Citizen M has around 30 hotels in Europe and the US, and is expanding quickly. This is its fourth London hotel. Construction began in May 2020, following demolition of Denison House on the site. It was built using modular construction where rooms are built and furnished in an offsite factory before being moved to the site and assembled. Interiors have been designed by Amsterdam-based Concrete, with furniture from Vitra.
Where is it?
On Vauxhall Bridge Road, a few minutes’ walk from Victoria train station.
What’s it like?
Impressive, even from the outside, where a fairly traditional looking new-build has been brightened by a colourful artwork by London-born artist Lakwena Maciver with a near floor-to-ceiling strip along the left-hand side of the building and then artwork on the exteriors of the blackout blinds of the rooms.
This hotel opened in July and I stayed only three days later, so there were still workmen in the bar and reception area. The main entrance takes you into both the reception area (‘Living room’), the bar and café area (‘Canteen M’) and the check-in area, where a hotel employee (ambassador) can help you use the check-in terminals, and you can generate your own keycard. The hotel also has an app which allows your phone to be used as a room key.
I last stayed at a Citizen M in Shoreditch a few years ago and this hotel is definitely ‘on-brand’, with a colourful, friendly and confident vibe. The young staff are happy to chat and help with queries, even (later in the evening) dealing with extremely irritable late-night check-ins who were having trouble locating their reservations.
The reception area has tables where you can plug in a device and work – useful if you arrive early for check-in or have to work after check-out. (Late check-out until 1400 is £29.) There are also comfortable sofas, 24-7 fridges and a snack bar.
The 226 rooms are on floors 1-10 and all are identical – 14 sqm – with the only difference being the view – the front looks on to Vauxhall Bridge Road; the back to King’s Scholar’s Passage. If you want a quiet room, go for a higher floor at the back. I was midway up the front and the noise was fine for a central London hotel, perhaps because it is a new-build and there is good soundproofing.
One improvement on the room I had at Shoreditch is the addition of a proper desk to work at. There’s a low, long stool for placing your bag on, a large drawer under the bed for clothing and then another drawer with a laptop-sized safe in it. There’s also an empty fridge and an open area by the door to hang your clothes. The bathroom has a toilet, wash basin and a shower with both power shower and rain shower, as well as Citizen M toiletries.
The bed is pushed up against the window, so if there were two of you, getting in and out of bed would involve some gymnastics. The bed itself was firm and very comfortable, with a giant thick duvet and two large pillows.
The flatscreen TV, lighting and air con are controlled from a tablet, though there are manual controls for the lights by the bed as well as the day curtain and night curtain. The night curtain is a full blackout curtain which means the room becomes truly dark, which I loved. There were a couple of small paintings, a Jeff Koons mini dog and some books, as well as a full-length mirror.
Food and drink
Canteen M is a vibrant place, with staff serving a small choice of food and drink. The menu is available through a QR code, the iPad in the room or the Citizen M app. It included chicken roti (£17.50); pumpkin ravioli (£15) and, for desserts, sticky toffee pudding (£6). The excellent hot and cold buffet breakfast, with barista-made coffees and teas, was an additional £15.95 on the room rate.
There are no meeting rooms. The reception and bar area are good for informal meetings.
Citizen M has perfected smart, comfortable and enjoyable city centre hotels with small, well-designed rooms offering exactly what you need.
- Best for Affordable, stylish and fun stays close to Victoria
- Don’t miss Breakfast – good value and healthy
- Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in October started from £199
- Contact Citizen M London Victoria Station Hotel, 292 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1AE; citizenm.com