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New no-frills chic hotel chain opens in Amsterdam

Travel & Tourism

Aiming to bring affordable luxury to modern travellers, a new hotel brand just opened its doors at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. citizenM (the M is for mobile) is targeting guests who view design as a given, need rooms that are comfortable and efficient, but can’t or don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, euros or pounds for a night’s sleep. The hotel was founded by Rattan Chadha—who created fashion label Mexx and is also involved with Asian hotel group Oberoi—and designed by acclaimed Dutch architectural firm Concrete. Like Qbic, a Dutch hotel chain we covered last year, citizenM manufactures its rooms offsite to save time and money. Once the identical prefabs units have been shipped to a site, 240 rooms can be stacked up into a hotel in about 15 days, after which they’re hooked up to plumbing and electricity. Rooms are compact—just 14 square meters—but big windows and a smart layout ensure they don’t feel cramped. Brand partnerships include Vitra—the hotel is a veritable showroom for its iconic furniture—and Philips, which designed a ‘MoodPad’ that allows guests to regulate room temperature and lighting, adjust blinds, flip through TV channels and set alarms (including one that gently counts down from 100). Making up for small rooms that are mainly meant for sleeping and showering, citizenM features inviting common areas, including a self-serve deli selling sushi, salads, hot pasta, etc. To cut costs, the hotel doesn’t offer a full-service restaurant or room service. Guests handle their own check-in and check-out, which takes less than a minute. Room prices range from EUR 69–139, based on demand. The company plans to open 20 hotels across Europe, starting off with downtown Amsterdam, Glasgow and two locations in London. While it’s not the first no-frills chic hotel we’ve spotted, we’re sure travellers will welcome another brand that offers what Zara, JetBlue, Muji and Target offer—strong design and a good experience for a great price.



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