Design Debrief: citizenM Menlo Park

citizenM Menlo Park

The Ask

When it comes to hotels, you don’t often see the words ‘affordable’ and ‘luxury’ used together. But Netherlands-based citizenM disrupts the traditional hotel model to give modern travelers exactly that. Envisioned as somewhere to work, relax, and play, each hotel is strategically positioned (both physically and contextually) to offer a stylish stay that doesn’t break the bank. First debuting in the US in 2014, the brand’s transformational trajectory led them to Menlo Park – the San Francisco Bay-area home of Meta’s business campus – for their next location. The innovative locale called for a future-focused design that would do double-duty: activate Meta’s campus entrance all while filling a hotel-shaped gap in the market.

The Answer

In collaboration with citizenM’s longtime design partner, concrete, Baskervill crafted a cutting-edge hotel using modular construction systems. The custom-designed prefabricated modules were built off-site before being transported and craned, much like highly sophisticated Legos, into place. The benefits? Accelerated construction timelines and next-level energy efficiency all while maximizing space on a scale that complements the neighboring buildings and serves as an extension of the landscape. The modules are specifically engineered to meet Seismic Design Category E, which is intended to offer enhanced resilience to the heightened seismic forces in the hotel’s locale. This collaborative venture seamlessly integrates innovation and sustainability, delivering a modern hospitality space with resilience to stand the test of time.

The Attributes

Envisioned as an all-encompassing amenity space, the hotel needed playful activation all day long, well beyond the 9-5. In response, a vibrant mix of contemporary art and designer furniture takes center stage at this five-story, 79,400-square-foot hotel. In addition to the 240 high-tech guestrooms, the property also features a luxe and colorful indoor-outdoor lobby, a state-of-the-art gym, 24/7 canteenM, and a patio with a permanent food truck.

citizenM Menlo Park

The brand’s signature red stair is visible on both the exterior and in the building’s lower-level public spaces. An eye-catching mural designed by Oakland-based artist Alexandra Bowman that pays homage to Menlo Park’s diverse community and wildlife sanctuary adorns the side of the building, while adding vibrancy to the hotel’s façade.

citizenM Menlo Park

Technology and sustainability are major cornerstones of the design. The property prioritizes energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction – and is currently awaiting LEED Gold certification. Each guest room is equipped with an intelligent room management system, allowing guests to control TV, heating, air conditioning, day/night shades and lights through a control pad. Downstairs, floor-to-ceiling windows maximize daylight in the public areas, energizing remote workers as they catch up on emails. Whether you’re doing all-important interview prep or catching up for a virtual happy hour with your colleagues, there’s no such thing as a bad Zoom background here.

citizenM Menlo Park


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