cost of construction down and also means the building work finishes sooner.
The most similar chain hotel brands would be Marriott’s Moxy or Hyatt’s new ‘Caption’ brand or Hyatt Place.
For clarity …. you can’t earn or spend hotel loyalty points at a citizenM. The reason we cover them is that we know they are popular with many readers who are looking for stylish city centre hotels at a low price point.
Where is the citizenM London Victoria Station?
You guessed it – just round the corner from Victoria Station. For any West End fans out there, it’s almost directly opposite the Victoria Apollo where Wicked plays.
With the station just a hop skip and a jump away you have access to the Victoria line plus the Circle and District lines, as well as national rail services and Victoria coach station.
Take a look at the outside, which is remarkably reminiscent of the 1960s thanks to its containerised construction:
Inside the citizenM London Victoria Station
The citizenM in Victoria is modestly sized, especially compared with the big Tower of London hotel, with ‘just’ 226 rooms. The entire ground floor is made up of the lobby / bar / hot-desking area:
The footprint of the building is so small that you can see straight through to the elevated street on the other side.
Here is the central bar:
The decor will be familiar to anyone who has stayed at a citizenM before – it’s very much on-brand. It’s bold and bright, with lots of colours:
A range of seating is available, including these wavey booths along the back wall:
Plus some slightly cosier nooks off to one side:
There are a couple of self-check-in desks in the left hand corner by the lifts. These are just computer terminals where you can program your own keycard. A couple of staff float around in case you need a hand.
This time, however, I used the app which allows you to do the same with your phone’s NFC chip. All I had to do was hold a keycard to my phone during the process and it was done in seconds. It was very cool and I presume it means that regular guests can keep the same keycard and simply programme the key at their leisure. I did want to try it with another hotel’s keycard but I didn’t have one to hand.
Rooms at citizenM London Victoria Station
The rooms are virtually all identical, although there are larger, accessible rooms on the 10th floor. I had a bog standard room overlooking Vauhxall Bridge Road on the 6th floor.
It is laughable how similar the rooms are to other citizenM hotels, to the point that I questioned whether we even needed to review the hotel. Because they are pre-fabricated they are literally identical – only the artwork was different.
As you walk in you get an open wardrobe with a handful of hangars on your left:
The toilet and shower cubicle follows, enclosed in frosted glass and customisable rainbow LED lighting. Despite its small size, citizenM have fitted two shower heads including a rainfall shower head:
Toiletries are citizenM’s own-brand AM and PM all-in-one shower gel (no shampoo or conditioner) in refillable pump bottles:
Opposite the shower cubicle is a small wash basin and mirror, with tissues and hairdryer:
You’ll also find a pull-out mini-fridge drawer which is empty:
You then get a small ottoman, plus a desk with plug sockets and the room’s iPad Mini control system:
And, finally, a king-size bed tucked against the window with a TV mounted on the opposite wall:
Under the bed is a storage drawer as well as a safe.
Note that the window has two blinds – blackout and one that lets the light through (as you can see above.) The windows also feature fritted glass, with colourful motifs on the outside, so it is not so easy for the offices on the opposite side to see in to your room.
It is an extremely efficient use of space, although anyone with cases and cases of luggage is going to find it a squeeze. It’s perfectly fine for a short city break for two, especially if you’re planning to spend the most of your day outside the room.
citizenM goes all-in on technology
One thing that citizenM does better than any other hotel I’ve been to is with high-tech room fittings and features. Everything can be controlled via the iPad, although there are also ‘proper’ switches for the lights and blinds.
You can control the TV from the iPad and citizenM has an in-flight entertainment style selection of films and shows, as well as *ahem* x-rated content.
You can also change the colour and brightness of the mood lighting, check the hotel menu and more.
The only thing missing – bizarrely – are USB sockets next to the bed. Whilst there are 3-pin mains sockets I had forgotten my USB plug. The new iPad Mini uses USB-C connections so I couldn’t use their charging brick, either. Fortunately my phone lasted long enough that I didn’t need to charge it overnight.
Breakfast at the citizenM London Victoria Station
Breakfast the following morning is once again served in the ground-floor bar / lobby / workspace. This is a lovely area in the morning, flooded with light and there were plenty of people working whilst they were enjoying breakfast too.
Breakfast consists of a small buffet to the right of the bar:
I was impressed by the breakfast, which I think was a step up from the citizenM Tower of London where the only cooked option was a small egg-fritter-thing. Here you had a full English buffet with sausage, bacon, mushroom, tomato and beans:
You also have a small selection of cold cuts including smoked salmon and prosciutto:
There’s a mini yoghurt station with fresh fruit including strawberries:
Whole avocados were also available, although none appeared ripe enough to me.
And, finally, a bread and pastries selection:
Perfectly acceptable for £15.95 per person, I thought.
citizenM London Victoria Station is the newest addition to the citizenM family and – in the nicest possible way! – it is exactly like the rest.
Anyone who has stayed at a citizenM will feel at home straight away, and there’s something to be said for offering totally identical rooms.
I love how tech-forward the brand is, particularly with its smart room offering and film selection, and the ground floor social spaces are top notch here as well. The only thing missing is a rooftop bar like at the Tower of London citizenM.
Rates start at a fairly punchy £200 per night but you need to look at that in the context of crazy pricing across London this Summer. On Wednesday 10th August, for example, it is £207 vs £220 for the Holiday Inn Express London Victoria. If you are a mycitizenM member, you can get a 10% discount across all bookings.
You can book, or learn more, here.
Thanks to the citizenM team for arranging my stay and inviting us to the launch party. I’ll leave you with this delightful image:
Hotel offers update – June 2023:
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