Few brands are as consistent with its philosophy as MUJI, the Japanese lifestyle retailer that sells a line of minimalist goods ranging from housewares, stationeries, and clothing to snacks. It has a legion of devoted fans who dig everything it offers.
Will that extend to hotels? On January 18, the company opened its first-ever hotel in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, fully stocked with the brand’s products and services.
Why Shenzhen? As Caixin reports, MUJI said it was “in part because [Shenzhen] is a city with the sea on two sides and is growing rapidly. It will be among the top 10 Chinese cities for tourists during the upcoming Chinese New Year festival in February, according to a report by the China Association of Travel Services and travel website Tuniu.”
Located in Futian District, the hotel is another incarnation of MUJI’s stylishly minimalistic aesthetics. Equipped with 79 rooms, along with a MUJI diner and a MUJI store, the hotel is designed around the concept of “anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap,” featuring wooden beds, unadorned walls, and comfortably simple sofas.
The hotel is trying to position itself as a place where customers can “sleep well, restoring both mind and body” without paying exorbitant prices for superfluous services. There are five different types of rooms, with prices starting from 950 yuan ($148) for a 26- to 28-square-meter room and going up to 2,500 yuan ($390) for a 51- to 61-square-meter room — that price is close to that of mid-level rooms in the nearby five-star Shangri-La Hotel.
“Why don’t I just live in a five-star hotel for the same price?” one user commented on Sina Weibo. Another lamented that the MUJI hotel would be just another place for internet celebrities to take pretentious pictures.
But of course, MUJI’s cult following has answered the company’s call. The place is fully booked through its opening weekend, Caixin reports.
MUJI plans on opening a hotel in Beijing this spring, with Tokyo slated to get one the year after.