A Review Of Ibis Mumbai Airport
This was my first stay at an Accor property. I was looking for accommodation for two nights at Mumbai and the advertisement of Ibis Mumbai Airport showed up in the Google results. I must admit that the rates I got from the hotel website were terrific and I booked the hotel without any hesitation as Ibis is a fairly reputed brand. The booking, of course, was non-refundable but since my plans were definite I had no issues with that and gave a credit card guarantee for the same. The card wasn’t charged immediately.
A day before the check-in I got a mail from the hotel giving a link to online check-in, where I simply updated my particulars and the check-in was done. All I had to do was reach the hotel and pick up my key from the reception after producing my ID. It was only after completing the online check-in that my credit card was charged. The hotel provides free transfers from the Domestic Terminal but since my flight was arriving at the International terminal, it was not part of my package. I was offered transfers on additional payment which I declined as the rates were quite expensive in comparison to a prepaid AC cab.
I reached the hotel late at night – close to midnight – and sure enough, my key was ready and no time was wasted in the check-in. I could not, however, get a smoking room as the hotel was full. I was told to go up to the room on my own, which was a little surprising as normally the bell-boy escorts the guests to the room along with the baggage. I was told that the baggage would follow shortly. However, when the baggage did not arrive even after a wait of 20 minutes, I finally called the reception and it was then that the bag was brought up. A bit disappointing, as the last thing a weary traveler wants after a late night arrival is to be kept waiting for the baggage, especially if one has an early start for work next morning.
The room that was allocated was typical of a budget hotel, but clean and comfortable. It wasn’t a very big room, but it wasn’t cramped either. Also, considering the fact that I was alone, the space was more than adequate. As is the case with most hotels, the bathroom was immediately after the entry door. However, while most bathroom walls are straight, this one’s was oval, giving the impression of more room than there actually was. The twin beds in the room were joined together to form a double bed, and the sheets as well as pillows were clean. On the other side of the room there was a window with a roll-down blind, under which there was a fixed work-station and a wardrobe on one side. Facing the bed was a flat screen TV of medium size. The window in the room overlooked the adjoining Sahara Star hotel and its pool. In the morning I got good views of aircraft taking off, but thankfully, the soundproofing is good and outside noise is not audible in the room.
The room amenities at Ibis Mumbai Airport included a tea/coffee maker, a couple of 500 ML bottles of complimentary drinking water, glasses and cups, and an empty ice bucket. Built into the wardrobe were an electronic safe as well as a small refrigerator. The reason for the ice-bucket became clearer later when I noticed a water cooler-cum-ice-dispenser located in the corridor outside the room, provided as a common facility on the floor. Also part of the common facilities outside was an ironing stand and an iron. Nice thoughtful touch to provide these as a self-service facility, and very practical as well. There is free WIFI but the speed ranges between moderate to slow. High speed plans are chargeable.
The reason for the curved bathroom wall became apparent later when I opened the bathroom door, and it came as a bit of a surprise as well. The bathroom is very compact – in fact it is one single oval-shaped modular unit, made mostly from molded plastic or fiber, if I am not mistaken. The unit was divided into two parts – one was a shower cabinet and the other had the WC and the sink. The bathroom takes some getting used to, because of its compact design and the fact that it is a single modular unit. It somehow reminded me of the modular washrooms used on cruise ships. However, I must add here that though it was compact, at no point did I find it cramped. I am fairly big built and could use the bathroom without any problems.
The restaurant is located on the ground floor and is not very big. I had breakfast there twice. The breakfast spread, though not lavish, is fairly okay and there is plenty of choice offered, including cereals, juices, veg & non-veg Indian as well Continental options. They have a live counter in one corner serving hot paranthas and eggs to order. The masala omelet was excellent. However, service seems to be a bit of an issue here. Being a transit / business hotel they are usually full, and the strain on the staff in the restaurant is evident. Though the staff are polite at all times, what I could not help noticing was that the greeting is missing, as is the smile on their faces, and they about their tasks almost mechanically, almost avoiding eye contact. On the first day they did not even ask me for my room number – I entered, filled my plate, ate and left without any interaction with anyone whatsoever. On the second day I was mechanically asked for my room number. I had to ask for water to be served. The juice glasses had run out and it took two reminders to get them to get a fresh lot.
The check-out process was painless and smooth, and barely took 2 to 3 minutes, and I was on my way to the airport shortly after that.
Overall, I had a comfortable two-night stay at the Ibis Mumbai Airport, and would not mind staying there again. However, on the service front, there is certainly some scope for improvement there.
Rajiv Bajaj asserts his right to be identified as the author of this work. Any views or opinions expressed in this review is that of the author. All copyright and pictures are the property of the author.