Review: the Moxy London Excel hotel – what is Marriott’s funky budget chain like?
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This is my review of the Moxy London Excel hotel.
As I have discussed on HfP recently, I am currently undertaking a nine-stay ‘Platinum Challenge’ from Marriott Rewards. This will get me Platinum status until at least February 2020 if I complete nine stays within 90 days.
In order to complete the challenge quickly, I decided to do four cheap stays at the Moxy London Excel on top of five Marriott stays I had planned anyway. The Moxy is about 20 minutes from our office in Moorgate and – whilst more expensive now as the tourist season is picking up – was as low as £48 per night in May.
My net cost for the four nights will be less than the saving I will get from the free breakfast we will now receive at the JW Marriott in Venice in August. Any other Platinum benefits I get in the next 20+ months on top of that will be a bonus.
My first experience of a Moxy was at Vienna Airport last year. I was in the dire NH Hotel next door but joined some other people for dinner at the Moxy. I was impressed by the vibe (remember that I am an old bloke and not the millennial target market here!) although there were complaints about the room size from my fellow diners.
After four visits to the Moxy London Excel, I have to say that I am impressed. In terms of value for money it can’t be beat and the whole set-up is very efficient.
Where is Moxy London Excel?
The hotel is next to Royal Albert DLR station, just past the Excel conference centre. There are four brand new budget hotels in a line, one road back from the dock. First is the large Holiday Inn Express London Excel, then the Travelodge London Excel, then the Moxy and finally the Hampton by Hilton London Docklands which I reviewed here. A fifth hotel is under construction. There isn’t anything else in the area except for these hotels although there is a pub just behind the Premier Inn at Excel.
The Moxy is walkable to London City Airport. It isn’t a great walk – you are very isolated and I wouldn’t be keen in the dark, neither would I be keen with a suitcase – but I have done it. Excel is very close and the Moxy is a totally acceptable place to stay if visiting there.
Getting into Central London is quick and easy. Canning Town is just four DLR stops away, from where you can connect to a Jubilee Line tube which will drop you directly at Bond Street, Baker Street, Green Park etc.
What is Moxy London Excel like inside?
Moxy is, like many new budget hotels, ‘lobby driven’. This means that there is a lot of public space, and you are meant to hang out there instead of in your room. This is necessary if you want to work as the rooms have no desks.
I was impressed by what I found. There is a very large market, with food and drink available all day for purchase. Prices are reasonable – not corner shop prices but not extortionate either. I was never there for breakfast so I can’t comment on whether it is worth £12. (£12 each seems steep if you have only paid £48 between you for your room.) From August, Moxy breakfast will be free to qualifying members in the new combined Marriott and SPG loyalty scheme.
The hoody-wearing reception staff were friendly and efficient on every visit. There are no Marriott Gold benefits but I got a top-floor room on three of my four stays.
In front of reception is a long communal table with a lot of board games on it.
You then have a more traditional lobby with lots of seating, coffee table books etc.
Interestingly there is a large bank of lockers. I imagine that the hotel refuses to store luggage and insists you use one of these.
At the back is a smart hot desking work area, which was not dissimilar to what you’d find in a WeWork. There were also two Macs available, but they were usually out of action or had malfunctioning wi-fi.
The most aggressive bit of decor is actually the lift lobby:
In the rooms
The lifts and corridors are smart, bright and wide as you’d expect from a new-build hotel.
The rooms were bigger than I expected. There really wasn’t anything to dislike, although it is clear that all possible costs have been cut. There is no tea and coffee tray, no waste bin (there is a bathroom bin), toiletries are from dispensers and there is no proper desk. There is no wardrobe, only a handful of coat hangers on a peg.
However ….. in terms of quality, I couldn’t knock it. What was there had been done well. (The image in the photo below is actually the reflection in the mirror of the image in the picture above!)
I had no complaints about the bed, the bedding, the TV, the bathroom or the shower. When I think about some of the slum-like hotels you’d get in Central London for the £48 mark it is a no-brainer, although don’t expect that price during the Summer months – £68 is the cheapest I found for June.
Moxy London Excel offers excellent value for money on days when there isn’t a major function going on at the conference centre. Because the Jubilee Line is so quick, the Moxy is surprisingly convenient for Central London and is also an option for City Airport. If the brand continues to roll them out to this standard and can keep the pricing down then I think they will prove to be a success.
The hotel website is here if you want to find out more.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (March 2023)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
Marriott Bonvoy American Express
20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)