Moxy East Village, New York: hotel and restaurant review
Make this hip East Village hotel your base in New York and sip grappa cocktails while spinning vinyls
Looking for a hotel in New York? Read our review of hip hotel Moxy East Village, and check out more places to eat and drink in the city here…
Moxy East Village in a nutshell
Industrial cool meets city chic at this buzzy hotel in New York's East Village.
In true NYC fashion, there's a doorman to greet you on arrival – but after that sophisticated start, you're left to your own devices. A neon-white “relax (don't) do it” sign and a lift lined with infinity mirrors sets a cheeky tone, as does the “pour me a prosecco” token given to every guest. In the moody lounge you can sip your bubbles in a graffiti print-covered armchair, flick through a library curated by New York bookstore, The Strand, listen to a soundtrack chosen from a carefully considered vinyl collection, or try and beat the highest score on a retro Skee-Ball arcade machine. On sunny days, soak up tranquil vibes in the hotel’s shaded courtyard.
Which room should I book at Moxy East Village?
Spread over 12 floors, all 286 bedrooms come with spacious beds and a signature black and green colour scheme. Whether you go for a Queen or Double Double, you’ll find clever built-in storage that optimises the space, including tactile wooden pegs for hanging coats and towels on. Smooth, Scandi-style wooden furniture lends a calming vibe, while a sleek, emerald-coloured stone sink takes centre stage. A powerful rain shower and separate toilet are neatly tucked behind a sliding door. Floor-to-ceiling windows make for a striking city view, but blackout blinds mean you won't be woken early. And despite the booming nightlife outside, the soundproofed bedrooms are pin-drop quiet. Ask the dial-up telephone to read you a bedtime story, if you need help drifting off (despite the retro looks, it can do futuristic too).
The food and drink
All-day dining is the focus at the Alphabet Bar & Café, which forms part of the lobby. It’s industrial-chic in design, with concrete walls part-masked by floaty drapes and graffiti-tagged mirrors. Order ham and gruyère brioche grilled cheese (all the sandwiches are made with house-baked rolls), ricotta and thyme flatbreads, or a green kale salad. Sweet tooth? Snag a counter-top peanut butter cookie.
Basement restaurant Cathédrale is, in contrast, a grand space that attracts a luxury crowd. A striking wire mesh sculpture (created by Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi) is suspended from the ceiling, while sepia mirrors and lavish dried flower displays add understated glamour. Take your pick of dining areas that range from a twinkling terrace to a cosy central bar to plush leather booths. Food is inspired by the Mediterranean and includes the likes of pan-fried sea bass with squash, or black truffle fettuccine. Start with the signature aperitif: a perfumed concoction of fig, Blanc de Blancs and grappa. Order the bouncy grilled oyster mushrooms to start, and be sure to share the blushing pink steak frites between two. Leave a little space for vanilla rice pudding. It comes cold, with juicy cubes of pink grapefruit and a sharp yuzu-raspberry sorbet that cuts through all that creaminess.
There’s complimentary morning coffee, but breakfast isn’t included. If you're after a light bite to eat, head to Alphabet for croissants, warm waffles and pumpkin muffins. Cathédrale is the place for more substantial fast-breaking, including toasted brioche with honeycomb, oatmeal with apple compote, and a goat’s cheese and spinach omelette.
What else can foodies do?
It’s best to explore the East Village on foot. Embark on a foodie tour, starting with a square of pepperoni pizza at Prince St, then an “everything one” bagel (choose the one with bacon, sunny-side-up eggs and cheese) from nearby Black Seed Bagels on First Avenue. If you fancy a refined dinner, book a table at Nur for pillowy light golden-brown kubaneh with smoky aubergine, feta, tahini and pistachios.
For drinks, head to HoneyBee’s, a dimly-lit drinking den with a focus on bourbon and rye. Order its take on a negroni (bourbon, sweet vermouth, Campari and chocolate bitter) if you like your drinks rich and punchy (we love the branded ice cubes and lemon peel), or try a spicy scotch with ginger and lemon. Vegan Southern-style food is on the menu – don’t miss the buttermilk biscuits.
Is it family friendly?
The Queen + Daybed, Quad Bunk and Double Double bedrooms can all accommodate families, and the drinks token can be swapped for a non-alcoholic option. But the all-pervading party vibe makes Moxy East Village more suitable for adults. The bedroom storage is ample for two, but might be a bit of a squeeze if you’ve got lots of luggage.
Bedrooms don't come with any food- or drink-making facilities (small waters are $5 each), but if you're peckish there's a Trader Joe's around the corner where you can stock up on kombucha and dark chocolate almond butter cups. Look out for a rooftop bar opening at Moxy East Village in spring 2020, too.
Words by Ellie Edwards