citizenM Hotel at CDG Paris Airport

[Originally published in 2018. Updated in 2020]

What can I say? The reviews I’ve read about citizenM Hotels are pretty persuasive! They’re often described as high-tech, modern, and quirky. Sounds good to me!

Currently, there are three citizenM Hotels in Paris. Since I had an early flight from Paris to SFO via LHR, I decided to book my stay at the one conveniently located in Terminal 2 at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport. It was perfect for my last night in France.

This is the magic tablet that controls nearly everything in the room…

the table lamps…

the mood lighting… (lavender, light blue, green, pink…)

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the HD television…

…and my favorite, the window blinds! When I first entered the room, the blinds automatically lowered!

Rise and shine… with a few taps on the tablet, the blinds slowly rolled up, and voilà, the view from my room:

The huge hotel lobby featured several living rooms, each with its own décor.

These were my favorites:

imagine a bench made with stool seats | May 2018

May 2018

The writing on the pen says: steal this pen and write to a loved one back home

I enjoyed my stay at citizenM. Merci! A bientôt. See you next time…

Updated in 2020:

I’m so happy “next time” came sooner than I thought!

From Berlin, my daughters and I returned to Paris CDG. Since we had an early flight to SFO via LHR, we spent one night at citizenM!

Everything seemed familiar to me. The rooms, the décor, and furniture in the huge lobby appeared the same.

In a world that’s constantly changing, it was comforting to know that some things stayed pleasantly the same.

February 2020

Note: the rooms at citizenM are intended for two adults maximum. By adult, they mean age 11 and up. As my younger daughter was 10 at the time, we were able to share one room.

the best seat(s) in the house | February 2020

We enjoyed our overnight stay at citizenM. Merci! A bientôt. Someday, when it’s safe to travel again, I hope to see you next time…!

For more information: citizenM

I’m probably drafting a blog post

An Impromptu Layover in London

postcard design by C. Foster

“Keep calm and carry on”

After my connecting flight to Paris was cancelled due to severe weather conditions, the airline gave passengers hotel accommodations for the night. There were several airport hotels, but to our delight, the airline booked a rather fancy one for my family and me.

Look at the gorgeous chandelier that welcomes guests in the lobby:

We spent a couple of minutes fumbling in the dark before we read the sign saying you had to insert your door card (room key) in a slot on the wall to make the power sockets and lights work:

Snacks we bought from Marks & Spencer and Boots in the airport:

Look! Mariah Carey is on bags of crisps here

Giraffe

flat white

fish and chips with a side of pea purée (mushy peas)

non-alcoholic Elderflower Collins

Breakfast buffet at Steak & Lobster (restaurant in hotel):

Our stay was brief, but it was comfortable.

Like it says on the umbrella tag, the lovely hotel provided shelter from the storm:

After the tasty breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and caught a shuttle back to the airport.

Finally, we were on our way to Paris. Or, were we?

Another delay

We experienced a 90-minute delay in London. The captain told us that he was not confident to fly due to an earlier issue with one of the instruments. This meant we had to board another plane!

While we waited for the tram to take us to the new aircraft, the captain invited passengers to visit the flight deck of the plane, an Airbus A320! We got to briefly chat with both the captain and first officer!

After we boarded the new plane and got settled in, the captain informed us that the ramps and passenger stairs were stuck and couldn’t be removed from the side of the plane!

About 30 minutes later, we were ready for take off. Finally, we were on our way to Paris, for real.

From there, we’d catch our flight to our third/final stop: Berlin, Germany!

*More to come on our visit to Berlin

7 Words Francophiles Never Want to Hear

“Your flight to Paris has been cancelled.”

These are words that Francophiles, like moi, never want to hear!

Due to Storm Dennis, my connecting flight from London Heathrow (LHR) to Paris was cancelled.

Safety first, my head says.

Think about the people who are experiencing strong wind, heavy rain, and flooding, or worse, my head says.

Yes, but my aching heart cries, Oh, c’mon! What a letdown!

In addition, LHR was experiencing technical issues so they put out large white boards to communicate flight information! Not a good travel day.

airline’s website on 16 February 2020

Because of severe weather conditions in the area, I had assumed other carriers were also grounding and canceling flights out of LHR that day.

I was terribly disappointed.

Reluctantly, I accepted the airline’s offer of a new flight to Paris leaving the following day. While I was happy to be rebooked, this new flight gave me only about an hour to catch my flight from Paris to my third/final stop on my journey.

Per their policy, the airline gave us weary, stranded travelers the following:

  • a voucher for a one-night stay at an airport hotel, breakfast included
  • vouchers for light refreshments from airport concession stands and restaurants
  • vouchers for shuttle rides to/from the airport

It was windy and cold at the shuttle stops. Add frustration and confusion and you get a chaotic scene!

For instance, a few shuttles didn’t stop at their designated spots so people had to sprint back and forth. Some people boarded a shuttle only to be told they were on the wrong one. Still others had to wait for the “next one” as each shuttle filled to capacity quickly.

Seize the Day

Eventually, I accepted the fact that my plan to visit Paris (for a few hours, at least) failed.

Perhaps spending a night in London instead was meant to be! Going with the flow, I decided to make the most of my impromptu layover in London!

SBUX @ CDG

My name is Darlene and I’m a coffee addict.

My daily routine includes at least one visit to Starbucks. If I could, I would have my payroll deposited directly into my Rewards Card that I’ve had since 2008. That’s where the funds go anyway! More than the caffeine, they’ve got me hooked on their consistency: delicious coffee and hand-crafted beverages, friendly baristas, and cozy atmosphere.

spotted one in Montmartre

Votre Carte Starbucks

Force of habit: I checked the app

That said, you’d think I’d be hitting up every Starbs while on my trip, right? While there was no shortage of Starbucks in Paris, I resisted the temptation to go because I promised myself that I’d get out of my comfort zone. I did good on that promise until my last day in Paris, when I went to one at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport.

At Charles de Gaulle airport

They had the usual menu items and pastries (like marble or lemon loaves), which made me feel right at home. But I was also surprised to see other offerings that I hadn’t seen at Starbucks in the U.S. I heard that large global food corporations (for example, McDonald’s) often tailor their menus to match the cuisine of the location they’re in. That could explain why this Starbucks at CDG had croissant sandwiches, French toast (pain perdu), ganache-dipped donuts, and pancakes, which I’m guessing is their nod to the French crêpes.

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Croissant sandwiches

Hot boxes and Caesar salads

French toast, pancakes, ganache-dipped donuts

Can’t really tell from my picture, but the napkin is square and white (not rectangle and unbleached beige, like in the U.S.)

In the end, I’m glad I went to Starbucks. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have seen the different food offerings. Imagine, for a mere 4,20 €, I got a double espresso and an important lesson: not to take things for granted, at Starbucks, and in life, in general. Just when I thought I knew what to expect, there was still something new to learn. I’ll drink to that!

*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are 100% my own based on my experience.*