Category Archives: Hotel brands

Checking into the Citizen M Hotel in Glasgow, Scotland

By Ariela Kiradjian

I am a student in hospitality and wanted to check out and check into one of the best small boutique brands in Europe to do a review of the property and also to see if my generation of traveler will buy into what it offers.

The Citizen M Hotel is located right in the center of Glasgow, Scotland. The hotel is just a couple minutes walk from Buchanan Street on the Style Mile, a fantastic mile of great shopping. It is also just a few steps from theatres and less than a half mile walk to the central train station.

London on a beautiful sunny day

London on a beautiful sunny day

The city has great underground service, so most attractions are easy to get to. As you walk into the Citizen M, you are greeted with a modern yet fun space as splashes of red contrasts the white interior. The hotel was created by the award winning Dutch Design Agency Concrete. When you walk up the winding staircase (or just take the elevator), you are automatically greeted by their extremely friendly staff.

Citizen M Hotel Glasgow room

Citizen M Hotel Glasgow room

To check in, you use their modern technology by being able to quickly check yourself in! The lobby lounge space has relaxing couches and chairs, big screen televisions, and even a big business center with iMacs. Spacious meeting rooms are also available. The hotel also offers food service with their canteen and bar, offering a great Scottish breakfast buffet, little bites all day long, and a full bar menu. All rooms are 14 square meters, have XL king size beds, ambient lighting technology, a wall to wall window, rain shower, Vitra design furniture, mood pad room control, free WIFI, free movies on demand, electronic climate control, LCD TV, in room safe, and international plug system for the US and EU standard and UK. All of the electronics are controlled on a Samsung pad. So that includes closing the blinds on the window, changing the mood lighting (so maybe going from purple to red), turning on the TV, adjusting the climate, and so on.

Beautiful Glasgow downtown

Beautiful Glasgow downtown

The bed is huge- and extremely comfortable! The shower is an experience it itself with two showerheads- one manual and one rain shower. You can even change the shower color to whatever you want! There’s also a hairdryer put under the sink. These rooms don’t cost much either, but you would never guess with all of its luxury aspects! What’s also great about this hotel is how well they treat their staff- you can tell because absolutely all staff members are always smiling!

Once you end your stay and check out, you are left with a friendly goodbye from everyone. What a great experience! And yes, my generation as well as my parents will be captivated by all this boutique hotel offers!

Citizen M Hotel welcome lobby

Citizen M Hotel welcome lobby

Citizen M Hotel Glasgow eating lounge

Citizen M Hotel Glasgow eating lounge

Historic Glasgow and yours truly!

Historic Glasgow and yours truly!

Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow

Life and all it holds for us in this industry

I have been remiss in keeping up with this Blog.  No excuses, so here I/we are again to talk about life.

What brought me to talking about life was an email from one of my staff about the passing of a leader in travel and tourism who I have known since my first day working in the industry with Carlson Travel.

Michelle Morgan, CEO at Signature Travel, worked tirelessly over so many years in the industry and made a terrific number of contributions to travel agents and suppliers to travel and tourism.  I remember her brilliance at Carlson with fond memories.  She was always so creative and so committed to whatever project she was working on.

We always hope, through our careers, that someone will notice the good that we are doing and hope that we can achieve this recognition during our time alive on earth.   Personally, I know so many people in our industry who give of themselves, of their capital and of their heart to helping others.

I make it a goal to ensure they are not forgotten and are celebrated in some way during their lives.  If you know of someone who deserves to be celebrated, you may email me for recognition here or enter them into our AWARDS for Person of the Year, or Hotelier of the Year.  Here is the link:



Frances Kiradjian
Founder and Chairwoman

Passionate hotel owners (BLLA Video)

There is nothing like coming into contact with an independent hotel owner in the boutique, lifestyle or luxury category.

Their passion shows in their eyes, in their every movement and in just about everything they do online or off.

Why is that?

Basically, they are on their own, making decisions about everything including what/where/when & why. Their sounding board is either themselves, trusted friends and family or consultants and business associates they choose to work with.

They get into the business and some become passionate only after they’ve opened the hotel and see first-hand their vision come to life.  “It’s like birthing a baby,” says Tim Dixon, owner of the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee.  The heart and soul of these properties mostly are tied into an owner, even if the hired designers and architects take a lead position.  They don’t have a rule-book with strict policies and procedures to follow.  They are the P&P’s at the end of the day.

On their own — reminds me of the ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) tagline “Without a travel agent, you’re on your own!” In today’s world of traveling, it’s kind of nice to have someone backing you up in case you need help or advice or just a sounding board to help you make the right decision so you aren’t floating around out there without a safety net, wasting both time and money, and with so many choices online, this is not hard to do!

For boutique & lifestyle hotels, they also need that back-up, that sounding board, that one place to find experts and relevant information to help them through the thick and the thin of hospitality ownership in this special category.

That’s where BLLA comes in. The association’s mission is to raise the awareness of boutique & lifestyle properties everywhere on earth. Not an easy task. But one that is becoming more and more urgent and necessary. With new global property owners joining everyday, the larger number of members will mean that our voice gets louder and louder.

No matter who you are, if you believe in our mission, come join us today.

Authenticity – have it and win!

When searching for a new car, what do you take into account before making the final decision?

Price, gas mileage efficiency, and safety features are all common answers. But even more importantly, the authenticity and dependability of the car and brand weigh significantly into your decision.

The same is true when deciding which hotel to stay at. You look for properties that are committed to the guests and offer authentic services. The Boutique and Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) resonates with this idea of authenticity and ensures that this theme is apparent in every aspect of the organization. Within the hospitality industry, it is imperative not to confuse imitation with legitimacy.

In uniting boutique and lifestyle properties all around the globe, BLLA assures authenticity is displayed in all areas of involvement in order to enhance the image of the members. When securing a new property, a vetting process is conducted to uncover all features of the hotel. It is essential for the property to exhibit dependability with their interactions with guests, vendors, as well as their own employees. This commitment to the authenticity of their approach is vital to BLLA. Without credibility, boutique properties lose their main asset, customers. Guests become apprehensive if they believe the endeavors or service offerings are fabricated.

In addition to obtaining credible boutique and lifestyle properties, the authenticity of BLLA events is highly regarded and paramount to the organization. In connecting boutique/lifestyle properties and suppliers, again this theme of authenticity must be presented by BLLA itself, projecting their legitimacy within the hospitality industry. BLLA makes sure that all aspects of their conferences and programs are genuine, ranging from the speakers to the actual venue. It is critical for BLLA to demonstrate authenticity to strengthen the reputation of their properties and the suppliers that sustain them.