Young Dutch hospitality brand citizenM debuts in Asia with citizenM Taipei North Gate, its 11th hotel to date
Since its inception in Amsterdam in 2008, citizenM has been revolutionising the traditional hospitality by infusing its core DNA – contemporary design, easy accessibility, cutting-edge technology and art-inspired communal area – all in an affordable price into its chain of properties in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, London, Glasgow, Paris and New York. This year marks a significant milestone for the brand as it forays into Asia with its inaugural hotel, citizenM Taipei North Gate, a collaboration with Artyzen Hospitality Group.
Overlooking the historical North Gate, citizenM Taipei North Gate is centrally located with only a few minutes' walk to Taipei Main Station and Airport Express terminal and adjacent to the popular Ximending shopping area. With 267 smart rooms, the hotel offers view of Tamsui River and the mountains beyond.
Adopting a vertical rather than horizontal expansion, the hotel signals a departure from the brand's signature modular construction method. This is also the brand's tallest hotel so far with 26 storeys complemented by LED-lit contemporary exterior. "This is traditionally built as we have observed the restrictions with construction and the limit with height to stack up in Taiwan," says Robin Chadha, Chief Marketing Officer of citizenM. "But look at the contemporary exterior, the black facade versus vertical lighting. It's a good starting point for architecture."
All citizenM hotels rooms are equipped with XL size beds, wall-to-wall windows, power showers. But it is the smart technology that sets them apart from the rest.
The intuitive and handy in-room tablet moodpad enables guests to adjust everything from the television, alarms to room temperature, blinds and ambient lighting, to just the way they like it.
citizenM is also dedicated to bringing art into local community. Before walking into the stylish entrance with self-check-in kiosks and its signature oak-cladded spiral staircase, guests will be greeted with a vibrant anime and pop culture art piece by Taipei local graffiti artist, ANO, at the exterior entrance.
The living-room lobby concept also plays a pivotal role in welcoming guests, making it a communal space for relaxing, socialising and working. The living room is filled with local items and souvenirs, books and the latest collection of iconic Vitra furniture pieces.
The focus on art and style is prominent throughout the hotel with art sourced from around the world, including works from famous Taiwanese photographer Chou Ching Hui's Animal Farm collection and Taiwan contemporary artist Hung Tung-Lu's interactive art piece Lightbox.
The next step for the hotel is to invite a group of local art students to create artworks to be displayed in the rooms and adorn the facade. "Our philosophy is to give back to the community. We hope to give local artist a platform to showcase their talents," comments Edmond Ip, Vice Chairman of Artyzen Group.
One other signature to the Taipei property is the noodle station in canteenM, the dining and cocktail space inside the Living Room on the first floor that opens 24 hours a day. Aside from barista-made coffee, pastries, light sushi lunches and hot feasts, guests can prepare their own Asian-flavour cup noodle for the late night snacks.
After setting the footprint in Taipei, citizenM will continue its regional expansion in Asia. The next to open will be Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur in 2018, with Jakarta and Hong Kong in the pipeline.
Allan Yip, Vice-President of Marketing, Distribution and Brands at Artyzen Hospitality Group says the brand is catering to the changing need of the customers, whether for business or travel, "For us, it's key to get cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong. Lots of business hotels still run traditionally, but look at our product, our DNA, location and view, I think we're in a strong position."