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CitizenM, London. Prefabricated rooms as though the hotel were a car

To create citizenM London, modular, prefabricated rooms were wrapped in plastic, pressurized and shipped to the construction site, ready to host guests

Not everybody knows that the chain actually started with an idea to disrupt the traditional hotel industry by creating a luxury hybrid hotel for today’s modern travelers, eliminating the frustrations these travelers shared. Creating a new breed of hotel designed around a new type of traveler — one who values a luxury hotel experience in central city locations, but at an affordable price, which is never easy to find.

The guests at citizenM London seek comfort and efficiency, something offered through speedy self-check in, free wifi, canteenM food and drinks available all day, living room spaces filled with furniture, art, and styling items, plus forward-thinking tech — each room comes with an iPad (or the MoodPad) which controls all of the room’s functions, including temperature, lights, TV, blinds and “mood” lighting. Focused on amplifying everything a frequent traveler wants (great bed, great shower, fast tech) and removing everything they don’t (over-priced minibar, chocolate on the pillow), citizenM seems to have it clear: the customer of the future is theirs.

THE CITIZENM INTERIOR HALL
A CITIZENM LONDON INTERIOR HALL

Building a global portfolio of citizenM hotels in prime metropolitan locations and at major international airports was the strategy of the management team since the beginning. In London, it meant wanting to ensure they were located in the city’s most desirable neighborhoods. This approach led them to Bankside, Tower Bridge, and Shoreditch. The fourth and next hotel in London is scheduled to open in 2021, in Victoria.

CitizenM is the first and only hotel brand to build predominantly from prefabricated rooms. Just like the production of a car, they first started sketching a blueprint of the room, then created a prototype and figured out how to make it operational. Where possible, the parts — which are built in different places — are assembled at the factory in mainland Europe. There, they even make the bed, hang the TV and lock the doors. The prefabricated rooms are then wrapped in plastic, pressurized to keep windows in place, and shipped to the construction site, ready to become the next citizenM hotel. This is the result of their first-time-right mission and highly-sustainable production methods, working with modular building blocks, which is efficient and suitable for the customer’s needs.

For the interiors, each hotel is as individual as its host city, but instantly recognisable thanks to the signature look. The living rooms are as inviting as possible by creating multiple corners for working and eating, lounges for relaxing, and places for sitting and watching TV. A form of ‘curated chaos’, which is predominant in the whole structure includes art, books, designer furniture by their official partner Vitra, kitsch souvenirs and local artefacts.

The use of natural materials and splashes of colour in the form of big cabinets and their styling, adjusting to the seasons, the city, the neighbourhood, are also some of the key factors. Each hotel has consequently its own unique features, from a rooftop bar, cloudM, and creative meeting spaces, societyM, to a grab-and-go coffee shop for guests and passers-by, coffeeM. 

THE CITIZENM COMMUNAL SPACE
A CITIZENM LONDON COMMUNAL SPACE

CitizenM recognized an opportunity in London, which is why they want to continue building their presence in the city with additional openings. Their guests, who today don’t fit just one profile anymore, are many: they could be traveling for business or for leisure, and often combine both into one trip. They like to refer to such travelers as ‘mobile citizens’ and even named the hotel after them; the ‘M’ in citizenM stands for ‘mobile’.

The idea of mobility is embodied by the meeting rooms (called societyM), which are creative meeting spaces that you’ll find in almost all citizenM hotels. They attract creative thinkers and are perfect for a work retreat, cross-country brainstorm, or international sales meeting. They were added to many of the hotels, but unlike other hotels, they are not hidden away in basements — they have plenty of daylight, ergonomic Vitra furniture, state of the art audiovisual equipment, innovative chalkboard or whiteboard walls, art and design and optional food and beverage packages available on request. 

Maintaining the strength of its brand and philosophy and a centralized approach means that the hotel group is able to maintain brand consistency even with the rapid global expansion. This means that citizenM London is able to successfully translate the experience for any city they open in.


Hackney — Bankside — Tower Bridge

London, United Kingdom

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