IKEA is wildly popular around the world because they sell affordable, stylish furniture that appeals to people of varying tastes. Now, however, they're looking to get into the hotel industry with a series of "budget design" hotels. Of course, we've all considered living in an IKEA at one time or another, but would you stay at an IKEA hotel? What if the hotel wasn't branded as an IKEA property? What if it didn't even have IKEA furniture? Well, that's exactly how the world's largest furniture retailer plans to operate their hotel properties, which will not bear the IKEA name or include the Swedish company's home design products. Sadly, our visions of living in a modern Scandinavian wonderland filled with umlauts and meatballs have been destroyed.
According to the New York Daily News, the "100 hotels won’t use IKEA’s name, nor will they feature the brand’s signature build-it-yourself bookshelves and sofas." That's a bummer. A representative for the company said that it's "not an IKEA hotel. It’s a continuation of our normal investments in real estate.” That's way less exciting than the thought of lingonberry sauce dispensers in the bathrooms.
What is exciting. however, is the news that these will be budget hotels that emphasize rather than sacrifice style. While the properties will be run by a hotel management company, they will still owned IKEA, which is a stable brand with a history of paying attention to details. Having them as a player in the budget hotel game is sure to be positive for travelers.
The first hotel is expected to open in Germany in 2014. We're still hoping for meatballs.