“It looks like Ikea threw up all over this place!”
I’ve heard that said in a negative way but, honestly, I kind of like Ikea. Marriott is banking on the belief that lots of people do as they join forces with the Swedish furniture and design company to launch Moxy, a new hotel brand for Europe. The brand will target Millennial travelers who they refer to as the “Backpack & Jet Set” with contemporary design at mid-tier, three-star prices. That’s not to say all ages are not welcome; press releases were careful to announce the hotels will be geared towards “not only Gen X and Gen Y but people with a younger sensibility.” (This should prove to be interesting as definitions of Gen X vary wildly and generally miss the mark set by sociologists in the 1950s. But that’s another conversation for another time. Let’s just say that, essentially, they want to appear young and hip but appeal to pretty much everyone.)
What to Expect
Will it really look like you’ve checked into a mini Ikea showroom? Not likely. Don’t expect to find bedroom furniture named Evan in every room but do expect Ikea’s brand of DYI, self-service and minimalist business approach. In a hotel, that would translate into lean staffing models, efficient design and self-service amenities. Though Moxy will be limited to Europe, at least initially, this approach has already found its way to American shores in SPG’s Aloft brand.According to press releases, Moxy guestrooms will be “functional and well designed,” which does sound like Ikea-speak for efficient and uncluttered or, more bluntly, no frills. However, they say we can look forward to “unexpectedly upscale bath amenities,” and “soothing high thread count bedding.” Marriott and Ikea expect travelers to want to be instantly and constantly connected, so you’ll find free wi-fi throughout the hotel and lots of technology in the rooms, including USB ports built into every socket, and 42” flat screen TVs. (We hope that also means LOTS of those USB-equipped sockets around the room.)
Social & Savvy
The company characterizes their target audience as independent and “wildly self-sufficient” (hence the self-service approach) but also very social and tech-savvy. For that reason, there will be “Plug & Meet” public areas with large flat screens, writing walls, PCs and seating for meeting and collaborating, whether planned or impromptu.The lobby will help keep travelers connected with free-use computers and an open design that doubles as a social space, but the bar area promises to be the social hub of the hotel. Instead of an on-site restaurant, there will be a 24/7 market for self-serve snacks and drinks (remember, we’re “wildly self-sufficient”!) and a morning continental breakfast.
Coming Soon Near You
If you’re in Milan, Berlin, Frankfurt or London, that is. The first scheduled opening will be Milan (reportedly an airport location) in early 2014, with other locations following throughout the year. Marriott plans on opening 150 locations across Europe over the next ten years. That’s an aggressive timeline, and Marriott is working closely with Inter Hospitality to grow the brand so quickly. Inter Hospitality will be the initial developer and owner of the first Moxy properties. Nordic Hospitality, who already operates several Marriott brand hotels in Scandinavia, will be the first Moxy franchisee.
See more at Moxy’s photo gallery