One of the most talked about pieces of decor on-site at Moxy Chattanooga Downtown is the split flap display, a retro throw-back to train stations and European travel. Every 15 seconds, you’ll hear the mesmerizing “clack-clack-clack” as the units spin to reveal drink specials and custom messages from Moxy crew. Created by Oat Foundry out of Philadelphia, the piece was selected specifically for the Chattanooga brand as a nod to the Scenic City’s railway history and spins on a custom timer to reveal a series of playful mantras and pieces of advice:
Whatever makes you weird is probably your best asset.
I have mixed drinks about feelings.
Shoutout to everyone
who got through the day
without taking a nap.
Moxy is Marriott International’s newest brand, and the ticker board is the perfect representation of the vibe Moxy has to offer the traveler to Chattanooga: industrial, playful, edgy. In the evenings, you may even find a mysterious compliment on the split flap display meant just for you. Director of Sales Kacey Swindell admits that she has used her app to anonymously recognize a guest for a cute pair of sandals that really completed an outfit. It’s just another lighthearted detail that makes Moxy… well, Moxy.
Known for its minimalism, Moxy provides a boutique hotel experience in urban areas that doesn’t break the bank. There is no front desk. A hot pink neon sign blinks the words “Check-In” at the bar, just above a Yoda statue adorned with Mardi Gras beads, and the bartender pulls triple-duty as your front desk clerk and barista. Not only does the slimmed down staff make your stay more affordable, it’s less stuffy. Who needs someone positioned around every corner to ask how you’re doing or offer assistance you don’t really need?
Moxy’s home at 1220 King Street was originally a glass factory in the 1920s. Demolished at a time, brick salvaged from the factory was repurposed in the new build. In turn, a bit of history is tucked into the hotel walls. It’s fitting. Moxy Chattanooga Downtown feels like it’s been here for a century, but it’s a modern nod to the past. The look, Swindell says, is industrial chic. Exposed pipes and ventilation ductwork on the ceiling are painted a matte black. The walls are a combination of exposed brick, large windows, and murals by The Artist SEVEN. The goal is to give you an experience at every turn. In its social spaces on the main level, Moxy creates a distinct mood using lighting, scent, and music as you move from one space to another. The Now, also known as the Lounge, is an active space – you’ll find everything from a 17-foot leather couch to tabletop shuffleboard, billiards, a Black Emperor arcade console, and giant Jenga. Moxy crew have been known to take the cushions off the stationary seating to use it as a catwalk for fashion shows. Here, the glass accordion doors to the patio can fold in to create a single space that flows from the bar to The Railyard outside. A sprawling outdoor space, this area is home to a bright yellow container bar that opens up for evening crowds. A popular nightlife spot among locals, The Railyard plays host to weekly and monthly activities like axe throwing, roller skating, or a pop-up waterpark. Illuminated by strands of Edison bulbs from overhead, it also makes for a pretty fantastic wedding venue.
Cross back past the entrance to the other side of the Lounge, snagging Moxy’s signature pink cocktail along the way, and you’ll find a more elegant vibe with lower lighting and a jewel-toned color palette. An interactive mural features imagery rich in Chattanooga history: a modern day Bessie Smith, the peaks of the Tennessee Aquarium, a Moxy take on the See Rock City birdhouse. From the ceiling, a light display on a five-minute timer is cast onto the mural. Watch it over the course of the day, and you’ll see flowers burst from the Civil War era cannon, music notes dance across the bass guitar, and a mockingbird sit on the birdhouse. Here, there are fireplaces, seating for smaller groups, and quieter spaces like the library, as well as scalable spaces for board meetings, baby showers, or other events.
Honestly, there may not be another building in Chattanooga with more opportunities for a social media-worthy selfie. Snuggle against a stack of white faux fur pillows. Look fierce wearing the hot pink boxing gloves in the fitness center – a staple at every Moxy worldwide. Perch in front of a black iron fireplace, flanked by a teal-painted brick wall. Smirk at the sayings sprinkled onto pillows and vintage pie pans on the wall:
Go Where You Feel Most Alive.
Sorry Not Sorry.
Gimme Some Sugar.
There’s even a message written into the tile on the floor of the ladies’ restroom on the main floor to make you smile.
If you get to town early and need to drop off your bag before you go explore the Scenic City, Moxy crew have got you covered. Since Moxy skips out on the traditional front desk, you’ll be offered a locker on the main level. Not labeled by number, you’ll need to make your locker selection based on your favorite Samuel L. Jackson movie. (“Robocop.” “Coming to America.” “Snakes on a Plane.” There’s a lot more.) The locals use the lockers as well when they come for a drink with friends and want a place to park their day bags and purses.
Upstairs, the guest rooms are minimalistic by design – almost European. You can choose one queen platform bed or two, and rooms have a single chair and fold-down desk. A pegboard on the wall gives you a place to hang up your clothes. A small circular table also hangs on the pegs, plus a luggage stand that can double as an extra chair. The headboards are made from Soviet-era gym mats bought up by a furniture broker in New York. Need a dog bed or a yoga mat during your stay? Simply pull it off the wall and toss it onto the floor. The telephone is a throwback to rotary dial (but with buttons). Press the center button, and you’ll hear a bedtime story that ends in a password that will get you a late-night treat at the bar. Four rooms on each floor have windows with Lookout Mountain views. They don’t cost any more than the others, but you’re more likely to stay in one if you’re a bride and groom, or, say, a person planning meetings being held on-site.
Design, comfort, and pops of color aside (did we mention there’s a purple glow in the elevator?), Moxy Chattanooga Downtown’s biggest draw is its walkability to the Southside. One of Chattanooga’s most lively neighborhoods, the Southside boasts sought-after food, drink, comedy, markets, bakeries, sculpture fields, a skate park, and soccer matches. At the Moxy bar, which offers 24-hour food service, you can certainly start your day with a coffee, latte, or breakfast flatbread. But crew members won’t fault you for skipping out to eat in town instead. In fact, they kind of expect you to. “People are usually here for one to two nights max, and they want to go check out the city and what it has to offer. They are going to go to Mean Mug or Sleepyhead Coffee, and we encourage that. You can go to Niedlov’s and Kenny’s. But if it’s raining or [you] need convenience, we’ve got ya.”