What it’s like staying at the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg – The Points Guy

When the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg opened in early 2023, it provided proof that the affordable brand from Marriott is finally growing up … but not too much. With more refined dining and drinking options than some of the label’s earlier iterations, and sleek, modern rooms, certain aspects of this hotel stray from the typical Moxy style and branding.

Despite its more elevated style, the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg still fits the “party stay” vibe the brand claims to own. Quirky pieces of street-style artwork adorn the walls in the lobby, and wallpaper with monkeys smoking and drinking vodka line the guest hallways.

Curious to see how this Moxy compares to others I’ve visited, I decided to book a two-night stay in September to check it out for myself. Here’s what you need to know about the new Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg before you reserve a room.

What is the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg?

Located right on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn’s trendy Williamsburg neighborhood, the Marriott-affiliated Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg is only a block away from the iconic Williamsburg Bridge, making it easy to explore quintessential Big Apple neighborhoods like the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Tribeca. It’s also a 10-minute walk to the Subway L line’s Bedford Avenue station, which helps connect visitors to the entire city.

The 216-room hotel draws a range of guests, from sightseeing families to business travelers to younger groups looking to enjoy Williamsburg’s trendy bars and upscale boutiques. The eclectic mix of visitors is likely due to the more upscale but still affordable nightly rates, which are well below what you’d pay to stay at many other New York City hotels.

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Unlike some other Moxys, where a busy bar or cafe doubles as a check-in area, this location has a dedicated reception area where you’ll notice a beautiful mosaic mural that stretches up to the ceiling behind two check-in desks. The hotel’s bars and restaurants also draw a mix of guests and locals, which makes a stay here feel like a real visit to the neighborhood rather than just a drop-in.

Related: New York on the cheap: Strategies I used on a $252 2-night trip

How to book the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg

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Since Moxy is part of the Marriott family of hotels and participates in the Marriott Bonvoy program, the best way to book a stay is directly through Marriott.

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During off-peak dates in winter, it’s not uncommon to find standard room rates for as low as $163 or 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. However, when I reserved my City View King room for a two-night visit the third week of September, cash rates were much steeper than I expected, coming in at $494 per night. Depending on the dates you choose, you may find award rates are also higher; for example, the minimum number of points needed for an award booking around the winter holidays often climbs to 73,000 points per night.

Even when cash rates are higher than usual, they’re still generally the best way to go, as you’ll often get less value when using points based on TPG’s valuation of Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.84 cents each. However, if you pick a more affordable date and have a 35,000-point Marriott free night certificate — a perk of cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card — you wish to use, it may make sense to apply it to your stay. Keep in mind, though, that you may need to top it up with additional points to fully cover the cost.

Related: Best hotel credit cards

The central location is ideal for work or leisure

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Whether you’re staying at the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg while in town on business, or just a quick vacation, you’ll be well connected to the city due to the hotel’s location. The property is surrounded by dozens of trendy restaurants and bars if the four on-site food and beverage venues aren’t enough for you, and it’s only a block from the start of the Williamsburg Bridge.

If you want to head into the city, you’re in luck, as the hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the L Train and a 10-minute walk from the M, J and Z trains. Several of these Subway lines quickly connect you to Manhattan, making it a cinch to reach attractions like the Empire State Building, the Museum of Modern Art and Central Park.

Additionally, the property is only 8 miles from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and 11 miles from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), so you won’t be stuck in traffic for quite as long as you would be if you were to commute between one of the airports and a Manhattan hotel.

Related: How to travel to New York City on points and miles

Rooms are trendy but spartan

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Walking into my City View King room, I was immediately drawn to the sleek industrial design of the space. Black metal framed the window and the bathroom entrance, and matching details on the bed’s headboard and desk chair created a cohesive look throughout the small but efficiently laid-out room. I especially liked the warm wood, sage green and black color palette.

As expected, room amenities were limited. While a large flat-screen TV across from the bed and a rotary-style telephone were provided, the room was otherwise sparsely furnished. Rather than have a traditional closet, the tiny 158-square-foot accommodation had the brand’s signature peg wall with a few pegs for hanging items, plus a small alcove with four hangers next to a flip-down desk barely wider than an airplane tray table.

The bed itself was perfectly comfortable, but the noise from the surrounding streets made it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Despite being eight floors up, I could hear every truck and train that went by, along with plenty of sounds from inside the hotel, including every loud conversation and door opening in the hall. However, the stunning view of the Williamsburg Bridge and lower Manhattan helped soften the blow of poor soundproofing.

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While I loved the glazed bathroom tiles, which were a fun nod to the Subway, and the Greek takeaway coffee cups that replaced traditional water cups by the sink, I wasn’t a fan of the partially see-through doors for the shower and toilet. The design looked great from the outside but wasn’t worth the lack of privacy. The fact that the sink was in the main room just inside the door, was also a downside, especially if you like a little privacy while brushing your teeth or shaving.

The only bath products available in the bathroom were a bar of hand soap by the sink and two wall-mounted bottles of Muk, one for conditioner and another for a combined shampoo and body wash concoction, in the shower. Though perfectly adequate, the setup did not feel at all upscale.

Related: New hotels in New York City give travelers more options, from Manhattan high-rises to boutique stays in Brooklyn

The restaurants and bars feel refined

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Moxy hotels dial up their food and beverage offerings beyond what you’ll typically find at standard city hotels, and the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg is no exception. The main restaurant, Mesiba, serves contemporary Levantine cuisine in a swanky, lively space inspired by Tel Aviv.

I visited Mesiba one night for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed everything I tried. The Frena bread with sour cream and spicy shatta sauce ($9) was delicious, and the charred octopus ($26) was one of the most tender and flavorful versions of the dish I’ve ever had. My favorite was undoubtedly the lamb neck ($72), a mouthwatering dish large enough to share with a small group.

To wash down my meal, I ordered the citrusy, refreshing Limonana ($19) and the Turkish Old Fashioned ($20), a twist on the classic libation featuring a subtle Turkish coffee flavor. Both paired nicely with Mesiba’s food.

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For something lighter in the morning or late at night, there’s Bar Bedford next to the check-in area. This impressive lobby bar dishes up coffee and pastries in the morning and craft cocktails and appetizers in the evening.

During my stay, I enjoyed visiting the bar to try the Catskills Carrots cocktail ($19) and watch passersby on Bedford Avenue. Before I checked out the following morning, I also went to the bar for matcha ($8) and a pain au chocolat ($6.50), which were both lovely but not life-changing.

Two other drinking establishments — the seasonal Lillistar indoor-outdoor rooftop bar and the retro recording studio-inspired Jolene Sound Room lounge — are also available on-site.

To my disappointment, Lillistar was rented out for private events on both nights of my stay, so I was not able to check out its highly touted city panoramas. However, the intimate Jolene Sound Room was a cool, inviting space, though it was completely empty when I stopped by at 9 p.m. on a Wednesday. Try visiting on the weekend or later at night, as I imagine it’s much more animated during typical nightlife hours.

Related: Why I love hotel bars, especially when I travel solo

Facilities are otherwise limited

As is typical with Moxy properties, the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg lacks on-site facilities. Other than its food and beverage outlets, the only other area available to guests is a 24-hour fitness center.

Inside the gym, which has a bold pop art-style mural on one wall, you’ll find a variety of equipment, including free weights, Pelotons, treadmills, yoga mats and ellipticals. There are even a punching bag and a jump rope, should you prefer to partake in a boxing-inspired workout routine.

Related: 17 of the best hotel gyms in the world

Reasons the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg might not be for you 

The Big Apple is packed with hotels, so while I for the most part enjoyed my stay at the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider a different property.

Related: Book this, not that: New York City hotels edition

Accessibility

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The Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg offers accessible rooms in most accommodation categories for those in wheelchairs and with hearing impairments. Available accessible features include roll-in showers and visual alarms.

In the public spaces, you’ll find easy access to the ground-floor venues — Bar Bedford, Mesiba and the Jolene Sound Room — as there are no stairs to traverse to enter these areas. The hallways and elevators are wide, too, providing more room for wheelchair users than many New York City-area hotels.

Related: How to make sure you get an accessible hotel room if you need 1

Alternatives to the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg

New York is full of phenomenal hotels, so you’ll find plenty of options if you decide the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg isn’t the right fit.

If you’re a Marriott loyalist and wish to choose a different property within the Marriott portfolio, consider the newly opened Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, the chic New York Edition or the classic St. Regis New York.

For a different option still within Williamsburg, try The Hoxton, Williamsburg or The William Vale, two boutique properties with equally cool scenes.

Or, if sticking to a tight budget by using points is your top priority, opt for an option from another hotel brand, such as IHG’s Kimpton Hotel Eventi in Chelsea or Hyatt’s The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel in Manhattan’s Financial District.

Related: The 26 best Marriott hotels in the world

Checking out

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If you’re hoping to explore the Williamsburg area or be close to Manhattan without the bustle of staying downtown, the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg is a good option worth considering.

This Moxy is bold and brash but with a more elevated setting than you might find at its sister properties. One major downside, though, is its higher-than-average rates during peak travel dates. While somewhat expected given the popularity of New York City, the departure from the brand’s often low price points can be a shock to the system, especially when you factor in the bare-bones approach to amenities in and out of the rooms.

I’ll definitely keep the Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg in mind for my next hotel stay in New York, depending on the cash rates, but I’ll likely be returning to Mesiba for dinner no matter where in the city I choose to hang my hat.

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