Industry Update
Press Release14 July 2020

citizenM launches new safety standards and contactless stays across all hotels powered by its new app

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citizenM

It's official - citizenM is upgrading to a minimal-fuss contactless experience. The 'affordable luxury' lifestyle and hotel brand - renowned for rewriting the rules of traditional hospitality - is transforming the way mobile citizens travel with a fun, free, global app. Using a mobile device, guests can open their rooms or create a keycard. Kiosk passport scanning will be a thing of the past - this will be feasible through the app. Once a guest checks in, they can use their phone to open their room, order food and beverages, control the in-room experience, then check-out when they've finished their stay. Today, travellers have a renewed focus on health and safety. With the app and contactless experience, citizenM guests now have extra confidence in their wellbeing during their stay.

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As an owner and operator of its entire hotel portfolio, citizenM has the complete freedom to execute new initiatives consistently, rapidly and globally. Most traditional hotels are under management contracts but owned separately, making it challenging to carry out new strategies. As citizenM owns and operates all its locations, any decisions made (e.g. hygiene, safety or technology) are implemented in one swoop. As the brand evolves so does its approach - to provide smart luxury for the people.

During the pandemic, citizenM didn't sit still. The hotel chain fast-tracked, upgrading its technology efforts to create a contactless guest experience. All hotels remained open for essential workers - and while competitors closed, citizenM retained its entire workforce. Over 1000 unused iPads were donated to charities worldwide - including UK NHS Trusts, Hopital Lariboisiere in Paris and Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York - helping families and COVID-19 patients stay connected. Furthermore, at least 1000 rooms will be gifted to local heroes in communities surrounding the hotels.

The lifestyle brand was born during the financial crisis of 2008, once again proving its adaptability and resilience. Not only has citizenM evolved its savvy technology - setting new standards in the hotel industry - it has also implemented fully flexible individual bookings and free worldwide cancellations up to 24 hours before arrival until the end of 2020 for existing and new reservations.

Safety at citizenM

A contactless experience isn't the only reassurance for guests looking at future travel. Since citizenM only offers one room type, implementing new hygiene standards consistently was effortless. Guestrooms feature minimal surfaces to clean, innovative materials like Corian®, and no carpets, bedspreads or chocolate on pillows. They have always been independently ventilated with 100% fresh air (instead of being recirculated). The hotel brand has moved to an opt-in housekeeping service for extra hygiene security. Unless guests choose to have their room cleaned, no one will enter it.

Now, every hotel has strategically placed disinfectant stations for guests and employees. Social distancing signs and safety routes are clearly set out. Electrostatic sprayers are also ready to sanitise luggage, public areas and guestrooms after check-out. Furthermore, all of citizenM's laundry partners guarantee to deliver disinfected clean linen.

The lifestyle brand is famous for its efficient service delivery: ultra-effective small teams on-site during the day and at night. Guests see the same faces frequently, and come into contact with fewer staff members than they would at a typical hotel which may have 100 people working at any given time. Breakfast is sealed, bagged and available for room delivery or taking away. Delicious barista-made coffee and craft cocktails are still available 24/7 at canteenM. To limit interaction, the hotel chain has adopted cashless payments across its entire portfolio - and house rules are also in place at all locations for extra safety.

citizenM's new app

To keep guests choosing citizenM over any other hotel, the lifestyle brand is going beyond its existing savvy 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 ambience control - lights, blinds, temperature
  • pre-select a room on the way to hotel
  • food and beverage ordering
  • full in-room entertainment controls - use phone as a remote control
  • in-app service requests - extra pillows, toiletries, wake-up calls
  • city experiences with local perks

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.

Download the app

About citizenM

Currently comprising 20 operational hotels in 8 countries, citizenM has a confirmed pipeline of 25 properties. With significant expansion plans in North America - as well as continued growth in Asia and Europe, where the brand is already firmly established in the minds of business travellers - citizenM looks forward to bringing affordable luxury to many more urban locations across the globe.

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, followed by citizenM Amsterdam in 2009; citizenM Glasgow in 2010, and citizenM London Bankside in 2012. Rotterdam, New York and Paris locations followed in 2014. In 2016, two more hotels were added to the London portfolio: citizenM Tower of London, and citizenM Shoreditch. In 2017, citizenM opened Paris La Defense and Paris Gare de Lyon hotels. Also in 2017, the company moved into the Asian market, with its first location at Taipei North Gate. citizenM New York Bowery, the second New York hotel, opened in September 2018. Copenhagen and Shanghai followed in December 2018. In 2019, the portfolio grew by four new hotels - Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang (third in Asia, first in Malaysia), Amstel Amsterdam (fourth hotel in the Netherlands, third in Amsterdam), Boston North Station (third hotel in the USA), and Zurich (first citizenM hotel in Switzerland). In May 2020, citizenM opened its fourth hotel in the USA, first on the West Coast - Seattle South Lake Union. Two more openings are scheduled for autumn 2020 - Washington DC and Geneva. Further announcements about expansion in the US, Europe and Asia will follow soon.

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 meter, 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-built developments, office conversions, components of mixed-use schemes or conversions of existing hotels. The company will also selectively consider asset light transactions.

In Europe the key target cities are London, Paris, Milan, Rome, Dublin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, Amsterdam and Barcelona. In North America, citizenM is looking for projects in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Austin, Silicon Valley, Toronto, Denver, Vancouver, Mexico City, Philadelphia, Miami, San Diego and Nashville. In Asia Pacific the key target cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Taipei, Osaka and Jakarta. Website: http://citizenM.com

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