How CitizenM touched down and stands out in mature Shanghai hotel market

The Dutch hotel chain citizenM has opened its fifteenth hotel in Shanghai – its first on mainland China. Launching a hotel in a saturated market like Shanghai requires guts and lots of conviction. “We pride ourselves in recognizing the values of modern travelers, and responding accordingly”, says Robin Chadha, citizenM’s Chief Marketing Officer.    

A spectacular floating dragon's lantern by a Thai artist catches the eye in the lobby of the new citizenM Shanghai Hongqiao. The hotel chain is known to embrace arts and culture and, like in all fifteen of its hotels around the world, it shows. The citizenM Shanghai Hongqiao prides itself in offering a welcoming ‘living room’ in the lobby, which also serves as an international platform for Chinese artists, including Mojo Wang, Bu Hua and Y0un9bug. The citizenM Shanghai Hongqiao is proudly offering a combination of international business-savvyness with the local arts scene.  

Standing out 

The new hotel definitely stands out this wat. But what is the ultimate pitch to the business traveler who can choose over 1,000 hotels in Shanghai, Club China asked Robin Chadha, citizenM’s Chief Marketing Officer. His answer: “citizenM has, for over ten years, shown the hotel industry that it knows how to meet the needs of the business traveler. We pride ourselves in recognizing the values of modern travelers, and responding accordingly. From our one-minute check in, comfortable XL beds, unlimited free WiFi, in-room technology, 24/7 food and drinks, and convenient locations, citizenM Shanghai - and indeed all of our hotels worldwide - offers a space where the vital needs of a business traveler are addressed, all the while surrounded by inspiring contemporary art and functional designer furniture. The location near Hongqiao airport - a hotbed for businesses - is also second to none.” 

This is your first mainland China hotel. How complex was it to open the hotel here? 

“Compared to other establishments, this hotel was very complex due to the laws and regulations in China. From our state-of-the-art cloud-based applications to the seamless check-in experience via our self check-in kiosks - these key technological offerings that we pride ourselves in all needed to be approved and tested. Moreover, when it comes to building requirements China is very strict in terms of enforcing health and safety and complying with these codes. As a country, it is very progressive in this sense.” 

What is that one (hotel) element this city barely offers and distinguishes citizenM Shanghai Hongqiao? 

“citizenM offers style, comfort and convenience at an affordable price. By eliminating the frustrations that business travelers share, our hotels are designed around those who value a luxury hotel experience in central city locations, but at an affordable price. Moreover, our Ambassadors are genuinely friendly - something that unfortunately is not typically the reality for the service industry.” 

Why was Hongqiao chosen as the location? 

“Here at citizenM we have a dedicated team of individuals who hunt far and wide for the best locations in each destination we venture into. Hongqiao, in the Minhang District, was identified as one of the most up-and-coming business areas of Shanghai. The hotel is close to the inner-China Honqiao airport (SHA), as well as China’s largest high-speed railway station - perfect for our mobile citizens.” 

Chic, top-location, price: which role do these elements play in Shanghai? 

“As with all of our hotels across the globe, citizenM Shanghai Hongqiao takes all of these elements into consideration. We want our hotels to be in the best locations within each city, but we are also uncompromising in our commitment to offering affordable prices.”

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