What’s it like? This Ibis property is one of the closest hotels to London Luton Airport, just beaten by the Holiday Inn Express London Luton Airport located a couple of minutes up the road. The Ibis is a modern, red-brick, low-rise building, which has been extended a couple of years ago to bring the room count up to 162. When i checked in on a Tuesday evening the recption area was busy, but there were three smiley and helpful members of staff on the check-in desk and i was quickly served.
Where is it? The hotel is a few minutes by shuttle bus both from the airport, and from Luton Airport Parkway station (with direct links to London’s St Pancras International). The bus runs every ten minutes during peak hours, and costs £1 per journey. Those without too much luggage can walk from the hotel to the airport terminal in around ten minutes.
Room facilities All rooms are identical with the exception of 14 slightly larger family rooms (which feature a queen-size bed and a single pullout bed), and there are double or twin bed options. My room looked out towards the airport, and despite the double glazing there was a fair amount of noise when aircraft took off or landed. Thankfully the majority of flights arrive before 11pm, and depart after 6am, although there are a few exceptions.
In-room facilities include a workdesk and chair by the window, flatscreen TV with with paid-for movies, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, black out blind, a storage area in the corner with shelves and hangars, and a full-length mirror. Wifi internet access is available throughout the hotel, charged at £7 for two hours or £14 for 24 hours – entertainment packages are also available including the stay, in-room movies, internet and music. There are no ironing boards in the rooms, but there is a dedicated ironing room on each floor, and safety deposit boxes are available at reception.
All rooms have curved bathroom pods in one corner, which effectively act as all-in-one wet rooms, with a power shower, toilet and basin. Towels are provided as is a shower gel dispenser attached to the shower wall, and a bar of soap. The pre-fabricated nature of the bathrooms make them feel a bit flimsy, but for a short overnight stay they do the job.
Restaurants and bars The hotel’s restaurant and bar are located to the left of reception. Snacks are available thoughout the day, and the dinner menu runs from 6pm-10.30pm, with choices including British Hereford beef burger (£7.95), rib eye steak (£12.95), fish and chips (£7.25), Aberdeen Angus beef lasagne (£7.75), and sunblushed pepper and ricotta pasta (£7.75).
Breakfast is also served here, with a continental option available from 4am (useful as flights start to depart Luton from around 6am), and an all-you-can eat buffet breakfast (£6.95) between 6.30am and 10am (midday at weekends).
There is also a terrace at the front of the property, which, given the hotel’s proximity both to a busy road, and the airport perimeter, you would have thought would only be used by smokers. However when i was there Ibis was offering a bbq and jazz evening – this is a regular occurence apparently, despite the fact that the music was frequently drowned out by the noise of an aircraft taking off or a shuttle bus going by. Having said that there were quite a few people sat outside, seemingly oblivious to the noise.
Business and meeting facilities There are a total of four meeting rooms on the ground floor, with capacities ranging from 10 people for a boardroom meeting up to 80 people theatre-style. All prices include flipchart, overhead projector and screen, tea and coffee, and an in-room water cooler.
Leisure facilities None
Verdict Conveniently located for the airport, and with useful facilities including the early breakfast for those dawn departures from Luton.
How many rooms? 162, including 39 twin rooms and 14 family rooms.
Price Full flexible internet rates for a midweek stay in mid-July started from £55, room only.
Contact Ibis London Luton Airport, Spittlesea Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9NZ; tel +44 (0)1582 424 488; ibishotel.com