Since opening its doors in 2008, CitizenM has transformed overnight accommodation for the modern traveller.
The brand’s target demographic is the mid-week business person who seeks luxurious yet affordable accommodation, and this is precisely what has encouraged CitizenM to open up new hotels in some of the world’s most vibrant cities.
To date, CitizenM has two sites in Amsterdam and two in the UK, including the CitizenM Bankside which opened in July 2012. Since its launch CitizenM Bankside has had a successful year and has now been nominated for Architecture of the Year (Newbuild Hotel) and Interior Design of the Year (Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas) in the European Hotel Design Awards 2013.
The 192-bedroom hotel is located in Bankside –London’s new business and cultural district – and is just a few minutes from the Tate Modern Museum, Millennium Bridge and the Globe Theatre.
Derbyshire based contractor Bowmer and Kirkland was the main contractor on CitizenM Bankside London, whilst AXIS architects was the architect. Ramboll’s was the structural engineer and Battle McCarthy was the mechanical and electrical engineer. Polcom provided bespoke furniture for all of the guest rooms.
CitizenM Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Robin Chadha, said:
“CitizenM is a Dutch hotel group. We invest in a site, transform it into a brand new hotel and then we take ownership as the operator.
“CitizenM is an entirely new hotel that is very different to any of the existing hotels on the market. We have reinvented the traditional model in every possible way, yet we have maintained the best level of quality for our guests.
“Our partners come from a mix of backgrounds, including the hospitality and fashion industries. All of us have travelled extensively, so we know what we like from good hotels and what we dislike from bad hotels. The sticking point for us was that the hotel industry had never reinvented itself; there was no Apple of hotels.
“So we began with a blank piece of paper and then over a two-year period, we worked out what our challenges would be and how to best design the hotel. From there we came up with a design which we have kept as the DNA for each site, and this has in turn helped us create each new CitizenM hotel.”
Upon entering any CitizenM hotel in the world, guests are greeted by an ambassador – a member of the hotel personnel trained in all aspects of the hotel’s daily requirements. Each ambassador will attend to guests’ requirements, from dealing with any queries to mixing cocktails in the bar.
Guests then check in, using state-of-the-art automated kiosks that allow guests to register their stay swiftly and smoothly. The entire check in process takes approximately one minute and check out is even quicker, with just a 30-second departure time.
Another very unique aspect of the CitizenM brand is that there is only one type of room available to guests. There are no double rooms or suites: everyone who stays in a CitizenM hotel is an equal.
Each luxurious room covers an area of 15 sq metres and includes wall-to-wall windows, en-suite facilities – including a power shower – and a 2×2 metre bed. An ambient server is also housed within each room and is connected to a touch screen tablet that controls window blinds and lighting and even allows guests to stream movies.
A morning alarm system is also programmed into each room, offering guests the option of a gentle audio message or a rather loud and abrupt wake-up call.
Despite the attractive features of the guest bedrooms, the CitizenM philosophy is that guests do not spend a great deal of time in their rooms, so break-out areas are therefore conveniently placed around the hotel to offer alternative rest spots.
On the ground floor, a large lobby is divided into several small areas dubbed living rooms. The rooms are designed in cooperation with the Vitra furniture collection and offer a place for guests to eat, watch television or just relax.
Also located on the ground floor is CanteenM, a 24/7 refreshment zone providing a selection of hot meals and cold snacks. Designed as a mixture between a coffee bar and a walk-in kitchen, CanteenM provides guests with a place where they can eat and drink at any time throughout the day.
With the ground floor offering a relaxation zone for guests, the first floor is reserved for the more businesses-minded. Comprising seven creative suites and SocietyM – a private meeting room – the dedicated business zone includes audio and visual equipment, white boards and climate control. Corridors on the first floor are fully glazed and each room includes a bespoke cabinet filled with inspirational items and books.
To complete the hotel, an atrium runs through the centre of the building to draw in natural daylight.
Robin Chadha said:
“All CitizenM hotels are similar and although we make slight changes to fit in line with technological advances, our key drives remain the same; a great bed, great service, great technology and great design.
“Our tagline is ‘affordable luxury’, which seems like a cliché, but this is exactly what CitizenM offers. We have removed the hidden costs, so for example all Wi-Fi and on-demand movies are included as part of a guests’ booking and we have automated check-in processes to speed up arrivals.”
“At CitizenM we always put ourselves in the shoes of the consumer and we focus on the key metropolises of the world. Our aim is to have multiple hotels in locations where business travel will always be present. We now have seven new sites in the pipeline, including three additional hotels in London, two in New York – including one in Times Square – one in Paris and one in Rotterdam.
“Our target audience is travelling to these locations, so we want to ensure that we have a presence when they arrive. The opening of our latest hotel in London was a great achievement and we are now ready to get started on our site in New York.”
For more information about CitizenM London Bankside hotel, please visit: www.citizenm.com/destinations/london/london-bankside-hotel
Created in 1993 in response to the UN Rio Agenda 21 Sustainable Conference, Battle McCarthy specialise in the design and delivery of sustainable solutions for the built environment. Services include research & development, sustainable master planning, and structural mechanical, electrical and public health services engineering, amongst others.
Battle McCarthy has worked on a wide range of projects, covering all building types and disciplines, and has undertaken work for many predigest clients including, but not limited to, the British Government (Home Office, UK, London), King Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia (King Abdulaziz’s City for Science and Technology), and CitizenM.
On CitizenM, Battle McCarthy has utilized their in-house knowhow and expertise in modern methods of construction to create with the team a pre-engineered modular hotel system for the brand. The success of the collaboration with CitizenM has resulted in providing affordable, environmental quality hotel facilities in the heart of London.
A spokesperson for Battle McCarthy, said:
“We believe that environmental sustainable design should be economically viable and provide social well-being. We will always endeavor to find and recommend the solution that provides the best value to the client in terms of life cycle and capital costs. We also have a proven track record of identifying international grant funding that will aid in the delivery of more innovative sustainable demonstration projects.
“Sustainability is a journey of continuous efficiency improvement through innovative design and applied scientific achievement to achieve more with fewer resources.
“Battle McCarthy’s success has grown out of our ability to foster and synergise this unique range of skills and experience within the practice. This, in tandem with our passion for delivering solutions that not only meet the client’s objectives and budget expectations but are also sustainable, forms the foundation of our constructive collaboration with stake holders. All members OK the design and this approach still holds true today. As a consequence of this approach, we have established a world renowned reputation for breaking boundaries and producing award winning results.”
Catering Projects Ltd
Catering Projects Ltd specialises in the design, supply and installation of commercial kitchens, with a particularly focus on the casual dining markets and leisure industry sectors. The company’s clients include: Las Iguanas, Chipotle, Nando’s, Giraffe, Byron (Gondola Group), The Restaurant Group, Butlins, SSP, Goodman, Odeon and YO! Sushi, amongst others.
Operating from the company’s new modern premises at Barlbrough Catering Projects has a turnover of around £5 million with a team of 14 experienced and highly motivated people.
Catering Projects Ltd has recently invested in a new look web site along with a 3D Inventor drawing package which will eventually enable all of its clients’ proposals to be presented in 3D.
Most of Catering Project’s work has been self-generated from word of mouth and with the constant drive to complete projects to the satisfaction of its clients expectations, generating repeat business has been a huge success to its growth over the past seven years.
Catering Projects Ltd Group MD, Mark Barnes, said:
“We were approached 18 months ago by Citizen M Hotels to design, supply and install their pantry kitchen and front of house areas for their exciting new project at Bankside, London. After our initial meeting in Amsterdam we immediately identified our high fabrication detail and forward thinking equipment technology would be greatly appreciated.
“After a successful handover at Bankside the hotel is now operational and we are very proud to be part of the development and hope to be involved in further opportunities both here in the UK and Europe to support their rapid expansion.”
Mark Barnes added:
“At Catering Projects Ltd we pride ourselves in our ‘account management’ approach to our customers and how we drive our installations to the highest standards. With a great eye for detail during the installation and a strong passion of aftercare service our team works on the principle that ‘you are only as good as your last job!’”