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Reviewed July 7, 2017

Efficient hotel for Harbin, Stayed during Ice Festival and CNY. Good budget basecamp for the adventurous tourists. Plenty of noodle, dumpling, McD's nearby. Tourist shopping are a few blocks away. Quiet, beds firm, bathrooms very clean! WiFi not so good, but that's China.

Stayed: January 2017, traveled solo
1  Thank Taoze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2017 via mobile

Chose this hotel in Harbin because it was amongst the top 5 in TripAdvisor. Stayed there for 4 nights from 10 May. Room given was 650.

Accessibility by major transport:-

1. Took Airport Bus No. 3 to Zhongyang Main Street (中央大街)~ ¥20per pax (1 hr bus journey) Walked about 15 mins to ibis. <We took a domestic flight from Shanghai to Harbin, 3-hr flight>

2. Took a cab from Harbin Train Station (哈尔滨火车站/哈站)back to ibis to check out the train station ~¥9 (10 mins due to rain & traffic jam) <Note that Harbin Train Station under reconstruction and it was very messy. >

3. Took a cab from ibis to Harbin West Train Station (哈尔滨西火车站/哈西)~ ¥23 (20 mins). Cab alighting point is on basement level. Though it was raining, we were absolutely dry. Harbin West Train Station was completed and operational in Nov 2013.

4. Took a cab from hotel to Siberian Tiger Park - about RMB40

5. Took a cab from main road Shang Zhi Jie (尚志街)to Unit 731 Museum and cost us a whopping RMB 85. Read TA reviews, it should have been RMB40 only but weren't sure where the reviewers have taken their cabs from. We turned on our GPS and when it showed it was nearing the museum, the cab metre showed RMB60 plus only. Suddenly, from 1km, 600m became bigger number again. We weren't sure if we keyed in our destination correctly on our handphone. Whatever it is, you can all try out and see if we have been ripped off with that RMB 85 cab fare. We took a bus back to Harbin Train Station. Bus 338 I think and the one-hour Long bus journey only cost us RMB2/pax. Please check our review on Unit 731 Museum.

Bullet point summary of this hotel:-

Positive :

1. Location, just 3-min walk to St Sophia Cathedral.

2. Housed in the same building as high end Mykal shopping mall where Hermes, Gucci, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, Versace etc are found. Area more conducive (周围环境没那么杂)Went to Harbin Railway station (哈站)to check out the station and the surrounding was run-down & chaotic, we think it could partly be due to the station that was under reconstruction. It was so bad that we decided to take a train from Harbin West Station (哈西站) which was much further away from ibis.

3. Fronting a school, thus pretty quiet environment.旺中带静,静中带旺的感觉。

4. Near bus stop.

5. 5-min walk to pedestrianized Central street (Zhong Yang Da Jie) (中央大街)

6. 3-5-min walk to three different outlets of Oriental Dumpling (Dong Fang Jiao Zi Wang) (东方饺子王)- number 2 in TA's Harbin restaurants review. See our review.

7. 3-min walk to MacDonalds, at MyKal shopping centre,1st storey (British system: ground floor)

8. 5-min walk to Maomao Xunrou Dabing 毛毛熏肉大饼 Number 15/16 @ TA. See our review.

9. 8-min walk to Modern Coffee and Restaurant 马迭尔冷饮厅. Stay away from this restaurant at all cost! See our review.

10. Able to check in between 12noon-1pm.
11. Room was new & clean

12. Timber floorboard, got a homely feel

13. The 3-in-1 shower cream, shampoo and conditioner was moisturising and good!

14. Shower cubicle installed.

15. Manageable room size for Asians like us. Like I've reviewed before, anyone who has stayed in Ritzon's (in Johor Bahru, Malaysia) smallest room will find most hotel rooms bigger than theirs. So room size at Ibis Harbin (St Sophia Cathedral) was ok. It even had a writing desk, chair and a small sattie. Having said this, when two of us were moving around the room at the SAME time, incessant "excuse me"s were sounded.

16. Essentials such as shower cream, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush sets, slippers, hairdryer, kettle, paper cups, tea bags, 2 bottles of water per day were all provided except no shaver and body lotion.

17. If you wanna go to Volga Manor, hotel reception could get a cab driver named Ah Niu (阿牛)who will be willing to fetch you to and fro Volga Manor plus wait for you at ¥350. Unsure if this is a reasonable price because in the end we did not check further and did not go, we chose to go to Unit 731 War Museum instead. Please see our review.

18. WiFi speed was ok.

Areas to-be-improved

1. Reluctant (almost to the extent of refusing) to change our room even though we requested so as we did not like facing the staircase for 4 nights (see photo). Receptionist alerted manager Tracy. Tracy, instead of agreeing to change the room, highlighted that only Room 650 had a soft layer on the hard mattress. Tracy was very polite & diplomatic, she even came up to our room personally to check if everything was ok. Crux of it: we were still stuck with the room that looked at the unsightly staircase (please see our picture) which also ran the risk of people peeping into the room, not for one night, not for two but for FOUR nights!!!

2. It has re-written the definition of hard mattress for us. Even though manager Tracy said another softer layer has been laid on top of the hard mattress, it was still hard. Could we sleep? Yes, we were dead tired, so we still slept (after first 2 nights, we gotten used to the HARD bed) but perhaps not as soundly as when we were at Novotel Shanghai Clover? (Unsure...Shrug shoulders)

3. Toilet bowl, though Geberit brand, had trouble in flushing it. Not that couldn't flush but gotta press so hard and so long to clear contents in the bowl. May be it was not the fault of Geberit but ibis could have a reduced water flow. Tap control for water flow was not visible.

4. Water could not flow out quickly in sink so much as that we sometimes had to wash our hands or fill the kettle with the shower head.

5. Room 650 faced the staircase that was accessible by anyone because there was no need to tap nor slot card in the lift to go to our floor.

6. Security is laxed. See No. 5. Even JinJiang Inn Changchun had tighter security for its lifts.

Will we recommend this hotel to you?

If you do not wanna spend so much on accommodation & still wanna be close to St Sophia Cathedral and Central Street and yet get a conducive place to rest at night, go for it.

If you really mind the hard bed and 200sf small room, then choose another hotel.

As to whether staff speak English, we can't comment because we speak Mandarin (Chinese) too.

Stayed: May 2017, traveled as a couple
7  Thank Jedai79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2017

The hotel is ultra busy during the Winter Ice Festival. It is in the middle of the city , close to shopping centres, malls and pedestrian malls. St Sophia church is close. The rooms are clean and most importantly ..HEATED. It was - 24 C when I was there. Taxis are available usually for a set price. They will wait for you to bring you back. Breakfast is good and hearty. A great time to catch information from other travellers. Would go back to this hotel. Tickets for the Ice festival are cheaper for over 70s .Take you passport and ask for the special entry ticket desk.

  • Stayed: January 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cve44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2017

I booked this purely on the reviews here. I was initially dubious due to the low price but was convinced to book after reading the reviews here. I highly recommend this hotel. It is not luxury but it is exactly like any other Ibis I have stayed in around the world. In fact I think the room was probably bigger than some I have stayed in. I was the 3rd floor and whilst the view wasn't great (faced another room), that didn't matter as I wasn't in my room much. It was clean, warm, had English TV channels, complimentary water and the usual hotel toiletries. The 3rd floor also had a cafeteria. I didn't visit but it seemed popular. The front of house staff were fine - limited English but could answer basic questions. I actually walked here from Harbin central railway station (took 20 minutes) and took a local bus to Harbin West railway station (an easy 40 minute ride). Sophia Church is around the corner and if you visit when the ice festival is on, one of the parks about 5 minutes away has lots of ice statues in (for a fee can visit). Great value hotel in a perfect location - thanks Ibis.

  • Stayed: February 2017, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Aussyrunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2017

I think my title speaks for itself. As an Accor Club member I've been in Ibis hotels all over the place. And I must say, Ibis hotels are getting better and better. The one in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Montevieo, Uruguay or Munich, Germany, or even, Salsburg, Austria, are pretty pretty good. So I decided to stay at the Ibis in Harbin, expecting it to be the same old Ibis, that you can count on. The impression I had was that I had landed on a Counterfeit Ibis. A hotel that really shouldn't carry the Accor flag. At the end of the day, taking in consideration the options you have in that part of China, and the prices, it's not an all bad option. But that is NOT an Ibis. Room is very small. Bathroom is more like they use to have in old Formula 1 hotels. Walls are thin and you can hear loud and clear the activities of your next-door room. Mattress is sufferable, hard and bumpy. Beddings and pillows are poor. And, to top it all off, the breakfast is chinese food only and, brace yourselves, the staff speak no english!!! OMG, it's like they went to a Ibis elsewhere and copied it. It surely does look like an Ibis, but it really is not one.
Anyway, gotta be fair. All and all, not a bad option to stay in Harbin.
Just one little story to finalize.
We had just arrived, late at night, after an 8 hour train ride from Beijing, for the Ice Festival. It was 11pm and we entered the lobby, -28 outside. We ask the concierge about the Ice Festival. She looks at us as if we had spoken ET language and says: - Ice Festival???!!! For a second there we thought maybe we had landed in the wrong city. But no, they just don't speak english whatsoever. Funny.
Great trip thou. Lovely experience.

  • Stayed: January 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank celsocg87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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