Reading – Ibis

Not to be confused with the nearby Ibis Styles hotel, this complex was built on the site of the Boar’s Head pub and also contains a Novotel. But Novotel is a bit expensive for me in the UK, I’m not back in Poland now to afford that sort of decadence….. The welcome from the staff member was, well, memorable and she was so enthusiastic, but full marks for that, it’s nice for staff to make an effort. The staff member mentioned she saw my Accor profile asked for rooms higher up, but she said on this occasion she was going to give me a lower floor as they were banging about higher up with the ongoing refurbishment programme. I very much liked her “if there’s absolutely anything we can help with, just let us know”, it reminded me of Christian from Channel 4’s Hotel series (he ended up in prison though, I have much higher hopes for the kind staff here). There was a WhatsApp number that anyone could message and I’m a fan of this, I hate phones (they’re very last century) and I prefer messaging complaints using text based services, not that I had any on this occasion…..

It’s reassuringly brand standard and that’s by no means a negative comment. Clean, functional and the same as most other Ibis hotels. The window opened, the television was modern (I actually turned it on to cast Only Fools and Horses to it from my Britbox account) and the temperature was just as I wanted it.

The bar and lobby area, this is nicely done given the space that they’ve got available to them. The atmosphere was cosy and I liked listening to the conversation of the Polish guests nearby. Not in a nosy way, as I struggled to have a clue what they were talking about, it just reminded me of Poland, which anyone who reads this blog occasionally (and few read it regularly, so I’ll take the occasional readers) will know I frequently miss. They do offer a basic menu of food, although there is so much competition locally that I suspect they don’t have many takers.

The welcome drink of London Pride and this is OK with me, it’s a nod towards having a proper beer and not offering me Bud or Corona.

“We kindly ask you not to be alarmed”, seems a reasonable request.

There was a blandness to this hotel which I found really quite reassuring, it’s a corporate and peaceful location and I didn’t have any noise issues either internally or externally. The customer service was excellent, a friendly welcome which made me feel welcome, and the prices are towards the lower end of the scale. The management felt competent, the surroundings were clean and everything seemed in its place, other than I had no idea where the stairs were to reception and got caught having to take the lift.

I’d stay here again (and probably will) and there’s more about the hotel here.