One trendy fashion designer has created his happy place and wants to share it with the world.
It’s the new CitizenM New York Bowery.
Built entirely as a prefab structure, this jewel box in the sky is a pencil thin highrise that jets up 21 stories, making it the world’s tallest modular hotel. The design concept which is the brainchild of Mexx clothing icon Rattan Chadha, the hotel’s founder first garnered world attention in Amsterdam back in 2008 when weary travelers at the Schiphol Airport got exposed to the au moderne hotel concept.
Now since last fall busy suits and travelers seeking experiences have migrated to this hotel tribe, the second one to enter the busy New York City hotel scene. CitizenM New York Times Square was the first.
Located in the once gritty Bowery guests are in for a real treat.
At first glance I gotta say I was skeptical – a candy box entrance of muraled red and black graffiti was paired by the electric red outdoor patio furniture which greets guests by the entrance.
Serious street cred on the graffiti wall – street artist Meres One, founder of 5Pointz, OTM aerosol art collective personalized the entrance with the swoosh patterns. He’s also a contributor to MoSA, Museum of Street Art at the hotel.
Inside, a lively din of guests were hunkering down by the self check-in kiosks. The key card comes in the shape of a luggage tag.
Art oozes all around but somehow everything brilliantly comes together. A delightful mash-up of art by Jeff Koons meets Julian Opie and Vincent Houze. For folks familiar with the grand spiral staircase at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario designed by starchitect Frank Gehry, there’s a fabulous look-alike that takes guests downstairs to the hotel’s Living Room.
A multi-level amphitheater on one side gives you a chance to choose seating areas, some meshed with a wild collection of books – all of which are free to browse. More books are at the ready along a long open table where a pair of Apple computers are for complimentary use.
On the other side of a glass wall a wall of green meets a super cool hanging Spider Man sculpture. His mask seems to be gazing across the room to another statue, this one of King Kong with its big girth prepared to move.
Back at the main entrance upstairs “Ambassadors,” the term citizenM uses for its friendly staff, stand at the ready serving as instant concierges. Need a place to eat? They’ll recommend. Have tech challenges like forgetting your charger, they have you covered.
What else you got?
CitizenM New York Bowery Highlights
OMG – for NYC hotel prices, this one is affordable luxury. That’s what the hotel chain wants. After combing those swanky fashion shows around the world, Rattan says it was never easy to find hotels with good prices, and good design that matched good locations. The citizenM New York Bowery captures these three sticky notes in one.
Expect to have your visual and auditory senses ignited. NYC has a strong rooftop bar trend that doesn’t seem to be fading. This luxe property has got to have one of the finest rooftop views you’ll come across.
Location – Located literally across the road from the J subway stop – Bowery. For airport bound travelers, this station gives you direct access to Jamaica to connect to the JFK air train (about 20+ stops that takes around 40 min).
Unlike other hotels with their long room categories, citizenM New York Bowery is simple. All 300 rooms are the same. Expect a small room good for two with an XL king-sized bed perfectly positioned to get the best skyline view of Lower Manhattan. A huge wall-to-wall super thick glass window means no city sounds. The bed was super comfy, crisp sheets, fluffy pillows. I thought I would not be able to sleep when I first saw the bed but in fact I had one of the best sleeps ever while staying in Manhattan.
There’s a MoodPad (Ipad) by your bed that acts as your room control for everything. Swipe your finger to solve ensuite dilemmas. Find your alarm clock, TV, map locator, night blinds, lights, and thermostat on this digital device. There’s even a mood lighting function that uses modes like “party,” “romance,” “relax,” and “work.” Different color hues for each.
By the bedside there are wall mounted reading lights. For my built-in alarm clock I selected ‘gentle’ when I programmed my wake-up time. Boy was I in for a surprise. I was awoken to a sultry female sounding voice that verged on the Stanley Kubrick flick, 2001: A Space Odyssey counting back numbers from 99. My wall mounted TV popped to life in an animated loop of illustrated hearts and profiles.
Under bed storage space big enough to hide your suitcases.
On the bathroom topic, nothing is worse than having a shower with no water pressure. This bathroom has a super strong rainshower, toiletry products by Alessandro Gualtieri, famous for his work with Comme des Garcons and Viktor & Rolf and enormous fluffy towels.
You can enjoy an in-room fitness class and select an exercise program that appears on the TV. It starts with a peppy female Millennial jumping on the bed to pretty cool music.
Super fast unlimited free Wi-Fi
Free gym for guests
Really fast efficient 1-minute self check-in and check-out
Enjoy a Living Room stocked with books, art, designer furniture and designated working areas.
The location is great for walkers. Where else can you walk under a .5 km span and have 552 restaurants and 186 attractions at your front door? I checked out Ramen Hood.
Anywhere is an easy commute.
The hotel features MoSa – the Museum of Street Art by 5 Pointz artist collective spanning the entire 20-floor staircase.
Get out of the crowds and into the clouds. The rooftop bar/lounge CloudM is an easy diversion. Enjoy a spectacular 360-degree view of New York open to the public. Each month, CloudM hosts events like Music Mondays, Creative Wednesdays, and Tasting Thursdays. Many themed evenings are free ticketed events.
Not so much but who cares? However, for those grumbly tummies hotel’s canteenM on the lower floor is your 24/7 pit stop. It’s no nonsense casual dining is geared for the grab and go lifestyle.
Reach for the stars at this heavenly pad where art and design meet good sleeps.
Photography by Ilona Kauremszky and supplied.