I think most people who know me reasonably well are aware that I feel blowing a lot of money on accommodations is a waste. I’m not the sort to sit around in my hotel room, so it really only needs to be good for what I’m using it for – SLEEP.
Along those lines, it needs to be reasonably quiet with a reasonably comfortable bed. I also need to sleep with the comfort of knowing that I won’t wake up with bed bugs, scabies or cockroaches preferably, so the cleanliness bit DOES matter to me as well.
I say this all to explain why I’d be staying in an Ibis “budget,” which admittedly I’ve never done before. Ibis Hotels is one option in our Concur options for work and I’ve stayed at a regular Ibis in Paris, which I found perfectly met my standards. The newly purchased Ibis (former Best Western) in Brussels needs some work, but it takes time to do a hotel conversion! I first saw the Novotel (sister chain) next door and the Ibis exterior looked a little sad compared to that, but I was happy to see the interior was clean and well lit.
A very polite French man greeted me to check me in and I was surprised to learn that there are no keys – just a code that is changed for you to enter your room. The same code will get you in the gate and front doors after-hours. I was a little put off by how far the hotel was from the center of town, but given I have a car, it wasn’t a major issue . . . but that is one of my main rating criteria normally, so I can’t give it good marks there.
When I got up to my room, I already knew about the weird bunk bed situation as this is also a purchase by Ibis and all the rooms are the same. The second I sat on the bed, I knew I had an issue. The mattress felt about as thin as a futon mattress and was directly on hard wood! Strangely, while I woke up a couple of times and had to switch positions because of the discomfort of the bed, my FitBit recorded a peaceful night with the same amount of tossing & turning that I normally do . . . so, I guess the bed was uncomfortable, but not THAT bad? I was pretty stiff in the morning though.
Another thing that didn’t matter at all for me, but could in a scenario of sharing the room with others is that, other than the toilet, the bathroom is IN the room – as you can see below, not only is the sink in the room, but the shower opens directly into the room.
Pros: Very clean, pleasant front desk man, was very quiet when I was there, hotel next door has a restaurant, they had a nice breakfast buffet laid out that looked really good (of course, even though it was reasonably priced, nothing beats 2-3 Euro for a pastry and coffee)
Cons: Not close to town, bed was not comfortable (although I slept ok), restaurant next door was mediocre
Bottom line, despite my FitBit saying I slept reasonably well, I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to sleep on that bed again. If I returned to the area, I’d spend the extra cash to stay somewhere else. If they put decent mattresses on the bed, I’d gladly stay here again!