The Incidental Tourist

Review – Ibis Hotels (Worldwide)

In town around the world for a holiday? Need somewhere to stay that won’t set you back a ton of money, yet offers an above average room and bed?

I’ve stayed in some pretty cheap places in my life, from seedy roadside motels along interstate exits, to some even more seedy places in downtown areas where the walls were paper thin and the goings on in rooms adjacent to mine were as plain as though they were occurring right in front of me.

The Ibis Chain is NOT one of those.

I first stayed in an Ibis hotel in January in London. I needed a cheap place to stay in the area of Earl’s Court after having to leave the hotel my company had put me up in for a weeks worth of work. Thus I searched for budget travel hotels and found the Ibis London Earl’s Court hotel, coming in at about 70 GBP or so per night. Going in, I wasn’t expecting much more than a pair of beds for my friend and I during our London holiday.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Ibis Earl’s Court was a LOT more than the price seemed. The lobby was clean, open and inviting and the desk staff were incredibly friendly, helpful and treated us as well as the staff in any 5 star hotel I’ve stayed in. The only thing missing was was the bell hop to take our luggage up for us.

I can’t comment on the restaurant, however, as we elected to eat out and about, sampling the many different options in various areas of London, but from what i saw of it at least, the restaurant and bar were clean, modern and looked reasonable.

Importantly, the room was quite nice for the price. It was smaller than more expensive hotels, but that’s to be expected, especially in Europe or other ares where space is at a premium and most places have smaller than American standard hotel rooms. Be that as it may, the room was clean, well appointed and most importantly, the beds were the equal of anything at the Grand Hyatt or Park Suites.

In fact, the beds at the Ibis were BETTER than the beds at the Novotel London City South over near London Bridge, which is listed as a 4 star hotel with rooms at least three times the cost of the Ibis per night.

The linens were of high quality, the comforter was soft and warm, the pillows were just the right amount of firm and felt the equal of any good down pillow. The mattress was surprisingly comfortable, affording very restful sleep, even more than I get at home.

My experience at the Ibis in London led me to choose Ibis again recently when I had occasion to take a weekend in Tokyo on the tail end of a trip through Taipei and Macau to work with some industry partners.

As with London, the Ibis Shinjuku was well appointed with comfortable, but expectedly small rooms. However, I’ve stayed in smaller. The bed was a fair size and the room was clean, well lit and comfortable.

In fact, there’s not much I can add about the Ibis Shinjuku that doesn’t match the Earl’s Court location in London. The Ibis chain has earned a spot on my list of hotels. Whenever I travel abroad, I will certainly be looking to Accor and the Ibis brand in the future. Twice I’ve tried their hotels and twice I’ve been suitably impressed.

So if you’re traveling and need budget lodgings, take a look for a local Ibis. You could do a lot worse.

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