I’ve never stayed in an Ibis Styles before last night. Ibis seems to be the Accor group’s budget brand whereas sister brands Novotel and Mercure are supposedly a tad more upmarket. The group also, bizarrely, owns the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Presumably it’s quintessentially French!
Within Ibis there are a handful of sub brands. “Styles” seems to mirror Holiday Inn Express in that it offers a basic continental breakfast within the room rate, has laundry service but seems to be set up for cheaper short stays. One differentiator is that Ibis Styles hotels appear to have decor relevant to location. Being near Haydock racecourse I found myself exposed to menus designed like a race card, bedside lamp shades shaped like a jockey’s helmet and various other bizarre items depicting horses, jumps and so on. It was actually quite bizarre.
So what do you get for your money? A smooth check in, a spacious enough room, tea and coffee facilities, a shower room and a bed with the thinnest quilt cover I’ve ever experienced. It was basic. It was adequate. And it was marginally less comfortable than my last stay in a Holiday Inn Express.
There is was a 24/7 menu for half decent sounding meals, although these weren’t cheap. The pub next door looked a better bet for a decently priced meal.
Breakfast was basic too. Toast, croissant, cereal and yoghurt. And that was about it. I was actually quite surprised by how limited the continental breakfast was.
There is an option of paying £6 for a full English, or £3.50 for a bacon roll. I was happy without and didn’t see any member of staff interested in taking an order anyway. Or any note on the price card saying how to order.
Checkout was simple.
In the end, the hotel did what it said it would do. Bed, breakfast and a reasonable level of price compared to neighbouring hotels. In other circumstances I might have been pleased to have a menu for evening meals and hot breakfasts which might give it an edge over competitors for some stays.
But going back to my comparison with Holiday Inn Express. Ibis Styles Haydock just isn’t as good as my experience of numerous HIX properties. Give me competitive costs and I can’t see myself staying with Ibis. It would need to be a bargain.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this hotel, I wish I’d stayed in the similarly priced Premier Inn on the other side of the East Lancs Road.