citizenM New York Times Square: Affordable Luxury Meets Eco-Friendly

*citizenM New York Times Square generously hosted me for this stay but, as always, all opinions are my own. 

If you're looking for modern technology, elegant style, amazing views and want to support eco-friendly initiatives, then citizenM New York Times Square is for you. Complete with smart rooms and 24/7 dining, this is one of the most affordable luxury hotels you'll find in New York.

If you are looking for a hotel that breaks boundaries and goes above and beyond, then citizenM is the right place for you. New York is objectively a very expensive city and so it can be hard to find hotels that meet your standards while still maintaining affordable prices. That’s why citizenM New York Times Square is seriously one of the best options in the entire city.

Not only is it affordable and meets standards, it actually totally surpasses those standards to offer you even more value. And frankly, it’s just totally awesome.

However, the one thing that really stands out to me about citizenM (and we’ll talk about those smart rooms later) is how environmentally friendly it is. I genuinely couldn’t think of a better hotel chain to support.

citizenM New York Times Square Hotel Review

citizenM New York Times Square hotel form outside

Environmentally Friendly Initiatives

We’ve all been in hotels that request you reuse your towels or keep your bedding from the night before and that’s a great start, it really is. When you consider how much we’d save if everyone did that for just one night it could make a huge impact. But why not go further? citizenM takes this to heart and really goes above and beyond to offer an exceptional experience while also being incredibly environmentally responsible.

Check In/Out

Let’s talk about the check in process. In your normal hotel, you’d walk in, give your name, they’d check ID, you’d probably hand over a credit card and sign something. Then at check out, you’d hand in your key cards (maybe even throw them away) and get handed a giant receipt folded into an envelope that you aren’t really sure what to do with. Sound familiar? Probably, because it’s common practice at hotels around the world.

At citizenM they’ve completely revolutionized the check in and check out process to benefit you, the customer, as well as the environment. For starters, you check yourself in and out at kiosks (takes 60 seconds or less) and you’re emailed a receipt.

Your key cards? You activate them by grabbing one from the basket and holding it to a pad on the desk. When you’re done, you keep the card and reuse it as your key card at the next citizenM hotel you stay at.

Literally no waste. No sheets of paper and envelopes and no wasted key cards. Plus, it’s just awesome.

Proper Size Amenities

In the showers, you’ll find full-size amenities (like shampoo and body wash) which is not only awesome because who has time for all those tiny little bottles, but it’s great for the environment!

There’s nothing worse than someone opening a bottle of shampoo, using a tiny drop, checking out and then that nearly full bottle goes straight into the trash. So much waste it makes me cringe!

I’m guilty of doing that too – people do it because it’s there and it’s convenient. Sometimes when I’m happy to keep using the same ones, housekeeping throws the old one out and leaves me a new one anyway.

citizenM New York Times Square amenities

I can’t even fathom how much waste that adds up to. citizenM understands this issue so they provide you with full-size amenities that also come in different scents for morning and night (don’t mind if I do) so you get to feel like a princess and we all get to win saving the environment.

Rain Shower

Another small point about how environmentally friendly the shower is – all rooms feature a power rain shower which is super eco-friendly. Rain showers use way less water than a regular shower and they’re nicer anyway so it’s a win-win for everyone. Yay planet!

Smaller Rooms, Awesome Technology = Smaller Carbon Footprint

I’m going to get into how amazing these rooms are in a minute (and I’ll try to not scare you away with my enthusiasm), but I want to mention how citizenM hotels are designed to have the smallest carbon footprint possible.

Each room is a smart room and is controlled by a single iPad and they’re built meeting BREEAM and LEED sustainability standards (which I won’t get into because snore). The upshot is all of that awesome technology you experience is actually using less energy and consumption so while you’re having a dance party in your room with flashing lights, we’re all saving the planet.

The Room

Ok, the room. Literally where do I even start because I loved this room so freaking much. For starters, all beds are 2 meters x 2 meters because giant beds are amazing and super comfortable. I actually had to drag myself out to dinner and to see a show because I was so comfy.

citizenM New York Times Square extra large bed with view

The rooms are small, but don’t worry because there’s pull out storage under the bed for your luggage. My carry on fit perfectly with no issues and I would imagine most bags would fit fine.

citizenM New York Times Square under bed storage

There were plenty of outlets (even two by the bed) and that is my biggest pet peeve so giant pat on the back to citizenM. They even give you an adapter in case you didn’t bring your own. I didn’t need it, but it was nice to know it was there.

I loved the little vanity area because it had everything I needed without taking up unnecessary space. It even had a mini fridge! I actually can’t stand places with no fridge at all because I like my water ice, ice, baby.

citizenM New York Times Square bathroom vanity

There are two small closet-y areas where you can hang coats and other things you don’t want wrinkled so just because the room is small it still has everything.

The only thing I didn’t love about the room was the safe. First of all, I couldn’t find it (it’s behind the mirror sort of in the floor). I looked it up though in the booklet they give you on how to control your room so I located it, put my stuff in… then went to close it. It wouldn’t close. My camera was the issue, so I put it on its side. Still wouldn’t close. I should mention I only had my Macbook and my iPad in there.

In the end, I decided I would just put my camera in my bag and hide as well as I could and keep my laptop and iPad in the safe. When you frequently have two people to a room (and twice the stuff) this seemed like a really poorly designed safe that should really be a little bit bigger.

Alright, now onto the main event here. The smart room. 

Your Mood Pad

I seriously felt like I was staying in a space ship because each room is fully customizable and everything is controlled via a single iPad (also known as a mood pad). Your lights? Check the mood pad. The mood lighting? Check the mood pad. The TV? The mood pad controls the TV, lets you choose movies and you can even select specific music.

citizenM New York Times Square mood pad

The mood pad is also how you control the room temperature and the blinds. Now, I was so ridiculously excited by this concept that I played with it a bit too excitedly and the two layers of blinds got stuck together and I panicked thinking I broke it. Don’t worry, I didn’t. So maybe don’t act like a child like me, but seriously, it’s so fun. 

The mood lights are awesome and you can change it to any color you want. And not just choices of red, green, orange, blue, pink, etc. But you get a full color wheel.

Maybe you don’t want to set everything yourself – no worries! The mood pad also gives you a selection of ‘moods’ to choose from like party, relax, romance and business. Click one and the lights will change, the colors will change, music will come on. It’s like magic.

citizenM New York Times Square view and mood pad with color wheel

Apart from it being super fun, controlling everything in the room via one device is a great idea. I hate being in a hotel room and having to play with four switches just to find the light I’m looking for.

Additional features on the mood pad include setting alarms (which also include wake-up lights that mimic the rising sun) and information about the hotel such as breakfast times, check in and out times, how to work things and (for me) where the safe is.

The Facilities

There are so many things to love about citizenM New York Times Square, but I think one of the main points has to be its amazing lobby. Designed to feel like an oversized living room, it totally succeeds because I easily could have plonked myself there all day long. It has amazing shelves full of enviable books and trinkets and adorable little stools/seats that are shaped like elephants.

citizenM New York Times Square elephant stools

citizenM New York Times Square lobby shelves with paintings, books and trinkets

There’s free WiFi throughout the hotel (no need for a password) so I could easily connect whether I was in my room, in the lobby or in the gym.

I didn’t use the gym, but if I had (let’s be real, I wouldn’t) it would have to be the most incredible view I’d ever seen while working out. The terrace outside not only has gorgeous views of the city, but you can do yoga there.

Speaking of views, take a trip up one floor to the Cloud Bar where you can enjoy a drink and 360 views of the city. Open from 4 p.m. until midnight, it’s even better than the gorgeous lobby.

Dining

citizenM has 24/7 dining so you can eat anytime you want – great news for those who are jet lagged or who are hungry constantly (me). You can add breakfast to your rate for $19 and while I am not one to usually pay for breakfast, this one was great.

citizenM New York Times Square dining bar

It’s a buffet style featuring your classics like potatoes, bacon, sausages, eggs, pancakes, croissants and fruit and the best part is the eggs are actually delicious.

I’m super picky when it comes to eggs and the usual powdery ones that hotels frequently make has me gagging on site. These eggs were fluffy, fresh and delicious so five points to Gryffindor. Excuse me while I shovel my face. 

citizenM New York Times Square breakfast buffet

citizenM New York Times Square breakfast

The breakfast goes until 11 even though check out is at 11 so I did find this a little odd. It wasn’t hugely problematic or anything, but it would be nice to have a bit more cushion between the two. With that being said, breakfast until 11 is super generous so I’ll take it.

There’s a coffee bar in the lobby that’s open for the duration of breakfast and sadly, if you’re a caffeine addict like me, you’ll need to drag your groggy self to the lobby to get your first cuppa. Not ideal but at least there’s coffee period. Or tea if that’s your cup of tea. (Sorry, I had to.)

citizenM New York Times Square coffee bar

The Location

This location has to be one of the best you could get in New York if you want to be central to the tourist sites (and central Manhattan in general). It’s less than a five minute walk to Times Square, only 10 minutes to Central Park, 15 minutes to the New York Public Library and you’re near all of the Broadway shows.

New York City, Times Square at Night

You’re right by Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station, plus the subway can easily connect you throughout the city.

Personally, I love to walk when I’m visiting cities and the entire weekend I spent in New York I took the subway once – from my bus stop to the hotel.

citizenM New York Times Square could not be in a better location and I was so thrilled I could minimize my spending on the subway.

The Rate

As with all hotels, prices vary depending on the day and how close you are to the arrival date, but citizenM is considered affordable luxury, with prices starting at $159/night direct. Of course this isn’t the cheapest hotel you’re going to find, but it’s genuinely completely worth the money and then some.

The novelty factor of the smart room combined with all of the extra ways citizenM goes above and beyond, makes it one of your best options in New York City.

I am more than happy to pay marginally more for a hotel that takes sustainability efforts so seriously and citizenM is a brand that’s conscientious of this.

Would I Return?

Absolutely! In a heartbeat. I love the compact rooms, the mood lighting and the cozy feel of the lobby. While I found the small safe a tad inconvenient and I don’t enjoy needing to put on pants to get my coffee, they were tiny flaws that didn’t impact my overall stay.

citizenM New York Times Square lobby

This hotel makes a perfect city break and allows you to keep your costs down in an expensive city while not sacrificing quality.

The eco-friendly initiatives combined with smart rooms and cool gadgets easily makes citizenM the coolest and most environmentally friendly hotel I’ve ever stayed in and I would book myself into one again for every trip if I could.

My Rating

⭐⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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