Hotel Review: MOXY Phoenix Tempe/ASU Area, Tempe, AZ

by joeheg

When I choose hotels, I’m usually pretty conservative. I pick the safe choice. The one that will fulfill our needs at a price point I’m comfortable with. I don’t need frills. I don’t need luxury. I need a room. Just a clean room.

When I was looking for hotel in the Phoenix area, that’s all I needed. We were only staying for one night. We were flying in from Orlando and weren’t scheduled to land until 7:30 PM (That’s 10:30 PM to us accustomed to eastern time). I figured with renting a car and getting to the hotel, it would feel like midnight and we’d be ready for bed. The next morning we’d be headed to Mystery Castle, which would be just as far of a drive from Phoenix as from Tempe.

I started looking for rooms near the airport but then remembered I had free hotel nights I could use. Not wanting to spend too much time on picking a hotel, I used HotelHustle to find hotels in the area available to book with points. One of the hotels that showed up was the Moxy. MOXY? What’s Moxy? I didn’t know, so I looked it up:

Moxy is a fun, vibrant and stylish hotel designed to give guests everything they want and nothing they don’t at an affordable price. Launched in 2014, the brand offers up a new way of traveling in which smaller is concentration, not reduction – where affordability is not a sacrifice of style, nor a loss of comfort – and, when we say: “less is more” we accentuate more, not less. The Moxy Hotels brand is defined by its attitude – price is just a pleasant surprise.  It has cozy rooms (183 square feet of coziness) with premium comforts and comes at a cost to build that is very easy to digest. The brand lives in the public space (we call it the NOW), it’s communal, with convenient services like 24/7 grab and go, tech enabled environment (key less entry and furiously fast and free wifi) and amped up bar experience.  

Unlike any other brand in its tier, Moxy is all about creating cool, energetic, communal spaces with a “crew” who helps guests have some fun.

I’d never stayed in a Moxy hotel before. It’s a part of the Marriott brand trying to market to the millennials. That is so NOT us. It’s too hip, too cool, too trendy and too, well, young. But this was only a one night stay and all we really needed was a bed. It was only a 25 minute drive from the airport. It’s a category 3 Marriott hotel so it only cost 15,000 Marriott Rewards points a night. That’s not even worth wasting my free night from the Marriott credit card. Looking a little more into reviews about the hotel, I found one feature that was the selling point for the room. There is a motion sensor night light that lights up when you get out of bed so we wouldn’t have to use our own (and yes, they have a guitar in every room too. The sneaker, however, is mine.).


Needless to say, I redeemed 15,000 points and booked the room for 1 night.


MOXY Phoenix Tempe/ASU Area
1333 South Rural Road
Tempe, AZ, 85281


As I mentioned above, I redeemed 15,000 Marriott Rewards points for this one night stay. Rates at this hotel fluctuate greatly, going for as little as $85 a night up to $322. I guess this because of the hotel’s proximity to Arizona State University and events that would be happening around the campus. We were booked in a king guest room, which is exactly what we received.


We arrived at the hotel and pulled our luggage for our two week excursion into the lobby, but there wasn’t a lobby. Well there was, but was also a bar/game room/arcade.


I knew from reading reviews online that there was no formal check-in desk at this hotel. All the hotel tasks are handled from the bar. No problem; we walked to the bar and waited for the people in front of us to finish. While waiting, an associate walked up to us and asked what we needed. We said we were checking in and he said we were in the right place. He then asked that while we were waiting, could he start making our complimentary check-in cocktails? Um, why of course! It was a sort of cherry-limeade thing with a kick. Yummy. Drinks always make the check in process more tolerable. Check-in was simple and we were provided keys to our room. We headed in that direction, but had to pass the arcade games (which were FREE!) in the lobby. I couldn’t resist a game of Galaga and some pinball before going to our room.


We also had to walk past the chalkboard wall. How bad of a place could it be if another guest took to the time to draw a Rick and Morty logo, Chance the Rapper and I think Pennywise? (OK, that’s creepy) on the wall, right?


It was a moderate walk from the lobby to our room on the first floor, number 117


As we were walking to the room, I asked:
“Sharon, do you think we’re too old for this hotel?”

She replied:
“I don’t think we’re too old…..”

I knew the rest so I finished the sentence:
“… I know we’re too old.”

This was painted on the wall as we go to our room. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we don’t do ANYTHING for the Insta(gram), We have one, and that’s about as far as we’ve gone with it.


Based on what we saw before arriving, we weren’t expecting what was waiting for us inside the room.


OK, it’s a little different than the aesthetic we are accustomed to but everything we needed was here. Sharon’s first words when entering the room: “We have a BEAN BAG CHAIR in the room!?!?” Well, we didn’t have a bean bag chair, we had a LoveSac. More on that later.

The room looked very industrial but as we spent a little time getting accustomed to our space, we found it to be amazingly functional. I’d say it was the best designed hotel room we’ve ever stayed in. It was the first hotel room I’d stayed in after posting my article listing the Five Things I Want In A Hotel Room and suddenly I’d found one that had it all!

As you can see from above, there were plenty of pillows on the bed and a window shade that spanned the entire window. There were nightstands on both side of the bed, each with plenty of plugs for your devices.


There was plenty of light in the room, including the bathroom (no shower cave here). The glass shower enclosure meant there was no shower curtain to blow against you while cleaning yourself.


Despite the “hipness” of the design (including the drain that said “DEEP END” on the cover), it was one of the most well designed hotel rooms I’ve ever been in. I can’t find one thing wrong about how they set up the room.


There are funky things around the hotel that tell you it’s not your normal, run of the mill establishment. I’m not sure how well this will expand to other locations but it felt organic and had just the right amount of quirkiness in this space.


edited for content

I’m sure that many of my friends would appreciate the “Do Not Disturb” door hangers we were provided, however part of me, as a straight guy, felt a bit “off” hanging this from my doorknob.



I picked this hotel because it fit our needs. It was cheap with Marriott Rewards points and had a motion sensor night light under the bed. We ended up loving our stay because the hotel is designed so well. The vibe was geared to millennials but was still comfortable for everyone and because, well because it had a LoveSac (Sharon loved this thing so much that I’m sure that we’re getting one for the house when we re-design the living room in a couple of years) [Note from Sharon: YESSSSSSSS!!!!!]. I’ll even admit that the thing is really comfortable. Like I wanted to take a nap in it, comfortable. Like, I didn’t want to leave it in this hotel, comfortable. Like I wondered if they would notice if I stuffed it in the trunk of the car, comfortable and it’s a pity it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase, comfortable. I’ll be back for you LoveSac, Promise).


I wish I knew how to quit you, LoveSac

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