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Marriott to Launch Economy Brand in Europe with IKEA Offshoot

Tuesday March 5th, 2013 - 8:55AM

Marriott is launching economy-tier Moxy Hotels in Europe with an offshoot of IKEA.

BERLIN—Marriott International is expecting to launch Moxy Hotels, its first entry into the economy-tier, three-star hospitality segment in Europe, aiming for 150 hotels in 10 European countries.

The new brand will debut in Italy, with the first property expected to open in Milan in early 2014.

Marriott is working closely with Inter Hospitality, an offshoot of IKEA, which will be the initial developer and owner of the first properties. Marriott has selected Nordic Hospitality to be its first franchisee to operate the brand. Nordic Hospitality currently manages several Marriott brand hotels in Scandinavia.

Inter Hospitality Holding B.V. was established in January 2012 to create long term value for the property division of Inter IKEA Group by developing and investing in hotel properties and student properties across Europe. Currently its focus is on acquiring sites for hotel development in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Austria. Inter Hospitality is located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

“Moxy Hotels is the essence of the next generation traveler, not only Gen X and Y but people with a younger sensibility, for whom contemporary style is paramount,” said Arne Sorenson, President/CEO of Marriott International. “Every aspect of the hotel was thoughtfully researched and crafted to reflect and deliver on the changing lifestyles and expectations of this fast-growing customer segment.”

Marriott plans to add 150 franchised Moxy Hotels in Europe over the next 10 years, aiming for locations in Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. The new brand will fuel Marriott’s companywide growth in the region, which is expected to reach 80,000 rooms by 2015.

Amy McPherson, president/managing director of Marriott International in Europe, added, “We see a huge opportunity to expand our market share in Europe with Moxy Hotels. The economy tier in Europe represents nearly half of total room supply, yet only 20% of these hotels are branded. Moxy Hotls will be a great addition to our portfolio of brands in Europe.”

Peter Andrews, managing director of Inter Hospitality, said, “The agreement with Marriott and Nordic Hospitality gives us a great opportunity to use our development expertise to build a high-quality hotel property investment portfolio. Our initial focus is on acquiring sites for the new brand in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Austria. Over the next five years we aim to secure at least 50 sites for development.”

Moxy Hotels has been in development for nearly two years. Marriott, together with Nordic Hospitality, has conducted extensive consumer research across Europe including construction of sample rooms for focus group studies.

The 150- to 300-room hotels, which are being designed with the goal of attaining LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, will cater to budget-minded travelers. Guestrooms will be functional, with upscale bath amenities, large flat-screen televisions and built-in USB ports located within each wall socket. The color palette features neutral tones with natural materials. Each room also will feature a floor-to-ceiling signature art wall to reflect the local city or surroundings.

Moxy Hotels will feature adaptable public spaces, continental breakfast and an evening bar featuring wines by the glass and local brews. In addition, hotels will have two “Plug and Meet” meeting spaces on the lobby level designed with modern ergonomic seating, large writing walls and 56-inch televisions for presentation projection. The lobby will offer computers and a 24/7 market featuring snacks and drinks.

Guests will enjoy free WiFi throughout the hotel, and may opt to check in using their mobile devices.

Nordic Hospitality AS is a Norwegian hotel management and development company operating Marriott hotels in Scandinavia under franchise agreement. The company’s pipeline currently includes hotels in Poland, Finland and The Netherlands. In August 2012, a new central office in Amsterdam was established to support development and operations for the new Moxy Hotels.