Review: the new Moxy Manchester City hotel
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This is our review of the new Moxy Manchester City hotel.
We are generally fans of the Moxy brand, which offers basic but stylish city and airport hotels at decent prices. In the past we have reviewed the Moxy Lisbon City, Moxy London Heathrow, Moxy London Excel and Moxy Aberdeen Airport (the cheapest Bonvoy redemption in the UK).
Moxys appears to be just as popular with Joe Public. The brand, part of Marriott Bonvoy, has been pursuing a strong growth strategy and the Moxy Manchester City opened in January.
As I needed to be in Manchester to try the new direct Aer Lingus flight to Barbados (review to follow in the coming weeks, yes I know it’s a tough life at HfP ….) we thought we’d take a look. The hotel reached out to us directly to offer a free night.
The Moxy Manchester City website is here.
Where is the Moxy Manchester City hotel?
The Moxy Manchester City is located in the Spinningfields district of the city centre. It is on the opposite side of the centre to Manchester Piccadilly train station but was only a £6 taxi fare.
Spinningfields is home to lots of restaurants and shops so it’s the ideal location for tourists or indeed anyone who wants to be in the thick of it. The Manchester Arndale is a 15 minute walk away. Local and chain restaurants are just around the corner, including a Nandos and Wagamama literally three metres from the hotel entrance.
The hotel entrance itself is somewhat discreet on a small pedestrianised alley off the main road. It’s very easy to miss:
Inside the Moxy Manchester City
Step inside and you’ll be greeted by the same familar fittings as you’d find in any other new Moxy.
This means a lobby-cum-bar-restaraunt-lounge-workplace area that is reminiscent of a We Work but with more hot pink (the Moxy brand colour).
When I arrived around 5pm on a Tuesday the lounge areas were bustling with activity. The public spaces at the Moxy Manchester City are comparatively small to some of the other Moxy hotels I have been to recently as a result of the building’s footprint.
As is customary you check in at the bar:
You get a welcome cocktail on arrival, which was a fruity cranberry flavour punch. Nothing fancy (it is decanted from a large dispenser) but it sets the tone for the brand.
Rooms at the Moxy Manchester City hotel
There are eight floors at the Moxy with 146 rooms. I was given a ‘Moxy Sleeper Premium’ on the 7th floor. It is a corner room so has as slightly non-standard layout.
A window lets some light in to the hallway bit, which leads to the bedroom:
Rooms include either twin beds or a king bed. In this case I had a king:
The room style will be very familiar to any Moxy regulars as the style and furniture is identical across the brand. You get an ‘open wardrobe’ ie. hangers on a metal mesh:
A very large TV with smart controls (you can stream from your phone, for example) plus a very narrow desk:
A kettle is provided plus some tea and coffee sachets. To the left of the bed is a small padded nook that works as an armchair:
The bed itself, which has three pin and USB plug sockets on both sides, plus reading lights:
…. plus the same useful underbed lights that automatically come on at night when you get out of bed, which I’m a big fan of. It is all very standard for a Moxy.
The view, from my corner room on the seventh floor, is not half bad:
The bathroom, on the other hand, is possibly the smallest bathroom I have ever seen at a Moxy. It is tiny – you can definitely only fit one person in here at once:
The shower only has one shower head and the water pressure, at least on the seventh floor, was not the best I’ve ever experienced:
Toiletries are the standard Moxy Muk ones, with a combined hair/body and conditioner in big refillable dispensers. You get decent towels but no flannels or robes.
So: a small, but perfectly adequate, bathroom.
Breakfast at Moxy Manchester City
Moxys aren’t known for their culinary excellence and in general they try to keep food offerings down to a bare minimum. In the evenings this means a basic menu of curries and other easily re-heatable items. You certainly don’t need to eat here, of course, given the hotel’s location and proximity to other restaurants.
Breakfast is basic too, although you still get a choice of cereals:
…. yoghurts, cold cuts of meat and cheese:
…. plus a few hot items:
It’s a small selection but it does the job.
Breakfast is not free at Moxy hotels, but if you are Platinum Elite or higher in Marriott Bonvoy you receive your choice of a $10 per night food and beverage credit or 500 bonus Bonvoy points.
The good thing about a Moxy, apart from the low prices, is that you know what you are getting. Every Moxy is pretty much identical from the design of the public spaces and rooms to the breakfast offering and free drink on check in. It’s only the scale (the Heathrow Moxy has over 400 rooms) that tends to differ.
It is this consistency that makes them particularly attractive and why I am a big fan. You can be guaranteed the same experience regardless of whether you are staying in a hotel in Lisbon or Aberdeen airport. The hotels are also guaranteed to be modern, given that the first hotel only opened in late 2014.
The appeal seems to be widespread because the hotel was busy whilst I was there, mostly with what looked like people staying in Manchester for work. Moxy has found its niche.
Prices at the Moxy Manchester City hotel start from around £80 for a weekday night in late March. If using Marriott Bonvoy points you can expect to pay between 20,000 and 30,000 points per night this year. Cash may be the better deal until rates pick up given our target valuation of 0.5p per Bonvoy point, although weekend rates in Manchester tend to be high, especially during the football season.
You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.
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.)