Chesterfield – Ibis Chesterfield Centre

Another one of my bookings from the Accor Black Friday sale in December, this was my stay in Chesterfield for three days in mid-March 2020.

This is another Ibis which is struggling, indeed quite badly, on TripAdvisor and is rated as one of the worst hotels in the town. My room was sufficiently clean though, although the whole hotel is clearly in need of some modernisation and renovation.

I had three days to enjoy this beautiful view. Being slightly abnormal, I do like the background noise of traffic though, so all is well. Although, on this point, some bloody idiot in the planning department has allowed this hotel to be built without a pedestrian crossing to the town centre, which is a three-minute walk away. This means that guests of the hotel have to try and cross a busy road and are reliant on cars slowing down to let them across. I can’t recall in all the hotels that I’ve visited in the UK such a dangerous situation and is perhaps a reminder to town planners that pedestrians do need to cross roads….

A well stocked drinks tray, with the addition of chocolates being unusual.

These were the sugars provided, note the Accor branding…..

There was a welcome gift of bottled water, a nice little touch, a choice between still or sparkling.

The drinks voucher for the welcome drink.

The selection of drinks was, as usual, weak, although I can tolerate Boddingtons as a last resort and especially when it’s free. The pint was fuller than this when served, but I drank some so I didn’t spill it when walking to the table.

The bar and restaurant area, which is also used for breakfast. I don’t like the pool table there, this seems to be a concept rolled out by Accor to make the public areas feel more accessible. In the case of this hotel, the brand needs to sort out the restaurant and bar options if they want this area to be better used. There was a menu of what sounded like uninspiring microwave based meals, it didn’t sound entirely appealing and I’m not sure why Accor persist with this. I noted the review:

“When staff asked about my meal, I said it was awful. She apologised and wished me a good evening! Not sure why she bothered to ask.”

Which amused me when picturing the scene in my mind. Perhaps I need to get out more. Another person seemed pleased with their experience:

“The food in the “restaurant” was disgusting.the chicken fillet burger came with half cooked, greasy chips, over cooked chicken smothered in horrible greasy cheese, and a stale bun, no salad or garnish. probably the worst meal I have ever tried to eat in my entire life. I would rather kill myself than spend another night in this s******e”.

The lift in the hotel also slightly scared me when I used it, which was rarely as I prefer to use the stairs. Guests excitedly get into the lift to go to their floor and press the button and are seamlessly taken up in an elegant and smooth journey. Well, that’s the theory. This lift clunks about, seems to think about what it’s going to do, then judders up, keeps the door shut, jolts sharply and then opens the door to disgorge the slightly confused occupants.

I was again moderately amused at the review on TripAdvisor:

“Partner got stuck in lift for over ten minutes, staff weren’t bothered.”

I’ve been picturing this scene with some amusement, although I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time. I also liked the review of the angry guest who was too hot, so the hotel gave him a fan and then one of the blades fell off.

This review also moderately surprised me:

“Stayed one night after a friends funeral in Chesterfield, the room at £69 was over priced plus there using duvets on the bed which the wife wasn’t happy with. And there wasn’t a spoon with the team making facilities which was probably down to the cleaning staff.”

I suspect the hotel was equally surprised that someone left a 1/5 review because of a missing tea-spoon and that there was a duvet. They replied:

“I apologise if the housekeeping staff accidentally failed to leave a teaspoon in your room, however, this could have been corrected immediately if reported. With regards to the room having a duvet on the bed, this is the generally the case in most modern hotels.”

The cold options at breakfast.

The hot options and I very much approve of the quality of the sausages and bacon, which I perhaps over-indulged in. There was the provision of disposable cups for those wanting to take their hot drinks away, with some interesting teas also available for guests. The quality of the breakfast was fine, the staff were also pro-active in ensuring that everything was kept topped up. I can’t say that a large number of guests opted for breakfast though, I suspect the nearby Wetherspoons and other outlets might have tempted some away.

Overall, since this cost around £30 per night including breakfast, it’s hard to complain too much about the hotel. So I won’t, especially as the staff were all friendly and the house-keeping staff were efficient and restocked everything. It feels slightly dated, but I liked the hotel and I’d stay here again if I fancy coming back to Chesterfield to look at their wonky church.