Every spring and fall I head to London for the printing of our biannual magazine. After four trips, I’ve developed a few habits that have kept each visit to the U.K. stress-free and quite enjoyable:
1. Never take a taxi from the airport; take the Heathrow Express.
2. Look both ways when crossing the street (you’ll never remember to just look to the right).
3. Keep your Oyster Card in its own pocket; you’ll need to tap it when entering and exiting the Underground.
4. Stay in Shoreditch. When looking for a great hotel, start with citizenM.
This hotel chain has spent the last nine years setting up shop in Amsterdam, Glasgow, London, Paris, Rotterdam and New York; this summer they’ll be opening their first Asian location in Tapei. Along the way they’ve developed a modern-meets-minimal-meets-pop design aesthetic that provides the perfect balance of cool, comfort, and instagrammability.
An understated exterior opens to reveal a bright, poppy lobby with a showstopping wooden staircase. You’ll quickly find yourself in front of one of eight check-in stations. Once upstairs, you’ll swipe your credit card, then grab and tap a room key; you’re in.
An elevator wrapped in vintage photos takes you to your floor. You walk down a moody red corridor. The question of whether or not you’re stuck in a second-class room doesn’t apply here, as each of the 226 chambers provides the same accommodations: Vitra furniture, a king-size bed, free wi-fi and blackout blinds. There’s also an iPad in each room that controls the temperature, TV and lighting systems.
A fully stocked lobby awaits you downstairs with brightly designed lounge areas, local art, sculptures, and workstations. The vast art book collection is nothing but impressive.
Gear Patrol Magazine: Printed in London