What, no upcycle design? Yes and no. This post is about a trip I made last week to Rotterdam on a cold wednesday. Why? Well I was invited to stay at the citizenM hotel and visit the IFFR [International Film Festival Rotterdam] that they sponsor. When I first got the invitation I didn’t believe it and replied that it must be a mistake because I get some fake offers in my mailbox all the time. But no, they said ‘we looked at your site and felt that you had the creative spirit that we like at citizenM!’ Okay, if you put it that way I would love to except the invitation. How could I say no and being a film fan made it even more appealing.

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citizenM provides a very friendly place to stay

So my partner and I went to Rotterdam. I was allowed to take someone along and she immediately said yes. citizenM is located near a place where I worked for 4 years at a design company and opposite the new Markthal. After parking the car at a 24h parking we went to visit this piece of architectural design.

When you hear the name Markthal you would think of an indoor market place. And in a way it is, but the small market stands have been replaced by luxurious little food shops that sell lots of different products. I must say everything looked fresh and was displayed in a very attractive way. But the prices had nothing in common with a traditional market. The whole market floor is surrounded by nice restaurants and other shops. It’s a great experience to walk around and smell and taste different kinds of food. If you’re looking for something special or a quality product than you should definitely visit the Markthal.
After a late lunch we went shopping, not exactly in need to buy something, but just to see what was on display and to see if I could spot some upcycle design. It’s like a quest and you never know what you may find. One thing though, because it was quite cold outside we stayed in the proximity of the hotel and center of the city.

After our small quest we went to check-in at citizenM. I’ve stayed at several hotels in my life and checking-in always takes time. Not so at citizenM, it’s all DIY, do-it-yourself. And if you’ve got a question there’s always citizenM staff, called Ambassadors, who will gladly explain things or answer your question. And best of all, it’s all done in a very relaxed and friendly way. And no, I’m not writing this because I was invited! This is a honest and true opinion.

Well, when we entered the room we were presented with a small but very clean, functional and modern designed room. Right away we were excited to notice our goody bags with IFFR info and tickets to the opening film and drinks afterwards. The absolute eye-catcher in the room is the XL bed [really extra large!] combined with the view. Our room had a view at the Oude Haven [Old Harbour] with it’s striking building called Witte Huis [White House]. Witte Huis was built in 1898 and was the tallest building of Europe at the time it was built. Best of all, it survived massive bombing of Rotterdam in the WWII and now is a real landmark.


If you like tech stuff you’re in for a treat when you stay at citizenM. In your hotel room you’ll find a tablet [sorry, no iPad] that let’s you control temperature, lighting, curtains, television and movies. And of course you can use free wifi to surf the web.
It was finally time to have diner and visit the IFFR. We had diner near de Doelen, a theater where the opening film was going to be shown. The film is called War Book, the new film by Tom Harper about a group of senior British government officials who met three afternoons to develop a ‘war book’, a scenario in case there is an outbreak of a nuclear war. It’s not a sit back and eat your popcorn kind of film. You’ve got to pay attention and after things become more clear it’s a gripping film.
It was quite an experience to be invited to the opening film of the IFFR and drinks and music afterwards with lots of well known Dutch celebraties. Sometimes we found ourselves just looking at who’s who.

After having a great time we went back to the hotel for a good night’s rest. The next morning it was time to leave, but not before we had something to eat. So off we went downstairs to enjoy breakfast with enough delicious things to choose from.

Photos © Gilbert de Rooij

We really liked the concept of citizenM where the focus lies on a functional room that offers a lot of convenience. And because one normally doesn’t stay long in a hotel room they provided several differently styled areas to sit and relax.
I’m sure it’s not to everybody’s taste, but it was surely to ours and we had a great time in Rotterdam.

Thanks to citizenM! | More photos


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