Our stay at the Ibis Adelaide was the last of our city stays made possible by the South Australian Great State vouchers. Usually when we stay in the city it’s a treat, so we choose one of the luxury hotels. This time we decided to try out one of the budget options on offer. Here is my Ibis Adelaide review.
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About the Ibis Adelaide
Ibis is a worldwide brand under the Accor umbrella. It has a few different types, including Ibis Styles and Ibis Budget, but the Adelaide property sits just under the in-the-middle Ibis label. I have stayed at quite a few Ibis properties in other parts of the world, and when I think of them I think of basic but very comfortable modern rooms, furnished in what I call “IKEA style”. The rooms are usually on the small side, but always very neat and clean and with everything needed for a pleasant stay. They are towards the budget end of the price scale, so don’t have all the bells and whistles, but often they are not needed anyway. All up I consider them a good, reliable budget option, and definitely a brand I gravitate towards when I am looking for this type of accommodation.
The Ibis Adelaide is located on Grenfell Street in a fabulous location. It is only metres from the popular Rundle Mall shopping strip and not too much further from the Rundle Street restaurants or the museums of North Terrace. It’s around 15 minutes walk to the Adelaide Central Markets and 20 minutes to the Gouger Street restaurant strip – we visited both of these during our stay.
The Ibis Adelaide Experience
Check in at the Ibis starts at 2pm, but we arrived early – in fact, a lot early, around 9:45am. Our plan had been to simply drop off our bags and get on with the things we had planned, and come back later and check in. Instead, the staff checked if there was a room ready, and we were able to access our room right there and then!
The room was exactly as I expected it to be, small and comfortable. Not an inch of space is wasted in these rooms, with only the minimum walking room around the bed. The only other furniture in the room was a bench seat doubling as a luggage rack, a table top running the width of the room that served as both a table and desk. Our room also had a floor to ceiling window with views towards the Adelaide Hills.
There was a small fridge in the room, but there is nothing in it. A kettle with cups and teaspoons is provided, but due to covid, tea and coffee etc is not left in the room, but rather offered to you in a bag when checking in.
A compact rail for hanging clothes sits in front of a full length mirror and above shelves containing a safe, an iron and a hairdryer. There are also spare pillows here too if you want to use them.
I always enter the Ibis bathrooms with a little bit of trepidation after an international stay where the bathroom was tiny – barely enough room to stand to dry yourself, and there was no way I got get dressed in there! Thankfully there are no such issues here at Ibis Adelaide. The bathroom is a decent-sized – but still compact – bathroom, with enough room to move around and do what needs to be done in there. The toiletries supplied were in individual tubes.
There is no swimming pool here at the Ibis, but there is a gym that would do the job for a workout. It’s not huge, but does provide enough space around the equipment – I sometimes find these small gyms have so much equipped jammed in it’s hard to move. There is also an outside area, with would be lovely for some yoga on a nice morning, or just for lazing on the loungers with a book in the sunshine. Unfortunately there wasn’t much sun to be seen on my recent visit.
One thing you don’t see in every hotel is a laundry room. I can personally attest to when I was travelling overseas for long stretches of time how important and exciting it was to come across a hotel with a laundry. In fact, sometimes it was the sole reason we booked a certain property.
Another unique feature was the vending machine near the lifts on our floor – and I presume every floor. Not only did it contain the usual snacks, but you could pick up that forgotten toothbrush or headache tablets right here too. There was also a selection of alcoholic drinks available – which I found surprising.
Wifi at the Ibis does not appear to come as a standard feature – it is instead an enticement to sign up for the ALL loyalty program. This program is free and it covers all the Accor brand, and really, it’s a no brainer in my opinion if you need wifi. You can simply unsubscribe again later if you like.
The restaurant here is on the first floor. We did not have dinner here as we were meeting friends elsewhere, but we did have breakfast. Covid has changed the way meals are done, and breakfast is not currently the usual buffet style, but is ordered from the limited menu available. We were offered the cooked breakfast at the continental breakfast price – but I’m not entirely sure if this is an ongoing perk or if there was a particular reason for it.
The normal cooked breakfast was the usual bacon, eggs, toast, hash browns, mushrooms etc. It also came with fruit and yoghurt and a coffee or tea. When I asked about plant-based options, they were able to make me up a similar hot breakfast with all the veggies and spinach too. It was actually quite tasty.
Unfortunately on the day of our visit I think the restaurant was understaffed. There was one girl doing an absolutely incredible job of taking orders, making coffees, bringing plates to the tables and cleaning them for the next people, and it really wasn’t enough! There needed to be at least one other person working front of house here. We had a twenty minute wait even before our order was taken. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume a staff member called in sick at the last minute and they were doing the best they could.
The dining area has some slightly different seating areas, including an outside area that was not open during our stay. In early evening this becomes a good location for after work drinks with happy hour between 5-7pm.
As we left breakfast we decided to stay in our room for a while since it was not a very pleasant day outside. We called past the front desk to ask if our checkout could be extended – and we were given until 12pm to leave. While there were a reasonable amount of guests staying at the hotel, it didn’t seem full so it was nice to be granted this extension.
Check out was quick and easy. We asked for our bags to be stored for a couple hours while we did some more things around the city centre and that was easily accommodated.
So would I stay at the Ibis Adelaide again? Yes I would. I love the location of the hotel and the comfortable room. It’s not the place for a romantic stay or for a special occasion, but is great for a basic night in the city. While mostly aimed at leisure travellers, I see no reason why this wouldn’t also be a great option for business travellers if budget is a consideration.
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Another Adelaide Hotel in the same price range is The SOHO Hotel. Read my review on it here.
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Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred. She has lived in the state for almost her whole life, just one short stint away as a teenager with her family. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.