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My review of MOXY London Excel – what is Marriott’s funky budget chain really 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.

MOXY London Excel hotel review

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.

MOXY London Excel hotel review

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.

MOXY London Excel hotel review

Interestingly there is a large bank of lockers.  I imagine that the hotel refuses to store luggage and insists you use one of these.

MOXY London Excel hotel review

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.

MOXY London Excel hotel review

The most aggressive bit of decor is actually the lift lobby:

MOXY London Excel hotel review

In the rooms

The lifts and corridors are smart, bright and wide as you’d expect from a new-build hotel.

MOXY London Excel hotel review

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.

MOXY London Excel hotel review

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!)

MOXY London Excel hotel review

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.

Conclusion

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.


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Comments (27)

  • Lumma says:

    I imagine having no waste bin is extremely unpopular with housekeeping as there’ll be even more rubbish all over the room

  • IslandDweller says:

    You’re right that it’s not exactly a scenic walk to LCY, but I wouldn’t worry about safety. There is so little around that aren’t likely to be any oiks around. You’re real risk is getting lost if you haven’t researched the route in advance – it isn’t obvious to a first time visitor.
    Also worth mentioning that it’s one stop to Custom House Crossrail, so even more fast transport connections from December.

  • Chris says:

    I’ve stayed in the Aberdeen one a couple of times now.

    Can’t knock the rooms or the beds. Only thing that puts me off is the student union style communal area.

    That said I’m not the target market for them and had I been twenty years younger I’d have thought it was brilliant.

    I think I’m now officially an old fuddy duddy

  • TT says:

    MOXY London Excel?????? What it the name is that for a hotel name……. sounds like a frekin spreadsheet title to me!!!!!!

    • Peter K says:

      As per Terry Pratchett, 5 or more exclamation marks shows distinct signs of being mentally unhinged ;-p

  • Andy says:

    Thanks for advice Steve and great review Rob.

    One more piece of advice, dont forget to double dip with your airlines loyalty scheme. e.g. Marriott is a partner of Emirates Skywards, Moxy earns 1pt/USD – google ‘marriott hotels and resorts skywards’ for earning rates with other hotels under Marriott

  • Lady London says:

    Er… okay

  • Russell Gowers says:

    There’s definitely a target sort of person for the Moxy. I stayed in the one at Stratford and really rather liked it. My mum, on the other hand, would hate it.

    I felt like I just scraped by with enough tattoos to be allowed to sit in the lobby, but it was a close-run thing.

    The “ironing room” concept was a bit odd but not unpleasant, and better than having to phone reception and ask for one which is what happens a lot of the time in budget hotels.

    My only small complaint was that I took a small pot of granola and yoghurt from the market and it turned out to be something like £6! Not a problem at Stratford as you’ve got a wealth of other shops to buy food and drink from, but a bit of a ball-ache at the Excel I expect.

    Overall though I really liked it – it was genuinely different and fun. I much preferred it to the American style faux-luxe of some supposedly upscale hotels.

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