M Social and CitizenM build hotels in the Metaverse

Forward-looking hotel brands M Social and CitizenM are building pixel hotels in the metaverse as places where avatars can “work, sleep and play.” Reporting by Jenny Southan

The trend of creating “digital twins” of real-world locations in the metaverse is booming in the travel industry, with M Social and CitizenM (two unrelated companies, despite their similar names) leading the way. †

Singaporean brand M Social (part of Millennium Hotels and Resorts), launched M Social Decentraland on May 5, 2022, making it the first hotel group in the world to operate a hotel in the metaverse.

Modeled after several M Social hotels around the world, the virtual property encapsulates “the essence of the M Social brand of a progressive lifestyle and aims to be a place for everyone to collect the virtual reality universe of Décentralisé and to experience”.

Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ newest hotel is located near Genesis Plaza in the heart of Decentraland, on prime digital land. Like its physical sister properties, M Social Decentraland positions itself as a “hub for explorers eager to discover new experiences and connect with like-minded people.”

The virtual hotel displays a giant “M” on each of its four sides, with glass exteriors and neon pink accents creating a sleek interior.

“M Social is about being different, being unique. As we look to the future, we need to look beyond the traditional model of hospitality and engage our guests through new, immersive experiences,” said Kwek Leng Beng, Executive Chairman of Millennium and Copthorne Hotels Limited.

“We hope to redefine hospitality through M Social Decentraland by creating online adventures that integrate with real-life events.”

Customers entering M Social Decentraland can interact with an avatar greeting everyone in the lobby. The avatar guides the guests on a journey of discovery through the hotel. Those who reach the top of Decentraland stand a chance of real hotel surprises.

Saurabh Prakash, Senior Vice President Commercial Group for Millennium Hotels and Resorts, said: “The hospitality landscape is changing rapidly. We are applying various technologies to engage customers and improve the customer experience.

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“The Metaverse is one of those avenues that offers us countless opportunities to create unique social bonds with our customers. M Social Decentraland enables us to reach new and existing customers in the physical and virtual world with online connection to offline engagement.

In the coming months, Millennium Hotels and Resorts will discuss future collaborations with like-minded partners. Guests can also expect treasures and surprises when visiting M Social Decentraland.

Future hotel integration will include a link to the M Social website and special events to mark special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Day.

The M Social brand was launched in Singapore in 2016. M Social Decentraland marks the first virtual location with other physical outposts in Paris, New York, Singapore and Auckland.

CitizenM enters the meterverse

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CitizenM, a Dutch company that describes itself as “the pioneer of affordable luxury hospitality”, has announced that it will acquire a LAND site in The Sandbox, a leading decentralized virtual gaming world and subsidiary of Animoca. Brands, to allow him to start building a hotel in the Metaverse.

This venture marks the beginning of a new movement in hospitality as CitizenM will be the first hotel group to purchase LAND in The Sandbox, a virtual world where users can create and monetize their own realms and experiences from individual games on LANDs. are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that represent virtual real estate in The Sandbox.

After spending the pandemic building customer loyalty with its hotel subscription trial launch, CitizenM says it is now focusing on building loyalty in the online world.

As with all of its hotels, CitizenM says it will “put the art first” by showcasing and selling future NFT collections that will be commissioned by emerging talent in the digital art space.

Once the LAND is purchased, CitizenM plans to fund the construction of a hotel in the virtual world through the sale of an exclusive collection of NFTs with real (utility) rewards attached.

Each of the 2,000 NFTs will have the same price, but buyers will be randomly assigned one of three tiers: 1,500 “regular” citizens, 450 “special” citizens, and 50 “legendary” citizens.

Utilities come in the form of discounts, free drinks, and more, with the details of the rewards determined by the NFT level assigned to the buyer. Rewards can be redeemed at any of CitizenM’s growing portfolio of real hotels.

“We are excited to be the first hospitality company to build in the metaverse,” said Robin Chadha, CitizenM’s CMO. “As a brand that has always pushed boundaries and challenged traditional models, this new venture in The Sandbox aligns not only with our brand strategy, but also the commitment we have to the creative community and to our guests, online and in real life. world . We are excited to explore more possibilities in the metaverse in the coming years.

Once the virtual hotel — a place where avatars visiting The Sandbox to work, sleep and play — is built, CitizenM will partner with an additional roster of digital artists to create and sell NFTs that can be purchased in the digital space.

Ultimately, the brand plans to use these profits, along with the creation of a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), to fully fund the real physical property where token holders will vote on location. In line with the brand philosophy, CitizenM will “ultimately build a hotel for the people, by the people”.

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