Updated: January 8, 2019
Moxy Hotels is a new brand in Marriott’s portfolio that was launched in 2014. Geared towards millennials, they’re shifting away from the cookie cutter chain hotel experience to provide an experience that’s fun, modern, and surprising to say the least. As two people who are considered millennial by age but not necessarily by attitude and beliefs, we were hesitant to stay at the Moxy but curious too. In this post, we will share our impressions of the Moxy brand and reviews of our 2 night stay at the Moxy Seattle Downtown (November 2018 and January 2019).
There isn’t a dedicated check-in desk per say but a small space at the bar where they handle check-in.
- November 2018: After preparing and serving drinks to patrons, my check-in was processed fairly quickly and easily and I was provided with 2 poker chips to be used for complimentary drinks at the bar (red or white wine or a Coors Light or Rainier beer). I inquired about the benefits offered for Marriott Platinum members and the agent/bartender was unable to answer as she seemed confused what that even was. We were not overly impressed by the check-in process at this point and decided to follow-up the next morning. Thankfully, the agent there the following morning got things sorted, apologized and gave us a drink token to make up for the confusion.
- January 2019: Our check-in experience was more positive this time but inconsistent once again and it seems that your experience is based on who you deal with and not so much the policies and standards established by Marriott. We were impressed that we were greeted as returning guests and thanked for our loyalty. Again, we were offered points by default and had to ask for an upgrade. As the hotel was low occupancy, we were assigned the corner Prime room we requested on the 7th floor. This time, we were only offered one drink token though and a second when I mentioned it was my birthday. Since the amount of points they offer are so low, we asked for the food and beverage credit, which we were informed was only $10 for our entire stay when we know for a far it’s $10 per day in the absence of breakfast.
The Room – Prime Room:
We were upgraded to a Prime room based on the SPG app but it was hard to figure out if the room we were allocated was in fact an upgrade as it was on the 4th floor and was quite small. After some research, we came to the conclusion that yes, we had been upgraded to a Prime room. A Prime room is 205 sq feet, a Larger guest room is 195 sq feet, and the base Guest room is 190 sq feet.
As I entered the room, I was pleased by the overall look of the room and design, especially the bathroom that had a nice rain forest shower head and white tile. The industrial lighting was nice too and went well with the concrete accents and the dark grey wood floors. The small chair in the corner with the side table made of a log of wood was also nice and comfortable and I enjoyed reading there.
Now, let’s talk about the functionality of the room. Sure it was small and well-designed but the hooks to hang things up against the wall instead of a closet or dresser were a novelty that made me uncomfortable about clutter in the room and having to keep all my clothes inside my bag on the floor beside the bed and a small shelf would have been appreciated. As for other items commonly found in a hotel room that some people use and others don’t, we found the lack of a safe a major downside too as we felt nervous about leaving our passports in the room and were now forced to take them with us wherever we went which was inconvenient and something we felt uncomfortable about. The room was equipped with a mini steamer instead of iron and ironing board as they are located at the end of the hallway on each floor which could be inconvenient for some who prefer to iron in their room.
There is a small desk that folds into the wall when not in use and a small stool to sit on. You could probable sit here and use it to work if you have a small laptop but I don’t think it would be comfortable. I’d suggest going to the bar where you can find a place to sit with a coffee or a drink.
Overall, housekeeping did a good job but the dispensers in the shower were almost empty and the shampoo was also body wash. I am unsure if they refill the bottles or replace them but it was odd to see them so close to empty. There was also a bottle of hand soap but no moisturizer which is fine as we usually bring our own. The toiletries were Muk brand.
Like other newer hotels, the soundproofing was not up to par and you could hear a lot. If there is one thing hotels should invest in, it’s soundproofing and it is evident they did not at Moxy Seattle Downtown.
The Room: Corner Prime Room:
On our second stay, we were upgraded to a corner Prime room on the 7th floor and almost everything was the same as our last room but there was more space. The desk was in the corner of the entrance hallway which was also a good spot for storage. If there was one thing missing, it was a small side table near the chair in the seating area. This time, the shampoo and conditioner were filled as well. Overall, this room felt more like a conventional hotel room from a space perspective while offering the design we liked from the other room. We also noticed a sign about safety deposit boxes available at the front desk in the absence of a safe.
There weren’t any photos of the gym posted online that I could find but one TripAdvisor review did mention a spin bike. I was really looking forward to a long ride on Saturday morning and was quite surprised when the spin bike in the review ended up being a “twist on the spin bike using a signature racer that tracks speed and endurance”. I skipped the spin bike and tried the elliptical that didn’t have a track and quickly got annoyed of that and moved on one of the 2 treadmills for my cardio. Despite the cardio disappointment, the gym has a good selection of hand weights, a cable machine, and functional training equipment.
The bar/lobby area is quite large and well equipped to lounge and play games. While we were there, we enjoyed playing foosball, shuffleboard and Jenga. It’s a nice space where you can be social in a larger group and also find space for a smaller more intimate meeting. Since there isn’t loud music, it’s a nice place to grab a drink and chat with friends. To our knowledge, there isn’t a happy hour and beers run $8+. We were expecting the Rainier beers we ordered to be slightly cheaper than $8 as they’re usually about $5 or less elsewhere in Seattle but we enjoyed them nonetheless and they ended up being free since we had a $20 credit as Platinum members.
The rooms don’t have fridges, ice buckets, or a coffee maker. If you ask at the bar, they will fill an ice bucket for you to take up to the room. In the morning, the drip coffee and hot water for tea is available and complimentary. They also have a tap that dispenses filtered still and sparkling water in the bar area that is easily accessible.
As far as food, they offer flatbread naans with various toppings and a selection of prepared goods to heat up like wraps. In the morning, there are muffins, bagels apples and oranges. People were taking bagels and muffins but I am unsure if they were complimentary as the only thing that said “free” were the apples.
The Moxy Seattle Downtown is located in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. It’s close enough to the main downtown core to walk within 10 minutes to access shopping, Pike Place market and other attractions. If you are taking the train in from SEA – Seattle Tacoma Airport, it’s easy to walk to the hotel from West Lake station. There are enough things like bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood to checkout but it gets a little quieter during the weekends due to the office buildings near the hotel, including the Amazon office.
The hotel doesn’t have parking but there is a parking garage nearby or you can park on the street for free at certain times or by paying at a meter. We lucked out and found street parking fairly easy but suspect this would be a lot more difficult during the week.
We’re still confused by the brand and while we liked some aspects of it and the hotel, there are some things that are totally wrong, i.e the photos on the keycards and commercials on the hotel’s TV channel that encourage trashing the place. Our experience did not include tearing of pillows, dancing on tables, using scooters in the hallway or getting hot and heavy in the elevators and we were confused as to why they would choose to promote that. You can gear your brand to millennials but the excessive partying and trashing of a hotel seems like a bad idea to promote.
We were reminded by some aspects of the Alt Hotel, Aloft, the W and other boutique hotels at Moxy while missing on some key aspects of those hotels, mostly due to what was missing in the room (a safe and closet or dresser to store things in). Moxy is marketing itself as a budget option in urban areas where people don’t spend a lot of time in the room and prefer to be out and about and social while at the hotel. With so many brands in their portfolio, Marriott doesn’t need to appeal to everyone nor should they and it’s commendable they launched something so different and pulled it off. That being said, anyone who is a traditionalist, values a consistent experience, enjoys the perks their elite status gives them, and plans to spend lots of time in their room should consider staying elsewhere even if it is a good deal or else be prepared to be disappointed and uncomfortable. If the price was right, we would consider staying again for sure as we enjoyed our stay and can overlook most of the negatives. Based on our second stay, we would stay at the Moxy again and just hope that they work on the consistency or lack of consistency with their staff.
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