In a growing city like Manchester there’s always something new opening around the corner. But one thing it has been screaming out for is affordable, modern, travel friendly accommodation in the heart of the city. I went to stay at the newly opened Moxy Hotel in Manchester’s Spinning Fields, to see if it ticked all the boxes.
Part of the Marriot Bonvoy Hotels group, there are Moxy Hotels in almost every city in Europe with 16 in the UK alone. With a passion for socialising and making the most of small spaces, the hotel chain is becoming increasingly popular with young travellers eager to explore new cities. In other words, most of the guests check in on Instagram before they check in to the actual hotel. However as a social media manager by day I can understand the phenomenon and even applaud the hotel’s use of a huge screen in which photos of guests around the world are displayed who’ve used the hashtag #atthemoxy. It’s fun, on trend and a great way to see the hotel before you’ve even looked round the lobby.
On entering the Moxy in Manchester there is a distinct lack of a reception area so I enquire at the bar, where I’m told that the bar is always the very heartbeat of the hotels, it’s where you relax with one of their free cocktails, order a few small plates and make new friends as well as check in for the night.
The hotel is dog friendly, meaning you don’t have to leave your pet at home when exploring the city and staff are more than willing to make sure they have everything they need. But I was here to relax so I left my Border Collie at home, he’s more of a country fella anyway.
My sister and I were given a Moxy Sleeper Premium room which consisted of a King-sized raised bed, walk-in shower, flat screen TV, seating area and open wall hooks to hang coats and garments. But what really catches your eye as you enter the room is the massive floor to ceiling windows looking out across the rooftops. We were lucky to have an incredible view of some of the old buildings in the area as well as Beetham tower humming in the wind in the distance.
The rooms are designed to really maximise every inch of space. Full of little surprises such as a hairdryer hanging in a bag on the wall, an adorable little reading nook, big mirrors and shelving in the bathroom to store all your toiletries. There are modern touches such as motion activated LED guidelights but also nods to the building’s history in the cushions and artwork.
The site formerly known as Invictus House was built in the 18th Century and was formerly a silk works and hat factory. There are many references to its heritage throughout the hotel such as the side tables that look like cotton spools and the wall of hats at the back of the bar area. It’s wonderful to stay in a thoroughly modern hotel which still appreciates the history of the building.
The rooms really are designed with the modern traveller in mind. Whilst I was straightening my hair in the full length mirror my sister was applying her makeup in the well lit bathroom mirror all whilst playing a 90’s nostalgia playlist on Youtube. Okay we may not be the most modern travellers but I like to think I can recognise what 20 year olds look for in a hotel. So while they would be taking 1,000 photos of themselves draped across the bed in sky high heels ready for a wild night out, we were playing scrabble in the bar before heading to Chinatown for a Chinese. I’m not even ashamed, that’s a perfect night for me.
Of course there are hundreds of incredible restaurants on your doorstep, and being in the heart of Spinning Fields you’re among some of the best in the city, but if you just fancy a snack or small meal there is a 24/7 grab and go service besides the bar with something for every dietary need.
With fresh pastries like croissants and pain au chocolat, cereals, fresh bread for toast, fruits, yoghurts, juices, teas and coffees and hot food for a full English breakfast we were blown away by the selection. Not only that, the quality of the food was just incredible, the pastries were so crunchy and soft centred, the sausages were tasty and meaty, the bacon was thick and cooked the proper British way (crispy fat of course) and the fruit was deliciously fresh. If I wasn’t still full from the previous night’s Chinese I would have been up for thirds.
I checked out seamlessly and informed the barman of a couple of issues in the room (it is a new hotel after all so some tweaks are to be expected) and he really listened to me which gave me the impression that they were really appreciative of feedback. Whilst waiting for our Uber we sat in the lobby in some of the comfiest chairs watching families play together round a table, some workers having a business meeting and a group of giddy 18 year-olds all checking in. The Moxy really does have something to suit all tastes, and from less than £100 a night it really is worth checking in.
8 Atkinson Street
The bar area was great, after our Chinese we brought a couple of friends back to play more board games and share a few cocktails. There was a live DJ, lots of colourful characters at the bar and staff who were just a joy to talk to, all of them happy to be there and in a great mood. It was very refreshing to say the least and a good time was had by all. The bed was one of the comfiest I’d stayed in (I was in a four star hotel the night before and my night was nowhere near as restful) and the floor lighting was very convenient when nipping to the loo in the night. In the morning we enjoyed the view of the rain and snow battering the windows while having a brew in our room before heading down to breakfast.
I couldn’t find a lot of information about the breakfast offerings online so I wasn’t expecting much and planned to go for brunch if it wasn’t up to scratch. Well those plans were soon scrapped because let me tell you the breakfast is absolutely superb.