Moxy — Tokyo, Japan
The Marriott group is on a mission to seduce the Japanese with the Moxy. Aimed squarely at the millennial set – ie, budget-conscious but still rabidly design-conscious and utterly averse to chintz and fussy front-desks – the diffusion brand recently debuted in Tokyo, simultaneously with its Osaka launch. Ginza is rumoured to be in the works.
The location is fascinating for eschewing an expected address in central Tokyo in favour of one in the city’s eastern Sumida quarter with its haul of sumo and baseball stadiums, racetracks and pristine shrines. The surrounding Kinshicho neighbourhood is a colourful snapshot of psychedelic pachinko parlours, public bathhouse, girly bars, love hotels, and a wonderful sweep of local sushi joints, unagi specialists, and tiny, but perpetually packed, izakayas.
The 205-room hotel is the work of Nomura Kougei, the interiors studio transforming an old 10-storey corner office block into a lively bolthole furnished like a hipster’s Alpine pad with low-slung wire furniture, exposed brickwork, and funky graphic art. The rooms, meanwhile, are, for Tokyo and considering the low rack rates, unexpectedly spacious, bright and comfortable; Nomura Kougei cleaves close to the Moxy DNA of collapsible furniture that hang on wall pegs when not in use and the complete absence of desk, mini-bar and closet, which has the effect of opening up the room.
The ground floor public areas, anchored by a bar, fuss-ball table, self-serve deli and breakfast kitchen, acts as a communal watering hole, whilst the basement encompasses meeting rooms, laundry room and gym.