He trained as a teacher at the university for teacher education (PABO) in Alkmaar. After a brief period in the classroom, he spent 12 years working for the project development branch of a housing association. These days, Joost Coulier manages the citizenM hotel at Schiphol. ‘I don't have a background in hotels, which is an advantage’.
I want to work here
“Six years ago, a friend called to ask if I would be interested in working at a hotel”, says Joost Coulier. “I laughed a bit at first, but I went to take a look anyway. The moment I stepped into citizenM, I knew it: I want to work here, people have fun here. I got to know a young, innovative organisation and an extremely enthusiastic team. At that moment, my traditional view of hotels changed too. What I saw was a hotel with a homely, relaxed atmosphere in which everything revolves around the guests. It offers a combination of affordable luxury, stylish design and genuine hospitality”.
“Modern travellers really want different things than they did before, and it's pretty strange that hotels haven't changed to accommodate these wishes. Who wants to wait at a desk to check in these days? Isn't a welcoming living room environment much more pleasant than a sterile lobby? Isn't a canteen with a kitchen which is open 24/7 much more convenient than a restaurant? And surely a room should be somewhere you like to spend time? citizenM actually developed out of the frustrations of today's travellers. In my opinion, that's where the best concepts come from”.
Schiphol's living room
“There are already six citizenM hotels in Europe and one in New York. This year we'll open two new hotels in London and after that it'll be Asia's turn. citizenM has its roots in the Netherlands. I think that's really something to be proud of. Rattan Chadha, the former owner of the clothing company Mexx, is the founder. His motto is ‘Change this industry’. The first hotel opened here at Schiphol in 2007. I think that Schiphol and citizenM have a lot in common. Schiphol also changed the concept of an airport with its idea of an Airport City, just as we changed the concept of a hotel. From a terminal with runways to a close-knit community which is home to 500 companies and where 65,000 people work. We wish to offer this community and the passengers an unforgettable experience. We want to be Schiphol's living room!”