What do you want from a hotel? For the rich and famous, it may be an extensive and expensive suite in which to entertain friends. For the backpacker, it is somewhere cheap and cheerful in a central location. For the young (or not so young) entrepreneur, it is a temporary business headquarters.
Citizen M, along with other hotels such as the Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch, has been redefining the hotel for the 21st century. In Citizen M, the bedroom is minimal, a place to sleep, with the focus on the shower room, enabling the creation of large reception and meeting spaces to meet with clients and colleagues or perhaps just to work and study in a congenial environment with drinks and food easily available.
Citizen M has disposed of large reception desks for modern self-registration and check in (with help if needed); the space can be better used for other things – a variety of different spaces, including some for working, others for socialising and meeting and others for drinks and meals. They all flow into each other, linked, at Citizen M Bankside, around a small outdoor courtyard.
There is superb service supporting the area, whether providing drinks or clearing up, and there is an open shop. The décor is very arty, including books and art objects, with the staff providing discrete security eyes and ears and, in Bankside, the first floor provides meeting rooms of different styles, sizes and configurations, with a small outdoor terrace/breakout space and minimal corridors with some seating and catering serviced by the ground floor outlets.
The most recent development in London is the new Citizen M above Tower Hill Station which also has a 2-storey rooftop bar and meeting area for guests only with stunning views across to the Tower of London.
Designed by Concrete of Amsterdam, Citizen M is redefining the hotel for entrepreneurs of the 21st century. An interesting question for universities as they redefine themselves, is how such a model might fit into the design of 21st century student residences.