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I’ve been speaking a lot lately about bad news coming out of Marriott – namely the devaluation of its Marriott Rewards program (along with similar changes at Hilton, Starwood and elsewhere). So when an announcement of some potentially good (or at least fun) news came across my desk this week, I wanted to share that too.
This week Marriott International announced a new partnership with Inter Hospitality Holding, IKEA’s newly formed real estate division, to launch Moxy, a collection of budget-conscious hotels based in Europe meant to target a younger, hipper demographic. The hotels will feature between 150-300 rooms, along with free WiFi and design touches such as floor-to-ceiling wall art in guestrooms. Thus far, no word on whether IKEA’s meatballs will be available through room service.
“Marriott will lead the way in redefining the traditional economy hotel experience throughout Europe,” said Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. “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.”
The first Moxy is slated to open in Milan in early 2014, and Marriott plans to roll out approximately 150 hotels within 10 years across Western Europe.
So it sort of sounds to me like what Aloft is to Sheraton or Westin in the Starwood family, Moxy will be to Marriott, which should mean that these hotels will be in some of the lower tiers, though they could actually be nicer than most lower-end Marriotts because they’re hipper and fresher – two things Marriott itself is not.
Among Marriott’s recent awards announcements was the creation of a new top-tier category and the raising of category levels of over a third of its properties. Hopefully these new hotels will be in some of the lower brackets so that Marriott Rewards Credit Card and Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card cardholders can use their annual free night at a Category 1-5 hotel to stay at a Moxy for free.