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On my recent trip to Washington DC, finding the right accommodations landed high on my list.
I’m drawn to unique, fun properties. Location is important of course, as I’m usually on foot. And eco-friendliness is a huge factor as well.
As I sorted through possibilities, one hotel stood out to me as it checked all my boxes. Location…perfect. Eco-friendliness…outstanding. And uniqueness…through the roof!
I’m excited to share citizenM Hotel with you, the Washington DC Capitol location.
The Story Behind citizenM Hotel
The citizenM hotel franchise opened its first hotel in Amsterdam, in 2008, with a big mission: to become the leading transformational hotel inspiring a new generation of modern travelers in the big cities in the world by offering an affordable luxury lifestyle.
They are a new breed of boutique hotel that disrupts the traditional models by eliminating the frustrations travelers shared and offering a luxury experience in central city locations for an affordable price.
This hybrid hotel isn’t just a place to sleep, but a place to work, relax, and play. It’s a place to meet like-minded people and get inspired. citizenM feels like home the moment you walk through the door with its free Wi-Fi, comfortable furniture, and an extremely comfy bed to crash in at the end of a long day exploring.
They call themselves the brand with attitude…playful, cheeky, fun, outrageous. It’s a hotel brand that connects to the young at heart, no matter the actual age. They are proudly colorful, confident and artsy. And the hotels encourage guests to gather outside the cozy rooms in bright common areas, work spaces and meeting rooms.
According to citizenM, mobile citizens cross continents as easily as they cross streets. They appreciate more than chocolates on pillows. And they mix and match their choices from clothing styles to travel modes.
citizenM is named for these mobile citizens. Every decision they make for their hotels is based on the needs of these travelers.
Currently the company operates 20 hotels in Europe, Asia and the US, with 18 new hotels in development, globally.
Why I Love citizenM
Washington DC offers two citizenM Hotels. I chose the Washington DC Capitol location, due to its proximity to the National Mall with its monuments and museums and the Metro system. Once I downloaded their cool and easy to use app, I made my reservation through it and looked forward to experiencing their uniqueness.
I was not disappointed!
Here’s what I love about citizenM, in no particular order.
Quick Contactless Check in
Using the app, I checked in as I arrived at the hotel, located at 550 School Street SW, Washington DC. I paid on the app too, as I walked into the lobby. From there I simply picked up an electronic key to my room and chatted for a moment with the friendly ambassador, available to offer aid and answer questions. Because I arrived hours before check in time, they kindly stowed my carry on so I could head out with my grandson to explore the city.
Check in is SO quick and easy. For those who do not have the app, computers are set up for self check in.
When I left I checked out online and dropped off my key.
Common Areas and 24/7 canteenM
Before going to my room, I wandered around downstairs. I loved the bright, inviting common areas, the table with a bank of computers and all the amazing art.
canteenM is a kitchen/cafe, open 24/7, for drinks and food. I could fill my water container here, eat breakfast from the buffet, grab a late night drink or snack or have a cup of tea.
cloudM is the rooftop bar, however, with the steady rain during the four days I visited DC, this open air space remained closed.
The mezzanine features meeting rooms and a gym.
Green Hotel Practices
Eco-friendliness is SO crucial to me. citizenM is kind to the planet with a focus on building and operating healthier, greener hotels. They promote water conservation with water bottle filling stations on site, have a “no single use plastics” policy, provide on site recycling, contribute to local charities and organizations and offer choices on housekeeping.
I chose the option of no housekeeping in my room while I was there. I choose that option in every hotel I stay in. However, citizenM takes that choice one step farther. They donate $3 or 3 euros to charity, when a guest stays 2 or more nights and chooses the “no cleaning” option.
The LED lights automatically turn off when guests leave the room. A light automatically turns on at dusk, in my hotel at least, so that you never walk into a dark room. And all rooms have individually controlled heat/air so that only occupied rooms use energy.
They partner with the TooGoodToGo app to sell breakfast buffet leftovers that would otherwise go to waste.
Read more about citizenM green practices HERE.
The citizenM Room
All rooms at citizenM are the same, designed for one or two adults, with a single extra large king size bed.
This hotel likes to boast about their comfy beds…with the fluffiest pillows and snuggliest duvet comforters…and it’s true. I LOVE the big oversized bed, positioned next to the huge window for great city views. After a day of walking and exploring, it was pure bliss to crawl into that bed. I slept soundly and deeply.
Fun fact: my bed was sprinkled with red balloons when I arrived.
Under the bed storage bins provide ample room to stash gadgets, shoes, luggage or a laptop. There’s also a safe in one of the drawers.
Besides the comfiest bed, what else do I love about about the room?
This is fun. The whole room is controlled by an iPad. Lights, the window shades, the television and room temperature, all controlled via the iPad screen. There are mood lights in the sleek bathroom that change colors, lights that brighten or dim or lots of entertainment on the big screen tv on the wall at the foot of the bed.
You can also find traditional light switches on the wall.
I found the iPad easy to use and loved the convenience of changing lighting, tv channels and room temperature from the bed.
Recycling Bin in Room
The multifunctional counter with sink, storage, refrigerator and lighted vanity mirror also contained a recycling bin. That’s a first for me and I used it for paper disposal.
The room makes the absolute best use of space. The sink is outside the bathroom area while the shower and toilet are enclosed. The walls are opaque. There is a privacy curtain guests can use if desired, to separate the bed area from the bathroom.
You can change the lighting color over the shower, which offers nighttime and daytime shower gels/shampoo and an amazing shower head.
Desk with Charging Stations
Next to the bed is a desk and chair. The iPad has a charging dock here plus there are built in charging plugs on the wall above the desk. It’s so convenient to plug in my phone at night.
The large window next to the bed offers wonderful city views. During the day, I could raise the shades to let light in. Or I could lower the thin shade that still allowed light to come into the room while providing privacy. And then there’s the room darkening shade, for sleeping.
Every morning, lying in bed, I’d use the iPad to raise the darkening shade and then the privacy shade and welcome in the new day. What a beautiful ritual that became.
I’m a citizenM Fan
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at citizenM Hotel Washington DC Capitol. Everything about this place enchanted me, including the cheerful, helpful staff.
And yeah, I know it won’t be everyone’s preference. citizenM is colorful, playful, bold, progressive, untraditional and outrageous. I believe it’s the hotel of the future, here now in the present. It’s a place where travelers feel understood and acknowledged and encouraged to keep following their hearts as they explore.
I appreciate everything that this hotel franchise offers and the changes they are making in the world.
I’m a citizenM fan, so much so that I’d love to visit ALL of their hotels around the globe. They happen to have hotels in most of the cities on my travel list.
Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidence. It’s fate. And it’s a big goal, to make this desire a reality.
Have you stayed in a citizenM Hotel? Which one? And if you haven’t, would you stay here? Ask me your questions.
Click this LINK to see citizenM Hotel locations and book a room.
Watch for more posts from my time in DC. And check out this one on Haunted DC.
Travel finds from Amazon:
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