The Dutch hotel group citizenM officially opens the doors to its second hotel and first urban property on May 6, 2009.
Located on Prinses Irenestraat in Amsterdam’s booming financial district, between the World Trade Centre and city centre and just minutes from the city’s cultural attractions, the new hotel focuses on where today’s mobile citizens want and need to go … just like its groundbreaking first hotel at Schiphol airport, which opened to resounding acclaim in June 2008.
The company’s guiding philosophy, “affordable luxury for the people” is as strong a maxim as it is in the original hotel. Rates per room are still only 69 -149 euros: a major plus in uncertain times. But the new citizenM has even more of what “mobile citizens” – the hotel’s namesake – are looking for.
In terms of design, the city property takes everything up a notch. Art figures prominently even before guests walk through the door: an ultra large beachy image by renowned Dutch artist Elspeth Diederix decorates the façade. And inside, an Andy Warhol masterpiece – the Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix – extends a pop-art welcome in a T-shaped ground floor that features a sunken lobby with its living rooms and lots of light.
Here, past the touch-screen check-in and check-out terminals, exclusive partner and renowned design firm Vitra provides even more environments and new furniture. There’s the legendary Marshmallow sofa by George Nelson, the brand-new Vegetal chairs by the famed Bouroullec brothers and a new, ramped-up meeting area along the top of the lobby’s “T”. Since WiFi Internet is available fast and free throughout the hotel, this is the perfect place for mobile commuters to discuss ideas or get things done in style: Above its extra-long bar with many plug-in points and white Eames bar stools are 14 Asian-inspired lantern lamps from Vitra’s Home Collection. For those who aren’t working, the lobby is a great place to relax under the foliage visible through the large windows. There’s even a special corner for kids, featuring colourful child-size Panton chairs, the fabulous Porcupine Desk by Hella Jongerius and cute plywood elephants by Ray and Charles Eames.
Speaking of children, Amsterdam City’s canteenM – a 24hour café/bar/eatery – has added a few titbits to its healthy snacks, drinks and coffee station. On offer is an array of cookies, chocolates and other delicious sweets that grown-ups might want to nosh on, too. And with a larger bar and two cocktail stations, this canteenM is sure to attract even locals to what’s sure to become a hot nightspot for savvy travellers.
Then there are the 215 rooms on the five storeys above. High-tech, ultra-compact and identical, all of them have wall-to-wall windows, power rain showers, extra-large king-size beds and the sleek, spot-on design that mobile citizens have happily become accustomed to. From mood lighting to in-room music, from free movies-on-demand to the alarm clock, everything in the room is programmable with just one device that will thrill even the most cynical gadget junkie: the touch screen Mood Pad, exclusively developed and designed by technology partner Philips.
All these features notwithstanding, the hotel is a perfect example of style meeting sustainability. Designed by Dutch architectural firm Concrete, the rooms are prefabricated offsite in a special factory, then stacked on the pre-built ground floor. This innovative construction process reduces environmental impact as well as saves costs (yes, these savings do get passed on to customers). There’s even more: LED lighting systems by Philips conserve energy and the only paper in the hotel is the s lip a guest gets with his or her room number on it. Everything else is digital.
“The great thing about this location is that you feel the buzz of the city. It’s vibrant and alive and reflects the aesthetics, philosophies and ambitions of the hotel group,” says brand partner Robin Chadha. Indeed. citizenM Amsterdam City also shows that the group is on track with its rollout plans, which will soon reach beyond Dutch borders and into other urban environments. Given the ten major hospitality and travel trend awards it has already won – ranging from Best Hotel Design of the Year 2008 and a place on the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List, citizenM is bound to remain on the forefront of low-cost, high-luxury hospitality for a long time to come.