Archive for September 19th, 2008

My Citizen M experience – why innovation can drive you mad

September 19th, 2008 | Category: Consumer centred,Opinions,Product Reviews


While visiting Philips Applied Technologies last week, I had the opportunity to try out the Citizen M hotel described in a previous post. As a reminder, Citizen M sets out to create a quirky, low cost, five star hotel experience with the help of some cool technologies from Philips.

To be honest though , my own experience was a bit mixed, so here goes with the good and the bad:

Good stuff:

1. On-line booking was relatively easy once I’d got the hang of the website and you could do some cool things like individualise the look and feel of the room. I chose “party”, “cyan” and medium temperature.

2. Checking in and out was easy and I was assigned a card to use for any purchases during your stay.

3. The room itself was reasonably comfortable if not massive. OK for a one night stay. The bed was really comfy.

4. The room controller has a lot of functionality, controlling among other things lighting, alarm, TV, blinds, and music. You could set it up to get some quite cool effects. Incidentally there was a 500 euro fine if you absconded with the controller.

5. The bar was good and the whole place seemed to be pretty busy.

6. The food quality was good

7. It was quite engagingly quirky, although I’m not sure about Marvin the hotel mascot, who appears in each room

Bad stuff:

1. The toilet was curiously exposed, although you could pull the doors around it closed. It just felt a bit wierd, that’s all.

2. The sink was small and awkward to use

3. Oh dear, the shower! In order to get the water flowing, you had to close the doors but when you got inside, you had to endure 10 seconds of cold water hell until the shower got up to temperature. The shower also had a rather serious leak.

4. Although the food was of good quality, the choice was limited and to get a hot meal you had to use a microwave cooker.

5. Am I being stingy but 116 Euro for one night doesn’t seem like “low cost” to me?

Overall, I’m not sure I’ll go back for more. Certainly not until they fix the shower – it really was a maddening experience and you can almost hear the conversation about not wanting to spoil the room design with a different, more useable shower arrangement. Innovator’s Sweet Spot Verdict: Near Miss.

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