Color yourself techie at Meta's CitizenM Hotel in Menlo Park
(Courtesy of CitizenM Menlo Park)

Color yourself techie at Meta's CitizenM Hotel in Menlo Park


The 240-room CitizenM Menlo Park hotel lives at 2 Meta Way. Yep, that Meta, Mark Zuckerberg’s main hustle.

The five-story property welcomed its very first guests, or “mobile citizens,” about four months ago to its playful, tech-forward digs situated at the edge of Meta’s Silicon Valley campus and global HQ.

No doubt, many of those who christened the rooms and continue to book stays (through the app, of course) are Facebook employees, as well as Googlers, Applers, and myriad SV workers and contractors. And that’s all by design: Along with becoming the go-to hotel for out-of-town employees at said companies, CitizenM is courting, and catering to, local ones.

For Bay Area folk, it may be as simple as wanting a change of scene or a desire to focus away from family or roommates. Or, perhaps, an overnight provides a much-needed respite from yet another 60-minute commute after consecutive late-late nights and early-early mornings. But even those who choose to skip the sleepover part are getting to know CitizenM in all its fun and functional glory thanks to a slew of community, work and meeting spaces, plus a versatile bar/café.

Here’s what to expect when you step into citizenM.

Hella Fast Check-in

You won’t find a typical lobby or check-in area, and you won’t miss it. Upon entering the hotel (with free onsite parking), you’ll be met with a circular table topped with a gaggle of self-service touchscreens. It’s super quick and easy to check in and create a room key, which also serves as your payment method for food and beverage. No worries if you do need assistance—there’s a friendly “ambassador” on hand 24/7.

(Courtesy of CitizenM Menlo Park)

Rad Rooms

There are lots of cool things about CitizenM’s sleek, white guest rooms starting with this: All the accommodations are identical—as in no wasting time trying to decipher different room categories, choosing a bed type, blah bah. Each cleverly designed layout makes the most of a cozy space. Highlights include wall-to-wall, extra-large beds suitable for two adults, widescreen TVs, blackout blinds, powerful rain showers, and super-fast complimentary WiFi.

We have a hunch, though, most visitors’ favorite feature is the mood lighting. By using the in-room iPad, changing the ambient light to any color is at your fingertips. Lilac to vibrant green, the rainbow is your oyster. In fact, the tablet is the command center for all the room’s functions, from controlling the temperature and TV to lowering or raising the blinds. All guests have access to the 24/7 gym, as well.

As far as room rates go, there are only two types: Prepay rates are lower but don’t allow cancellations or changes after 24 hours of booking. Higher rates allow for cancellations and changes until arrival day.

Good Eats + Drinks

Meet CanteenM, the hotel’s kitchen, bar and restaurant. It’s the place to grab a latte and buffet breakfast (6am to 11am), afternoon snack, happy-hour libation, and delicious din-din. Surrounded by a large living room, an intimate lounge and inviting outdoor space, the bar itself is the heart of the light-filled main floor. Whether pulling up a stool at a high-top to refuel during the day or schmoozing after work, yummy eats and refreshing drinks are always on hand.

(Courtesy of CitizenM Menlo Park)

Work, Chill, Mingle

If you’re looking for beige vibes, check in somewhere else—CitizenM’s philosophy is all about standing out not blending in. Being bold, vibrant, and creative is at the core of its philosophy. The target audience? Modern travelers seeking affordable luxury and a decent bed but also a fabulous place to work, relax, and socialize with like-minded people.

All this is reflected in the hotel design and aesthetic.

Giant red lips, a quartet of sherbet-colored gnomes, and old-school typewriters are just a few of the whimsical accessories that pop from giant bookshelves featured throughout the main floor of the hotel. Various living rooms, lounges, and nooks create separate areas to work, watch TV, and read.

With high ceilings and lots of natural light, all the community spaces are welcoming and comfy. Surrounded by cool art, books, designer furniture and cheeky neon signs (e.g., “You don’t need Google to know which way the wind blows”), it feels like you’re hanging out in a house designed by Willy Wonka. So go ahead, take off your shoes, take a nap, take a (tech) break.

In terms of getting actual work done, CitizenM is a dream. And that’s true whether you prefer a community table or a more private area. We’re talking excellent WiFi, iMacs for guest use, and several meeting rooms available to rent. Sure beats a cookie-cutter cubicle, don't you think?

Off-Campus Fun

Have some free time on your hands and looking to wander off Meta Way (but not too far)? Indulge in a little retail therapy at Stanford Shopping Center, grab a coffee at Verve, explore the Computer History Museum, and grab a delicious slice and a brewski at State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria.

// 2 Meta Way (Menlo Park),

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