This was my 2nd visit to this hotel, and I arrived just after 5pm on a Friday evening - which is surely a busy time for hotels as a lot of customers would be arriving at that time for a weekend stay. Upon my arrival at said peak time, I was met by one person serving on reception. One person, trying to check in a large group of people ahead of me, and taking a very long time about it. I watched the receptionist check in each person or pair of persons - I saw her check the booking, issue a key card and take a pre-auth on their credit card. This should complete check-in, however for each person(s), the reception then continued to do - I don't know what - with each person. It was taking a long time to get through this large group.
All the time a second member of staff was stood behind reception, putting those large A4 sheets of paper that Ibis use upon check-in into the desk file. And this second person was also looking a bit lost, and a bit vacant - as if saying 'what am I supposed to be doing here?'. Throughout which, the queue was building up behind me (remember it's 5pm on Friday - busy time!).
A third member of staff came out from the back room and stood behind reception. She chatted to the other reception staff for a minute or two, then disappeared back into the back room.
And whilst all this was happening, I was getting very frustrated and annoyed. I was pacing up and down on the spot, and cursing under my breath "What are they doing?", "How much longer?", "Why can't the other person(s) serve?", and probably looking quite red-faced! My cursing was under my breath, it would have been completely inaudible to anyone listening.
By this time, I think the second receptionist who was doing her filing, must have noticed the look on my face (I wasn't smiling!) and spotted me pacing on the spot. She then called me over and started to check me in. Why couldn't she have done that sooner, especially as a queue was building up behind me?
I gave her my name, she couldn't find my reservation. I showed my credit card with my name on it (to ensure she heard my name correctly), she still couldn't find my reservation. I then presented a print-out of my confirmation email with my booking confirmation number, and she still couldn't find my reservation. The receptionist had to go and ask her colleague, who was STILL dealing with the previously mentioned large group of people, for help to find my reservation.
Once my reservation was located, the receptionist asked me to present my credit card for pre-auth, which is obviously standard practice. The pre-auth amount was £0.01. Yes, 1 penny! I can't work out why the hotel was wasting my time, by asking me to pre-auth 1 penny. I commented "1p?" to the receptionist, but given how long I'd been waiting to check in, I quickly entered my pin number to complete the process before the receptionist had chance to change the amount.
It took about 15 minutes from entering the hotel to completing the farce of a check-in. There is nothing that winds me up more in the retail industry (pubs, hotels, shops, cafes, etc) than one person serving - especially at a busy time of the day/week.
Once I got to my room, it was typical Ibis - absolutely fine. Well apart from there being no shower gel in the shower. The room (on the 12th floor) was very quiet, I heard no external or internal noise.
I'd certainly stay here again, but would hope for a better check-in experience next time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ibis Leeds Centre is a 168 room hotel located within the centre of Leeds, close to the shopping district, 10 minutes walk from Leeds railway station, 20 minutes drive from Leeds Bradford Airport. Ideal for business and leisure travelers alike. The hotel features a restaurant open between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m and a bar open between 12 noon and 1 a.m with snacks available 24 hours. Complimentary WIFI is available throughout the hotel. The hotel does not have its own car park but there is a public pay and display car park opposite the hotel where charges apply during the day and evening. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ibis Leeds Centre Hotel Leeds
- Accor Leeds Centre