In Review

Moxy NYC Chelsea review: micro rooms and macro service

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After four nights of five star luxury, moving to a three star hotel might sound like a major step down but, when it’s to the relatively new, still quite shiny, ultra-modern Moxy in Chelsea, it’s not actually that noticeable. 

Moxy is the “stylish budget” brand from Marriott, where the theme is micro rooms and macro services. Essentially, it hones your room down to the basics, but compensates with communal spaces. So, you might not have coffee making facilities, but you can head to the bar / café area and grab a free one. You won’t have an ironing board in your room, but there’s a communal ironing room. It’s an odd approach that, while it reeks of hipster millennial, it’s also proof that – OK Boomer – “hipster millennial” is not necessarily something to fear. 

The rooms at Moxy NYC Chelsea are, indeed, micro, but masterful examples of compact design, even in a city where they’ve got making the most of a small living area down to a fine art. Tables and chairs are collapsible and you’ll either find them tucked into assorted nooks and crannies or, possibly, hanging on the peg system that replaces the wardrobe.

There’s a big sink, a little shelf space, floor-to-ceiling windows (with, if you’re lucky, or ask beforehand, great views towards The Empire State Building), a separate toilet / walk-in shower area, a big TV (with Netflix casting capability) and an extremely comfortable, very large bed. They’re also pet friendly, if you have such furry or feathered requirements. If you’re used to the creature comforts of Lowell-esque hotels this may not be the place for you but, if you’ve an open mind, it’s clear to see that, while the offering has been scaled back, it’s actually put the focus on what’s important and, for the majority of tourists, that’s a good night’s sleep, a good shower, access to coffee and good service.

The staff are, it appears, completely unflappable, even when confronted with armies of people at check-in - the Moxy NYC Chelsea is some 35 storeys high, so they have a fair few rooms to fill. Even on a busy Friday afternoon, with wedding parties and such like arriving in a seemingly non-stop flow, service is slick and efficient and it’s but a matter of minutes from queue to closing your bedroom door behind you. The queue is also rather sweet smelling as the reception area opens out behind a florists, a nod to the Moxy’s location slap in the middle of the Flower District.

It’s a great location, not far from theatres, many NYC landmarks, and is a short stroll from the excellent High Line walk as well as several Subway stations. It’s thus easy to tick off many of the key tourist landmarks, and nip out to other Boroughs, if you want to head further afield. If you are playing full-on tourist, do take a look at the New York CityPASS,  which covers everything from the Empire State (twice in fact, as you can make a return visit at night which is highly recommended) to the Met, helps you skip queues and, best of all stops you looking at the price board and asking yourself “sorry, it’s how much?” New York - particularly, it seems, New York from on high – does not come cheap. 

While we’re on a touristy sort of bent, if food is your thing, Culinary Backstreets tours is a fine, filling way of spending several hours, and exploring outside of Manhattan. The Queens tour is enormous fun, where it’s possible to “visit” much of South America and assorted bits of Asia via the medium of snacks. And if you don’t, just head to Beky Bakery and order the housemade chorizo with egg sandwich and thank me later. It’s genuinely one of the best things I ate in 2019. 

You can’t quite see Queens from the Moxy Chelsea, not even from the Fleur Room, the 35th floor rooftop bar that has rapidly become one of the City’s destination bars, and offers panoramic views from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building.

Later at night it’s chaos – entry after 9pm is by “doorman discretion” – but early evening, it’s a fine place to sit and contemplate life, the universe, how remarkably little you’re paying for a room, and how you’ve managed to find this really quite spectacular bar in what is, basically, a budget hotel for the 21st century. If this is change then, for once I don’t fear it...

The Moxy NYC Chelsea 105 West 28th St, New York; moxychelsea.com

To find out more and plan your next New York City adventure, visit www.nycgo.com 

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