moxy by Marriott Hotel – brand experience

Moxy is the latest Marriott brand, targeting millennial travelers or others with a millenial mindset! Marriott has developed a clearly defined concept for the budget segmentand is breaking with hospitality traditions to differentiate the brand. With big social spaces but with limited service and without typical amenities in the price category, it isn’t for everyone – check out what to expect from moxy!

Who are they? Marriott launched moxy in partnership with Swedish furniture company Ikea in 2013, with the plan to open 150 hotels in Europe within 10 years. Moxy got its start in Europe, with new-built hotels near airports or outside the city center, but is lately also adding conversions in city center locations and hotels in the US and Asia, with currently 38 moxy hotels open for business. Marriott is targeting the economy segment, positioned below the equally stylish, modern aloft brand or even Fairfield Inn, although the target Average Daily Rate (ADR) of around $100 would place it into the midscale segment, comparable to Best Western’s Vib or Hilton’s Tru brands.
According to Marriott: “Ready for a good time? Moxy Hotels makes that easy with the heart of a boutique hotel and an appetite for adventure. There’s a drink waiting for you with your room key and someone at the bar that wants your number. Moxy is for play… Jenga, karaoke, maybe a little game of spin the bottle? Here, you can get away with it.
Plus, the WiFi is speedy, beds cushy and freshly made, but more importantly, the bar is always open and the crew is always on. Whether you’re staying for the night or a nightcap, Moxy is your place to PLAY ON!
…We asked to discover what people love… That’s how we found out that most people never use their closets. And, while we’ve kept room for your stuff, we nipped more than a few solid inches for a sweet 42” TV and an even sweeter bed.
We also discovered that, like us, most people won’t waste a moment on instant coffee. That’s why we brew fresh joe downstairs in the lobby. ”
And for once, the marketing is true and the description authentic to the experience you’ll find!

What experience can you expect: You can expect pretty much what the brand promises: The rooms are smaller than usual at around 17sqm and while you won’t find IKEA furniture, it’s equally practical. You’ll find laminate floors, simple furniture and some bright colors as accents. Instead of a work desk and chair, you can work in the co-working space in the lobby. Instead of  coffee/tea facilities and a fridge, you have a bar & market in the lobby. Instead of a closet, you get a few hooks and hangers on the wall. Apparently, the millenial mindset also doesn’t need trash cans or a safe for gadgets or valuables in the room. You do get some local artwork, modern tech amenities, including USB and power outlets by the bed. Bathrooms are equally modern and provide eco-friendly shampoo and soap dispensers to help save the environment.
Moxy is a limited service brand, so an online search replaces the concierge and no bell service will take care of your luggage – all pretty standard for limited service brands.
Interesting also that new-built hotels in Europe are pre-fabricated in a factory and assembled on site, drastically reducing building costs for developers and the cost-per-key, an incentive for more developers to get onboard with the brand!

Bottomline: My first stay at the moxy Humboldthain Berlin confirms how serious Marriott is about implementing the concept – it stayed true to the brand. I like the modern design and inviting social spaces in the lobby. And I’m happy to trade some space and services for a better design and lower price. But it does feel that Marriott is a little dogmatic about the design and needs to adjust to real-world travelers a bit: Even millenials want safety for the gadget or passport and might need more than 2 hangers for clothes on a longer stay. Cutting safes and hangers seems more like a penny-pinching exercise than a design decision. Let’s hope that Marriott adjusts moxy 2.0 based on lessons learned and continues to develop the brand. I think they have a winner on their hands and I’d be happy to see them in more places!

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