If you have read about “The Power of Promotions I” (here), you know about my plan to stay at three Accor hotels in Thailand for as little as possible to earn Gold Status and lots of Air Berlin miles. The ibis Pattaya fits the bill, barely…
Ibis is the budget brand (read more here) within the Accor group of hotels and I recently stayed at the ibis Bangkok Sathorn (read here). I liked it and named it the “cheapest hotel in Bangkok I’d still recommend”.
Location: I expected the ibis Pattaya to be very similar – and it was. It’s located in North Pattaya, next door to the brand new Mercure Ocean Resort (reviewed here). It’s a short walk from public transport and the beach, with a view of the parking lot – or the Mercure mini-water park. I walked over from the Mercure where I stayed the night before, the check in was quick and friendly and the lobby as the same cheery, colorful cafeteria look as the ibis Sathorn.
Room: The room is pretty much identical to the one at the ibis Sathorn – if you wake up after a night out on town, you might not remember which town! It is compact, quite modern and very functional. I like the hardwood/laminate floor and the light-wood furniture, giving it a bit of a Scandinavian feel (think Ikea). The room has universal electric outlets for all your gadgets, a safe for valuables, a fridge and kettle. The TV is wall-mounted, but tiny. There is a bench to sit or store luggage and plenty of room for large luggage under the raised bed, so a couple with multiple large suit cases will still be able to move around easily. The bed oddly was a European “double”, instead of the expected “queen” bed – basically, two single beds pushed together with a noticeable gap in the middle, not my favorite. The bathroom is also small, yet well thought out. It is all-tiles with accent mosaic tiles above the sink. The shower is in the corner, making it feel more spacious than it is, has glass doors and great water pressure. There are shampoo/soap dispensers which some people don’t like. I find them very practical and better for the environment than thousands of little plastic bottles. There is a hair dryer as well as soft towels.
Amenities: The hotel seemed to be a little older than the one in Bangkok and showed some wear in the room, bathroom and hallways – enough to notice, not enough to be considered a problem.
The hotel has a small pool – nice enough, if you want to relax a little and a good alternative to the so-so beach. I paid extra for breakfast and it was worth it. I give credit to the French ownership for the butter and chocolate croissants, baguette and French toast. There are also hot Western and Asian food offerings, juices, coffee, tea, fresh fruit & yogurt and cornflakes. The quality and variety of items are much better than I expected at this price point. There also is a small bar off the lobby, which looks nice enough for a drink after a long trip, but I didn’t try it.
Accor knows how to do small, budget hotel rooms and does them well consistantly. The rooms are modern, clean and functional, with enough room for two and their luggage and basic amenities are present. While I could still recommend the ibis Sathorn, I have a harder time with the Ibis Pattaya. With the much nicer Mercure next door, avaiable for only $12 more during my stay, it’s hard to pick the ibis instead. Should the price gap grow as the brand new Mercure becomes more popular, that might change…