I forgot to write about this a few months ago, but it’s relevant (or slightly relevant…) to the next post I’ll be making.
Last year, Accor decided to change the brand image of their Ibis Styles network of hotels and remove the need for them to offer a free breakfast. It had been a little bit clunky for years though, some offered a basic continental breakfast only (which I liked, Ibis Styles Croydon did that) which was free, and some offered a paid-for cooked breakfast on top as well. That set-up was never really viable as it seemed to just annoy customers who thought they were getting free bacon and eggs, but had to fork out another £5 or so.
That meant that an Ibis Styles hotel could offer a free continental breakfast, which would be fine for me, but they disappointed people who wanted a fully cooked breakfast. I asked at Ibis Styles Kensington earlier this year why the change had been made, as I worked through numerous breakfast bags during my many visits there and then they suddenly stopped. They said that Accor recognised that the free breakfast wasn’t meeting the demands of the customer and so hotels were given flexibility on what they offered. Apparently this process started before the health crisis, so must have been an ongoing problem for a few years.
I like the differentiation of Ibis Styles, their branding is often quite fun and different, with a theme to each hotel. In a few locations, some of the themes are quite half-hearted and I can’t see why a hotel has picked to become an Ibis Styles over a simple Ibis. Anyway, the breakfast situation was clearly muddled, with hotels paying quite a lot of money out when there were two people and two kids in a room, and it’s not hard to note the guests who pinch stuff for their lunch and the like. Whether or not they should be doing that, it comes at quite an expense to the hotel.
So, it was probably the right decision from Accor, although I’d like them to start offering the hotel deals which include breakfast again, I liked those. They were stopped during the last couple of years as breakfast rooms are already at, or near, capacity, but it’s definitely time for them to return.
I mention this now as next door to the hotel I’m staying at, Ibis Styles Barnsley, is a Toby Carvery and so I went there for breakfast this morning instead. As it seems did a fair few other hotel guests, but that’s a different matter.