citizenM Presented with the Holland on the Hill Freddy Heineken Award
(Washington, D.C.) – The Dutch Embassy, the U.S. Congressional Caucus on the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Netherland-American Foundation presented Dutch hotel and lifestyle brand citizenM with the 2023 Holland on the Hill Freddy Heineken Award in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Klaas van Lookeren Campagne, CEO of citizenM, accepted the award on behalf of the company. citizenM was recognized for its work to strengthen the Dutch-US relationship while being an inclusive employer that is also committed to Dutch design. The hotel and lifestyle brand is known for its distinct design aesthetic and innovative business model that has transformed the hospitality industry.
As he presented the award to Mr. van Lookeren Campagne, Ambassador André Haspels said, “As someone who has traveled the globe as a diplomat, I can tell you the importance of a comfortable hotel to rest and recharge. The recipient of the Freddy Heineken Award must demonstrate, over a significant period of time, dedication to strengthening the economic ties between the Netherlands and the United States. citizenM has done just that as it disrupts the hospitality industry and redefines what it means to be a modern hotel.”
Launched in 2008, citizenM provides travelers with affordable luxury hotels that are centrally located in major cities around the world. The company’s portfolio has 31 hotels filled with art and modern design in 18 cities including: London, Amsterdam, Paris, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Rotterdam, Geneva, Zurich, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, and Taipei.
At the ceremony, CEO Klaas van Lookeren Campagne gave insight into citizenM’s business model. “We really focus on the global business traveler and try to do the best for them,” he stated. “citizenM is a place to stay and sleep, that is the most important product we can deliver. It’s a human business, it’s the service you give to that exhausted traveler or inspired traveler and those are our ambassadors. We have hundreds in America. If you know the customer better, you can serve them better.”
citizenM’s business model is undergirded by a commitment to its ESG vision: to influence positive change in a world where we are simply guests.
The company is recognized for its distinct design and award-winning app, which allows guests to adjust room controls (including lights, blinds, and temperature), view food and beverage menus, access art information at each property, explore their surroundings via curated city guides, and more, all from their smartphone. citizenM illustrates how Dutch design and business innovation can result in entrepreneurial success.
The award ceremony took place in the Rayburn House Office Building and was attended by several members of Congress including Members of the Congressional Caucus on the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Representative Derek Kilmer (D, WA-6) and Representative Bill Huizenga (R, MI-4), co-chairs of the caucus, provided remarks. Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-11) gave closing remarks and spoke of how citizenM helps to strengthen the economic ties between the Netherlands and the United States. One of the newest members of the caucus, Representative Hillary Scholten (D, MI-3) also attended the event.
The Holland on the Hill Freddy Heineken Award, named for Freddy Heineken, honors an entrepreneur or organization that has made a substantial and positive impact on the economic ties between the Netherlands and the United States. Freddy Heineken came to the US in the 1940s to expand Heineken’s market. With his Dutch entrepreneurial spirit and American marketing know-how, Heineken increased sales by 260 percent, laying the foundation for the global brand.
Previous recipients include: Richard DeLuca Jr., of Merck in 2022, Peter Oosterveer, of Arcadis in 2021, Michelle Browdy of IBM in 2020, Alexander R. Wynaendts of Aegon in 2019, David Hyman of Netflix in 2018, Dick Boer of Ahold Delhaize in 2017, Victoria B. Mars of Mars Inc. in 2016, Paul Polman of Unilever in 2015, and Werner Vogels of Amazon.com in 2014.
citizenM was launched in 2008 with a purpose – to disrupt the traditional, stale hotel industry. Rattan Chadha – the founder of the global fashion brand Mexx – was inspired by his employees to create a hotel for today’s frequent travellers, giving them everything they need and nothing they don’t. This means central locations in the world’s most exciting cities, but at an affordable price. Not just a place to sleep, but somewhere to work, relax and play – just like home. Somewhere with superfast free Wi-Fi, tech that makes life easy, and world-class art that isn’t ‘hotel art.’ A room with an ultra-comfortable XL bed to crash in, and a powerful rain shower to wake-up in. Rattan Chadha called this ‘affordable luxury for the people.’
The first citizenM opened at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2008. As of March 2023, citizenM’s portfolio has 31 hotels in 18 exciting cities: London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris, Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Taipei and Kuala Lumpur.