The Moxy, York – Hotel Review
By Rachel Howard
York is a city that attracts millions of visitors every year, whether they’re looking for a slice of history, a night out, shopping, afternoon tea at Betty’s or a cruise down the river. And who can blame them?! I may be biased having lived in the city for three years while at university, but there are few more beautiful places to spend some quality time.
However, there has been one significant downfall to this in recent years – the cost of hotels. Rates have rocketed beyond those in the nearby cities of Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle. Even budget chains such as Travelodge, Ibis and Premier Inn have significantly raised the price of their city centre rooms – so much so, that it has priced the city out for many looking for a cheap and cheerful night or two away.
But all that might be about to change thanks to a new kid on the block. Marriott is a hotel chain familiar to most, but many may not have heard of its spin off, Moxy. Launched in 2014 in Munich, Moxy is marketed as affordable luxury – “boutique hotels with an appetite for adventure”.
Clearly aimed at a young crowd, the hotels are big on contemporary design, fun features including games areas, free wifi, large flat-screen TVs and a well-stocked cocktail bar. And all this starting from around £70 per night. Could it be too good to be true? With Moxy hotels opening all over world, I was excited to check in to the newly opened York branch on Black Horse Lane off Stonebow to find out for myself.
“Has a buzz about it”
The hotel is situated in an area of the city that is undergoing a serious transformation. New apartments, offices, a gym and cafes are helping to regenerate an area that was once home to dated buildings and empty shops. It’s a perfect location for a hotel, being a stone’s throw from The Shambles, the Minster, shops, bars and restaurants. The one downside to this central location is the lack of a hotel car park – but you can’t have everything!
The reception/foyer area sets the scene for a modern, almost industrial design theme that continues throughout. A large open-plan space accommodates a huge bar, that also acts as a check-in desk and snack bar, plenty of seating areas, coffee tables and a games area, all showcased by some seriously swanky lighting fixtures. It’s welcoming, has a buzz about it and gets even better when we are offered a complimentary welcome cocktail. There’s even a small but perfectly formed gym – should the need for a work out arise.
The room doesn’t disappoint either. It certainly isn’t palatial in size, but has everything you could need – a queen-sized super-comfy bed, a 42-inch flat screen TV, built-in USB ports, a hairdryer and a great shower with complimentary Muk toiletries (much nicer than the name would suggest!). We even got Minster views from our floor to ceiling window.
If I was to be uber-picky, I missed having tea and coffee making facilities in the room (it’s available free, 24hrs a day in reception), and for a hotel that’s only been open a month, there were a few areas of the room that could do with a lick of paint or an extra scrub – but we’ll forgive them a few teething issues that I hope will be sorted quickly.
Customer service was great – attentive without being in your face. As we left the hotel for dinner, the heavens unexpectedly opened, and when I ran back in to ask if they had an umbrella I might borrow, I didn’t even have to ask before a large brolly was brought from behind the bar and placed into my hands – it’s the little details that make all the difference.
“Filled the gap”
Breakfast is described as a continental buffet, but alongside the usual cereals, toast etc, there are options including omelettes and delicious pastries – an extensive selection that should kick-start anyone’s day. But if it’s been a heavy night and you’re feeling the need for something more, York isn’t short of cafes that can provide a full English within a few minutes walk of the hotel.
Having experienced the Moxy first-hand, I think it has a well-earned place in the city of York, and might just have filled the gap for those wanting a fun-filled night or two in the city, or a stop over for a night on business, without breaking the bank.
It isn’t a 5-star luxury hotel, and nor does it try to be. But with prices starting at £70 per room per night, in an otherwise very expensive marketplace, you’d be hard-pushed to find a better option. So, go on, treat yourself and enjoy some time in Yorkshire’s unofficial capital, you won’t regret it!
For more info on The Moxy, York visit marriott.co.uk