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Ikea opens free hotel for sleepy drivers

Kyle James · 14 Jul 2011, 11:32

Published: 14 Jul 2011 12:03 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Jul 2011 11:32 GMT+02:00

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Swedish furniture giant Ikea has opened a temporary hotel at a rest stop on one of France’s busiest motorways offering free rooms for 20-minute naps. The goal is to help drivers who have become sleepy at at the wheel, as well as selling a mattress or two.

The hotel, which opened on Wednesday and will stay open 24/7 until July 31st, features 28 soundproofed, air-conditioned rooms measuring four square metres. Each comes with a rug, a mirror, a night table and a bed with an Ikea mattress, which has a price tag affixed to it just in case the guests like what they’ve dozed on.

While marketing might play a role, the main idea is to fight "fatigue at the wheel", said Ikea and motorway operator APRR.

Ikea has set up the temporary hotel on the A6 motorway near the city of Beaune at one of Europe’s largest rest areas. The store expects some 10,000 naps in total during the hotel’s two-and-a half week existence, Ikea spokesperson Stéphanie Jourdain told AFP.

She declined to reveal the cost of the operation, with is being paid for entirely by the Swedish chain.

While parents take their short snooze, their kids can spend the time in a play area that can accommodate up to 32 children and has five supervisors on duty.

The rooms are cleaned after every nap and the sheets and pillow cases are donated to the housing charity Les toits du coeur.

One of the rooms has been dedicated to displaying a selection of the mattresses Ikea has on offer.

Kyle James (news@thelocal.com)

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