Finding myself in my hometown of Washington, DC I was excited to check out two specific hotels. Both Eaton Workshop and the Moxy – Washington, DC Downtown opened within a month of each other last fall. They are located less than a block away on the world famous (or infamous) K Street, NW. Both are also clearly designed with millennials in mind. Almost four years since I moved away from the Nation’s Capital, I’m always in awe of how much the city has changed. Having lived around the corner from both hotels from 2010-2012 it’s a neighborhood that’s transitioned from 9-5 offices and happy hours to verified nightlife options galore.
Moxy Hotel Basics
This is the second Moxy Hotel I’ve been to. Back in 2015 I stayed at the prototype location at Milan’s Malpensa Airport. I really liked it and enjoyed my time there, unlike Gilbert from God Save The Points‘ stay. Moxy is Marriott’s take on the “millennial” hotel of the future. Since that time there have been over 50 locations opened.
The design begs to be shared via Instagram. It’s fun and funky while still being functional. The front desk agents double as bartenders and baristas.
There’s no restaurant, but plenty of gluten free, vegan and organic grab and go options. All in either fully recyclable or decomposable corn based plastic containers.
The rooms are very small. There are no closets. The lobby looks like a coworking space (though that’s not really any different from a lot of hotels these days). Toiletries are wall mounted – which “millennial” or not – is what most hotels are moving towards. Whether they want to, or not.
Booking the Moxy – Washington, DC Downtown
As with any Marriott property where I’m paying cash, I booked direct. You probably want to do the same, you know should you want free WiFi, elite status credit or points. 🙄
Thanks to my Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status I was able to check in early and got a mobile key delivered to my phone via their app. I paid $156 for a basic Queen room. They also have King and “Doubles” which are actually bunkbeds.
Including my F&B, my total spent was $198 (before taxes) earning 2,970 Marriott Bonvoy points (15/$ for being Platinum Elite) + an additional 500 points in lieu of a $10 F&B credit. Grand total? 3,470 Marriott Bonvoy points. The Moxy brand offers all guests one free drink (limited to the house cocktail, house wine or draft beer).
Getting to the Moxy – Washington, DC Downtown
Considering I had to walk one block, this was a piece of cake. You can’t miss the hotel with it’s signature bright purple logo and a large, well lit plaza. There’s no valet, but a parking garage is available around the corner for $40 for 24 hours. That’s not an outrageous price, considering 2 hours of street parking will cost you $5.25 + constantly feeding the meter. It’s on the
Checking in early (thanks to my Platinum Elite status) seemed to be a wise choice upon what I observed between 4-6pm. Because the front desk agents double as bartenders and baristas (and the front desk is literally part of the bar) there’s only one station. I had no wait at all when I checked in. Later on in the day, however, at one point there were five people in line. It’s not that there was a lack of staff, but with only one station it takes time. There were no less than 4 employees behind the bar on this night in particular. During slower day parts, there’s lighter staffing. This means you might be waiting for service at the front desk because they’re busy pouring drinks.
Moxy – Washington DC Downtown Lobby
I was a bit surprised that this lobby was so small. Based on my past visit to the Milan Malpensa location, they are drastically different in size. The lobby was full almost every time I checked it out. Early afternoon, mid-morning and late night.
There’s a library table which was full of guests and visitors working. A few furniture clusters also full with a blend of K Street suits, families and folks like myself in jeans and a t-shirt.
There’s a rooftop bar planned with more lounge space, but there have been multiple delays. Chatting with my bartender that evening, it sounded as if they had to start over with finding an operator, leading me to believe the hotel might be open a full year before the bar is up and running.
The Moxy Hotel Room
Like I said, the rooms are small. If all you’re doing is sleeping and washing up, you’re fine. As a solo traveler I found the space to be fine, though the room is smaller than the property in Milan Malpensa.
If I was staying with another person I’d probably want a King bed not just for the sleeping space but for a little more room for bags.
This is pretty much the whole room. Note the hooks on the wall in lieu of the closet. They provide some hangers and a luggage stand. A cute tote you can use during your stay, however should you keep it will cost you $40.
The linens were soft and had a really comfy jersey knit thin blanket. I wish the mattress had been a bit better. It felt more like a low end Ikea mattress.
The bathroom is quite spacious considering how small the room is. Plenty of “counter” space around the sink. Note underneath on the right a mini steamer. No iron in each room, but I prefer the steamer. More on that shortly…
The shower was also roomy with a great rain shower head. All the faucets are low consumption, so while the sink faucet seemed a bit low powered, I was pleasantly surprised the shower had great water pressure. Wall mounted toiletries, though next to the sink there were some nice cloth fabric face cloths.
When it came to the TV, at one point I had read that Moxy would only provide stream apps. But, the TVs are just like any others you’d find in a Marriott. Full array of cable programming, with the ability to stream from Netflix, HBO Go, Showtime, etc.
The internet speeds were great for getting “enhanced internet”, and I easily connected to the network via my saved Marriott Bonvoy log in.
Many Marriott properties have great difficulty with making WiFi connectively seamless. It’s a good thing however, since both my phone and my laptop would disconnect when idle. That made trying to use the Chromecast built in functionality close to impossible.
The tv.marriott.com URL also didn’t work, so after a few minutes, just gave up on enjoying the big screen to stream so Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu…
The retro phone is super fun. Plus the feature “Bedtime Stories” where you can listen to bloggers like the Blonde Abroad talk about solo travel and a magical night in Paris . The side table lamps are fun to look at, but might be a bit of form over function.
On the other side of the table was a mini fridge – glad to see this was something that they didn’t forget about.
Food & Beverage at Moxy – Washington, DC Downtown
So, there’s no restaurant. Everything is designed to be for the most part, grab and go. A new addition to the concept since my last visit at a Moxy was a turbo oven, just like the one you’d see at Starbucks.
The grab and go is way overpriced, but the options are quite healthy and offered a great variety of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.
Any of these items could easily be purchased from one of a few different corner shops or bodegas (yes, AOC…DC has a bodega culture) for a bit less than what they’re charging here. Like $8 cans of beer? $4 bottles of soda?
There are no coffee makers in the room, but fear not – there’s fresh coffee available all day. There’s microwaves and hot water. There’s also a mini fridge full of ice cream treats and some gourmet ramen, noodle bowls, etc. However, at $7/bowl you’re again paying for pure convenience.
Filtered water is always available too. I was a bit disappointed to see that such a new property would be having such a fruit fly problem. My background in F&B management tells me someone poured something other than water down the water dispenser drain and that it hasn’t been cleaned. That + ripe fresh fruit sitting on the counter = a TON of fruit flies.
But, with all you can eat goldfish, gummy bears, water and coffee, who needs a lounge? lol I kid, I kid, but it did make coworking out of the lobby waiting for happy hour to begin a bit more enjoyable.
Dinner & Happy Hour at Moxy – Washington, DC Downtown
I was ready for a cocktail, looking forward to using my free drink token and from what I smelled, was intrigued by their “fresh” food offering.
Here’s the menus for breakfast, afternoon/dinner and happy hour:
Yes, they serve “Morning Cocktails”…it is DC after all.
The prices for drinks are pretty standard for DC, if not on the more affordable side (considering the bartenders offer generous pours). The real stand out for me was the value of their happy hour. Sad to say, but a $5 draft beer or wine or a $6 cocktail is a steal! The food too for happy hour averages 50% off.
Note that the free drink you get is limited to draft beer/wine or the Got Moxy cocktail. I’d already ordered the Devil’s Ashes after happy hour was over and the staff honored the free drink cause they’d made it and the token didn’t exactly list the limitations. (+2 for service)
The flatbread was quite good, as was the shrimp cocktail.
The service was good – not great. Bartenders and servers were personable, but I had to ask for silverware and napkins.
Breakfast is super basic – grab a pastry or bagel – pay at the register and head to the counter with toasters and fixins’.
The Gym & Additional Amenities
This brand is designed to as one of limited service, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer things you want or need. The gym offered everything you need for a good workout.
If you have wrinkles that a steamer can’t release, each floor has an ironing area.
They also feature TransitScreen (a local DC startup) that offers all the info you need for mass transit, ride share, bike share…and even scooters! 🙂
All in all, for the price…location…and amenities the Moxy Hotel didn’t disappoint. I did enjoy seeing some of the looks on faces of folks that had clearly not been to one before as they walked in and headed to the front desk AKA the bar. The location is perfect – a block or so from McPherson Sq, the DC Convention Center and right on K St.
It’s a short walk to the hot neighborhood, Shaw as well as equidistant from Chinatown/Gallery Place.
If you know what you’re getting into and aren’t in need to a room with extra space, a desk or a closet. Or, if you’re cool with some fast casual food out of a turbo chef oven or grab and go cauliflower and sweet potato vegan curry – chances are you’re a millennial and it’s a good fit for you!
The post Hotel Review: Moxy – Washington, DC Downtown was first published on Coworkaholic.