Heathrow – Ibis Heathrow

I’ve stayed at this Ibis hotel near the airport a few times and written about it before. It’s a short free bus journey away if using TFL buses and there’s car parking available for those who insist on driving everywhere.

This is one of the Accor hotels which persists in this habit of welcoming customers from the customer side of the reception desk. I don’t much like the practice, they’re often leaving screens open with names of other guests, and I’m pleased more Accor hotels are ditching this policy.

The check-in process was relatively quick, but they missed my free drink voucher, although it was provided quickly enough when I very politely hinted about it.

I’ve only once been given a welcome amenity by this hotel, and Accor themselves have told me to mark this hotel down for failing to do so every time. That seems a little harsh, but consistency is probably in the hotel’s own interests. The room was clean and well presented though, with a most lovely view of the car park. Everything was well stocked and worked properly, with the wi-fi being fine, albeit with a couple of drop-outs. They still have the anti-theft devices on their towels that I mentioned last time.

The room this time didn’t have an information card about breakfast times, contact details and the like, but it now has a menu instead.

The hotel is asking guests to pay £1 per bag they want stored during the day, which is donated to charity. I’ve never stored bags here, but I’m not convinced that charging for a service that guests would expect for free is an ideal solution here. I thought Accor hotels were meant to organise separate events to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust rather than this, but it is a marvellous charity to raise money for.

This was provided after I queried where it was….

The bar area, with two members of staff, one of whom was competent and welcoming, the other was, well, not. Bar work really isn’t an ideal role for those with misanthropic tendencies.

The London Pride was off, just for a short while, so I went for the Goose Session IPA as I haven’t had it before. Slightly generic, but it’s an interesting additional option for the hotel to offer as nearly every customer I noticed order beer went for the Stella option….

And served in a branded glass and at the appropriate temperature.

The breakfast buffet arrangements, with the food placed on two large tables in the centre of the restaurant area. There were plenty of seating available and the manager was making continual efforts to keep everything clean and tidy. There didn’t seem many customers going for the breakfast option, but it starts early and runs late to cater for those with strange flight times, so perhaps it’s rarely overly busy.

The croissants were particularly nice, although the muffins were the usual bland Ibis affair which the company must provide. The sausages were delicious and flavoursome, with the bacon either served slightly firm (my favourite) or with raw fat on it (my least favourite) which required some dexterity to get the piece I wanted. The ham lacked some colour and seemed quite grey, as if it had been out for a little while, but everything seemed organised and well presented.

I had a look at TripAdvisor to amuse myself and the hotel was left this ridiculous review.

“When I arrived at just gone 11am, which I have done on MANY occasions, I was expecting maybe a short wait to get into my room as 11 is a little early, what I wasn’t expecting was to be told the hotel was fully booked the night before & I would have to wait until TWO pm to check in UNLESS I paid an extra £20.00 & then low & behold a room would miraculously appear clean & ready for me.”

I’m often one of those people who checks in early, but 11:00 is very early for a check-in…. £20 for early check-in seems reasonable to me, although it’s free for most under the loyalty scheme anyway.

“You either have NO rooms available full stop because the hotel is booked OR you put your prices up on your website & on to reflect how much you are ACTUALLY going to charge people to get into their room at a reasonable time.”

14:00 seems reasonable to me…. They definitely had a room, ready and waiting for those who wanted to pay…. This is the problems that hotels face, they try and help customers by giving them something they’re not entitled to, such as an early check-in, only for the customer to throw it back at them later on with a 1 star review when they don’t get the same favour.

Overall, I can’t much complain (although I seem to end up doing so on here….) as the room, including breakfast, came to just over £30. For the convenience of Heathrow, this was ideal, plus I’ll get some points back on the new Accor Limitless loyalty scheme.