Stylish hotel ideal for those traveling on a budget
Ultra-mod rooms and whimsical, rainbow-bright decor throughout
Amenities include kettles, AC, free bottled water and flat-screen TVs
Free breakfast with mini pastries, fresh fruit, and cereal
Lobby bar serves burgers, curries, and fish and chips in the evening
Free Wi-Fi throughout and workstation with desktop PC
Small play area for kids
On-site parking (fee)
Far from London sights and areas of interest
Not within walking distance of the closest train station
Small rooms lacking in wardrobes, closets, or drawers
Bathrooms aren't stocked with products
The 119-room Ibis Styles London Croydon offers considerable perks paired with rates much lower than the average central London stay. The main drawback is that this two-pearl property is a 30-minute train ride to the city. Rooms are ultra-modern and bright with flat-screen TVs, electric kettles, and freebies like Wi-Fi, coffee, tea, and bottled water, but the small rooms have limited storage, and bathrooms are devoid of products. There's free breakfast in the lobby's eatery plus a bar that serves burgers and curries in the evening. Parking is available on-site for a nominal fee. Budget-conscious travelers may do better at Euro Hotel Clapham, as it's 10 minutes closer to London. Even better: It's within walking distance of the tube, which is cheaper and more convenient than the commuter train that's a five-minute drive from the Ibis Styles.
Color-soaked lobby with a spacious breakfast room, bar, and kiddie play space
The iron gate and parking lot in front of Ibis Styles London Croydon make it look a bit dreary. And two giant, white metal birdcages that house fountains with statues flanking the steps to the hotel entrance are a little awkward. But walking into the lobby is like opening a box of crayons. A series of petite pendants run above a galvanized reception desk with a base that resembles a green glow stick. It faces two faux wingback chairs in molded plastic and scattered lime footstools. The brightly lighted eatery offering free breakfast has azure-accented walls, one of which has a mural designed like a metro map featuring London's top sights. Clear acrylic chairs that bring to mind orange and sour apple candy are pulled up to tables topped with stripes. Multiple flat-screen TVs hang near the paneled ceiling, and there's a small computer workstation with a PC. The bar's royal blue stools pop against the high-gloss, white bar. Along the opposite wall, there are a couple of low tables and groovy chairs done in very-70s beige velvet. In the evening, the bar serves up a few entrees like burgers and curries. There's also a mini play area for kids with three identical images of Big Ben in blue, red, and orange mounted with real clock faces. Ibis Styles London Croydon is an attractive choice for business travelers and families looking for value.
The Ibis Styles London is located in Croydon, about 10 miles south of the city. The hotel is a five-minute drive from Thornton Heath station where you can pick up a commuter train on the Brighton line and get to Victoria Station in roughly 25 minutes. From there via tube it's an additional eight minutes to Buckingham Palace; 11 minutes to London Eye; 13 minutes to Harrods; 16 minutes to the British Museum; and 21 minutes to Tower of London. But Croydon is an increasingly hip destination in its own right with restaurants, markets, and shops. The Ibis is a 50-minute car ride to Heathrow Airport and a 30-minute drive to Gatwick Airport (more with traffic).
Compact and modern with bright hues -- but no wardrobes, drawers, closets, or bath products
The lobby's retro, modish design carries over to Ibis Styles London Croydon's sleek rooms. They're compact and podlike with punches of color such as tangerine orange, cherry red, and lime green on drapes, cube ottomans, and the three wide, padded vertical stripes serving as headboards. Furnishings -- including work surfaces at the foot of beds -- walls, and linens are basic white, and carpeting is off-black. Small pull-up stands to hold a book or laptop while lying in bed is a nice addition. Rooms have free Wi-Fi, coffee, tea, and bottled water, flat-screen TVs, electric kettles, full-length mirrors, and adjustable air-conditioning. Guests with lots of clothes may be challenged to find a place for them, as there are no closets, wardrobes, or drawers. There's a series of shallow wall shelves to tuck away personal items, with a built-in rod holding a handful of hangers. Bathrooms are snug, also with a single accent color, and have stall showers but don't come stocked with any bath products -- there's only a soap dispenser next to mirrors. Rooms on the higher end are upgraded with bathtubs and pedestal sinks.
Lobby with breakfast service, burgers and curries at night, guest computer, and a play space
Perks at Ibis Styles London are solid for a hotel of its category and include several freebies -- like Wi-Fi throughout and breakfast with cold items such as assorted mini pastries, cereal, and fruit. There's also coffee, tea, and bottled water on offer for free. The hotel lobby has a breakfast eatery and bar with beer on tap, basic cocktails, and packaged snacks -- and a few entrees in the evening such as fish and chips, burgers, and curries. A workstation with a desktop PC is set up near reception, and there's a small play area for little ones tucked into a corner with a rug, chairs, and wooden toys. Parking in the lot outside the hotel is available for a nominal fee.
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