CitizenM in expansion mode from London to the Metaverse

CitizenM, the affordable luxury hotel chain, is leaving the pandemic behind and accelerating its expansion drive. The Dutch company is set to open a string of new hotels in Europe and the US in 2022 and 2023 and, in a first for a hotel chain, is also launching a virtual site in the Metaverse.

The new CitizenM hotel in Vauxhall Bridge Road, near Victoria Station in Central London

CitizenM’s fourth property in London, a 226-room hotel, is opening this summer near Victoria Station, exactly ten years after the brand’s debut in London in Bankside, since followed by Tower of London and Shoreditch locations.

“We are excited to open the doors to our latest London property,” said Klaas van Lookeren Campagne, CEO, CitizenM. “This fourth property confirms our commitment to expanding further in London’s most desirable neighbourhoods.”

Other openings by the hotel chain this year include Miami World Centre and Miami Brickell, that feature a rooftop bar and the first ever CitizenM swimming pools, as well as Seattle Pioneer Square, Washington DC NoMa and Chicago Downtown. By the end of the year the company, a fully integrated owner-operator, will have a total of 30 hotels.

In 2023 Citizen M will open its first hotel in Italy, on an island in the river Tiber in the heart of Rome, as well as a fifth property in Paris and a fifth London hotel. The group is also looking for a suitable location in Milan as well as in other gateway cities in Europe and the US.

Citizen M has also announced plans to build a hotel in the Metaverse, by acquiring a “LAND site” in gaming world The Sandbox. The idea is that it could become a real-life location.

Citizen M is the first hotel chain to buy a piece of digital real estate backed by non-fungible tokens (NFTs), on which players can build self-contained environments. At first the group will build a virtual hotel where avatars can “work, sleep and play”, financed by the sale of NFTs attached to rewards such as free drinks which will be redeemable in all its hotels in the real world.

“We are thrilled to be the first hospitality company to build in the Metaverse,” said Robin Chadha, chief marketing officer, CitizenM. “As a brand that has always pushed the boundaries and challenged traditional models, this new venture in The Sandbox fits not only with our brand strategy but also the commitment we have to the creative community and to our guests both online and in the real world.”

Customers who have bought NFTs will be able to vote on the location of the next CitizenM bricks-and-mortar hotel in the real world.