American hotel group Marriott has teamed up with IKEA to open up a new low-cost hotel chain (three stars) in Europa. The cooperation, named Moxy, plans to open 150 hotels over the next ten years.
No IKEA showroom
The new chain was officially announced last Tuesday during the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin. Construction on the first hotels should start this year and the first Moxy, in Milan, will be open to the public in 2014.
The hotels will pop up close to office parks, airports or train- and subway stations. Each hotel will have between 150 and 300 budget rooms, for about 60 euro per night. Young travellers will be the target audience for Moxy Hotels. Hotels are planned for Belgium, Italy, Germany, Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Great Britain.
The hotels will not be an IKEA showroom: they will not be designed nor furnished by the world’s largest home store. There will however be an IKEA twist: the hotels will be constructed using prefab modules, which will be fitted together on the spot... just like IKEA furniture.
Half a billion dollar for budget hotels
Marriott is cooperating with Inter Hospitality, the IKEA branch that invests in the hotel sector. Inter Hospitality will be the promoter of the project and will own the first Moxy hotels. The Norwegian company Nordic Hospitality will manage the hotels for Marriott. Nordic Hospitality already runs a couple of Marriott hotels in Scandinavia.
According to the Wall Street Journal the Inter IKEA Group will invest about 400 million euro. Inter IKEA Group is controlled directly by IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and his family, through their Interogo Foundation in Liechtenstein. Budget hotels are very 'hot' in these times of crisis: last year their occupancy rose to 70% (compared to 67.1% in 2011). IKEA prefers investing in hotels because that sector is “relatively stable in these economically turbulent times in Europe.”