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Ikea to Offer Hotels on a Budget

By +Eric Jafari

IkeaWith the hotel sector continuing to be a lucrative asset for property investors, it should perhaps come as little surprise that more and more firms are looking to get in on the action. Nonetheless, furniture manufacturer Ikea is perhaps not the business you'd expect to be making a foray into budget accommodation. Yet, they are.

The Swedish brand is aiming to create a chain of budget hotels across Europe, enabling people to enjoy "contemporary stylish design, approachable service and, most importantly, an affordable price". In collaboration with the US group Marriott, the venture is called Moxy and its first hotel is set to open near Milan's Malpensa airport in 2014. Rooms will be priced at €60 (£52) to €80 a night, but guests shouldn't be expecting the interiors to be like walking into the Ikea showroom.

Marriott chief executive Arne Sorenson revealed at a conference in Berlin that the furniture giant will not be providing interiors, in what is arguably an odd move. However, he assured that the rooms will be "functional and well-designed with upscale bath amenities". This will be complemented by a colour palette of "calming neutral tones reminiscent of rich brown leather, combined with natural materials to evoke an organic, comfortable and restorative feel". This is definitely akin to the style we have come to expect from Marriott, not Ikea. After all, where are the bright colours? The pop art? The futons?

This is perhaps a reflection of the fact that this isn't just Ikea's project. In fact, Marriott are hoping that other investors will step into the Moxy breach, helping to create a chain of 150 hotels with between 25,000 and 30,000 rooms. The UK is likely to be a prime target for expansion, with key cities like London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Liverpool, York, Inverness and Cardiff each expected to be the sites of Moxy developments. Ikea's property division already owns a large amount of development land across Europe and it won approval to redevelop ten hectares in Stratford last year.

06 March 2013

Tags

Hotel Investments,Hotel Construction,IKEA