I’ve mentioned it before on both instagram and my blog, but there are few things that I love in life as much as staying in hotels. I didn’t stay in hotels much as a kid so every time I did it was for a really memorable reason, and the joy and novelty of being in a hotel is seared into my brain. I just love being in a room that is yours ostensibly, that isn’t usually yours (and that you don’t have to share with anyone else).
So when I found out that I was going to be an ibis Ambassador this year, I was thrilled. So hopefully over the next year, I’ll be able to review a lot more interesting ibis locations for you. But my first port of call was my old home, London. If you’ve only started reading Rhyme & Ribbons in the last year or so, you might not have known, but I lived in London for years. And I was always a south of the river person. Always. So I know London really well, but it’s so exciting to go back and visit through the eyes of a tourist.
When I touched down in London, I immediately hopped on the Underground to take me to the hotel. No point waiting around! The location was incredibly convenient. I’d say that the ibis Blackfriars location was about a 2 minute walk from Southwark tube. And that’s if you were walking really slowly. I was thrilled to be on the South Bank. I’ve blogged before about how the walks between the Globe and Borough Market and the Tate and the National Theatre are some of my favourite in London. All of that is on your doorstep with ibis Blackfriars.
Upon entering the hotel, I was immediately impressed with the decor. I have a hard time slotting ibis into a financial bracket. It’s not as budget as Travelodge or Premier Inn, but it’s not luxury either. To be honest, in terms of decor and some amenities it reminded me of the Citizen M Hotels. (Which I love. You can see my review of the Shoreditch Citizen M.)
The staff at the hotel were all so, so lovely and friendly. I think it’s a massive bonus – to be treated like a customer but also a friend. I usually have really low expectations for hotel breakfasts and hotel food, but I was excited going in to the ibis Blackfriars because all the TripAdvisor reviews said that breakfast was awesome. We had both lunch and breakfast (and an evening cocktail) at ibis; the food is also amazing. The portions at lunch were hugely generous and everything was both flavourful and lovingly made. But all the TripAdvisor reviews were correct; breakfast is the star of the show at this ibis. It’s all buffet style, but oh what a buffet it was! You could have anything from shots of french toast to chorizo to poached eggs and avocado toast. It was extremely modern, and dare I say it – hip? I ate so much at breakfast that I ended up skipping lunch all together. At an extra tenner per person for breakfast, it’s definitely excellent value for money.
There are 297 rooms at ibis Blackfriars and they are fully occupied a large portion of the time. I was let in on a little secret – the rooms are all getting a more modern makeover next year, so expect them to gradually look even more stylish! Our bed was extremely comfortable and I got a wonderful night’s sleep. The room was so quiet and despite being in Central London we didn’t hear any noise at all. I even slept with the window curtains open as we were on the 12th floor and you could see the London Eye from our room. (I wanted to wake up seeing it!)
There are some really nice modern touches around the hotel. There’s a “moncierge”; a touchscreen board that lets you pick your language and then browse maps, local attractions, restaurant suggestions, and even send postcards digitally for free. You can also check flight statuses on it which is definitely handy. Another nice digital touch that I loved is that there was a tablet in the bar that let you queue up the next song that you wanted to hear. Basically you could sit in the hotel bar and DJ all night long if you really wanted to.
I couldn’t recommend this ibis location more highly, and I really hope to go back to it again in the future!
Prices start at from £83, though you can expect those prices to go up in busy times in the London tourist calendar. ibis London Blackfriars is located at: 49 Blackfriars road, London, SE1 8NZ
Have you ever experienced a stay at an ibis before?
***I was a guest of ibis but all thoughts and opinions are forever my own!***