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Review of the brand new Moxy Lisbon City hotel, Portugal

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HfP in Portugal

This is our review of the Moxy Lisbon City hotel.

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.

Moxy Lisbon City exterior

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:

Moxy Lisbon City location

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.

Rhys Lisbon lime bike

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:

Moxy Lisbon City lobby

The first floor is dedicated to the lobby, which contains a bar:

Moxy Lisbon City bar

…. and cafe-style seating:

Moxy Lisbon City lobby 2

…, 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:

Moxy Lisbon City hotdesking

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:

Moxy Lisbon City terrace

You check in at the bar, as is usual for all Moxies.

The room

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:

Moxy Lisbon City room

In keeping with the Moxy style you get a big red telephone on your night stand and a large 49″ TV:

Moxy Lisbon City bedside table

Here is the view in the other direction, featuring the ‘open wardrobe’ style hangars.

Moxy Lisbon City room 2

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:

Moxy Lisbon City 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:

Moxy Lisbon City bathroom

Because this is a Moxy you also get an inflatable flamingo in your shower ……:

Moxy Lisbon City flamingo

…as well as a clown-style honky horn thing (!)

Moxy Lisbon City bathroom sink

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.

Moxy Lisbon City muk toiletries

Other amenities include a hairdryer, some plastic cups and some nice fluffy towels, wrapped in plastic (I assume for Covid reasons):

Moxy Lisbon City towels

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:

Moxy Lisbon City breakfast

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:

Moxy Lisbon City rooftop pool

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.

Conclusion

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.

You can see more, and book, on the Moxy Lisbon City website here.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (October 2021)

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

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Comments (81)

  • Michael C says:

    Would be worth a punt at a decent price with the splash pool in summer, though I’m not a massive fan of Saldanha. Tend to look more to a (quieter) off-Chiado/Av. Lib/Parque do Príncipe location for more pleasant strolling And certainly not a fan of electric scooters, having suffered them in Barcelona for years! And the Lisbon cobbles must make them interesting…

    • Rhys says:

      The cobbled roads are generally those you would rather walk down, anyway 🙂

  • Worzel says:

    ‘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 …..’

    Have the parents lost it?

  • Andrew says:

    I wouldn’t touch anything Marriot with a barge pole, I thought things had gotten bad but Ben’s experience at OMAAT is just a new level of crazy.

    • Alan says:

      Yeah that was just appalling! I liked SPG but has seriously gone downhill since Marriott merger.

    • Harry T says:

      I wouldn’t judge the world’s largest hotel chain based on one poorly run hotel in Mykonos!

      • Alan says:

        Lol I’m not – I’m also basing it on my experience of staying at a variety of their properties, all of which have been pretty mediocre stays. Having to deal with their central CS team about a points/miles package stay was also painful – eventually resolved satisfactorily after about 4 months and requiring escalation to the Exec Office!

      • Harry T says:

        I’ve had very good experiences with Marriott – where have you stayed and what brands have you used, out of curiosity?

        • Alan says:

          Was mainly Marriott properties themselves, US and Australia. They just seemed quite tired and CS (at hotel and centrally) were poor.

    • the_real_a says:

      Having had a similar experience to the author i can concur. Owners/franchisees who think they are doing you a favour by allowing you to “stay” in their hotel.. Even frustrating the corporate CS agent trying to fix a problem on your behalf when the hotel tells THEM to get lost.

  • AJA says:

    That breakfast looks dire! Scrambled eggs with a sweet pastel de nata is an odd combination and carton “orange” juice is a no no. Was that included in your room rate “for free” or did you get it as a Bonvoy member benefit? I would not pay for that.

    I also think the location is not great, although convenient for the airport. I prefer to be much closer to the old town although the small swimming pool might be nice on a hot day.

  • @mkcol says:

    Moxy opening here in Milton Keynes on Wednesday, hopefully we’ll get a rooftop pool & bar too – it’s something we really need.

    • Paul Pogba says:

      The best thing about MK is that its not far enough from anywhere that you ever need to stay there.

      • @mkcol says:

        Those who take the time to visit somewhere rather than be prejudiced will find a lovely, large, diverse town with many attractions.

  • Binnie says:

    Portuguese is quite easy to learn if you know French/ Spanish/ Italian etc + English has a lot of the same roots.

    vermelha = vermillion (red)
    bread = pão
    dog = cão

    I recommend Coimbra for a nice holiday location that is far from Algarve.

    • Number9 says:

      I like Coimbra as well, took my Mum to see George Michael. Sat next to a woman who lived 2 miles from us back home. We flew into Porto and got the train to Coimbra I booked the Ibis hotel for the day. We got the night coach back to airport at midnight that was a interesting experience, I then returned few weeks later spent a few days with a friend who lived there.

      • Lady London says:

        Slightly OT but Amalia’s “Coimbra” is one of my favourites of hers

        Following your recommendations Number9 and Binnie, I am thinking about a two-centre holiday – Porto and Coimbra, once things settle down

        • Binnie says:

          Coimbra is the historic Oxford/ Cambridge of Portugal – much overlooked by tourists which makes it even more of a sweet gem.

          I spent a very happy month there learning Portuguese to a high level.

        • Michael C says:

          Aveiro/Figueira da Foz also lovely if you’re mobile, LL.
          And have a listen to Madredeus if you don’t know them!

        • Number9 says:

          I don’t think you would be disappointed LL. I went all over Portugal by train and bus, I had friends in Coimbra, Lisbon and the Algarve.

        • Lady London says:

          Thanks all

  • MilesOnPoint says:

    I had a good stay at the Moxy Slough (£46 for a “mattress run” stay to earn a Free Night voucher).

    Free parking, lovely staff and a well laid out room that made the most of the space available. Large TV had an auto pairing system using a QR code which allowed you to connect to the TV via Chromecast and play you’re own content. Very nice touch.
    Nice communal area on ground floor with table tennis, table football & variety of seating.

    Breakfast was a mixed bag, same cheap “from concentrate” orange but some nice sausages & scrambled eggs. Not sure I’d pay extra for breakfast (there’s a ‘spoons across the road).

    Free night award being used @ Sheraton Diana in Milan (cash rate for that evening €405/night!)

    • Venturelog says:

      I stayed for the same reason in Slough. One thing stood out was the staff wearing casuals to reflect the vibe of the hotel. The lobby was merged with the cafe bar which was a strange Check-In. Although the room was fine, the size could have been maximised by removing the side seat. I found the bed comfortable but with a stuffed lumpy duvet and mattress.
      Nice tip about the Sheraton in Milan!

    • C says:

      The Moxy approach seems very similar to Citizen M, based on my one night in each brand and reading a few reviews. It works for a single traveler (and not just Gen Z – I’m a few letters before that), but definitely tight for a couple, and not really practical for a family.

  • RussellH says:

    Continuing the breakfast theme, the opening breakfast paragraph would appear to have been written by an estate agent: “comprises of” is not english – ‘comprise’ is a transitive verb.
    But when describing breakfast, I think “consists of” is better than “comprises”

    • Rob says:

      Rhys has a 1st in English 🙂

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Perhaps.

        But won’t be the first or last with a 1st in something that doesn’t know arse from elbow though.

        • Binnie says:

          1 girl out of 120 got a First in my year (it wasn’t me though I got a First in French, just not in Italian as well).

          So that was 35 years ago. These days, the top 50% get Firsts.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          🙂

          it was obviously tongue in cheek …

      • RussellH says:

        So does my niece – and one of her dream jobs would be going through other people’s work with her blue pencil.
        She told me once that she had a hard time restraining herself from ‘correcting’ the notes that other housemates left on the kitchen table…

        • C says:

          Is she training to be a solicitor by any chance? Lots of work for junior solicitors consists of highly paid copy editing.

          • Rob says:

            Sounds like junior banking, but for £100k per year most find they can put up with it.

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        But didn’t Rhys spend much of his time in the States?

      • Brian says:

        He should know the the difference between hangars and hangers then, especially as an aviation expert!!

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