Words: William Cohn
After staying on a friend’s couch during my first 48 hours in New York City, moving to Marriott’s Moxy East Village on my final night offered some welcome respite. And because Moxy Downtown hosted Attitude during WorldPride last year, I knew I would not be disappointed.
Upon arrival, I was checked in by one of the very personable receptionists who asked what my plans were that evening before offering suggestions for nearby bars and restaurants. From the moment you walk into the warm and inviting lobby, you feel at-home not just because of the staff, but because of an un-stodgy space that offers a lot without trying too hard.
The Moxy brand is geared towards adventurous millennials who like to have everything at their fingertips, from the city outside to the amenities inside. Only opening in September 2019 and located in the heart of the East Village, the hotel serves as an excellent jumping-off point for travelers wanting to experience the best of Lower Manhattan. Plus, the LGBTQ+ history in the neighbourhood makes the hotel a perfect home base for travelers yearning to explore the city’s queer scene.
Travelling to America for two and a half weeks meant that my habitual over-packing had struck again, but my compact yet cleverly-designed had more than enough surface area for me to leave my bags in basically every corner without it feeling cramped. The ultra-plush mattresses were also reminiscent of what can be found at higher-end Marriott options.
Queen rooms start at $149 p/n ($142 for members)
Everything from the details in the décor to the front desk service was top-notch, meaning that the hotelier has a high-quality thread that runs through the fabric of its portfolio, no matter the brand or price point.
Enormous floor-to-ceiling windows and a unique, refreshing layout set our guestroom apart from the rest. An open bathroom featured frosted glass walls covered with iconic graphics like the Statue of liberty and subway-style graffiti, and small quirky details made the room even more homey, like the retro telephone and the ‘Welcome’ graphic drawn onto the hallway mirror.
However, the only qualm I had was that to turn the bathroom light on, all the lights in the room had to come on first. This could be inconvenient for an early riser whilst someone else in the room sleeps.
Out of the room, another perk was the free prosecco voucher given to each guest. Complementing our drinks perfectly was the Alphabet Bar + Café’s enclosed outdoor terrace, transformed into Moxy’s ‘Pink Winter Wonderland’ for the holidays where the space was filled with Christmas trees decked out in bright pink lights.
Downstairs, the menu at Cathédrale is just as whimsical with a temping selection of cocktails and twists on familiar dishes. My libation of choice was April in Paris, a mixture of Tanqueray 10 Gin, Manzanilla sherry, rose nectar, raspberry, and lemon.
Meanwhile, warm dates with Roquefort cheese and the potato chip omelette with kaluga caviar were beckoning to be ordered. The acclaimed restaurant is operated by Tao Group Hospitality, the team behind New York’s famous Tao Asian Bistro, as is Alphabet Bar + Café and Little Sister Lounge, an underground bar below Cathédrale reminiscent of subterranean East Village watering holes in the 1990’s.
Guests can also fill their holidays with memorable activities that will not break the bank, and after the food coma strikes, the hotel’s partnership with local business Mile High Run Club for a complimentary 45-minute HIIT and kettlebell session should do the trick.
Moxy East Village has successfully catered to a younger and unpretentious demographic that still appreciates the finer things in life, and with a rooftop bar opening in the spring, there will be even more to love when the weather warms up. I think my next holiday has already planned itself...
Rooms from $149 p/n. moxyeastvillage.com