I entered the midtown Manhattan elevator just as my phone lit up with a text message from a colleague. "I'm here," it read. "Let's meet at the puppy station behind the trampoline girls at the other end of the basketball court near the lobby bar."
Puppy station? Trampoline girls? I was one floor down from the grand opening party for the newest Marriott hotel in New York, the Moxy Times Square, and my thoughts raced at what I was about to experience.
The ding from the elevator brought me back to reality only briefly before the doors opened and I was suddenly transported into the fantastical world of Moxy's making. Costumed waitresses passed around slender flutes of Champagne while tuxedoed bouncers kept a watchful eye on the goings on as guests sauntered wide-eyed through the rabbit-hole-esque spaces, ranging from an adult face-painting room and a bubble-themed ball pit room to an open-air, rooftop playground with a working carousel and a permanent putt-putt course that plays in the shadow of the Empire State Building.
Although puppy playpens, adult ball pits and pop-up sporting arenas aren't nightly features at the Moxy Times Square, they aren't a far cry from this young hotel's fresh and funky offerings.
Moxy Hotels is Marriott International's experiential, design-driven brand that launched in Europe in 2014. Moxy Hotels has become famous for its stylish boutique-hotel accommodations with tech-enabled rooms, sleek spaces, unobtrusive service and artistic events. The brand's aim is to surprise travelers with fun and playful experiences at an affordable price point in major cities around the world, and the Moxy Times Square does no less.
The hotel opened in September at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 36th Street, with 612 guestrooms designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Rooms range from king suites to quad rooms with twin bunks (150 to 350 square feet) and come with cool features like foldaway furniture, rainfall showers and pegboard closets.
A quad room with twin bunk beds. Amenities include foldaway furniture, rainfall showers and pegboard closets.
In-room technology is a highlight, where free WiFi, Bluetooth soundbars and large flat-screen HDTVs are standard along with complimentary personal screencasting technology that enables guests to stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more.
The Moxy Times Square's building was once used as an affordable option for working-class men when it was built in 1907 as the New Mills Hotel, and the Moxy has maintained that cost-conscious aspiration, with rooms starting at $139 per night.
The hotel was also designed with more than 22,000 square feet of flexible event and meetings space as well as five food and beverage options that include NYC's largest hotel rooftop lounge, Magic Hour; Egghead, an egg-centric spot serving breakfast all day; Bar Moxy in the lobby lounge; Legasea, a seafood brasserie run by chefs Ralph Scamardella and Jason Hall; and the Pickup, a grab-and-go cafe open until midnight every night.
For anyone holding out hopes for ball pits and puppy stations, fear not, as the hotel's regular calendar is already booked with pop-up trunk shows, nightly jam sessions, rooftop fitness classes with modelFIT x Moxy, a speaker series, collaborations with local and digital artists and more. Visit moxy-hotels.marriott.com/nyc/timessquare.