As the dollar grows a little stronger against the euro, a European vacation is starting to look very attractive. Unfortunately, hotels can be pricey and not everyone has the fortitude to brave a hostel. Thankfully, IKEA is coming to the rescue.
The affordable, build-it-yourself furniture retailer has announced plans to open a series of budget hotels across Europe. The first two will open in Germany in 2014 (giving you plenty of time to visit the country during its Martin Luther festival!).
IKEA plans to open 100 budget hotels across Europe, but the hotels will not use the IKEA name or be run by the company. CNN reported that an established hotel operator will run the hotels. Other markets that are likely to get a hotel are the United Kingdom, Poland and the Netherlands.
In fact, guests won’t really even recognize the company in these hotels, according to Harald Muller, a Brussels-based business development manager of Inter IKEA’s property division. The hotels will be based on the idea of quality at affordable prices.
Nordic designers will work on the design of the hotel, so even if the interior doesn’t look right out of an IKEA catalog (or one of its maze-like superstores) customers can still expect a Nordic “feel,” according to the Associated Press.
IKEA is just the latest brand to try its hand at hotels. Designer Versace operates hotels under its label, as do Japanese airlines ANA and JAL. In fact, this isn’t even IKEA’s first time venturing into property development: it formed a joint venture with Swedish construction group Skanska AB in the 1990s to build affordable housing and built a large-scale development near Olympic Park in east London.