He looks a bit tired, but here is Rattan Chadha, the founder of CitizenM and former owner of the Mexx fashion company who opened the press conference.
Some quotes as a starter:
- They started 4 years ago.
- Rattan traveled more in his prior life than many in the audience of the well attended press conference will ever do in their and their children’s lifetime.
- It is very important that the whole operation is set up by a team.
- One of the first team members is his cricket mate for over 20 years, Jan Wulf van Alkemade, who makes his living in hotel amenities.
- A good hotel room is about a good bed, a good shower and a good TV.
- TV films and Wifi are free.
- Savvy travelers want short check in and short check out times. Rattan claims being a tech nitwit and managed a check in time of 40 seconds. My own not so nitwit experience is rather 5 minutes, but even that is fine.
- In 2020 market expectations are 1,5 billion people traveling abroad, India alone 50 mio (India in 2002 had only 5 mio people traveling from India abroad)
- If I have worked hard and late, I want to be able to get sushi at 3.00 AM rather than frozen spaghetti warmed up by the night manager or some soggy hamburger. On the other hand we don’t want the staff around until somebody orders food at 3.00 Am. Therefore we have developed our own food concept.
- If you arrive at a hotel, you want to be welcomed by a real person. Therefor Citizen M has ambassadors who are not trained in the hospitality industry.
Michael Eman, the F and B manager who developed the F and B concept from the beginning adds: “We have two very important moments here: The coffee moment and the cocktail moment: All our ambassadors are first class barristas and cocktail makers”
As usual I have been wrestling with both my old heavy laptop and the Wifi system in the Citizen M hotel room. The Blue Tooth connection of the
Citizen M Remote “do it all” Control, developed by Philips,
interfered with the remote control’s other functions and was not stable at all. After wrestling for an hour and a half I gave it up.
Rattan Chadha may not like this photo, but I caught him with one of the Citizen M signs above the cold section of the self service food and beverage wall: “Citizen M Says: I’m Cold”. Well I felt left a bit in the cold with the non functioning of the remote control/Wifi combination. BTW here at home I rechecked and the old and heavy laptop does function perfectly with my own Wifi.
As a final observation I wonder why they didn’t let it read “Citizen M Says: I’m Cool“