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Ibis Charleroi Airport - a good bye?
Ibis Hotels in general
Member Name: proxam
Ibis Hotels in general
Date: 21/08/06, updated on 16/11/13 (254 review reads)
Advantages: Clean, modern and convenient for the airport
Disadvantages: Not the most attractive location
They're almost always located either in city-centres, or close to motorway junctions. All their hotels offer "a 24-hour reception desk, a cosy bar area, snack service at any time day or night and usually a varied choice of restaurants."
They also promise to solve any little problem you have within fifteen minutes - if not, the room is free.
Booking an Ibis hotel online is simple - the Accor website is well laid out and easy to negotiate. Just type in your destination, click on a particular brand of hotel (or any/all), list your dates, fill in your details, and three clicks later the room is booked.
If you should need to cancel, and I have frequently changed my plans and done just that, it's a matter of typing your confirmation number, click cancel, click confirm, and that's it. You can cancel up to 4pm on the day of arrival.
Ibis Hotels are part of the Accor group which includes the chains of Sofitel, Mercure, Novotel and Etap, among others.
They have 625 hotels with 65,964 rooms spread throughout 33 countries.
IBIS CHARLEROI AIRPORT
The hotel (a 3-storey building constructed in 1999) is in the village of Fleurus, North-East of Charleroi city, and 5 Km from the airport - they have a shuttle service. Take Exit 15 on the E42-A15 motorway, and it's 300m towards Charleroi on the N29, Chaussee de Charleroi.
It's a relatively busy road but, as it's essentially a residential area, the traffic is fairly light in the evening.
Parking's not a problem here as the hotel has more than enough spaces for all the guests.
Checking-in was swift and painless and took no more than a few minutes. We were attended to immediately and the guy behind the desk was pleasant and friendly.
The reception area was clean and functional, with a few sofas strategically placed around. The restaurant and bar were adjacent, as were the stairs (no elevator).
Ibis rooms come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all have in common is the fixtures and decor. If you've stayed in one before, you'll know exactly what to expect so there should be no nasty surprises. This one had 44 rooms - not a great deal, but we only wanted one.
Our room was very clean and not tired looking in any way. As per usual, the room was decorated in the company's standard fashion - pale tangerine and light green (I know, it's sounds absolutely horrendous, but trust me, it's not nearly as un-tasteful as it sounds). There were two twin beds which were firm and comfortable, although they seemed rather on the small side to me - it might have been my imagination though, because the room was a decent size. There was shelving around, and in between, the beds - which was convenient, otherwise there would have been nowhere to keep the phone, clock/radio etc. Reading lamps were fixed to the wall above both beds.
There was a work station-come-desk-come-dresser with internet link and plenty of bright, and adjustable, lighting. There was also a reasonably large, open-plan wardrobe with full length mirror, lots of shelves and adequate space to store luggage.
The room had cable TV with around 30 channels in a variety of languages but more importantly for us, it had the British channels BBC1 and ITV1 - don't you just hate when a hotel's concession to English language channels amount to CNN and BBC World?
The room had A/C and heating.
The bathroom was roomy enough and had all the usual trappings one would expect in a room of this kind (including bath tub), a powerful shower, inexpensive, but adequate toiletries, a hairdryer, and plenty of towels gently cooking on the heated towel-rail. The bathroom was tiled throughout, as clean as a whistle, and there was a reasonable sized vanity area with a large, well-lit mirror.
We were at the front of the building and, as the room was soundproofed, there wasn't much noise. I don't think Charleroi Airport operates on a 24hr system anyway, but the motorway is quite close.
The facilities, such as they are, consisted of a couple of conference rooms, a small bar and a restaurant, and not much else - no swimming pool, no fitness room and no fancy night-club.
We didn't try the restaurant but I must confess to sampling a beer or two in the bar, just for research purposes. As with any bar in Belgium, they had a good choice of some excellent beers.
The area around the hotel could hardly be described as picturesque...even by a blind man, although the village of Fleurus has a few decent restaurants and bars.
The suburbs of Charleroi consist of a sprawl of former coal mining villages and it's a rather depressed and depressing area. Charleroi city is not a whole lot better - it's one of the ugliest places I've ever seen. There's quite a bit of dereliction and the south of the city is almost entirely made-up of huge steel mills, chemical works, and forests of belching smoke-stacks.
No, it's not my idea of a tourist destination.
We paid 70 euros (ex breakfast) for a double room.
In conclusion: This isn't somewhere I would pick to stay for a pleasure trip, but if you have an early morning departure from, or late night arrival at, Charleroi airport, then it's a good bet. A taxi won't cost more than a few euros, but as I've already said, there's a free shuttle service to and from the airport - so the smart thing to do is nix that taxi fare and splash out on a couple of beers instead. You know it makes sense.
modern and clean, and has everything you need for a stopover.
Summary: Modern and clean with everything you need for a stopover.