This is our review of the new Moxy Lisbon City hotel in Portugal.
It is part of our ‘HfP in Portugal’ series in partnership with Marriott Bonvoy, who very kindly provided the stay. HfP paid for all of its other expenses, including flights. You can read our review of ExpressTest PCR testing at Gatwick here which is the first article in the series.
The timing of these articles wasn’t great, in retrospect. However, with Portugal welcoming UK travellers and the country being on the UK Green List at the time we travelled, we thought we would take a trip and check out some interesting hotel options.
Step one on our trip was Lisbon and the Moxy Lisbon City, a brand-new hotel which was on our list of the most interesting new hotels opening across the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio in 2021.
The hotel website is here if you want to find out more.
What is a Moxy?
Moxies have been popping up in all sorts of places in recent years. Edinburgh, for example, has two, one at the airport and one in town.
A Moxy hotel is, as I see it, a trendy leisure hotel but at a budget rate. It is the Gen Z little sibling to a W hotel’s slightly more sophisticated (and pricey) older sibling – the single child that unexpectedly gets a younger sibling as a teenager when its parents think they’ve lost it …..
I am, on the whole, a big fan of a Moxy. You can generally expect to receive a small room with fewer amenities: no wardrobe, drawers, desk, safe or ironing board etc that you might otherwise expect. You pay a modest rate and in return you get to stay in a funky hotel with some trendy Instagrammable public spaces and a complimentary cocktail during your stay.
In recent years a number of Moxies have been popping up at airports, which is a little odd. The brand is a leisure-oriented lifestyle brand – I’m not sure how having a Moxy at Edinburgh airport before your 6am flight to Marbella fits into that vision ….
The Moxy Lisbon City – location
The Moxy Lisbon City is a brand-new hotel that has only been open for a couple of months. It is located about 0.5km from the Marques de Pombal roundabout that leads down towards the historic oldtown:
Walking through the neighbourhood you will spot a number of more budget-friendly hotels, including a DoubleTree.
The location is very convenient from the airport – simply hop on the Linha Vermelha (red line) to Saldanha, followed by a quick walk.
Getting to the city centre is just as easy, although very different. Forget buses, trams or the metro: simply hop on one of the many Lime electric scooters and jet down the Avenue de Liberdade to the fringes of the old town, where roads begin to get cobbled and the ride starts becoming a bit rough.
This is a cheap and flexible way to explore the city when you get tired of walking and the few local cars and buses will generally avoid you. You can download Lime for free and get a free unlock credit by using my code here.
The Moxy Lisbon City
The hotel itself is spread over eight floors, plus a rooftop pool and bar and four subterranean levels for car parking. Parking is €12 per day.
This is what you see when you walk in:
The first floor is dedicated to the lobby, which contains a bar:
…. and cafe-style seating:
…, as well as areas designed for hot desking. A lot of locals appear to be using the Moxy for this purpose, which means the lobby was lively despite a low occupancy rate. There is a meeting room adjacent:
You’ll also find an outdoor terrace on the mezzanine level. The decks were still being painted when I was there but this is the space:
You check in at the bar, as is usual for all Moxies.
I was given an eighth floor ‘Moxyfied Balcony Sleeper’. This is the hotel’s largest room type, with a queen bed and sofa bed. It is on the larger side for a Moxy room, although I imagine it would be tight with the sofa bed extended:
In keeping with the Moxy style you get a big red telephone on your night stand and a large 49″ TV:
Here is the view in the other direction, featuring the ‘open wardrobe’ style hangars.
I don’t normally notice what beds are like unless they are particularly uncomfortable, but I found the Moxy bed extremely pleasant to sleep on. Don’t think that because you are in a budget hotel you are getting a cheap mattress – I was genuinely impressed, although this is obviously subjective.
8th floor rooms also have a large balcony:
Bathrooms at the Moxy Lisbon City
The bathroom is a great size, with subway-style tiles and a walk-in shower with dual heads:
Because this is a Moxy you also get an inflatable flamingo in your shower ……:
…as well as a clown-style honky horn thing (!)
Both the room and the bathroom come with a copious number of mirrors. There are two very large mirrors in the bathroom as well as another full height one in the room.
Toiletries are Muk in pump-action bottles, which is standard across Moxy properties. The shampoo and shower gel are in one, which I was sceptical about but was pleasantly surprised by. It was very creamy and my housemate Emily (with longish hair) rated it highly.
Other amenities include a hairdryer, some plastic cups and some nice fluffy towels, wrapped in plastic (I assume for Covid reasons):
Breakfast at the Moxy Lisbon City
There is no proper restaurant at the Moxy Lisbon City, which focusses more on the cafe-bar element in the lobby. The hotel does offer breakfast, however, which at the moment comprises of a checklist of items.
I went for the scrambled eggs and baked beans, as well as a pastel de nata, washed down with an espresso and orange juice:
I’ll be honest: the breakfast lets the hotel down. The orange juice is a ‘juice drink’ and the eggs aren’t great. The pastel de nata baked fresh, at least.
To be honest, there is little point bothering with the Moxy breakfast when you can get your avocado on toast at the brunch place (literally) next door. Even better, go to the pasteleria 50m down the road and do as the locals do and enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee, pasteis and empanadas on the pavement for €5 per person.
The rooftop bar and pool
The key selling point of the Moxy Lisbon City is undoubtedly the rooftop bar and pool. This was being prepared for opening when we stayed but the hotel kindly gave us a sneak peak (it is now open). Use your imagination to populate it with a pop-up bar, more sun loungers and inflatables!
The pool itself is raised a metre or more above the floor level:
It’s a fairly small pool – the sides would be just about out of reach if you stretched our arms out to your sides – but it will do the trick for a quick cool down on a hot summer’s day after trekking around town.
Just a word of caution: the roof terrace is accessed via stairs from the 8th floor. Anyone with an 8th floor room may find a lot of people traipsing through the corridor, although I imagine the hotel will close the bar at a sensible time to allow people to sleep.
The new Moxy Lisbon City is a great addition to the Moxy portfolio and adds another points or budget option when visiting Lisbon.
Bar the breakfast, the hotel delivers on everything a Moxy sets out to be: funky and fun at a reasonable price. I’m not sure writing ‘why so serious’ in pink lipstick on the bathroom mirror was necessary but apart from that Moxy Lisbon City strikes a great balance.
The Moxy Lisbon City is a category 4 hotel, which means you need between 20,000 and 30,000 Bonvoy points per night, depending on the season. Cash prices start at €73 for a weekday night in July and €120 for the largest rooms, so cash is likely to be the better deal for now given our 0.5p valuation of a Bonvoy point.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (January 2022)
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 usually 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.
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 Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus 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.)