On Tuesday 28th January I was on the final leg of a weeklong cross-country oddyssey that’s seen me stay in Hull at the Holiday Inn Express there, Boston, at the White Hart (an independent on the river), Portsmouth at the Marriott, Cardiff, again the Marriott and lastly, Birmingham, the final night of my journey staying at the brand new Moxy Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (AKA Moxy NEC).
Firstly, let’s deal with the parking. To be frank it’s not easy here as the Moxy doesn’t have its own car park. The secret is to arrive via Jcn 6 of the M42 and straight off the roundabout you’ll see another , you turn right there and go down to the next roundabout where you go all the way around and back on yourself. That’s Carpark E5 but don’t drive straight to the barrier in front of you, instead look right and you’ll see a carpark only for customers of Bear Grylls, Vox and the Moxy. Do use that entrance as it allows you to park nearest to the hotel, which dragging cases is still quite the hike.
There is is disabled parking for blue badge holders and you can drive to the hotel entrance to drop off cases, but you’ll still need to park in the E5 carpark after you’ve done that. Present your parking chip on checkout and the crew member will perform the “hocus pocus” dance which reduces the overnight parking charge to £10! You pay that at the pay point in carpark E5. Remember that the NEC is well connected as the NEC its own train Station on the main line with an indoor walk most of the way to the Moxy. The train station itself is connected to Birmingham Airport via a direct 5 minute monorail (alas not Maglev as claimed on the Moxy site!) and there’s plenty of busses too! There’s no arguing that the NEC is both enormous and confusing but the Moxy has a detailed “get here” page which is a little hidden on the hotel site so I’ve posted a link to it here: https://www.marriott.co.uk/marriottassets/marriott/BHXOX/PDF/BHXOX_Moxy_Birmingham_NEC_Directions.pdf
Now, as anyone whose reads my blog and other, um, contributions to this site, should be aware, I do like the Moxy brand, but then that could be my fondness for purple - a colour which appears all over the Moxy, and indeed as soon as you walk in.
Checkin at the bar, passing by the groovy dancer...
Checkin was somewhat delayed due to IT issues and when it came to my turn those issues continued as the computer refused to connect with the card machine so couldn’t take my security deposit. I think it was finally accomplished by charging via the card used to prepay the room. At least I assume so as otherwise I’m drinking on their trust!
Now, Moxy rooms are not for luxuriating in but are comfortable. My Titanium Status was recognised upon checkin by the efficient and clearly knowledgeable Emily who upgraded me to a "Moxified” room which includes a kettle (love my tea, me) and the view across Pendigo Lake. I think the rooms at this property are slightly larger than Moxy rooms elsewhere which is a good thing as the rooms at the Heathrow Moxy rooms do feel quite cramped. It doesn’t take much extra room to give a feeling of spaciousness and these rooms do give you a bit of that feeling. I did a little work too, although workspace is scarce, I definitely couldn’t do a 3 hour case prep here, but for reading through a file and grasping the principles it was adequate. Oh, and for watching the opening episode of the new series of Top Gear. spoiler alert - it’s the 20 year-old Ford Escort Cabriolet that wins overall! And yeah, Flintoff does Bungy jump off a 500ft Swiss dam in a red 1980’s Mini Metro (thereby getting from 0-60mpg in 2.7 seconds) - Yes, really, I still enjoy Top Gear, don’t judge me!
Anyhow it’s a comfortable room with a long clothesrail (but only 4 coathangers) with a great view across Pendigo Lake and the Resorts World complex
The under-bed lighting turns on automatically whenever you walk nearby which is useful at night
There’s a single UK and EU electric socket and double USB charging built into the panel under the TV
Useful hanging and storage area with a variety of hooks and storage stuff!
It’s teeny tiny, but everything’s there! Note the gels aren’t individual, if that’s something that concerns you...
Next downstairs to the bar - the idea of the Moxy is you hang in it’s huge social bar area rather than in your room, and it’s a long well designed bar area and overall an attractive space to spend your time...
With lots of different types of seating, both social and smaller group
And plenty of space, with a “lighting wall”
And yet more seating
And a small but tasty food menu. And yes that purple hue certainly gets everywhere!
The food is held in refrigerators under the bar and heated up in small mini ovens similar to those at Starbucks and Costa - gourmet it’s not, but it’s tasty enough although you couldn’t live of that menu! I enjoyed my Spring Rolls and Pepperoni Pizza. For those who are hungrier there are lots of eateries at the Resorts World, just a 5 minute stroll.
The hotel was nowhere near full but the bar was lively. I can imagine that on a concert night at the next door Arena or a major event such as Crufts, the National Motorcycle or Car show, or the myriad of other national events held at the NEC, I can see this bar really jumping!
Lastly, of course none of my reviews would be quite the same without a picture of me gurning with my beer!
In a purple hue, naturally! See, this great Moxys got even better!
Yes, I do like Moxys and really like this one. Next to the nearby Hilton and Crowne Plaza, both of which are well due their refurb and get away with it because of their location built into the NEC complex, so this brand new Moxy, situated right in the middle between the two, next to the NEC, the Arena and just a short walk around Pendigo Lake to Resorts World really puts them to shame. I attend at least a couple of events at the NEC/NEC Arena each year and it’s is my new go-to place. Good job, Moxy!