Manhattan in New York City may be the most densely populated borough, but Moxy East Village located at Lower Manhattan surprisingly offers tranquillity within its rock ‘n’ roll and rebellious vibe.
In the heart of East Village, a neighbourhood of renegade art, LGBTQ+ activism, rock ‘n’ roll and the American counterculture lies Moxy East Village. It’s a historic, vibrant downtown neighbourhood that is situated not that far from the heart of Manhattan. Unlike its sister hotel in Chelsea, which is a floral-themed one, Moxy East Village embraces the neighbourhood’s rebellious spirit — at an affordable price point.
The hotel just opened its doors a couple of months ago and we went on down with expectations of an awesome stay. Read on to find out more.
When one visits New York, there is a 99 percent chance that he or she would pick a hotel that’s located in the heart of Manhattan — where Times Square, Central Park, Broadway and the Empire State Building lies. Convenience is definitely its strongest point, but not so much on privacy. Hats off to you if you are willing to brace through the crowd every time you go in and out of the hotel — if not, it’s high time for you to consider staying slightly out from the most condensed area of the city, like East Village.
Some of the most impactful cultural movements that were born here are the Beat Poets which happened in the ‘50s; hippies and Hare Krishnas in the ‘60s; Warhol’s Superstars and the punk rockers of CBGB in the ‘70s. East Village was also home to some of the most creative people in the art, literature and music, including the likes of Madonna, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Patti Smith, the Talking Heads and Allen Ginsberg. East Village undoubtedly still has its charm — with its music and culture references at every part of the neighbourhood including Moxy East Village.
The hotel is located directly across from famed music venue Webster Hall and just blocks from Union Square and New York University. Subway is just a five-minute walk from the hotel — definitely worth the extra travel time because you’ll be away from wandering eyes of probably thousands of tourists.
Design and Ambience
Rockwell Group takes charge in terms of designing the interior of the hotel. 13 floors are all uniquely designed as homage to the different eras in the East Village’s past, present and even the future. Layers from many different periods are implemented throughout the building, which allow guests to discover hidden references and inspirations.
Upon entering the hotel — like any other Moxy properties — there is no formal hotel lobby. Instead, three check-in kiosks that are assembled using blackened steel, wood flooring and concrete greet guests upon arrival. Immediately upon sight is coloured tapestries that run from the wall to the floor and alternating bands of graffiti and graphics — much like resembling the peel-off a downtown façade.
Beyond the check-in area is the Alphabet Bar & Café, which Moxy described as “the social heart of Moxy East Village”. This entire area comprises a bar, terrace, and lounge. Vintage, graffiti-tagged mirrors, graffiti-strewn carpets, neon lighting, and splashes of pastel colours are spotted here which go in line with the overall theme of the hotel. Outside is a terrace with walls planted in tumbling greenery for absolute privacy from the streets. Adjacent to the bar is the café that serves an all-day menu of custom Intelligentsia brews, fresh baked goods, salads, seasonal panini and tartines.
The Cathédrale is in the league of its own in terms of design. Guests would have to go descend from the first floor, through a fire escape-like setting. Entering the French-Mediterranean restaurant’s main dining room is as if you’ve stumbled upon an abandoned architectural treasure. Its 26-foot, triple-height ceiling is covered in a massive wire mesh sculpture; Rockwell Group collaborated with Edoardo Tresoldi to design this piece. The restaurant is conceived by executive chef Jason Hall and the TAO Group.
Guests who prefer a more private dining experience can opt for The Poster Room. The psychedelic rock era-inspired space allows up to 26 guests. Ceiling is lined with vintage concert posters from the Fillmore East with backlit screen prints of other posters on the walls.
One floor below the restaurant is Little Sister, an intimate lounge with a more sophisticated update from the underground clubs that East Village used to have in the 1990s. Plush banquettes with vintage-inspired chandeliers by a local artist. The copper-accented bar sits right in the middle of the space as the main focus. Little Sister is an exclusive lounge operated by TAO Group.
As if 286 rooms are not enough, each of them is designed to maximise space. Multiple elements such as glass, metal, wood, raw concrete and tile are incorporated into the rooms — creating a space that just oozes comfort and intimacy. One will be able to spot several quirky features in the room; prominent ones such as the NYC-inspired artwork and The Moxy signature peg wall. Our favourite part: waking up to the view of the city thanks to its oversized, industrial-style windows.
The hotel offers Queen Rooms, some with an optional daybed; Double/Doubles; and Quad Bunk Rooms; as well as Suite Jane, an entertainment suite with an adjoining Queen Room.
While your time may be filled when you’re outside exploring the city, the fun doesn’t stop as soon as you’re in the room. Guests can request for retro-style turntables with the complimentary vinyl LPs available in Alphabet Bar & Café — this special service is indeed a reflection of the music culture in Lower Manhattan.
Moxy East Village definitely checked a number of things in our list; location (despite not being in the middle of Manhattan), design and service. The room sizes are on a smaller side, but the same goes to most hotels in New York City due to limited space. It’s not that big of an issue to call it out as it is easily compensated by smart space-saving features such as sliding doors and the peg wall (instead of adding more bulky closet space). We’re still in awe of the hotel’s design, which sadly left us in regrets as we didn’t manage to capture a couple of #OOTD pictures for the ‘gram.
As we’ve yet to try out the dining options in Moxy East Village, the rooms and service exceeded our expectations. It’s a little sanctuary of your own, far away from the bustling streets of New York. Plus with the affordable price tag, what more can you ask for.
Images: Moxy East Village