I am torn about this hotel because the staff were wonderful, maybe the friendliest and most attentive I have ever encountered in a hotel. But the property was dumpy and depressing, located in a really sketchy area, the breakfast was lacking (even by Ibis Budget standards), and the place just seemed sad.
When we pulled up, we expected there to be gated parking per the Ibis website. There wasn't, and instead we were greeted with large signs warning us of theft and indemnifying the hotel against our likely losses we'd suffer in that car park. It wasn't a surprise, since later that day, as we walked the 10-15 minutes to the city centre, we noticed the chickens roaming freely in the shantytown immediately next door, as well as the broken glass and rubbish strewn about everywhere. We then enter though the automatic glass doors (very nice!) and see the lovely counter and gorgeous lobby from the photo on the website. The attractive woman behind the counter greeted us and then said, "oh, this is the Mercure counter. Ibis is around the corner."
So we walk approximately 75 cm and turn the corner to find a tiny counter--no glass and hardwood--with an equally friendly and professional hotel worker who checks us into the Ibis room. We get a code, not a key, and go to our room. To get to it, we have to take the Mercure lift and walk through the Mercure halls. It all seems so strange, really, like passing through the business and economy sections of the airplane to be seated in the lavatory. But this was the room we paid for, so I suppose all's fair.
The building, I came to understand, houses both the Ibis Budget and the Mercure hotels. A strange arrangement, to be sure, which results in two different rooms serving two different levels of breakfast buffet. I should have chosen Mercure, as the Ibis breakfast was truly lacking. The fruit salad, which was the only healthy option, was bitter. Bitter fruit. Everything else at breakfast, while wholly uninspiring, was fine, albeit sparse as an array of choices.
Again, I suppose you get what you pay for, and what we got was a clean room, even if the carpet and fixtures are worn and sad, much like the exterior of the property. The bed was unmade when we got there, and the lights inadequate for illuminating the room. But as I said, the staff were very kind and friendly, though they forgot to credit my Accor account for the stay and I am stil waiting for them to correct this.
On the plus side, it is an inexpensive way to stay in Arles, close to everything, adjacent to free-roaming chickens (if that's your thing), and, luckily, nobody stole anything from us despite the many warning signs posted by management.
I doubt that I would stay there again, however. There's a "red Ibis" about 5 minutes away in a much better neighbourhood, and for the minimal difference in price, I would opt to stay there instead.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- For a vacation that won't break the bank, come to the ibis budget Arles Palais des Congrès hotel. 24-hour reception, air conditioning in all rooms, plenty of storage, flat-screen satellite TV. Ensuite functional bathrooms. Enjoy your breakfast looking out onto our lovely garden. The ibis Styles restaurant (part of the same complex as the ibis budget) is open every day and our swimming pool is available to use throughout the summer. Free private shared parking. ... more less
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