Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Stay Report: Ibis Styles Barcelona Centre (February 2017)

Stay Report: Ibis Styles Barcelona Centre
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I was going to be spending 3 days in Barcelona so I wanted something that was central to the landmarks and places I wanted to visit.  I also wanted to keep costs down so keeping all this in mind, I decided to try the Ibis Styles Barcelona Centre. 

According to AccorHotels, ibis Styles "offers an all-inclusive package, with room rates including breakfast and internet access. Situated in the heart of cities and in other major centres of activity, each establishment has its own distinct personality and reflects a colourful, bright and energetic brand spirit with a hint of humour."  While travelling in Switzerland I had seen the ibis Styles and they looked fresh and interesting so I wanted to try out the hotel.  As the information states, another unique feature is that all rooms include free breakfast.   

The hotel is centrally located, near many shops and restaurants, and about a 2-3 minute walk from the metro station.  The hotel is also about a 10-20 minute walk, on the same street, to the main plaza or a 10-15 minute, in the other direction, to the Sangrada Familia.  From the outside, the hotel itself does not look like much – it has a grey exterior that blends in with the surrounding building.   
The main entrance is on the street level, and then you enter the automatic doors and can either go straight or take a left.  Both lead into the lobby, but to different parts of the lobby.  Going straight leads to the breakfast area and sitting area, while going to the left leads to the check-in desk , the computer access, and the elevators (its all connected so does not matter which entrance you pick).  Even though the outside of the building is grey, the inside is very light and warm with light green colors and writing.   The color and brightness make the hotel look inviting and refreshing.

Check-in was quick and I received my key as well as the details of the free breakfast.  The breakfast took place in the sitting area from 7a to 10:30a on weekdays and from 7a to 10a on weekends.  Free wifi was also included, and I could log in as many devices as I wanted. 

After check-in, I took the elevator to the 7th floor.  The elevator was a pain – you connected your key to activate the elevator and then used touched screen to press your number; however, it almost never worked because it was too sensitive.  On the last day, a hotel employee told me the trick was that you had to touch the screen with your wrist – she said guests had a lot of complaints about the elevators.  The hallways were narrow and dark, which made them look more narrow, and the lights were motion sensored so only activated when you were there (making the other parts of the hallway look dark).  The room itself was a decent size and pretty bright

As you opened the door, there was a mini-hallway as you stepped into the room.  On the left had side was a long desk/table with the TV mounted on the wall.  Next to the desk was the open closet with shelves underneath.  The closet was very small comparable to the room.  The closet did have a safe. 

On the other side was the bed with two night stands on each side.  The bed was big in terms of size and was comfortable enough – it provided a decent nights sleep; not great, but decent.   Next to the bed was the bathroom, and given Ibis’s general size the bathroom was a decent size.  As you entered into the bathroom, on left was the sink and underneath were shelves which held the towels and hairdryers.  Next to the sink was some empty space which served no purpose.  On the other side was the toilet and next to the toilet was the stand-up shower.   The amenities provided included a hand wash/body wash/shampoo/soap bottle connected to the wall next to both the sink and inside the shower.  Overall, the room was more spacious than other Ibis hotels, and was generally comfortable.  The floor was very loud and this combined with thinner walls meant you could hear your neighbor sometimes.

Amenities of the hotel included the free wifi and free breakfast.  The wifi was very fast and I could connect as many devices as I wanted.  It was fast enough to stream videos and do emails.  The free breakfast was more substantial than I had expected.  They had a nice bread selection, with fresh breads you could cut yourself as well as sliced bread.  Croissants were also available along with Nutella and jam packets.  There was also a selection of yogurts and fruits, with a variety of toppings and fillings for your yogurt.  On the plated selection were meats, cheeses, and Spanish tortilla (slices of egg and potatoes).  There was a coffee machine available for espressos, coffee, teas and hot chocolates.  Orange juice, apple juice, and water were also available. 

Another nice perk of the hotel was that the left over croissants and donuts were placed next to the check-in desk, along with coffee and water, so anyone could take what they wanted when they wanted.  This was a nice perk.  As a LeClub member, I also got a card for a free drink which meant that I could have access to a free soft drink from the bar.  The bar also included beer and wine which could be paid for.

Overall it was a nice and pleasant stay at the Ibis Styles.  Good points including nice location, free wifi, free breakfast, decent size room, and overall pleasant staff.  Negatives included thin construction of rooms and touch-sensitive elevator.

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