Global hotel innovator citizenM disrupts the traditional hospitality industry once more with its new app for the new era of travel
July 28, 2020 – citizenM – the award-winning Dutch hotel and lifestyle company – has opened the doors to its newest hotel in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. The opening is notable for many reasons: it’s the 20th citizenM hotel overall; the first opening of 2020, and the first on the West Coast.
citizenM Seattle South Lake Union is a 264-key, seven-story hotel at 201 Westlake Avenue between North and John Streets – ideally located for business and leisure. Amazon and Microsoft headquarters, the Space Needle, the Washington State Convention Center and Pike Place Market are all neighbors.
The hotel facade is wrapped by an extra-large innovation-themed art piece by Jesse LeDoux – a formerly Seattle-based art director of Sub Pop Records. Inside on the ground floor, the Native American artist Jeffrey Veregge – also a Seattle resident – has contributed a large-scale tech-themed mural in his unmistakable comic-book inspired style.
citizenM isn’t ‘just another hotel in town’. citizenM’s guiding philosophy is ‘affordable luxury for the people’ – where the ‘people’ are modern travellers who want a stylish, convenient, tech-rich experience in a central location, but not at an exorbitant price. citizenM Seattle South Lake Union hotel packs all the signature brand features: just one type of bedroom, 24/7 food and drinks, free movies, superfast free Wi-Fi, high-quality design and world-class art. The tech-rich experience is now enhanced by the world’s first contactless capabilities via citizenM’s new app.
Affordable luxury gets smart with citizenM’s contactless experience
Now, more than ever, citizenM’s main goal is to alleviate the health and safety concerns of global travellers. In June 2020, citizenM launched its first app for iOS and Android devices, giving guests more control over their stay than ever before.
citizenM’s famous one-minute check-in via the self-service kiosk can now be done via the app on the way to the hotel and guests can also use their own smartphone to open the room.
The contactless experience continues in the bedrooms. All room controls – lights, blinds, temperature, color settings and entertainment – can now be done through the citizenM app, without touching the in-room tablet or wall switches.
Through the app chat function, the guests will soon be able to request services like extra pillows and toiletries, report faults in the room and book wake-up calls. Daily food and drinks menus are already viewable in the app, with full order-placing functionality coming soon as well.
All items available for purchase at the hotel – collectionM gift assortment, food, drinks, snacks, books and travel essentials – can be charged to the room, then paid for via the app.
A fully contactless check-out is also available, with guests able to settle any remaining balances through the app.
Like the rest of the brand’s portfolio, citizenM collaborated with its long-time architecture partner, concrete Amsterdam, and luxury furniture supplier, Vitra. At street level, the recessed corner entrance leads not into a traditional lobby with a reception desk, but into a living room that feels like home: furnished with plenty of couches, chairs, tables, books and art. In the heart of the living room – a canteenM, beautifully illuminated by an overhead skylight, serving food and drinks 24/7. Most food is sourced in Washington, giving even those on a short Seattle stop a chance to taste something local. From the living room, the guests enjoy a view of the neighbourhood through enormous floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides of the space.
The inspiring, energetic vibe of the living room carries through to the societyM meeting spaces, each positioned to face the street and the neighborhood. Four stylish meeting rooms (the largest for up to 16 people) come stocked with Vitra furniture, tech essentials, unlimited coffee, tea and water, stationery and walls to write on. The rooms are available to book on AM, PM and all-day basis, with delicious local catering available by request.
Upstairs, the 264 bedrooms are all one style – cozy in size, but perfectly optimized for relaxation with a wall-to-wall window, an enormous XL king-size bed topped with finest quality European linen, duvet and pillows; a jetlag-busting power shower, and an HD TV with free movies. Superfast free Wi-Fi is unlimited and perfect for streaming own films or music straight to the TV. A MoodPad tablet controls the ambience, from temperature to blinds to entertainment. It is also preloaded with the Brainwaves moods – citizenM’s exclusive music-and-light compositions, scientifically proven to alleviate the common stresses of travel: anxiety, sleeplessness and lack of focus.
citizenM ambassadors – the human touch
The citizenM hotel ambassadors make the whole world feel at home – they are the people who love people. Every one of them is empowered to do what’s right for the guests, and trained to take on any role – barista, mixologist, concierge or receptionist. At citizenM, guests who need attention are never sent to ‘speak to someone else’, but instead receive genuine warmth and attention from every ambassador.
About citizenM’s new app
To keep guests choosing citizenM over any other hotel, the lifestyle brand is going beyond its existing technology into the future of travel – with the new citizenM app. The app streamlines the guest experience across all hotels with some truly amazing functionalities:
– fully contactless check-in/out
– payment for all in-hotel purchases
– full room ambiance control – lights, blinds, temperature
– pre-select a room on the way to hotel
– city experiences with local perks
– full in-room entertainment controls – use phone as a remote control
– in-app service requests – extra pillows, toiletries, wake-up calls (coming soon)
– food and beverage ordering (coming soon)
In addition to the contactless experience, app users discover city hotspots, unlock local perks, as well as learn where the best green spaces and running routes are. For convenience, there’s a ‘walking distance’ search filter to highlight attractions a short stroll from any citizenM hotel. Guests will enjoy an affordable contact-free hotel stay powered by superior technology. The new standard is smart luxury for all.
The citizenM philosophy is ‘affordable luxury for the people’, offering guests all the luxuries they would expect from a high-end hotel in a prime location, but without sky-high prices.
citizenM was founded by Rattan Chadha, the founder and former CEO of the fashion brand Mexx. The first citizenM hotel opened at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2008, and the brand now operates 20 hotels in some of the world’s most exciting cities including London, Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Kuala Lumpur.
citizenM intends to keep growing as a fully integrated owner-operator in selected gateway cities around the world. Its unique value proposition, delivering a high profitability per square metre, allows the brand to develop hotels on prime locations in cities with the highest barriers to entry. citizenM can acquire development sites and turnkey delivered hotels and is open to joint ventures on individual projects. citizenM considers new-build developments, office conversions, components of mixed-use schemes or conversions of existing hotels. The company will also selectively consider asset-light transactions.
In addition to citizenM’s established pipeline in the US’s largest cities, the company is eyeing further afield, and will consider venturing into new markets such as Toronto, Austin, Silicon Valley and Denver. This year, citizenM will also open new hotels in Washington DC and Geneva.
citizenM places in an ‘upscale hotel’ category (based on measurable factors like the STR Global Chain Scale positioning matrix, which ranks hotels based on price vs review scores) – thanks to an unfailing dedication to design, art, technology and comfort. citizenM stands out among all other hotels by simply creating a category of its own – as an affordable luxury hotel.