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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.

Moxy Manchester City hotel public area

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.

Moxy Manchester City location

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:

Moxy Manchester City hotel entrance

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).

Moxy Manchester City hotel lobby


Moxy Manchester City hotel bar

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:

Moxy Manchester City hotel check in

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:

Moxy Manchester City room hallwa

Rooms include either twin beds or a king bed. In this case I had a king:

Moxy Manchester City room

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:

Moxy Manchester City open wardrobe

A very large TV with smart controls (you can stream from your phone, for example) plus a very narrow desk:

Moxy Manchester City 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:

Moxy Manchester City bedside

The bed itself, which has three pin and USB plug sockets on both sides, plus reading lights:

Moxy Manchester City bed

…. 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:

Moxy Manchester City view

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:

Moxy Manchester City hotel bathroom

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:

Moxy Manchester City shower

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:

Moxy Manchester City breakfast cereals

…. yoghurts, cold cuts of meat and cheese:

Moxy Manchester City breakfast cheese

…. plus a few hot items:

Moxy Manchester City breakfast croissant

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

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

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card is doubled to 40,000 Bonvoy points – and you get a free night voucher too! Apply here.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

40,000 bonus points and a free night voucher – only until 30th May! 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

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.)

Comments (54)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Rob says:

    Another great review, Rhys! When I stayed here in Feb I also had that corner room which I really liked. When checking out, the front desk said I couldn’t use my platinum credit towards breakfast. I politely disagreed and used it anyway but hope they’ve resolved their Bonvoy knowledge! Interestingly I’m not a fan of the under-bed light and have never worked out how to switch it off but guess we’re all different!

    • Rhys says:

      I think the under bed lighting is so good I’ve replicated it at home! Great when getting up at night

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        It’s not when it goes haywire and flicks on and off all bloody night without you moving a muscle!

      • Rob says:

        I don’t want to overshare but i kind of like stumbling around with my eyes closed if I have to get up in the night! Am always afraid those lights will tell my brain to wake up! Impressed about the home diy tho!

        • WaynedP says:

          Trick I was taught in the military for avoiding temporary blindness after a sudden night flare burns itself out, and one I still use today.

          Close one eye when a bright light comes on whenever your eyes have become accustomed to the dark. Open that eye only after the bright light has been extinguished and you’ll be surprised at how much better it is to still have the power of one eye attuned to the darkness.

      • WaynedP says:

        Best enjoyed while you’re young.

        By the time you’re a 50+ couple like us, the number of nightly trips to the loo means that any motion activated lighting begins to resemble a disco strobe.

  • where2travel says:

    I’d give this place a miss, unless it’s super-cheap compared to other City centre hotels, or your Bonvoy benefits give enough added value, although we were told the Food & Beverage credit was $10 for the stay (not per night), for one person only and couldn’t be used towards breakfast. We were overcharged on check-out (the room rates were wrong somehow?, but that did get corrected.

    I paid just over £60 per night a month or so back, which seemed OK. It made a change from all the various IHG options I usually use in Manchester. The best bit for me was the location as I’d not stayed in that area before, but you’re taking your time for 15 minutes to the Arndale Centre, it’s just up Deansgate from the hotel!

    • RussellH says:

      Perhaps he was thinking of the far end of the Arndale Centre?

    • Rhys says:

      I went to the midpoint roughly where express test is …you’re right, the closest corner is much nearer!

  • Lady London says:

    £80, for that?
    Pre-covid this level of hotel I could regularly find for low to mid-£30’s. High £30’s on a bad day.

    If this is a trend for even this kind of cheap cramped hotel, indicating that nicer hotels are going to cost much more in future then this is quite disturbing.

    And the idea of so-called trendy muzak in the lobby…aka ‘noise’…!

    Clearly if this is a good hotel I’m not Moxy’s market. But if Moxy is getting away with this kind of pricing it does not bode well for reasonable pricing of any hotel in the future.

    • Rob says:

      If you’ve not seen hotel pricing recently you’re in for a big surprise. Doubling 2019 pricing is a decent rule of thumb in the UK.

      • Lawrence says:

        Manchester has always been expensive compared to other cities too.

    • Jeff77 says:

      Pre covid pricing isn’t relevant now. Just as many other pre covid things are gone, never to come back

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      It’s always been this way.

      The newer, basic service hotels have been charging the same or more as the established ‘full service’ ones for years. You’ll find HIX more expensive than HI in all sorts of locations.

      Lots of reasons I’m sure but a need to fill rooms at the HI in order to feed the F&B side is one, plus the newer hotels are, well, newer.

      That being said Moxy seems to take great pleasure in being different for the sake of being different and in all manner of irritating ways…

  • Sean R says:

    Thanks for the review. Tip for anyone at Manchester Piccadilly train station – no need to get a taxi for city centre locations as there are free buses outside the station to central drop off points, including Spinningfields.

  • chrism20 says:

    Moxy just doesn’t do it for me unfortunately although twenty five years ago I would definitely have felt differently.

    The communal areas double up as an old age pensioners version of a student union with lockers to match.

    The bed is tolerable and the room size doesn’t particularly bother me but the decor just doesn’t do it for me unfortunately. And maybe I’m just a complete moody sod but an underbed automatic light just doesn’t do it for me.

    Safe to say Moxy isn’t on my radar and I’m not on theirs.

    • Rob says:

      Where else are you going to stay for the same money though? It’s not like hating W hotels, where you’re paying 5-star prices for such an environment. You are getting a new hotel with high spec fixtures and fittings (albeit small rooms) for the same money as some firetrap flop-house or 20-year old unrefurbished Ibis.

      • Jeff77 says:

        Aren’t 95% of your readers city workers who earn loads of money?

        Can’t imagine they’ll be too fussed about spending a bit more than £80 for a better hotel.

        The hotel looks fine to me and I’d pay that price, given how expensive even rubbish hotels now are in Manchester on weekends

      • chrism20 says:

        The truth is I would just pay more for better. Personal taste and I don’t like it, it’s as simple as that.

        I wouldn’t class myself as earning loads of money but I would rather pay £160 for a product I like than pay £80 for one and tolerate it because it’s cheaper.

        The brand just isn’t for me and it’s not always about money.

        • Jeff77 says:

          You won’t get much better for £160 in Manchester on weekends though. Probably a holiday inn or ibis etc.

          • chrism20 says:

            No I doubt you will in fact you won’t even get the Moxy in Manchester on a Saturday for that price. There is only one Saturday night between now and the start of July that it is under £150.

            Regardless of the price it’s just not for me I’m afraid.

          • Jeff77 says:

            Good point. The £80 is very misleading

          • Lawrence says:

            I always think Manchester Airport says it all

            An Airport Hotel at Manchester Airport costs about double one at Heathrow

      • Rob M says:

        Hampton might be my preference depending on price/ how trendy I wanted the stay to be

        • Chrism20 says:

          I’ve only used Manchester airport a handful of times thankfully and never needed accommodation but none of the hotels particularly stand out as being appealing.

  • Andrew Wells says:

    Not struggled to find alternatives in Manchester across Marriott / Hilton and IHG for similar rates with better properties. With the initial cheap rates for the Moxy falling away, it seldom offers great value.

    Have stayed there twice when rates were sub £70 and was pretty underwhelmed with it. Location is good, but that was about it.

    • where2travel says:

      That’s exactly it, it’s not that competitive price-wise. Contrary to an earlier comment, I find weekday rates in Manchester much better than most cities, with so many options across the brands. I’m staying tomorrow night at the Indigo for £69, that’s a step-up from Moxy (and similar or better priced). There are a couple of HIXes for £50-odd, which is probably more comparable to Moxy.

  • ben says:

    Thanks for the review Rob – much appreciated. Looks a nice hotel. Added to the list for a future MCR stay.

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    OT but still Marriott – has anyone else had prepaid but flexible bookings that they have cancelled well before the deadline but not received the prepayment back? Three in 2022 already (have the cancellation emails for all) but just yesterday the Marriott Swindon charge me for a (flexible, no prepayment) stay I cancelled two weeks a ago!

    Only happened with Marriott but that’s 4 incidents already this year. Anyone else?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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