When visiting Rotterdam, it would be a crime to stay anywhere less cool than the city itself. Welcome then, citizenM - a hotel that's so achingly trendy that you can be forgiven for Instagramming it with as much fervor as Piet Blom's iconic Cube House (which also, conveniently, sits a mere stone's throw away from the hotel doors).
That said though, citizenM is in no way clinically cool - it's a home away from home waiting to welcome you into Rotterdam's beating cultural heart. As citizenM states, "no trouser presses, bellboys, towel swans, or pillow chocolates" are to be found here – they've been done away with in favour of free movies, XL king size beds, mood lighting and rain showers. Yep, that's right, it's a hotel completely geared to generation Y, a place filled with heart and soul where you actually want to hang out for some of your stay.
There's no lobby here, but rather, living rooms, where arriving guests can check-in by themselves electronically and are then faced with the difficult choice of what they want to do first: go straight up to their room, sink into one of the inviting sofas overlooking the old harbour, or head to the 24/7 canteenM bar to satisfy their stomachs. It's a tough life isn't it?
The funky vibe continues even into the corridors of citizenM – with the journey to your room feeling more like the way to where the party's at, than your bed (and the inspirational quotes on their walls don't do a bad job of putting you into a good mood, either).
The rooms themselves are everything a millennial desires – modern and minimalist with no added fuss, and a dash of humour and gadgetry thrown in for good measure. By gadgetry I'm referring to the fact that all of your room features are controlled from an iPad, which is convenient (and yes, also a little bit fun when playing around with music and lighting combos). The XL king size bed is the perfect haven after a long day's sightseeing, with plenty of room for solo travellers wanting to starfish their way to a good night's sleep. Although the bed and the rain shower come in close seconds, by far the highlight of citizenM's rooms is that every single one of them comes complete with a huge wall-to-wall window (*cue pensive Instagram shots now*).
Like any hardened traveller knows though, it's the small attentions to detail which truly count – and citizenM has them in droves. From the AM and PM shower gels to choose from depending on what time you arrive (one geared to refresh and wake you up, the other to get you ready for a big night out), to local pottery taking pride of place amongst the hotel's ultra modern entrance environs, to remind visitors that they aren't in yet another cookie cutter hotel chain where every place is the same. All of these tiny touches cumulate to create an experience which feels truly unique and tailored to you.
With rooms starting at as little as 69 euros, it almost feels criminal to have this much thrown in without a price tag to match (or, that is, to immediately raise eyebrows). But that's the beauty of citizenM, you genuinely get the feeling that it's far more than just another wannabe-hip hotel chain – it's actively creating affordable luxury to allow a community of likeminded millennial travellers to explore the world that little bit further. If you aren't a 'citizen' yet, you're sure to become one after your first stay.