No self-assembly required! A visit to Sweden’s IKEA Hotel

No self-assembly required! Inside Sweden’s IKEA Hotel, which is surprisingly DIY-free – but does contain furniture you might find a little familiar…

  • In recent years, the IKEA Hotell has become a sought-after tourist destination
  • The hotel is in Älmhult, in the forests of Smäland, which is also home to the company HQ
  • If your room feels too sparse, you can visit ‘décor cupboards’ to borrow books, vases and flowers 

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Tell anyone you’re going to the IKEA hotel and you’ll face a barrage of questions: do you use an Allen key to unlock your room? Will you need to assemble your own bed? And are meatballs the only thing on the menu? Thankfully, the answer to all of the above is ‘no’. A trip to Älmhult – aka Ikeaville – is surprisingly DIY-free.

This town in the forests of Smäland, southern Sweden, is where Ingvar Kamprad, late founder of flatpack furniture retailer IKEA, grew up and started the global business that made more than £33billion of sales last year.

Älmhult is home to IKEA’s HQ, as well as the recently opened IKEA Museum and the IKEA Hotell. Around 90 per cent of its inhabitants work for the company.

Cosy and familiar: Unsurprisingly the IKEA Hotell is furnished with all things IKEA

The rooms are simply furnished with IKEA furniture, including high-tech floor lamps that double as wireless chargers

The rooms are simply furnished with IKEA furniture, including high-tech floor lamps that double as wireless chargers

The IKEA Hotell has welcomed business guests for decades, but now attracts tourists from around the globe.

The rooms are simply furnished with – as you would expect – IKEA furniture, including high-tech floor lamps that double as wireless chargers.

The hotel is big on sustainability and rooms are cleaned only weekly (unless you ask). If your room feels too sparse, you can visit ‘décor cupboards’ to borrow books, vases and flowers. 

The IKEA Hotell has welcomed business guests for decades, but now attracts tourists from around the globe

The IKEA Hotell has welcomed business guests for decades, but now attracts tourists from around the globe

The hotel is big on sustainability and rooms are cleaned only weekly (unless you ask). If your room feels too sparse, you can visit 'décor cupboards' to borrow books, vases and flowers

The hotel is big on sustainability and rooms are cleaned only weekly (unless you ask). If your room feels too sparse, you can visit ‘décor cupboards’ to borrow books, vases and flowers

Tell anyone you're going to the IKEA hotel and you'll face a barrage of questions: do you use an Allen key to unlock your room? Will you need to assemble your own bed? And are meatballs the only thing on the menu? Thankfully, the answer to all of the above is 'no', writes Jenny

Tell anyone you’re going to the IKEA hotel and you’ll face a barrage of questions: do you use an Allen key to unlock your room? Will you need to assemble your own bed? And are meatballs the only thing on the menu? Thankfully, the answer to all of the above is ‘no’, writes Jenny

Die-hard fan: Jenny Wood photographed as part of the cover of an IKEA catalogue

Die-hard fan: Jenny Wood photographed as part of the cover of an IKEA catalogue

And if the cosy bar or ‘living rooms’ on each floor feel familiar, it’s because they’re furnished by IKEA, too. ‘I have this mug at home,’ says one guest. ‘I won’t worry if I smash it – it only costs 70p.’ Opposite the hotel is the IKEA Museum, housed in what was once the first store, opened in 1958.

It’s surprisingly fascinating, with room sets from various decades and fun facts about flatpacking. Die-hard fans can get a photograph of themselves on the IKEA catalogue cover.

The excited customer in front of me buys eight Allen key key-rings for friends: ‘You never know when something might need tightening.’ 

TRAVEL FACTS 

The IKEA Hotell (ikeahotell.se) costs from £41 for a cabin room. Älmhult is around a two-hour train ride from Copenhagen Airport. Norwegian (norwegian.com) flies from London to Copenhagen from £82 return. The IKEA Museum is £5.50 for adults and under-17s go free (ikeamuseum.com). 

 


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