We all know the Swedish company Ikea that provides students, young and older people with furniture, kitchen utensils, bedding and linen. Worldwide Ikea is popular for its good designs and budget prices. And now this company is forming a team with Marriott to fill rooms for the young and hip travellers who are on a budget.
Marriott and a department of Ikea have launched a budget hotel chain in Europe, Moxy, a place for people who love design, interesting lighting, music and technology – at an affordable price.
The rates of room start at €60.00, about $65.00 nowadays but that varies of course with the exchange rates. And for that price you also have free WiFi in both your room and throughout the lobby.
All eyes are on Marriott since this giant in hospitality typically creates experiences one can expect for the price you pay. The company was never that interested in this hard to please segment of the market, and certainly not in a high-profile way like this.
Marriott International promises to open a large number of locations in Europe, 150 in 10 years time. The company is sure it can get enough interest from travellers and developers through their very popular loyalty program, their large reservations system and the concept that is rather unusual.
Ramesh Jackson, Marriott International’s executive overseeing the Moxy brand, believes Europe is ready for this product. “One reason is that budget rooms represent 45% of all rooms in Europe but only 20% of them is affiliated with a chain.”
The concept Marriott is now implementing is not created in Marriott’s headquarters in Bethesda, Md. It actually comes from Norway from a hotel developer called Nordic Hospitality, according to Rune Jakobsen who dedicated two years to this concept. “We presented it to Marriott and Ikea-unit InterHospitality got involved. The three companies met and established Moxy.”
Although the furnishing has a Scandinavian feel the retail department of Ikea had no involvement with the hotel-concept nor with creating the furnitures for the guest rooms.
The Moxy formula
This is the Moxy stylish budget hotel formula in a nutshell: a mix of current Scandinavian design, an inviting lobby for social interaction, self-service 24/7 and a reasonable price. These are the key details:
Small rooms with little furniture:
In order to offer low rates, the locations of Moxy look basically the same, except for the view from the hotel and floor-to-ceiling art on two walls in the lobby. All have rooms of 185 square feet, according to Jakobsen. To obtain an airy and spacious feeling as possible the Moxy hotels won’t have the regular furniture like a big wardrobe. Instead of that kind of furniture the rooms have surface mounted furniture and space-saving hooks for clothes. The bed has no legs and leaves just about enough room for a suitcase. Since the targeted Moxy-guest prefers to work on his or her bed or in a comfortable chair, the rooms have no desk. Moxy has a custom-designed chair and footrest sitting next to a glass shelf on the wall and a USB electric outlet to make it easier for international guests. All rooms have a 43” TV with quality speakers that are also fit for music guests might play from their portable devices through the wireless technology. LED lighting in strategic places help the rooms looking modern.
As it seems the average Moxy guest is used to two or three screens each Moxy lobby has a digital wall with nine TV screens next to each other. Each with their own content, which results in a hodgepodge of images that might get a Baby Boomer in a burden of sensory impulses. Some screens show sport, another a news program, and some others shows for teenage viewers. It is the hotel that selects the programs, not the guests, so there will be no inappropriate movies or shows. If a guest wants to sit and watch the soccer game on screen # 5 e.g. he can find it on the special app on his phone or tablet using his headphones. There are lots of easy to find electric outlets in the lobby.
Self-service is what the targeted guests are expecting and that’s what they are getting. According to Ramesh Jackson they love that, so there is no need for a bartender. You pay to a cashier. Marriott would like to have a mobile check-in facility for all Moxy hotels and is working on that.