MOXY HOTEL /Honmachi, OSAKA
Moxy is a relatively new brand, making a Milan debut back in 2014. The 155-room Osaka property opened its doors in late 2017. Communal space really defines the experience: the large lobby, a check-in station at the bar (where guests are offered a free cocktail), a gym, laundry room, and even a shared room dedicated to ironing one’s clothes. Social spaces feature games, books and an array of design-driven seating, as well as a faux fireplace. Further, glass walls and windows let in plenty of natural light. Enough consideration went into the design of these public spaces that guests can gather with a full family or tuck themselves away solo with a laptop and get work done. There’s an industrial backbone to it all, but cozy clouds of furniture make it comfortable.
There’s a good chance you’ve stayed in a Marriott hotel without even realizing it belonged to the brand. In an ever-mercurial market, hotel chains have realized that a one-size-fits-all approach is well outdated—what may enamor one guest may completely deter another.
Marriott has been particularly savvy in this respect, growing and diversifying its stable of hotels to cater to niche demographics and psychographics. Its 2015 purchase of Starwood Hotels brought to its stable several key brands that cater to a more niche, design-savvy market: W Hotels, Aloft, Tribute Portfolio, and hospitality maverick Claus Sendlinger’s Design Hotels. And that’s not to forget Ian Schrager’s Edition brand, of which Marriott has quietly been a part since its inception.
The hotel behemoth’s latest conquest is the millennial market (or, as it likes to say, “the young and the young at heart”), through its Moxy brand. Since launching in Milan in late 2014, Moxy hotels have cropped up at a steady pace across the globe. Its basic formula seeks to appeal to the “next-gen” traveler, doing away with traditional amenities like the front desk in favor for a budget-friendly, design-focused experience.
Most recently Moxy has dipped its toe into the Asian market, opening iterations in Osaka and Tokyo in Japan (as well as in the rather unconventional location of Bandung, Indonesia). Surprisingly for a culture so devoted to design, the concept of the boutique hotel has been relatively slow to take off in Japan.
Until recently, Japan has maintained a somewhat traditional concept of hotels as a place where only businessmen with money to spare are able to frequent. With the opening of the Moxy Osaka Honmachi and the Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho though, modern travelers looking for a place to stay that echoes their ethos for travel now have a place to (temporarily) call home as they set out to explore the prefectures.
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