“ Address: Portlands Botchergate / CA1 1RP / Carlisle / United Kingdom / Tel : (+44)122/8518000 „
The Ibis hotel Carlisle is part of the Ibis Company. The Ibis is a European company and a subsidiary company of the French Accor. They have worldwide 750 hotels. Characteristic of the Ibis is that they are cheap, simple but you get good quality for your money. They have a nice breakfast and offer several services. I have stayed a few times in an Ibis, often because of the location of the hotel in a city. They are often next to an airport or in the middle of the centre.
The Ibis Carlisle is located at the Botchergate in the centre of Carlisle. It's a nice small hotel with 102 rooms. On the ground floor you have the reception with 1 or 2 persons, who speak English. At the Ibis you will always find people with different nationalities, so they might speak several languages.
At every Ibis the ground floor is the same. You have the reception, a bar where you can go for a drink or a snack. They do offer almost every kind of alcohol, since they have a liquor license and is 24 hours a day open. They have a computer, which you can use for a small amount of money. Then you have the breakfast section. To go to your room you have the option to use 2 elevators.
The Ibis Carlisle is located at the centre of Carlisle and on walking distance of the shops. In the street of the hotel you will find the possibility to go for a drink at night, since they have clubs and bars. 5 minutes walking and you are at the main shopping street where you can spend the whole day shopping. If you arrive with train, the hotel is located 10 minutes from the train station. If you are with car, then you can car your car behind the hotel for free. You will get a parking card that you will have to place in your car. Don't forget that, otherwise you will get a fine, what happened to me.
I have stayed twice at this hotel and every time at a standard room. The standard room is in every Ibis hotel the same. You can stay with 2 persons at this room and they offer the possibility to stay with a child. The rooms are very clean. When you enter the room, at your right you will have the bathroom with shower and toilet. It's a little bit small but you got a mirror with free soap and other stuff. In the room you will find a TV stand and the television, the bed with 2 bed stands and a desk with a seat. You have a water cooker with tea/coffee. The bed is ok, good enough to sleep, but not very comfortable. The got 2 small pillows, but you can always ask for more pillows. The room has air-conditioning and a telephone.
Bathroom with shower and toilet.
Coffee and tea facilities.
I didn't have breakfast when I stayed there, but it looked very good. Especially the times are very good. You can have breakfast from 4 to 12 o'clock. Although the breakfast difference at which time you arrive:
4-6:30am: coffee or tea, fruit juice, bread and pastries
6:30 - 10: a generous "help yourself" buffet breakfast
10-12 noon: coffee or tea, fruit juice, bread and pastries
At the ground floor there is a computer with Internet available against payment. IN the whole hotel you have wireless Internet, also against payment.
If your child is younger then 12 years old, he/she can stay free if he/she stays the same room as the parents. You also get 50% off the breakfast.
At the Ibis hotel they got this Quality commitment, which is always good to know:
'In our 700 Ibis hotels, if by misfortune you have any little problem, we set ourselves 15 minutes to solve it. Otherwise? You will be our guest.
Check in: 14.00
Check out: 12.00
The rooms are offered for 48 pound a night and breakfast is 5,50 pound a person.
Carlisle is a nice city to go shopping or to go to a club. The Ibis is perfect for that kind of visit. The location is great and the hotel is good for staying there to sleep and have breakfast. The bar gives you the option to go for a snack or drink if you are bored. The hotel room is fine, the bed being average.
Of late I have become quite a fan of Premier Inns, only of course in the sense that if you must stay in a bland, identikit budget chain, Premier Inns tend to be the most comfortable and least unpleasant. Alas, the Carlisle Premier Inn is too far from the city centre to have been a practical option on a recent overnight stay and so we decided to book the Ibis on Botchergate, a useful location being just two minutes from the station and five from the main market square. I did recall a positive review (on the Other Side) earlier this year but, unfortunately for me on this occasion it was the negatives rather than the positives I should have recalled.
My requirements were simple: I wanted somewhere fairly close to the train station and within easy walking distance of the shops and restaurants in the city centre. I also didn't want to spend too much money. Our en suite double in the Ibis cost just £34.00 for the night (without breakfast).
It had been many years since I had been to Carlisle itself so I was not aware that Botchergate is the nightlife hub of the city; in fact, there are gates at either end of Botchergate which are pulled across early on Saturday evening to create a safe pedestrian zone. Of course, we didn't realise this until we made our way from the train station to the hotel. (If only I'd gone back to that review at the time of booking!) Now, although there are lots of bars and pubs on this stretch of street, there is also a good smattering of decent restaurants so it's not all bad news (of course if you like loud bars then it's not bad news at all).
The Ibis Carlisle is a fairly new building that is typical of new build Ibis hotels nationwide. It is such a shame to see this when the city in general is filled with stunning buildings, many of them desperate for a new lease of life (I guess the problems inherent in converting such important elderly properties make it very difficult, or impossible, for budget hotel chains to consider taking on).
The public areas look like any other Ibis and as I have in recent years reviewed Ibis hotels in Sheffield and Leeds, I won't dwell too much on the subject here. On the ground floor there was a restaurant/bar which was empty every time we went past, except for one couple eating breakfast on Sunday morning. As is our usual habit we ate all our meals, including breakfast, outside the hotel. We were informed, however, that breakfast is available from 4.00am until 12 noon; a hot buffet is available between 6.00and 10.00 and a continental buffet only is provided at other times.
Our room was on the second floor. The first thing we noticed when exiting the lift on our floor was the overpowering smell of bleach/chlorine which made the place smell like the changing area of a swimming pool; it was not pleasant.
We could have been stepping into any Ibis hotel room in the country but that, of course, is what Ibis want. The room was not large but it was fine for a night or two. There's no wardrobe but there is a clothes hanging area built into the corner of the room. A working area is built in underneath the window. In Ibis rooms there is only ever one chair, but there's also an upholstered built in seat against the wall beside the bed.
In other Ibis rooms we've had a hair drier and extra pillows but none were provided here. There was a kettle and small number of coffee sachets and tea bags, but less than we've come to expect. In the bathroom a tiny bar of soap was provided and there was hair and body shampoo in a wall mounted dispenser inside the walk in shower. There were two smallish bath towels, but no hand towels were provided.
I always find the showers pretty good in Ibis hotels which makes me want to stay in longer but, while the pressure is good and there's always non-stop hot water, the design of the shower cubicle is such that it's hard not to soak the entire floor of the pod. This one was slightly better than most and I managed to have a shower without totally drenching the bathmat.
Usually hotels like this have devices attached to the windows so that you can only partially open them. In our room in Carlisle, however, this device was broken and the window could be opened fully; this could be an issue for people traveling with children. So warm was our room during the night that we would have been happy to open the window, if only it had been a bit quieter outside. Our room was at the back of the building and overlooked a small pedestrian courtyard where there was a Walkabout Inn and a pseudo-Irish pub. The noise carried on until the early hours, at which point the shouting transferred to the floor above ours and carried on until after four am. When we had returned to the hotel we noticed that there was a floor walker for night time security, which seems to be the case these days in Ibis hotels in city centre locations but I don't think his presence did much to make people behave themselves.
The next morning when we left our room we found the carpet around the lift strewn with chips and other scraps of food, the floor of the lift and around the door of the lift in the reception area was the same. When we approached the desk, a male member of staff took the key cards and ask "Checking out? Thanks very much". Saracastic to a fault I couldn't help saying "Well, since you ask... No, we didn't have a good night's sleep. There was lots of noise outside and then noise on the floor above us."
"Did you phone reception to complain? We might have been able to give you another room."
"Well, no because it was four in the morning and we didn't want the additional hassle of getting dressed, packing our stuff and moving".
"Sorry, but there's nothing we can do about the pubs."
"You could mention on the website that the hotel is situated in a party area and could be noisy at weekends. Other hotels do that."
"The manager has been told that before".
At this point, sleep deprived and hungry, I couldn't be bothered to keep arguing my point and retreated to the nearby Wetherspoons where breakfasts are better value for money and the surroundings are a lot cleaner. By 9.00 o'clock in the morning, I don't think it's too much to expect that the mess from the night before would be cleaned up. Even if there wasn't a cleaner on the premises, there were enough hotel staff to quickly tidy the lift and the reception area. I also expect some enquiry about my stay and whether I was happy.
Would I recommend this hotel to others? I would recommend it for stays on weekdays but not for stays on Fridays or Saturdays unless you are intending to stay out into the early hours yourself. It's not a brilliant hotel, and I've stayed in much better Ibis hotels than this.
If my rating of three stars seems overly reasonable I should stress that this is based on what I think the hotel would be like during the week. If it's like this every weekend, I'd have to award only two stars.
All rooms have wi-fi that must be paid for. There is satellite television with limited channels but for a charge of £9.99 the media package gives you internet access and more channels and films.
The hotel does not have its own car park; there are pay carparks close by.
Of the 102 rooms, five are accessible for guests with reduced/limited mobility
I used to live in Carlisle up north in Cumbria and I still have many friends who live there so I go up to visit often.
I usually choose to stay in a bed and breakfast that im familiar with as the service there is so good but on the occasions it's fully booked I will book myself into the Ibis.
Now to anyone familiar with the ibis brand the one in Carlisle is pretty much the same as every other Ibis in the country which is somewhat comforting as you know what to expect. There is a 24 hour reception with a bar attached to it and a dining room where you can get meals and the breakfast is served. Then there are lifts to the different floors opposite the reception desks.
The rooms themselves are clean and comfortable if not luxuriously appointed but in this price bracket you would not expect anything too luxurious. The bathrooms are also all the same in every Ibis with a walk in shower and no baths.
In the room itself there is usually a double bed or 2 twins, a TV where you can also access movies and internet for a cost and a kettle with 2 mugs, some sachets of coffee, sugar, and tea.
Now this is all familiar territory for any Ibis as they are all exactly the same no matter which one you stay in so what else does the Carlisle Ibis offer over its budget rivals such as travel lodge?
Well first of all its location on Botchergate the main street with the bars and clubs mean it is the best location in town for people who enjoy a night out. On a Saturday night the street is absolutely heaving with people on a night out which if you are also then it's perfect, however if you are in Carlisle for a quite weekend it's definitely not the hotel for you as there are lots of drunk people outside the hotel all night and also the party quite often continues into the hallways outside your room.
Also the additions of burly bouncers on the doors on Saturday makes you feel a little intimidated when returning to the hotel but i suppose in practise with so many drunk people around it's a good thing.
When I have stayed at the Ibis it is only Saturday night there is this problem (or a good thing depending how you look at it) and the hotel and Botchergate return to a much more sedate pace every other night of the week.
The hotel is literally 2 minutes walk from the train station and it also has a large car park round the back which is free for guests.
To reach the town centre of Carlisle is also literally 2 minutes walk and the castle and Tully house museum can be reached in about 5 minutes.
When I stayed it cost me the grand total of £39 per night which i thought was s a total bargain.
The staff were all really friendly and went out of their way to help me with forward booking and answering my questions and all with a smile on their face which is a rarity these days.
In conclusion I'd definitely recommend this hotel for anyone looking for a cheap hotel in Carlisle in a good location but not for families or anyone else wanting somewhere peaceful on a Saturday night.
For the money you get a comfortable spotlessly clean room in a central location what more could you ask for?