Warsaw – Ibis Warszawa Stare Miasto

This is the seventh Accor hotel in Warsaw that I’ve stayed in over the last couple of years, and the fifth this month, and it’s also the one I’ve liked the least and the only one that I wouldn’t stay at again. I posted separately about how Ibis are seemingly moving away from what I personally would like, with this hotel being the cause of that post.

Irritatingly though, for an Ibis hotel, the breakfast, the welcome and the design of the public areas was well ahead of the curve for the brand. The public areas do have that community feel, although they need to go further, whether it’s by implementing some form of coffee shop or some form of specialism, such as my own favourite of craft beer. The first impressions for guests at this hotel is, I’d imagine, a really positive one as it’s airy, bright and contemporary in style.

I’ve already posted that I don’t like the room, I think it looks dated, although it’s the lack of functionality that is primarily why I don’t like it. There used to be a lovely desk and chair under that window. Ibis used to be proud of that, in the booking confirmation for this stay it even mentions “a large desk”.

Incidentally, the room does still have a door, this hasn’t been removed yet. In terms of cleanliness, it was spotless, with the bathroom feeling modern and contemporary. This also isn’t the brand standard for the new room that Accor sent to me last year, all three of their room designs had desks in, albeit not as large as I’d personally like, so I’m not sure why at this stage they’ve changed.

The room’s climbing frame and play area. As an aside, the bed was very comfortable. Although since there’s no chair now, I suppose it has to be.

Just as my opinion, this is a really poor design, I’m conscious that a couple of airport lounges introduced these, then had to take them back out again. Anyone with an adapter, so the USA, the UK, much of Asia and the like, may struggle as they’re recessed. That leaves one power point in the room. I don’t understand why they can’t just keep things simple and have a power socket on the wall that everyone can use. Design improvements are meant to make things easier, not present the guest with more difficulties.

I digress slightly, but a few years ago, Marriott hotels had this marvellous idea that they’d take the desk out of hotel rooms. They claimed this was what the younger generation wanted, that guests didn’t want formal desks, they wanted informality and they could always sit on their bed with their laptop or just use public spaces. It was a little bit of a PR nightmare for the company and the policy was scrapped during the fit-out process, it had misunderstood the needs of millennials, let alone everyone else. I’m also pretty confident that in a year’s time that Accor will be doing the same, saying that they’re evolving the room design by re-implementing larger desks.

Anyway, back to my normal drivel, this is the welcome drink voucher. The check-in process was seamless, the staff member particularly engaging and everything felt clean and modern. I’m pleased to note that this hotel still has a check-in desk, although Ibis are apparently ditching them so that customers have to queue up at the bar. I have no idea how Accor have come to the impression that this is a great idea, although they have access to far more customer data than I ever will, so I’m sure they’ve got good reason. Although, I still think customers want to be receive a proper welcome from a staff member at the check-in desk, they often don’t want to check-in at a computer, or by trying to find a member of bar staff padding around with a device to check them in.

This is the standard beer offered by Ibis as a free gift, all acceptable if not particularly exciting.

And a lovely touch, very much appreciated.

For a few seconds I wondered what was going on here, but it’s just the floor being protected whilst they go through ruining the rooms with the new design.

Breakfast was much better than the standard Ibis fare, I’m not sure why they’re going further than the brand standard. My Polish friends know what I think of smalec, but it’s a delicacy which it’s good to see for those who want to try it. The range of cold meats isn’t the usual Ibis standard either, it’s much better, which I very much approve of, with a wider selection of breads.

All told, and excluding what I personally consider to be a dysfunctional room, this is one of the best Ibis hotels that I’ve been to. The cleanliness, staff friendliness and attempt at localisation at breakfast are all really positive, although I’m always easy to please by giving me free chocolate. But, a desk and chair in the room is essential for me, if not for others, so this is a hotel I won’t be revisiting.