Ibis: A Budget-Friendly Hotel in Ciudad del Rio

Ibis Hotel (photo: David Lee)
Ibis Hotel (photo: David Lee)

Branded hotels. In general, you know what you are going to get wherever you are, a bit like McDonald’s.

The Ibis hotel chain, owned by Accor Hotels, spans the globe from Asia to Latin America.

It’s for a more budget-minded clientele than its upmarket sister chains, Pullman and Sofitel, and is generally considered a three-star brand with over 1,800 hotels in their portfolio.

The exterior of the Ibis Hotel
The exterior of the Ibis Hotel

Medellín’s Ibis hotel can be found in Ciudad del Rio, facing the same plaza as the Museo del Arte Moderno, which is in the last stages of a $10 million expansion.

As well as being close to the Museum, the hotel is situated by a number of cafés and restaurants (including the cute Cariñito Café) which have sprung up thanks to the redevelopment of the Ciudad del Rio area.

It is also only a block from the popular Ciudad del Rio park which is home to many a family enjoying a weekend picnic, runners, yoga practitioners and teenagers making use of the skate park.

The city center is 10 minutes north by car as is the Plaza Mayor Convention and Exhibition Center.

In terms of public transportation, you can pick up north or southbound buses on Avenida Las Vegas, and the Poblado and Industriales metro stations are each a 10-minute walk away.

It’s a long 30-minute walk from Parque Lleras, so if you choose the Ibis, taxis or Uber are the easier methods of getting around.

Ibis Hotel
Bar and lobby at the Ibis Hotel

The hotel itself is pleasant enough though the concrete top half could be prettier from the outside. The large glass lobby gives the place lots of light and a modern feel, while the 216 rooms means it’s a sizeable hotel.

The facilities cater to the executive traveler and the budget-conscious family. Instead of having bell boys at your service you have airport luggage trollies to transport things yourself as most guests have rolling bags.

There is no gym or pool, though a day pass to the popular Confama leisure facility next door can be arranged.

There is a spacious 180-seat restaurant that serves all you can eat buffet breakfasts from 16,000 pesos ($6.40) and all you can eat lunch and dinners at 21,000 pesos ($8.40), beverages not included.

The restaurant
The restaurant

There is also a downstairs lobby bar that serves food and drinks 24/7. From beers to sandwiches, rum cocktails to peanuts.

The rooms, at least the standard ones, are cozy but have the necessary amenities for many – TV, hair dryer and air conditioning.

Views are slightly limited to other buildings if you are one side of the hotel, however the other side has pleasant views toward the park and Museum. There is also double glazing to reduce the noise from Avenida Las Vegas and the highway.

The decor is a bit bland in the rooms and the rose carpets in the hallways could do with a change.

However, they charge by the room instead of the person, so the extra fold out bed for children that comes in every room means families can get a room for a reasonable 109,000 pesos($44) per night on the weekends while executives will be paying 139,000 pesos ($56) during the week.

A standard room
A standard room

They have a couple of interesting promises to their guests. One is that due to their environmental targets, they no longer supply shampoo or soap, but rather a public gel type dispenser. No thieving for you!

Alongside their commendable environmental commitments, they also guarantee that any problem will be attended to within 15 minutes, or else they will give you a free night on the house. That’s a confident policy so they must run a tight ship.

The chain is obviously operating under a professional, business-like ethic. If you want clean, relatively cheap and relatively cheerful accommodation, the Ibis could be the hotel for you.


The last three photos are courtesy of Ibis Hotels.

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Nick is an international development professional from the UK and is currently working for an NGO based in Medellin that supports miners and their communities. As well as covering development issues, he hopes to share his insights into life in Medellin and the daily confusion/excitement that comes with living in the city.