sitting on the bed with the FiDi skyline in the background
Journey

My Stay at the Moxy NYC Downtown Hotel

Staying at the Moxy NYC Downtown in the heart of the Financial District wasn’t part of our original vacation. But sometimes unexpected setbacks can lead you to new surprises.

moxy nyc downtown street entrance

The TL;DR Moxy NYC Downtown Review

  • Great location near transit, late-night pizza, Starbucks, and CVS
  • Affordable price
  • Perfect for a crash pad if you are going to be on the go, seeing NYC; I would not recommend if you’re looking to spend a lot of time in a hotel room
  • Good for couples and singles; would not recommend for groups traveling with children
  • Lively in-hotel bar scene

How We Ended Up at the Moxy NYC Downtown

We were in New York City to see one of my favorite musical artists, Satori. The show was at a warehouse in Brooklyn, so we booked an AirBNB in Bed-Stuy. We wanted to have an authentic NYC experience – brownstone and all – since it was our first time in the city.

After an hour drive through Atlanta to Hartsfield-Jackson, a flight that was too turbulent to bring out the drink cart (what’s a girl gotta do for a Tito’s), and our first experience on the NYC subway (which included a train switch during rush hour at Broadway Junction,) we were ready to put our feet up.

airplane screen showing us nearing JFK airport

The problem was the AirBNB wasn’t ready for us.

The beds were unmade. Used towels were in the bathtub. The cleaning people had never even entered the premises since that last guests. Heebie. Jeebies.

This situation has been my only bad experience with an AirBNB so far, and while inconvenient, it could have been worse. But in no way were we staying there.

The host was apologetic and gracious in giving us options and ultimately a full refund. It was 6:00 p.m. in NYC, and we had no idea where to go.

Lower Manhattan Here We Come

Even though the concert was in Brooklyn, most of the places we planned to visit were in Manhattan. So, we pulled out our phones and groggily searched for a hotel in lower Manhattan.

It was a weekend trip – we didn’t want anything lavish and we were planning to be on the go, so we looked for hotels under $200 a night with four-star+ reviews on Google.

Boom. The Moxy. The East Village and Times Square Moxy hotels were sold out. The Moxy NYC Downtown had a few rooms left. Coming in at around the $140 price point (mid-November 2019), it was the right price and the right location. I ordered an Uber.

What is the Moxy Hotel Concept?

There are four Moxy hotels in Manhattan – the Moxy NYC Times Square, the Moxy NYC Chelsea, the Moxy NYC East Village, and the Moxy NYC Downtown – where we stayed.

Moxy is the cool, hip concept from Marriott, with a focus on communal social spaces, minimalistic rooms, and plenty of Insta-worthy photo ops. It’s the millennial Marriott.

busting lobby bar of moxy nyc downtown with string lights and people working
Moxy NYC Downtown second floor bar, Recreation NYC

To really set the tone of what you can expect at a Moxy, one of the Moxy’s points of pride is that you don’t check in at a traditional front desk. You check in at a bar.

Though this is one of their brand’s points of pride, at the NYC Downtown location, you go to more of a hostess booth of a front desk to check in on the ground level, and then go up to the second floor where the bar and the elevators to get to your room are.

string lights under the skylight
String lights and sky lights

The Bar Scene: Recreation NYC

The elevator doors opened to a bustling bar scene full of young, well-dressed Financial District office dwellers chasing shots, tail, and dreams.

The bar, Recreation NYC, balances 1970s/80s chic with modern industrial vibes. There are neon lights. Open bookshelves float in the air. A DJ mixes music near the elevators.

Good Times, Bad Times neon sign behind Recreation NYC bar
Good times, bad times

There is no avoiding the scene – you have to walk through Recreation in order to get to the elevators up to your room. For us, this was fortunate, because we needed a drink.

The workflow was muddy to us – did we order from the bartender? Did we order from the cocktail waitresses? We went to Recreation NYC three times during our stay, and each time it was difficult to get the attention of the staff. However, once you got their attention, the service was adequate.

We waited patiently at the bar for our drinks. Then finally – cheers.

avocado toast with a soft boiled egg and a breakfast flatbread
Brunch at Recreation NYC – Delicious avocado toast and breakfast flatbread

The Room

I’m just going to say it flat out – the rooms are tiny. I would not recommend sharing this room with someone that you don’t want to be close with.

hanging chair in the nyc downtown moxy room
A hanging chair, a queen bed, and some fold-down furniture are the only furniture pieces in the room

We had a city view queen bedroom. Even though we had to shuffle around each other at times, we were comfortable.

selfie in the moxy nyc downtown bathroom
Fresh and so clean in the Moxy NYC Downtown bathroom

The room had everything we needed for this trip – a soft bed, a clean bathroom, and a working tv.

And the city view – amazing.

skyline view from the moxy nyc downtown hotel room
Laying on the bed

If you are trying to have a vacation where you relax in the hotel room with room service and a spa, this is not the place for you. To me, it is the perfect crash pad – safe, clean, and a good location.

views of financial district skyline from the moxy nyc downtown room
Very NYC

The Location

Again, this is our first trip to NYC, and we had to pick a hotel on the fly. We had no idea where we ended up. But wow, did we get lucky.

Transit within Walking Distance

The hotel is right next to Fulton Center, a major shopping center and a subway station.

Amenities within Walking Distance

There are many restaurants, shopping destinations, and comforts within walking distance.

For the necessities, there is a CVS and a Starbucks right around the corner.

Most importantly, adjacent to the hotel is an authentic, late-night pizza joint – Joe’s Pizza. I have no shame in admitting that of the three nights we stayed at the Moxy, we ate at Joe’s all three.

One morning we walked over to enjoy bagels at Leo’s bagels.

gooey egg and cheese onion bagel from Leo's Bagels
Egg and cheese onion bagel sandwich from Leo’s

It’s easy to say if you want to check authentic New York City pizza and bagels off of your foodie bucket list, you can do that when you stay at the Moxy NYC Downtown.

Sights We Were Able to Walk to From the Moxy NYC Downtown

I will say we did a lot of walking. A lot. It was a great way to not just see the city, but to feel it. To hear the honks of the taxis. To smell the trash piled up on the sidewalks. To let the beating energy of hustle and grit consume you. NYC, baby!

We walked to:

one wall street banners hang from scaffolding
Wall Street
  • Wall Street
  • The New York Stock Exchange
  • Federal Hall
ellis island and statue of liberty silhouette at sunset
Statue of Liberty (left), Ellis Island (right)
  • Battery Park, where you can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the distance
one world trade center stands tall
One World Trade Center
  • One World Trade Center
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • World Trade Center Station
  • St. Paul’s Chapel
modern, bright white interior of world trade center transit station
World Trade Center Station

Activities We Ubered, Taxied, or Took the Subway To From the Moxy NYC Downtown

subway statue of woman reading a book sitting on a monopoly man and pile of change
Subway art

Flying in on a Thursday, and flying out on Sunday we were able to do all of the following things via Uber, taxi, or subway:

  • Drink world renowned cocktails in FiDi, Chinatown, and the East Village
  • Drink brewskis at Brooklyn Brewery
  • See a concert in Williamsburg
  • Eat brunch in the Meatpacking District
  • Walk the High Line and explore galleries in Chelsea
  • Drink wine at a rooftop bar overlooking central park in Midtown
  • Laugh at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village
  • Dance to live jazz in Tribeca
hodge podge of art and statues behind chain link fence
Random sights in the Meatpacking District

Final Verdict: Moxy NYC Downtown

The Moxy NYC Downtown perfectly suited our needs for a go-go-go, party-party-party couples weekend. The staff was friendly, the rooms were clean, and the drinks were flowing.

If you want a minimalistic but hip place to stay in FiDi, I would recommend this hotel.

Thanks for reading the Digital Molt Blog, Jenna. @DigitalMolt

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