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“Small Clean rooms, no Wifi (though they offer it), and poor service/food”
Review of Ibis Malabo

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Ibis Malabo
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Malabo
Vadodara, India
Level Contributor
223 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 280 helpful votes
“Small Clean rooms, no Wifi (though they offer it), and poor service/food”
Reviewed 26 April 2013 via mobile

Ibis Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Having visited this place several times I kind of new what to expect. Ibis is a semi-budget business hotel group which fills the market between 4-5 Star and the lower end of the market. Its operates by having new buildings with very clean but very basic architecture that are easy and cheap to maintain. Services and facilities are no frills specification but the necessary facilities for business travellers are there. Clean, good bed, good shower, internet and sometimes a little extra like a swimming pool. No spas or fancy gardens etc.

The group must also have strict limits on what it will pay for staff and training because despite the very basic nature of the services, expectations of customers and simple nature of equipment they seem to struggle with consistency.

Again, despite complaining about it on two previous visits the wifi connection is very poor. If you use an ethernet cable from the sockets provided in the lobby you have no trouble but if you try to use the wifi you are lost. So slow that using broadband test software the download speed registers as zero and upload at 60Kbps (about 10 times slower than the usual upload speed of broadband).

When I mentioned the wifi problem they seemed perplexed at yet so many people must have complained about it. "Tomorrow we will get someone to work on it." The same answer as last time and the time before. Obviously they use an outside contractor to reduce the payroll costs but whenever there is a problem, which is nearly always, the customer is never given a quick resolution.

It was the same with the room safe for storing your small valuables. The safe was locked closed when I arrived and so I couldn't use it. When I told reception they again looked perplexed and couldn't give any positive response like "We will send someone to correct this immediately". They staff seem to be unprepared for any of the usual "surprises" and give responses which give you no confidence that anything will be done to rectify the fault. I suspect they are running on a very low level of staffing. I could never get a positive answer to anything and there didn't seem to be a manager anywhere.

At breakfast at 06:30, half an hour after the breakfast start time, the hot food buffet didn't have any serving spoons and the plates were cold. Strangely they have a cup warmer but not a plate warmer. Understaffed restaurant from 06:00 to 07:00. As I found on previous visits the bread/toaster is in one corner and the jam and butter in another. This means that you have to keep crossing the flow of people who are coming for food or going for tea/coffee. Due to the poor layout there are bottlenecks which become obvious as the dining area fills up. Clumsy layout. The food is pretty bad and not enough variety of fruit. Very basic like a 2 star hotel.

I am copying and pasting about the room from a review I wrote about the Mumbai Ibis which I stayed in two days ago as the rooms are generic especially the bathroom which are semi pre-fabricated units:

The room was small but clean. Very comfortable bed and good room temperature. Good TV channels including CNN but no BBC. There was the usual small safe for valuables but this was locked shut. Good lighting. There is a lot of light from outside at night due to the street lights but the drapes are good quality and block out most of it. The floor is a fairly hard material, not carpet but clean and not cold. I prefer not to have carpets in tropical countries as with air conditioning there is a tendency to get mouldy smells so Ibis has definitely got this right.

The bathroom was small but very clean. Medium size, medium quality towels and toilet tissue. Quite plasticky feeling and reminded me of prefabricated bathroom units found in ships. There is a generic bathing-gel provided in a dispenser. No bars of soap or wasteful little bottles of bath gel, shampoo etc. I like this and it fits in with the clean but no frills budget business traveller niche that Ibis seem to be catering for. Very good water pressure and unlike the Mumbai branch the adjustable shower holder in this shower room was in good condition.

When I asked for the business card of the manager as I left they looked perplexed again! I wonder whether their understanding of English is sufficient and they are confused and embarrassed to show that they don't understand. My driver tried to explain to them in the Fang language but by then I had enough and just wanted to get to the airport.

Stayed April 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Lokamitra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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Virginia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2013

I checked in on February 7, and returned on February 9. The carpet in the room was stained and dirty, the wall was dirty as well. There were mosquitoes in the room. All they give you is one towel. There isn't a wash cloth available. When I asked for one they explained that the hotel did not have any. Breakfast service was terrible. The breakfast was okay, but it was busy and staff could not keep up with refilling coffee, or bringing clean cutlery to the customers. The supervisor was enjoying breakfast with a guest instead of getting off her butt and helping her busy staff. For $200 this hotel is not worth the money spent. When I returned for the second time. I had to change my room three times because I wasn't satisfied with the cleanliness, but I eventually gave up after two room choices. I needed to rest. The staff do not speak English, so what good is that?

Room Tip: Avoid this hotel.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank soccaref
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Malabo hotels

Vadodara, India
Level Contributor
223 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 280 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2012

I stayed one night on a business trip. The hotel is new very clean and a bit antiseptic. So for business trips very suitable but it has not character or 'style'. The room was excellent. Comfortable bed and bathroom was fully operation.

Only slight complaint is that there were no descent TV channels and the AC controls have an LCD screen which has the "set" temperature in tiny numbers and so when you are increasing or decreasing the temp you tend to look at the large character which are the actual temperature which obviously won't change immediately as you try to adjust the temp. Its a small thing but the only minor inconvenience I experienced.

I didn't eat there at night but I had breakfast which was passable. There was no-one there to do eggs to order so you could only have boiled eggs or scrambled (the scrambled eggs were unusually good). No proper wholemeal bread but other than that it was ok.

Another good feature was free wifi that actually worked.

A taxi from here to the centre of town is 1000CFA. Here is a tip to avoid any unnecessary haggling. Keep a 1000CFA note handy. When you get to your destination get out of the vehicle and hand the note to the driver and walk away. Ignore any comments, questions etc as they will just invite a pointless request for 2000CFA which is double the normal rate for this short journey (like a tourist/business rate that they assume they can extort from visitors).

The best place to eat in town is the French Cultural Centre (pronounced "Cootooral Frans says"). They have excellent food. Excellent steaks. They don't speak much English and the menu is in French and Spanish). It has slow service as it is all made to order but good slow food is always better than American style fast food or the awful MSG Chinese food which is ubiquitous in Africa. There is an outside area to eat which is very pleasant and there are tables where you can smoke outside if you need to to. They also have wifi which is free but very slow.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lokamitra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level Contributor
179 reviews
177 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2012

This is a brand new hotel with growing pains. I will list the positive features first. There is a free airport shuttle but even though I had precoordinated pickup there was nobody there at the airport. A local person dialed the hotel for me and the shuttle arrived soon after.

Staff seem helpful but most have a very limited understanding of English and even a tougher time communicating it. I had an immediate problem on arrival related to the temperature of the air conditioning in room 123. It was cold. After 40 minutes a technician came in but his efforts proved fruitless. A second tech also failed and the front desk moved me to another room 115. There the same cold problem and it too could never be solved even though the tech obtained a special key to open the large window and told me to wait 1 hour (it was raining outside) for the air in the room to reach 20 deg C outside temperature. I did that and waited for things to get better. The ultimate solution was to simply turn the a/c off.

Ibis has a 15 minute problem resolution guarantee. I invoked it and after a meeting with the manager the next morning they agreed to refund one night room. The manager specifically stated that the only way to make the cold room warmer (in every room) was to turn off the a/c. So even with an up/down temperature control the a/c system simply cannot be controlled!

I had prepaid the room with a credit card and expected it would be refunded to that card. However, on checkout they gave me a sealed envelope which I assumed was a receipt. Little did I know in my rush to get to the airport that was cash in local central african francs for the refund. I did not see this until I got onto the airplane. Once I got to my next stop in Malawi I attempted to convert the money to dollars but the bank refused to accept CAF. The next stop was Addis Ababa and the bank refused to accept CAF. So now I am stuck with a pile of worthless money instead of a credit!

The good things: the hotel is located in an area of new government buildings mostly built by the Chinese. Everything is expensive here. The hotel has a restaurant and bar but I did not try it. They do not have a business center but they do have wifi in the lobby only. There is an outdoor pool but it was raining almost the whole time I was there. You can walk into town if you choose but it is a good distance.

The bed was quite comfortable, there is a big shower with good lighting. Breakfast is included in the room rate and it was a bit sparse. There are no tea/coffee making instruments in the room. There is a frig, safe, wakeup service. There are 7 floors in the hotel but they put me on the first one. I am not sure why since there were very few guests.

I gave this hotel a poor rating. If they can fix their English communications problems and some of the rest of the points, I am sure it will get a better rating from me. Right now I do not feel good about possibly having to return there only to get CAF exchanged back to dollars.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PDM77059
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 June 2012

I am not sure how is this hotel ranked 4th of tripadvisor... it's either the employees recommended the hotel or Malabo's hotels really suck.

I am not sure if all Ibis hotels are the same or just this.
My comments so far:
1. On their website, they multilingual employees... apparently, multilingual doesn't include English. I am using the sign language now.

2. It's a non smoking facility.. which should automatically degrade the hotel to zero star.
3. No room service.(I was starving yesterday, so while I was down I ordered from the restaurant a pasta and asked them to send it to my room, an hour later I called to check where the hell is my pasta to find out that they don't have room service)

4. No laundry in most of the times... I had to bring my suit downstairs to the lobby to give it to them because they don't go to rooms... and they returned the shirt pretty much in the same status i sent it in... and didn't my suit yet.

5. No Gym,
6. No Spa.
7. Internet is very slow. (Google search page loads on three phases)
8. room is small.
9. No Kettle to make coffee or tea.
10. The mini-bar is empty.
11. Nothing of the stuff usually in the bathroom is there.. except for two towels and body-and-hair-wash 2-in-1 soap.
12. No Concierge or information desk.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HanyIT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2012

Ibis Malabo is an ibis, has everything you can expect from an ibis, plus a pool. And a helpful crew. Rooms are slightly bigger than ibis Cambronne in Paris, but not much, and prices are also higher. The hotel is not too close to the city, but taxis are easy to find and a ride to downtown will cost you 1.5 to 3 Euros. The hotel is very new and everything works well, including the internet, most of the time. Dinner is buffet style, and OK. Bar is decently stuffed, but rather expensive.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank efpolcuch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ibis Malabo

Property: Ibis Malabo
Address: Malabo 2 Isla de Bioko | PO Box 201, Malabo, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
Region: Equatorial Guinea > Bioko Island > Malabo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Malabo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Ibis Malabo 3*
Number of rooms: 127
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