Hotel Review: Moxy Hotel D.C.

Courtesy of The Moxy

Courtesy of The Moxy

Nestled in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C. is the Moxy Hotel, with its hot pink neon sign front and center. Upon entering you’re met with fun and modern décor, like amazing art murals dedicated to our nation’s capital, games galore, novelty signs, Monopoly money on the wall and Trigger, the white carousel horse. The check-in desk is attached to the bar where you’ll receive a welcome cocktail, which is perfect for us here at WDFT.

My stay at the Moxy included some fun activities that will most likely be available at different points in the year. A cocktail class with local woman-owned distillery, Republic Restoratives, set our evening off with Civic vodka and Rodham rye as our bases. I felt like a real bartender, ready to serve the masses the ‘Diamondback’ and the ‘Layover’ that I learned to make like the pros. I appreciated that the Moxy is collaborating with local businesses. Not only does it introduce newcomers to their goods, but it also reminds residents to visit and enjoy what’s nearby.

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Later in the night, we were given the chance to get read. You read that right. The Moxy invited a lipstick reader, who appeared on Dr. Oz, and a tarot card reader to give guests a rundown on who they are and what’s going on in their lives. It’s one of the more unique offerings I’ve ever seen in a hotel lobby, and left a guest or two shaken, but it was super fun and insightful. In true Moxy fashion, we played games the rest of the night, and I took my turn on Trigger the Horse, who I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of on social media, as more folks become hip to the hotel’s location. Apparently, a certain reality show celeb (*cough* HazelE *cough*) took advantage of the horse in more ways than one.

The next morning, I woke up to a mimosa at my door...at 8 a.m. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a drink that early in the morning, but it’s apparent that the folks at the Moxy want you to live your best life. The rooms also inspire you to never want to leave, with a modern vintage vibe and expansive view of downtown D.C. My favorite part was the bathroom mirror that reminded me ‘I woke up like this,’ which was fabulous of course.

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After our morning cocktail, we were also treated to a yoga class on the rooftop, overlooking D.C., the sun shining on our hungover faces. The retractable rooftop is going to make an amazing space for happy hours, work events, weddings, bar mitzvahs, you name it. There are only a handful of rooftops like this in D.C. so this summer at the Moxy is sure to be a busy one.

Breakfast at the Moxy is also an event. The menu features an assortment of bagels, a yummy breakfast naan, artisan coffees, and breakfast cocktails like the ‘Cold Brew Old Fashioned.’ You’re also welcome to enjoy the “Grab & Go” food center 24/7 whenever you get peckish, which can eliminate being forced to order room service. The staff will also suggest eateries nearby, if you’re looking for a heartier meal. Our group dined at Sfoglina, a Fabio Trabocchi restaurant, specializing in pasta and Italian cuisine.

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All in all, if you’re looking for a comfortable, unique, and fun-filled stay, the Moxy is the place for you. The staff do a great job of making sure you’re enjoying every moment of your stay, even though the décor, games, and Trigger will be sure to remind you in case you forget. Even if you’re not looking to sleepover, you can still enjoy the games, and the bar, which features a daily happy hour from 4-7 pm and includes snacks like truffle fries, a 12” hot dog, and naan flatbreads. My favorite cocktail is the ‘Shiso Pretty,’ made up of Bulleit rye and yuzu syrup. So good!

Moxy hotel is located at 1011 K St, NW, DC 20001. For more information on the hotel, click here! Check out more pics from my stay below.

-Nyasha Chikowore

YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK: Interview with Samara Rivers of the Black Bourbon Society

Photo Courtesy of Samara Rivers

Photo Courtesy of Samara Rivers

Samara Rivers is the Chief Bourbon Enthusiast and Founder of the Black Bourbon Society (BBS). Her love for bourbon began on a family trip to New Orleans after taking the suggestion of a salesman who introduced her to his favorite spirit. She became an instant fan and spent every Friday for an entire year creating and mixing new cocktails with bourbon.

Samara created BBS after realizing that there was a lack of direct consumer marketing geared towards people of color in the spirits industry and that most bourbon brands had no idea how much their popularity has grown among African Americans.

Black Bourbon Society brings together African American Bourbon Enthusiasts from across the country. With over 4,500 members, we’ve partnered with and featured several brands including Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark and Four Roses. Through exclusive events, curated dinner pairings and private whiskey tastings in markets such as ATL, LA, and Chicago, BBS encourages its members to enjoy good bourbon, network with like-minded bourbon lovers and gain a deeper appreciation for America’s Native Spirit.

I love Samara’s passion for all things bourbon! Check out more of what she has to say about America’s spirit below:

What is Black Bourbon Society?

Black Bourbon Society is a tiered membership organization open to everyone who enjoys premium spirits and is interested in gaining a deeper appreciation for America’s Native Spirit. Black Bourbon Society is crafting a movement that showcases the value of the niche lifestyle and sophisticated palates within the African American Community and beyond.

Why did you create BBS?

After realizing that there was very little direct consumer marketing geared towards people of color in the spirits industry, I began to brainstorm how to raise awareness of an emerging trend and demographic of upscale African American professionals who have high disposable incomes, enjoy luxury products and premium spirits. And thus, Black Bourbon Society was created.

Why did you choose to focus on bourbon?

I chose to focus on bourbon because it was the only spirit I was truly passionate about. It's such a complex spirit, America's Native Spirit, and each barrel, bottle, brand is different. The science and strict production rules also intrigued me. Bourbon must be at least 51% corn grain, aged in a newly charred American oak container. There are a long list of other rules that also go into making bourbon yet despite all of that, there is so much creativity and innovation happening in bourbon production right now. It's fascinating!

Do you feel like there is a gap in the spirits industry and black Americans?

Totally! There is a lack of inclusion from within the brands and also in how the brands market to their black American consumers. I created this company because I saw a huge disconnect between the two. And it wasn't that the brands were specifically excluding the demographic; it's because they were not aware of us and didn't know how to approach us. I believe it boiled down to a lack of awareness and not having a diverse staff to bring it to their attention.

BBS fills this gap by being the bridge. We work directly with the brands to create direct consumer marketing events and experiences specifically for our niche demographic of upscale African Americans who are conscious consumers, collectors, and eager to learn more about the spirit. We also advocate for the brands to diversify their internal staffing. There is a small handful of African Americans that work with these brands but none at the leadership level. There is much work to be done. Not only in the bourbon business, but in the spirits industry as a whole.

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What are your favorite bourbons?

My everyday sipper: Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond

My cocktail bourbon: Makers Mark

My unicorn bourbon: George T. Stagg

What are your favorite pairings with bourbon?

Bourbon can be paired with just about anything! From a juicy steak to savory desserts. Some of my favorite pairings are with churros and creme brûlée.

If you're not ordering bourbon, what do you order?

A good full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. If it's a hot day, I'm probably ordering gin in a cocktail or keeping it simple with a glass of Rosé!

What's next for BBS?

Photo Courtesy of Samara Rivers

Photo Courtesy of Samara Rivers

There's so much coming down the pipeline for BBS. We're getting ready to launch our spring events calendar which will have events taking place in L.A., Louisville, New Orleans, Atlanta and possibly Florida. We also have our sold-out Spring Exclusive Excursion to Louisville coming up. For this excursion, we have some amazing behind the scenes tours lined up with Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace. We will also attend Opening Night at Churchill Downs and conclude the weekend with a brunch-gala honoring the Black Jockeys.

Later in the year, we will produce our annual event, Bourbon Boule, another Fall Exclusive Excursion, and other events across the country. BBS will also continue to advocate for diversity and inclusion through speaking engagements at New Orleans Bourbon Festival, Whiskey Obsession, and Tales of the Cocktail. We are constantly growing, adding new events to the calendar, and continuing to create amazing content for our members on a daily basis. Black Bourbon Society is just getting started!

For more information, check out the Black Bourbon Society at blackbourbonsociety.com.