Bare Bones but Funky: Moxy Munich Messe
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi Prestige Card
Marriott's new Moxy brand is quickly expanding across the United States and Europe — it's set to more than double in size in 2018. The brand markets itself as an "affordable hotel with the soul of a boutique hotel." The Moxy website makes its hotels seem hip and energetic — and promises a 24-hour bar and fast Wi-Fi.
Recently while in Germany, I needed to spend four nights in Munich on my way from Berlin to Bologna, Italy. I was mainly concerned about finding a place in the city that was affordable, near an U-Bahn or S-Bahn station, allowed pets and had fast Wi-Fi. My search led me to Moxy Messe Munich, which had opened its doors in February. After reading a TPG review of the Moxy Times Square in New York City, I was intrigued by the promise of fast Wi-Fi, affordability and newness. Here's what it's like to stay at this new property.
The Moxy Munich Messe certainly delivered on its promise of being affordable. The total cost for my four-night stay was quoted at just 263 euros (about $325) — but it gets even better. Since I was staying for four nights, I got to take advantage of the Citi Prestige card's Fourth Night Free perk. I emailed the Citi Prestige concierge to book my stay and ended up paying just $272 total, or $68 per night. The Moxy is a Category 4 Marriott property, meaning that my four-night stay would've cost 80,000 points. TPG's latest valuation pegged these 80,000 points at $720, so it was an obvious choice to pay cash for my stay.
As a general Marriott Rewards member, I earned 10x points per dollar on the room rate. So, I ended up with 3,027 Marriott points, which is worth $27 at current TPG valuations. Although my Citi statement hasn't closed yet, I expect to receive 3x Citi ThankYou points for the stay as well, since the Prestige card has a 3x bonus category on lodging.
Moxy Munich Messe is located, as its name would imply, near the Neue Messe München, or Munich exhibition center. It's a three- to seven-minute bus ride, depending on whether you're going to or from the Messe, or an easy 25-minute walk between the convention center and the hotel. The bus runs every 10 minutes most of the day and costs 1.50 euros (about $1.75) each way.
The hotel is in eastern Munich, a nine-minute walk away from the Riem S-Bahn suburban rail stop on the S2 line, running from Riem to the city's main train station in 17 minutes and costing 2.90 euros ($3.50).
There aren't many dining options near Moxy Munich Messe, though. Multiple hotels in the area — including Moxy — offer dining options, but otherwise plan to eat in the city or at the Riem Arcaden shopping mall near Munich Messe.
The hotel's "moxy" was evident right when I arrived at the front door to "Look Who's Here" and "You Smell Good" messages on the revolving door and "Nice to See You" on the welcome mats.
The bar and reception are adjacent to each other. There were three or four staff members on duty when I arrived, and they all seemed trained to work both the bar and reception as needed.
Check-in went quickly and smoothly until it was time to pay. Although I'd used my Citi Prestige earlier that day when leaving the Hotel Indigo Berlin Alexanderplatz, the Moxy system repeatedly rejected my card. I was about to call Citi's customer support when the check-in agent said he'd successfully manually entered the card number.
When I'd booked, the hotel's website noted and Marriott Reservations confirmed that the pet fee would be 20 euros ($25) per stay, but the pet contract I was asked to sign when I arrived said the pet fee was 20 euros per night. The check-in agent seemed surprised and said the pet fee was indeed per stay. He corrected the contract, which I then signed and photographed — just in case.
When I checked out, the fee was charged correctly, but a hotel representative has since told me that the pet fee is now 20 euros per night.
Moxy Munich Messe has three room types. I booked a Moxy Sleeper, the cheapest room available.
The Moxy Sleeper features a queen bed as promised, but disappointingly only two pillows. Considering the hotel had been open for less than two months, the mattress wasn't as comfortable or supportive as I'd hoped.
There's a small built-in glass table on either side of the bed. The left side of the bed has one EU outlet while the right side of the bed has an EU outlet and two USB outlets. There's a reading light and a decorative lamp on both sides of the bed.
Next to the right side of the bed is a large chair. This chair was comfortable for short sits, but my back started to hurt after sitting in it for too long.
A large flat-screen TV is embedded in the wall across from the bed.
The TV featured the hotel services guide, 42 TV stations (six in English), 13 German radio stations and the ability to watch YouTube videos or connect your own media device. There's also a channel for bedtime stories, a signature of Moxy's funky brand.
A small glass desk with a purple stool, two EU outlets and two USB outlets are next to the TV. This is definitely a good space-saving setup, but it's really not conducive for working for more than a few minutes.
The bathroom is near the room's entrance. There's a sink with ample counter space, a toilet and a shower cube.
Muk branded toiletries are supplied in large bottles with pump tops, which I prefer since it's less wasteful than single use bottles or packages. My shower was mistakenly supplied with two bottles of conditioner, but no shampoo.
Towels are initially stored on a shelf under the sink. There's only one small towel rack, though, so it's hard for more than one person to hang and reuse towels.
A hair dryer is also on a shelf under the sink. Usually hair dryers aren't notable enough to mention in a review, but this powerful pink hairdryer might be the best hair dryer I've used in a hotel yet.
You may have noticed I haven't mentioned a closet or dresser. That's because there aren't any. The closest thing to a closet is three hooks with a hanger, while the closest thing to a dresser is a folding suitcase rack. Both of these have an eye-catching backdrop that fits in with the Moxy brand.
Overall, the room is an attractive space, but there are a few design decisions that I'm not a fan of. For example, there's only one garbage can in the entire room. And, something that I didn't think was going to be a big deal but ended up being a nuisance was the lack of a telephone in the room. Although I don't even normally use the in-room phone, it's easier than having to trudge down to reception for a minor issue, question or request.
One design decision I especially liked, though is the mood lighting features in the room. Once all of the lights are turned off, there's still a motion-sensor light under the bed. This provided just enough light for getting up in the middle of the night, but not enough to wake me up when my cat inadvertently triggered it.
Food and Beverage
I was hungry when I checked in, so after settling into my room, I went down to the hotel bar.
The bar and grab-and-go food and drinks are always available, while hot food is only available until 11:00pm.
I opted for a half liter of Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse draft beer for 4.50 euros ($5.50) and käsespätzle with crispy bacon for 8 euros ($10). Käsespätzle may be best described to Americans as homestyle mac and cheese. The bartender prepared it and then heated it in an oven under the bar. The dish was served with a salad, bread and butter. The käsespätzle was cheesy, tasty and definitely filling.
The hotel served breakfast in the bar area from 6:00am to 10:00am daily for 10 euros ($12.50) per person. I didn't partake in breakfast during my stay, but the spread looked ample. Some of the room rates came with breakfast, but I wouldn't have paid 10 euros for it.
Even if you aren't willing to pay for the breakfast, you might want coffee. Unfortunately, rooms don't include a coffeemaker, coffee, tea or even a kettle. If you bring your own instant coffee or tea, there's a kettle for tea or coffee near the bar.
But if you want fresh coffee, you'll need to purchase it from the bar. JT bought a latte, which was served with a small cookie, for 3.50 euros ($4.25) one afternoon.
For a hotel in an area with no notable restaurants nearby, I found the food and drink prices reasonable and the food surprisingly tasty considering it's prepared and cooked at the bar. Between the staff and other guests, it easy to find someone to talk to while eating or drinking at the bar.
The main amenity at Moxy Munich Messe is the comfortable, funky common space on the ground floor. To the right of reception is the bar area, which has plenty of space to sit and relax whether you're enjoying something from the bar or not.
Past the bar are luggage storage lockers, a free foosball table and a family area with children's toys and books. Although Moxy has an edgy, partying vibe, it also tries to cater to kids of all ages.
Various games are scattered about, including Cards Against Humanity, Scrabble and Jenga. There's also plenty of interactive decorations, like a record player, stuffed animals, a feather boa and an inflatable pretzel. Part of Moxy's theme is that there are no rules, so you could play with and use anything you find.
To the left of reception is more space for relaxation or work. I sat at a large table with power outlets to work a few times. As I was working, I couldn't help but notice that the employees seemed to have fun: One day they were wearing different hats and another day they were carrying dog-shaped pillows. They seemed to sincerely enjoy interacting with guests.
There are also spots to curl up with a book or have a chat with a friend.
Two computers are available for guest use. I was easily able to print train tickets, and other guests seemed to use these computers for more in-depth tasks.
Moxy promises "furiously fast Wi-Fi" but my speed tests and experiences using the Wi-Fi weren't impressive. This meant that photos uploaded slowly and videos calls weren't high quality.
Tucked down a hall on the ground floor is a small but bright gym with brand-new equipment. The gym has an elliptical, exercise bike, treadmill, weight bench and free weights, punching bag, jump ropes and exercise mats. The elliptical, exercise bike and treadmill feature technology to allow you to sync with online fitness accounts and stream entertainment from personal devices or online. Water and towels are provided.
Instead of stocking an iron and ironing board in each guest room, each floor of the hotel features a dedicated room just for ironing. In true Moxy form, there's someone to keep you company as you iron.
Moxy is a new lifestyle brand by Marriott that's rapidly expanding in the United States and Europe. I like the spunk, energy and funkiness of the brand, which combines the positives of both hotels and hostels with its well-designed, well-used common areas and small, private rooms. For those who enjoy playful decoration and energetic staff and are just at the hotel to sleep or enjoy common spaces, Moxy is a brand to try.
Moxy Munich Messe isn't centrally located for those who want to see Munich's tourist sites, though, and there aren't many dining options near the hotel. This might be a deal breaker for some tourists. But if you're willing to spend most of the day in the city and just return to sleep — or if you have a conference at Neue Messe München or want to work from the hotel, like me — the location east of the city might not be an issue.