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IKEA and Marriott are teaming up to build budget hotels – in Europe, for now.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that IKEA lovers are going to get some budget accommodations to go with their budget furniture.

A new brand under development by the company and Marriott will be called Moxy. The first one will be in Milan a year from now, and 50 are planned over the next five years. They’ll mostly be located in the  U.K., Germany, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands. The hotels will have up to 300 rooms each, and will be primarily located near office parks and transportation hubs: airports, train stations and subway stations.

Rooms are expected to run about $78 a night, and no, they won’t have IKEA furniture.  But they will be assembled like IKEA furniture, with a modular, prefabricated design.

IKEA’s pouring $500 million into the project, but Marriott is bringing the customer base and expertise and will own the brand. Will they ever appear on our side of the Atlantic? Only time will tell. IKEA’s interested in the European hotel market now for two reasons – one, they don’t have a lot of established chains over there. Two, they think budget hotels are a relatively stable (and maybe even smart) investment in the middle of Europe’s economic crisis.

Stacy Johnson

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