citizenM, the Dutch-hotel company aiming to be a disruptor in that industry, officially has a presence in san Francisco.
The 195-room, 12-story hotel is the company’s second hotel in California to open this year, following a Los Angeles Downtown opening. Both are extensions of citizenM’s plans to become a major player in the North American hotel market, with another five new U.S. locations opening next year.
The San Francisco property sits just a block off Union Square on Ellis Street, welcoming guests at a third-floor entrance that it says is designed to feel more like a home than a traditional lobby.
The promise is that the hotel will allow guests to shift their “focus away from the tech side of the city” and instead focus on Union Square’s style and design history, with items dotted around the property that reference neighborhoods like Castro and Mission.
All rooms are in the same style, with a wall-to-wall window, an XL king-size bed, a jetlag-busting shower, an HD TV with streaming, and free WiFi.
The hotel also offers a gym on the fourth floor with equipment including Pelotons, a retail mezzanine, and a 13th-floor rooftop mezzanine outfitted with picnic tables and accessible to the public.
To celebrate the opening, citizenM is holding a photography campaign on the exterior of its façade, with an installation of back-lit portraits of San Francisco natives, highlighting the people who have transformed the city and “who make San Francisco a home.” That installation will be live until Dec. 8.
Speaking to TMR last year, Lennert De Jong, the company’s chief commercial officer, said two major differentiations separate citizenM from the rest of the market.
The first is that it provides a 100% completely digital experience. Everything can be done on citizenM’s app, a centralized mobile tool that does just about everything a guest would traditionally typically need an attendant on the phone or at the front desk for. Guests can book, check-in, open and close blinds, adjust room temperature, open their door, order food and beverage, and alter housekeeping options all from the app.
The second is that, with all those typical touch-points taken care of by the mobile app, the staff at citizenM serves a different purpose, mainly providing and facilitating a connection to the hotel, other guests, and the city that the hotel serves.
“We really have a human approach to service because we don’t have to do the transactional bit in service,” he said. “If that process is gone, the human can really focus on other humans,” and have the conversations with guests that those at a typical five-star hotel wouldn’t have time for.