Moxy Tempe Offers Free-Spirited Style and Endless Possibilities at Fun New Location
By Lynette Carrington
Last week I was given a chance to discover Moxy Tempe. The hotel is a Marriott property and recently opened in March 2016. Remarkably, Tempe was chosen as the first Moxy location in the United States! It was so much fun that I simply cannot wait to go back. This is certainly not your granddaddy’s Marriott, it is more of a lifestyle brand… and the Moxy Tempe lifestyle is the coolest!
Moxy Tempe is unlike any other hotel in the Valley. It oozes cool. It exudes fun. There is so much to do and discover, be sure to grab your friends, your partner or your squad and go play, eat, drink and crash at Moxy, which is like a boutique hotel, with an extra large serving of “social.” It is hip, urban, edgy, eclectic, fun and sometimes silly, and you will still get a great night’s sleep and a fantastic value at the end of the day. Whether you are a kid or a kid at heart, everyone will find their moxie at Moxy. Although the hotel is aimed at Millennials, just about anyone of any age can have fun and find relaxation here. When you keep an open mind, Moxy Tempe will playfully infiltrate you and integrate you into a whole new experience of travel.
Most hotels have a lobby. But Moxy Tempe is not like most hotels. Here, you enter in to the “NOW.” What is the NOW? Think your best friend’s living room, your childhood bedroom and your favorite neighborhood bar lounge all mixed together. You don’t check in at a central desk, rather you drop your name at the bar, which is located in the middle of the NOW and one of the friendly crew members at Moxy Tempe will check you in lickety-split. Plus, guests receive a complimentary check-in cocktail. How’s that for friendly? Everything about the NOW is communal and designed to be social. As cool as our room was, I wanted to spend as much time in this space as possible and I got the chance to meet other guests at Moxy Tempe who also raved about the hotel.
The NOW includes several distinctive settings, so you can decide how you want to mix and mingle. There is a large community table perfect for a gathering of friends or for playing the many board games that Moxy has available. There is a huge couch area with lots of pillows and a collection of chairs if you and your crew would like to sit and talk. Another vignette in the NOW is placed around a large TV screen and boasts lots of seating. Do you need a more quiet area that caters to you being able to work while you travel? There is free Wi-Fi available, plus some Apple computers for use in a more quiet area of the NOW, allowing you to work, do email or have a relaxed meeting. The whimsical surrounding ambiance features a giant chalk art mural and knick-knack wall that includes everything from cute little statuettes and toys to a fun book stuffed full of Nutella recipes. More on Nutella in just a minute…
Put your brain in “play mode” for a while and hit up the free-play pinball machines and vintage style arcade games. You will also find Jenga at the bar, foosball, a billiard table, ping pong and cruiser bikes for use during the day, plus a pool. However you like to play, Moxy Tempe “gets” you.
Friday nights, this summer, DJ Michael Hooker is in the house from 7-11 p.m. with his European-inspired set of mixes. Crash on the couch or in one of the big comfy chairs, sit back and enjoy the work of one of the kindest DJs I’ve ever met! Best of all, Hooker’s variety of mixes aren’t booming and over-the-top. The volume level of the music in the NOW also allows you to be able to carry on a conversation with your friends without having to yell. Towards the back part of the NOW are the conference/meeting rooms that are appropriately names for The Rolling Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin and The Who.
This isn’t just any bar. This is everything. Check-in here. Get your welcome cocktail that is offered to all guests upon check-in. Get the most up-to-date scoop on what’s going on at Moxy Tempe or in the city. The crew members are a new level of mixologists; doubling as check-in agents, concierge and instant friends. Enjoy wine, beer, craft cocktails and boozy shakes right in the middle of all the action. Personally, I loved the bespoke cocktail, “Got Moxy,” boasting Bacardi cherry rum and lime. It was light, refreshing and possibly the perfect cocktail given the blazing hot weather of the desert. On a very cool side note – Text a $5 donation to “VH1 Save The Music” and receive a complimentary Moxy drink!
Although Moxy Tempe doesn’t have a full-service restaurant, you’ll never miss it. The noshes are all prepared by the multi-talented crew members who will jump into action and create a generous assortment of thoughtful “Moxy Pickups” for you. During my stay, I happened to have some friends who stopped in to visit and our group tried the breakfast naan (available 24/7) with bacon, aged cheddar and a smattering of cream cheese, topped with a cage-free egg. We loved it so much, we also ordered up the hummus naan with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, mint and crispy chick peas and the tandoori chicken naan with marinated chicken, spiced lentils, fresh cilantro, mint and Greek yogurt. These menu selections would rival what you would find in any nicer restaurant and because we were at the Moxy Tempe, I think it automatically made them taste even better!
Because my group just couldn’t get off the naan kick, we finished off our meal with a s’more naan which was spread with Nutella, fired marshmallows and fresh strawberries.Other menu items include salads, a veggie wrap, mac and cheese, pot stickers, paneer curry, wonton soup, a carnitas kit and a medianoche press; Moxy Tempe’s answer to a traditional Cuban sandwich.
The Captain and Crew
Any hotel is only as fun and engaging as its staff. Elevating the experience at Moxy Tempe is general manager Curtis Pandes, a.k.a., “The Captain.” Pandes gave me an extensive tour of the NOW, explaining each unique area with a cool enthusiasm. It is evident that Pandes loves what he does and enjoys catering to Moxy’s variety of guests. Throughout my stay, each crew member I encountered was upbeat, outgoing and offering to be of assistance. This Captain and his crew gave us an enjoyable journey! During my tour, a group of about 20 people from Phoenix Fashion Week was holding a meeting and it was nice to see that they could do it in an open and inviting space.
As fun and whimsical as the NOW is at Moxy Tempe, that’s exactly what you can expect with the room. Our room was eclectic and certainly different from most hotel rooms. It starts at your room door, which boasts vaguely opaque glass boldly adorned with the word, “Disturb,” and instantly caused me to giggle. Inside, our room had a super comfy queen-sized bed, a large couch with a fold-out bed, a desk made from recycled materials and a fun, curvy chair that was made out of a recycled oil drum. Hate getting up in the middle of the night, forgetting where you are and then trying to find the bathroom? Moxy thought of everything and when you step out of bed, underlighting in the bed frame automatically turns on to show you the way!
The bathroom style is sort of a 1920s subway mashed with a European hostel and boasts outstanding lighting. Cool, fun, quirky and functional, the bathroom includes use of larger style bottles of Muk liquid hand soap, shampoo and conditioner. The Australian “underground” luxury brand is a perfect match for Moxy’s mode. The bottom of the shower has a cute, “Deep End” sign that acts as a drain grid.
Remember, this is Moxy Tempe and things are different in a good way! Rooms do not have a closet or dresser. Rather, there is a long wall with stylish backlighting that includes large pegs that will accommodate your clothes, hats, smaller hanging suitcases and toiletry bags and just about anything else. This is a fun style element of the room that frees up space and keeps everything very open. In room TVs are equipped to connect with Chromecast, allowing for nearly instant access to guests’ own Netflix, Hulu and streaming apps.
Music is definitely a theme at Moxy. Each room boasts a guitar and vintage style turntable (that also cleverly incorporates a radio) and a couple of records provided by local iconic business, Zia Records. Our room had albums “At Folsom Prison” by Johnny Cash and “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac. You haven’t stayed in a cool hotel room until you’ve sipped on a “Got Moxy” cocktail while listening to Cash drawl out “Folsom Prison Blues!” If Johnny Cash and Fleetwood Mac aren’t your style, visit the NOW and pick out a different album. The room décor includes splashes of color and whimsy with a large artist-y styled wall graphic done in pink, and a main room light cover that doubles as a bird cage with a couple of faux feathered friends perched inside.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the carpet. The area carpet in the room is almost like a large patch of grass. I kicked off my heels after some time enjoying DJ Michael Hooker in the NOW and enthusiastically squished my toes into the luxuriously soft carpet. When you go to stay at Moxy Tempe, don’t miss the chance to enjoy the carpet. Your feet will thank you.
If there is one thing I could encourage you to take away from my experience staying at Moxy Tempe, it would be that you should go check it out on a Friday night with your friends and also plan an engaging summer staycation that won’t demolish your bank account.
Tidbits About Moxy Tempe
Moxy Hotels is Marriott International's edgy new lifestyle brand. First debuted in Milan in September 2014, Moxy Tempe is the first Moxy hotel to open in the United States and the second to open in the world. A reservation at Moxy Tempe also includes an Uber airport pick-up!
This summer, the “Tempecation" package runs from May 1 through Labor Day and includes breakfast for one and guaranteed late check-out of 4 p.m. for $119 per night. Also, fun for guests and locals alike, Moxy Tempe presents NamaStay #MoxyTempe on the pool deck with yoga instructor Suki Plazola, in collaboration with Molly Water and Student Body Fitness. This is a complimentary event. The pool deck is open afterwards with a DJ and mimosa specials all day at 10 a.m. every Sunday morning all summer long.Moxy Tempe is located at 1333 S. Rural Rd., Tempe. To make reservations, or for additional information, call (480) 968-3451 or visit here.