My New Favorite Hotel In NYC May Surprise You!

by Shelli Stein

Do you need more moxy in your life? Even if your moxy cup is filled to the brim, my new favorite hotel in New York City will make your MOXY cup runneth over. I’ve sampled many hotels in NYC, but don’t have a current favorite. I needed to be in the city for a few days and decided to try something different. Even though people might say my mojo has plenty of moxy, after my great and fun stay at the Moxy Times Square, I realized one can never have enough MOXY 🙂 I’m so glad I was up for trying something different and seeing what this Marriott brand is all about. My Moxy Times Square review reveals this hotel as a gem of a property.

Marriott describes Moxy as a playful, affordable, and stylish hotel brand designed to give guests everything they want and nothing they don’t. Launched in 2014, Moxy is one of Marriott’s youngest and fastest-growing brands with over 130 Moxy hotels now open worldwide. Moxy boldly breaks the rules of a conventional hotel stay. I would say this description is spot on.

Moxy Hotels is Marriott International’s millennial-focused brand that debuted in September 2014 with the opening of the Moxy Milan. A boutique-hotel concept for the next-Gen traveler, Moxy is a fresh and innovative brand combining stylish design and approachable service at an affordable price point. While I understand the millennial focus, I think this too narrowly defines who might enjoy staying at a Moxy. I am not their target audience and yet I’d totally recommend a Moxy experience 🙂

a room with white trees and pink lights

Magic Hour at the Moxy Times Square

Another way the Moxy brand describes itself is in saying, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously. But we’re seriously into showing you a good time with small but smart rooms, stylish communal spaces and bars you’ll love.” I found this description accurate and it’s part of the reason I enjoyed my stay. I liked the playful attitude of the hotel and staff. It definitely is a playful and stylish property. The Moxy Times Square combined style and comfort with affordability and a community atmosphere.

All Moxy hotels are franchises, which means they are all managed by real estate management companies. For sure this makes a difference as to how the hotels are run and could lead to varying experiences at each Moxy. This could be a pro or con given the unique designs and locations of each Moxy. In the case of the Moxy Times Square, the management team is doing a great job!!

The reason I’ve spent a bit more time than I usually do in my hotel reviews sharing what the Moxy brand is about and how it positions itself is because it can be confusing to know whether a brand and what it offers is a good choice or not. I figure what I’ve shared so far would either mean you’re drawn to giving Moxy a try or not. Let’s dig in to specifics though, as I review the hotel and the rooms more closely.

How I Paid and My Room Assignment at the Moxy Times Square

I paid cash for my stay. From what I was told, though it’s a popular choice for Marriott members, it’s not a popular hotel for using Marriott points. Members tend to earn points here to spend at more upscale properties. I had a nice surprise at check-in. Because of my status with Marriott I was upgraded to a larger than basic room. I had requested a quiet room and indeed was given a corner room that did end up being quiet. For a hotel in NYC, I was very pleased with my room assignment.

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Using my Hotel Room Scorecard I broke down the individual elements of my Moxy Times Square room which scored a 38 of 40 points.

Location (5/5)

Moxy Times Square places you at the intersection of New York City’s uptown and downtown districts. The hotel is a New York minute from everywhere you want to be: the Theater District, Garment District, 5th Avenue shopping, and Hudson Yards. New York is a great walking city, so for me that meant being able to walk in all directions and easily get to my destinations. I love the location. I walk everywhere and enjoy a midtown location for my hotel stays in NYC.

Lighting (5/5)

The room had great natural lighting, with almost floor to ceiling windows. The windows matched the width of the room. Throughout the space there are overhead lights that provide good lighting and I liked that you could dim them as well. I found all the lights, window shades, and switches easy to use.

Corner king room Moxy Times Sqaure

Design of corner king room

Window Access (4/5)

The Moxy Times Square is located on a very busy street with both car and general street noise. Because of the hotel’s location, I would imagine that most of the rooms have a city view.

There are two levels of window shades, one for sun/privacy and one for black-out darkness. I know it can be unrealistic to expect hotel windows that open, but for me that’s always what makes window access a 5 star rating, instead of a 4.

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Bed Comfort (4/5)

The bed was too hard for me, but not as hard as some beds at other hotel properties I’ve stayed at. The pillows worked well and there were already different pillows on the bed, so I was able to choose which worked best for me. Too often all the pillows are the same, but not in this case.

Bathroom (5/5)

Some might say the bathroom setup at Moxy hotels is quirky. There’s an area for the toilet and shower and then in the hallway is a sink and counter. The walk-in shower is complete with MUK all-in-one toiletries. The bathroom design has a sense of humor!

Moxy Times Square shower humor

Moxy Times Square shower humor

Interior Appointments and Furnishings (5/5)

Without a doubt, this will be the area of disagreement between people who either do or do not appreciate the design and layout of a Moxy room.

First, it’s important to note that at this Moxy there are nine different room configurations. Yes, NINE! Some of the rooms even have bunk beds. I saw all nine and while they do have similarities, there really is quite a selection. If you’re inclined and book a room at any Moxy hotel, you might want to check with Guest Services and see what configurations are available and choose what works well for you.

I don’t at all mind sparse decorations in a hotel room. I prefer very little artwork in a room. You may have heard that Marriott collaborated with IKEA when furnishing the Moxy rooms. No need to worry, though, about brightly colored blue and yellow rooms or crazy IKEA color schemes. The Moxy brand is an industrial design style and rooms are furnished in neutral colors with brown leather and light wood.

Moxy Times Square room telephone

Moxy Times Square room telephone

My room was approximately 200 square feet and included a full length mirror, which was a nice touch. I never understand hotel rooms without a full length mirror.

Rooms are small, with a 30% – 50% smaller footprint than most hotels. In-room amenities are basic, meaning no coffee machine or a walk-in closet. Storage is under the bed and there are hooks and hangers along the wall.

Some rooms, like the one I had, have a small fold-down desk. The chair, however, was very uncomfortable for sitting in for any length of time because it was a wooden fold-out chair.

The heating worked well and was not loud at all compared to other heating systems I’ve encountered in hotel rooms. I mention this because sometimes even when I need heat or air conditioning, I don’t turn it on because the noise is too much.

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Electronics (5/5)

Plugs and outlets were plentiful and well-placed throughout the room. There were outlets near the bed and universal plugs and USB charging ports at the desk.

Amenities and Stash Room (5/5)

When writing hotel reviews I often review the minibar and available snacks. In the case of a Moxy property, I want to talk about the way amenities are handled.

I read online about a Moxy concept called the stash room, so I was eager to see how this worked. It works brilliantly! The stash room is a wonderful concept.

On each floor there is a closet with towels, kettles, ironing boards, dental kits, deodorant, ear plugs, shower caps, needle and thread kits, and refrigerators. You grab from the stash room whenever you need something!

Speaking of ear plugs, street level can be quite noisy. This is NYC, after all. Guests do complain of noise from the rooftop bar. It’s a famous destination because it’s the largest one in NYC. On Friday and Saturday nights the rooftop bar is open until 4 a.m. I kept waiting for the noise and need for earplugs, but perhaps due to my room location it wasn’t an issue. I did get a tour of the rooftop bar. While I enjoyed exploring the space, I think the best season would undoubtedly be summer so the rooftop bar would be open to the sky.

a pink and white christmas tree display

Rooftop Bar

For breakfast there is a Grab and Go area just off the lobby. It offers fruit, juice, water, all kinds of muffins and sweet treats, yogurt, and granola bars. Drip coffee from Stumptown is available free of charge from 7 to 10 a.m. in the restaurant. From 3-5 p.m. in the lobby you can help yourself to bottled water and canned soft drinks. I found all these options to be generous and more than enough to satisfy my needs.

Guests complain about the destination fee. And for many guests room size is an issue. Both of these are fully transparent on the Moxy Times Square website.

a bar with a bar and a bar with a bar and a bar with a bar and a bar with a bar and a bar with a bar and a bar with a bar and a bar with

Bar Moxy

There are many large common space areas at the hotel. There are bars, restaurants, and work areas. They are well used by people in the community as well as hotel guests. For me they were not well lit in the evenings, so I’d say they are meant more for evening socializing than for working. I also found the music a bit loud for working.

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Hotel Service at Moxy Times Square

I can’t help but mention the service at this hotel because it really does tie into my being so impressed with the Moxy Times Square. The staff gets wonderful reviews and I understand why. They are helpful, energetic, and the check-in area is VERY well staffed. There’s always someone there to greet you and if you choose to engage the staff in conversation they are a fun bunch to chat with. There was never anything I asked for where the staff didn’t happily oblige. I enjoyed the friendly and helpful environment.

a restaurant with tables and chairs

Legasea Restaurant at Moxy Times Square

Final Thoughts On Moxy Times Square

The Moxy Times Square is a great value. What it offers and the service were both spot on, and the room itself worked very well for me. The location can’t be beat. I would absolutely stay here again. Putting together this Moxy Times Square review was fun because it brought back memories of a really enjoyable hotel stay. I’m thrilled I tried something different when needing a hotel in NYC.

One manager at the hotel told me that even though the Moxy brand is known to be for young travelers, he prefers to think of it as a hotel for the Young At Heart! That certainly includes me and if it includes you, by all means gather up your moxy and give this hotel a try and see what you think for yourself.

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Christian May 13, 2023 - 6:35 pm

I’m pretty skeptical about the plethora of comparatively new brands that try to hide tiny rooms with minimal furnishings that pretty much force you into the lobby area so they can sell you things, as being young and hip. Personally speaking I always want and often need a room with a full sized desk, a closet with doors that close, a regular restaurant that serves breakfast, and a comfortable place for two people to sit. Hipster brands like Moxy don’t provide those. I do love the stash room concept though, although the term could be misconstrued in certain states.

Shelli May 13, 2023 - 7:19 pm

No doubt, Christian, that some folks are disappointed when they see what’s in the stash room 🙂 I generally agree with your concerns about what hotel rooms provide. That’s why I was more than pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the hotel, the design, and the amenities. Not for everyone, but in this case it worked for me.


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