Unless you’re a wide-eyed, first-time tourist taking in its dizzying array of flashing lights, life-size billboards, cacophony of sounds, and street peddlers and performers, chances are that you’ve scoffed at the mere mention of Times Square – and admittedly, we can’t blame you. The so-called “crossroads of the world” may be the most well-known New York City neighborhood, but it’s not without its problems, to put it politely.
You’ll be pushed and shoved more times than you can count, there are tourist traps at every corner, construction seemingly never comes to a halt, and dodging selfie sticks feels like a competitive sport. We did, however, manage to find one incredibly redeeming quality. Enter: Moxy Times Square. Not only does it host the ultimate urban amusement park, but it’s also the trendiest hotel we’ve checked into in a while. Here are 13 reasons why – no pun intended.
It doesn’t take long to sense that Moxy Times Square is where the cool kids of Manhattan hang out, but celebrities? Yeah, they do, too. Both Heidi Klum (one of her iconic Halloween parties) and Rihanna (a Fenty x Puma afterparty during New York Fashion Week) have hosted star-studded celebrations at its rooftop bar and lounge Magic Hour – but more on that in a second.
Here and Now
By day, Bar Moxy – which serves as the hotel’s social heart – is a co-working space flooded with natural light, comfy seating, and creative types. It’s a whole other look and feel once the sun goes down as the area transforms seamlessly into a hip, dimly lit lounge, complete with guest DJs and youthful energy to spare.
Considering its ever-evolving roster of events, it’s easy to see why Bar Moxy appeals to hotel guests and the local community alike. The likes of drag bingo, trivia nights, arts and crafts workshops, panel discussions, and trunk shows take place here on the regular. A Spark Pretty pop-up selling Troll dolls alongside Lisa Frank denim jackets, Betsey Johnson dresses, and Beavis and Butt-Head tees? Sign us up.
Games People Play
But back to the hotel’s reputation as an adult playground, courtesy of the carnivalesque Magic Hour. Come rain or shine (literally, thanks to its fully retractable roof), NYC’s biggest rooftop bar caters to jaded New Yorkers with live DJs, whimsical beverages, a menu of shareable light bites, a massive funhouse mirror, slowly rotating seating inspired by antique carousels, and even a miniature putt-putt course accented with flirty pink bunnies instead of windmills – because why not?
It’s also at the iconic venue where this editor had her definitive New York minute – mingling with Dan Clay a.k.a. Carrie Dragshaw while the Empire State Building stood imposingly in the background and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” played at full blast.
It would be so, so wrong to make any sort of reference to Magic Hour without asking you to keep an eye out for its garden, which features topiary bears in naughty positions. You’re welcome.
Get a Room
Ever picked up on the fact that you don’t end up using half the amenities in the typical hotel room? Moxy has, so don’t expect to find the likes of shoehorns, plastic combs, and overpriced minibar items. Instead, the cozy and hyper-efficiently designed rooms feature foldaway furniture, wood-frame beds with storage, and open pegboard closets.
Our favorite feature? Each room has a dedicated router, which translates to – you guessed it – furiously fast Wi-Fi. There’s also a Chromecast-equipped TV and bluetooth-enabled Soundbar, letting guests stream their Netflix movies, Hulu shows, and Spotify playlists over the internet or from their personal devices. Priorities, baby.
You’re jet-lagged, your body clock is all over the place, and nothing is helping – now what? Reach for the teal-blue phone that is perched on your bedside table.
Here await three distinct, 60-second bedtime stories to lull you to sleep: the first will transport you to a night in Paris with Kiersten Rich of The Blonde Abroad, you’ll paint the town red with DJ Kitty Cash in tow during the second, and a guided meditation session led by Caitlin Turner of Gypset Goddess makes up the third. We’d love to reveal what happens if you’re still awake after all three, but there’s something to be said about the element of surprise, right?
Breakfast in Bed
There are some things in life that only a hearty, gooey, carb-loaded egg sandwich can cure – and being able to eat one in bed is just the proverbial cherry on top. Enter: Egghead, an egg-centric sandwich shop that is located at the hotel and offers a twist on the classic NYC breakfast sandwich.
So what makes it so good? Well, for starters, the sandwiches here are made with freshly baked potato bread, and feature eggs and cheese from farms in upstate New York. Then come the mix-ins – think: fried shallots, spicy aioli, caramelized onions, and avocado. Bonus? With the ‘Egghead in Bed’ service, you can have any menu item delivered straight to your room (because queuing up at a breakfast buffet is so last season).
‘Linguine & Clams’, ‘Warm Baby Octopus’, ‘Spicy Crab Beignets’, and ‘Great Big Lobster Bake’ whipped up by executive chef Jason Hall of Gotham Bar and Grill fame can only mean one thing: a meal at Legasea is a must. This always buzzing seafood brasserie is so popular, in fact, that reservations are encouraged up to 30 days in advance.
As for the irony? The ‘Fried Chicken Box’ – four pieces of juicy, crispy fried chicken served alongside an old-fashioned buttermilk biscuit, hot honey, and all manner of spicy sauces – is the one to beat. You could stay back to cool off with a towering ice cream sundae, but for something with a novelty factor, there’s a Love Me soft serve vending machine at the nearby Bar Moxy – oh, and it’s is open 24/7. Win-win.
Art for Art's Sake
With the concept of “urban camping” dominating the property, you’ll notice plenty of artwork centered around bears – besides the suggestive ones on the 18th floor, that is. There is one that we promise you won’t miss: a 14-foot hand-strung bear installation composed of hundreds of black plastic and mirror fragments that hangs in the atrium and is visible from two separate floors.
Sweat and the City
Yes, there’s a gym at Moxy Times Square, but its rooftop fitness pop-ups are so much more likely to actually get you into spandex. Past sessions have been led by the likes of dance-based fitness studio Banana Skirt, yoga studio Soulga, and cool-temperature workout innovators Brrrn. Did we mention they’re free of charge?
If it’s good enough for Hailey Bieber, it’s good enough for us – it being JonBoy’s tattoo studio at Bar Moxy, of course. The tattoo artist is known for his minimalist designs and celebrity clientele, and now has a studio that is open from Tuesday through Sunday at the hotel.
Also on the premises? The equally popular Blind Barber, a neighborhood barbershop and speakeasy originating in the Lower East Side. But don’t let its name fool you – short-haired woman all over NYC frequent it for blowdries, pixie cuts, and quick touch-ups.
Can we say it already? Moxy Times Square is the most Instagrammable hotel in all of New York. All you have to do is pose for a photo on the steps leading up to Legasea, in the barber’s chair at Blind Barber, by the Love Me vending machine at Bar Moxy, and even the floor of your shower where tiles cheekily read “No Diving” – fully dressed, please – to see why.
Curious to see what others are posting? Just beyond check-in is the Moxy Digital Guestbook that consistently streams videos and images taken at Moxy hotels or tagged #atthemoxy, so you’re practically guaranteed to find visual inspiration. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.
Out and About
There’s more than fanny packs and selfie sticks in the vicinity of Moxy Times Square – promise. For starters, the Theater District is only an 11-minute walk away, which means world-class entertainment is essentially at your doorstep. Also in the area? Killer speciality coffee spot Blue Bottle Coffee is nine minutes away on foot, while legendary bakery Milk Bar and avocado-centric eatery Avocaderia will take only five minutes by cab.
If a little self-care is in order, luxury wellness center Modrn Sanctuary – where innovative offerings like salt therapy and meditation pods win rave reviews – is an easy 13-minute walk away. But our vote goes to the hidden gem to end all hidden gems: the aptly named Times Square sound installation by Max Neuhaus. It’s located below the grates of the triangular pedestrian island located at Broadway between 45th and 46th Streets, but worry not, as Google Maps will take you effortlessly to it in just under ten minutes – just keep an ‘ear’ out for the harmonic humming noise that thousands of New Yorkers seem to miss on a daily basis.
View this post on Instagram
For more details or to book a stay at Moxy Times Square, click here. Prefer an equally playful stay with a side of Italian romance in New York? The botanically inspired Moxy Chelsea in the Flower District is now open, and features a full-fledged flower shop, tongue-in-cheek art installations, and dining concepts by famed restaurateur Francesco Panella. Book here.