The famous blue and yellow Swedish furniture chain Ikea, has joined forces with the US hotel group – Marriott, and announced today that they plan to open a range of budget hotel chains across the globe. The hotels, which will be marketed under the brand name Moxy, promise to offer “contemporary stylish design, approachable service and, most importantly, an affordable price”. It is not known whether Ikea will furnish the hotels, but the rooms will reflect the stores no frills budget mantra.
The first of Ikea’s budget hotels will open near Milan’s Malpensa airport early next year, and it is thought that prices will range for rooms at around €60 to €80 a night. Ikea will then start building more hotels in other locations around Europe, including London, Frankfurt and Berlin.
Marriott chief executive, Arne Sorenson made the announcement at a hotel conference in Berlin. According to an official statement, “guest rooms will be functional and well-designed, with upscale bath amenities … The colour palette features calming neutral tones reminiscent of rich brown leather, combined with natural materials to evoke an organic, comfortable and restorative feel.”
It is thought that Marriott will eventually collaborate with other investors, to increase the Moxy chain to 150 hotels with between 25,000 and 30,000 rooms. “We could be a number of multiples of that size over time,” Sorenson said. And don’t expect to see the familiar blue and yellow trade mark colours of Ikea, emblazoned across signage, in the style of easyJet’s Stelios, who has also ventured into the budget hotel range. Stelios decided to keep the bright orange in his hotels but Moxy will retain a more muted hue for their customers.
Ikea have hinted that they want to establish a firm base for their budget hotels here in the UK, where we already have a range of cheaper accommodation, such as the Premier Inn and Travelodge, which have become hugely successful over the past decade. Ikea are planning their expansion in such cities as London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Liverpool, York, Inverness and Cardiff. In fact, the property division of Ikea happens to own large amounts of development land in cities across Europe, and in London last year, it won approval for the redevelopment of a 10-hectare plot in Stratford, close to the Olympic site, called Strand East.
Peter Andrews, managing director of Ikea’s property arm, said: “This gives us a great opportunity to use our development expertise to build a high-quality hotel property investment portfolio.”
The property division of Ikea are also to delve into student accommodation and are looking at major university towns in the UK, Germany and Belgium.
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