First experience of an IBIS hotel. Unfortunately not a great one.
The hotel is around a 10 minute walk from the central bus station so we were pleased with its location in relation to all the local amenities. However, no more than a metre from the front entrance, I managed to walk into a pile of dog mess. Not exactly the hotel's problem, but an early indication of the experience to come. On reaching the desk, shoe in hand, I was met with a completely blank stare from the manager as I tried to explain what had happened and if I could use their toilets to clean off. I was not told that the toilets required a keycard so had to sneak in behind another guest. I felt this was fairly poor customer service from the get-go.
On my return to the lobby, I was told that we were unable to check in until 2pm. This was odd as, when we booked our rooms online, we were asked to provide an arrival time. Knowing our flight would get us in early, we'd specifically selected pre-12pm. Apparently they only take this info for general awareness but, if it has no affect on check-in, it baffles me as to why they would need it. I should add that there was no thought to ask if I was okay or if they'd taken any action to clear up the mess outside but, again, I suppose it was not exactly their problem. They did take our bags into storage free-of-charge though. We then left to come back later.
After several hours getting our bearings, we returned to the hotel around 4pm and checked in. The rooms are very basic and there's no separate bathroom (bear this in mind if you're sharing with a friend/family member). Unfortunately mine smelt of foul bleach, enough so that I asked to switch. My colleague's was fine, but my replacement was not too much better. I bought an air freshener to try and improve it as best I could.
Unfortunately there was not much I could do about the loud music playing until 3am. The hotel is situated above a club courtyard and, even four floors up, the music was blaring through the window. My colleague had much the same difficulty sleeping.
Breakfast is provided at £5.50 per person but, based on our poor experience, we chose to venture out to some of the very reasonably priced local cafes. We were incredibly tired for our next two days of conference talks so a quality coffee each morning was something we were both in strong need of. If a return trip to Belfast were on the cards, we would not be choosing this hotel again