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CITIZEN M SCHIPHOL, AMSTERDAM
Riding the crest of the timely wave of high-end design hotels at low-end prices, the CitizenM brand's first property, located within Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport complex, stands out for its super-efficient, cutting-edge design, conceived by Dutch star architects Concrete, with prefab rooms stacked on top of the ground floor. Guests check themselves in via high-tech monitors in the lobby (rooms are then preset according to guest specifications) before making their way through a buzzing 24-hour café with bright-red counters and communal tables. On either side of the café are several open public rooms outfitted with funky multi-colored Vitra chairs, bookshelves, flat-screen TVs, and desktop Mac computers available to guests. All 230 identical rooms are a compact 150 square feet, but they feel bigger thanks to a clever layout. Two Jetsons-like cylinders each enclose a toilet and a high-pressure rain shower, while the rear half of the room is taken up entirely by a floor-to-ceiling window and an enormous custom-made bed with Frette linens. A "mood pad" allows control of everything from the TV and the window blinds to the colored lighting and wake-up alarm music. If only all airport hotels were this much fun.
When to go: October through December, when it's sunny and mild.
Which room to book: They're all the same, but some have direct runway views.
Citizen M Schiphol
Tel: 31 20 8117 055