Citizen M Glasgow

Y’all know I love a cool hotel, I would go as far as to say that finding Citizen M decided my destination. Citizen M is a chain of hotels that specialise in the young traveler – we want different, we want easy and we want effortless branding. From the  moment you walk into a Citizen M hotel you know its not going to be ordinary, there is no check-in counter you do all that yourself.

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Then you walk into your room, and the traditional hotel goes out the window. Its basically just a massive bed and a glow in the dark bathroom. Not kidding the bed is about half the size of the room and is so big that the first night I felt lost in it. They really focus on the things I want in a hotel, forget the mini-bar that no-one uses anyway. Instead give me an iPod dock and free blockbuster movies…swoon. Then there are the optional extras like a bathroom where you can choose the colour of the mood lighting and different scented soaps based on personality type.

Citizen M Soap

And what I said before about branding? There is not a single bit of the hotel that escapes the designers notice, the rooms are designated by Citizen number, the creepy fantasy citizen pictures adorn the walls and even the doormats welcome all new Citizens. But I think my favorite part is what they do with the common areas. Normally dead spaces in a hotel, at Citizen M they have essentially turned it into your lounge – or at least the lounge you pin on pinterest. One day on my trip I just felt like having a glass of wine and reading a book, so that is what I did in the eames chair by the window. And for the bloggers out there, they have enough iMacs to keep you posting throughout your stay.

Citizen M lounge

The only bad point of Citizen M is that I probably wouldn’t want to stay there with anyone I didn’t trust intimately. Because the bathroom is essentially just a glassed in part of the room its not exactly the most private space in the world, its frosted glass but I still wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable showering when my room buddy can see what is going on. But as a solo traveler? No problem.Citizen M Door Mat

Citizen M ticks all my boxes (oh hush) when it comes to a hotel, giving you all the things you want and ignoring the things you never knew you didn’t want. I can’t wait to try a few more of the chain, Amsterdam maybe?

xx

 

Hotel Bloom Room

You may have seen my twitter explosion a few weeks about, about how I fell in love with Hotel Bloom. When I was planning my trip to Bruges and Brussels (the secret is out, my two day-trips were actually over a weekend) I was looking for a cool hotel to stay in. You know, one of those hotels where you are just as excited about the bed you are going to sleep in as the new city you are going to see. Then I came across Hotel Bloom, and what instantly grabbed my attention was that every single room has its own unique mural in it, turning the entire place into a livable art gallery. So I did what any blogger would do, I cheekily emailed them and asked if I could stay for a night…they said yes! So full disclosure I didn’t pay for my night in Hotel Bloom, but bloody hell I loved it and would have happily paid.

The room that they gave us was simply massive. We were like giggling school girls as we ran around and reveled in the space. There were nice touches like robes (OMG ROBES) and free bottles of water to take on our adventures. The mural in our room was a beautiful creation by Nora Bodnar, which detailed how to create our own origami bloom. Since we were too busy rolling on the floor in our robes we didn’t get to make them, but it is on the to do list. The coolest thing in the room however was the chairs (below), does anyone know if you can get these in London?

Hotel Bloom Chair

Raaaa ok one more thing before I stop talking about Hotel Bloom, the breakfast. Along with the normal hotel breakfast (hot food as well, not just continental which was refreshing in Europe) there was the waffle station to beat all waffle stations. Parked in the middle of the breakfast room was a bright yellow campervan, which served as a make your own waffle station. I was in love and I may or may not have eaten my body weight in waffley goodness.

Hotel Bloom Breakfast

The hotel is in the ideal location if you are trying to do Brussels and Bruges in one weekend. It is fifteen minutes on the Metro to get from the Eurostar terminal to the hotel, and then the best station to go to Bruges is in walking distance to the hotel as well. And then since there is a Metro stop just outside any site seeing you do is super easy.

Go and stay in Hotel Bloom!!!

Colour Design Hotel Paris

After a virtual trip and 1000 wishes I finally booked a trip to Paris! After the initial excitement of booking the Eurostar, then comes the more complicated equation, where to stay in Paris.

I have been to Paris before and I have stayed in all sorts; hostels, chain hotels, apartments, expensive hotels and dodgy hotels in the red light district. Suffice to say as a girl travelling alone (and a million years past the hostel stage of my life) all I wanted was a safe, clean hotel in a central location that was within my budget and fingers crossed was just a little big cool. Have you finished laughing yet?  But jokes on you because I actually found a hotel that ticked all the boxes – the Colour Design Hotel near Bastille.

Let me introduce you to my new friend.

The Colour Design hotel is about a ten minute walk from Bastille and on a nice day the walk to Notre Dame would take you about 50 minutes. Or there are two metro stops close by that will get you all over the city within half an hour. It’s also on a quiet side street with very little road noise and is just across the road from a supermarket and a wine bar (try and guess which I visited more often).

For Paris the rooms are a generous size (not you can’t swing a cat, but who the hell brings a cat on holiday?) and have actual functioning air conditioning (a must for anyone who remembers the July of 2010). It’s called the Colour Design Hotel because each room is themed on a different colour (I was I green as you can see from the picture above) so it even met the cool requirements!

The staff are awesomely friendly and speak pretty damn good English, and were more than happy to give directions or call a restaurant to make reservations for me.

I got a Summer Special which meant I paid €75 a night and breakfast was included. When you consider that a private hostel room can be up to €60 a night (and I once paid €160 for a supposedly ‘nice’ hotel that turned out to be a run-down pile of &@*$) it was utterly fantastic value.

Colour Design Hotel Paris

Side note on the breakfast issue. By and large I would not vote for paying for a breakfast inclusive package at a hotel. Hotel breakfasts in Paris are normally pastries, cheese, maybe ham or salami, cereal and fruit, all of which can be purchased very cheaply at the nearest supermarket or even at a cafe nearby, so paying a hiked up price for this at a hotel is mental.

Second side note – what the hell is it with hotels in France taking the key back when you leave the hotel, every time you go out for the day you give your key to reception and collect it when you return. I just don’t get it, is it for security? Do they only have one set of keys and are worried you will loose it? Someone, please enlighten me.

I was in no way sponsored by the hotel – I just freakin love that I finally found a place to stay in Paris and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Cake

I love art. I love food. I love fashion. If you feel the same, you have to try the fashion afternoon tea at The Berkeley.

The entire afternoon tea was inspired by the Spring/Summer 2012 collections of some of the worlds top designers. My favourite was the coloured mouse with Lemon meringue which drew its looks from a summer Mulberry dress. Some of the other treats:

And it is all served on beautiful Paul Smith china.

Top Tip #1: if you finish your treats you can always ask for refills, they keep bringing you cakes until you could simply burst.

Top Tip #2: get one of the special fruit teas, they are dried fruit that you put in your cup and pour boiling water over. The fruit infuses the water with stunning flavour, and you can eat the fruit at the end.

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