Last week I was invited along to stay a night at Liverpool's Ibis Styles hotel with six other bloggers and the lovely Ibis Styles/ Gray Matter team to take part in their #CaptureIbisStyles blogger campaign. Upon arrival it was immediately evident that the Ibis Styles hotels are design-centred and I was met by an eye-catching but tasteful yellow, purple and blue colour scheme and geometric shapes, plus a huge wall mural containing Blackbird lyrics, a walrus and four famous scousers which gave away the overall theme of the whole hotel. After checking in, the lovely lady at the desk showed me to the interactive social wall in the lobby, where guests can share and view useful tourist information about the city as well as check out pictures of the different themed rooms throughout the hotel. Each of the seven floors of Ibis Styles Liverpool has been appointed a different Beatles-related theme, including 'Strawberry Fields' which sees every guestroom on the third floor covered in a red, strawberry print wallpaper that I now want in my own bedroom. Other themes include 'Iconic Style', 'Yesterday' and 'Lucy', which features a diamond-themed wall mural and sparkly accents.
I stayed in a room on the sixth floor of the hotel dedicated to 'Abbey Road', which is fittingly decorated with a road sign, a black and white-striped ceiling and yellow glowing lights which pay a subtle homage to the famous London-based zebra crossing. The room was quite small as is expected of a budget hotel, but I was impressed with the sleek and modern design, the cleanliness of the place, plus the little added extras (bottled water, hospitality tray, a safe, a 32" TV with freeview and a fluffy robe & slippers) which, to me, screamed at least £90 a night. Room prices vary depending on when you stay and how far in advance you book, but at around £54 for a midweek stay in a double room with breakfast and WIFI included, I think this is one of the best city centre hotels to choose for a good night's sleep on a budget.
As mentioned in my previous hotel review, breakfast can be the dealbreaker, however given that Ibis Styles is a budget hotel with a continental offering, I left my expectations and my camera behind. I really wish I had swallowed my pride as I was very impressed with the selection for a three-star hotel, which included yogurts and cereals with various toppings, fresh fruit, breads & pastries, cheeses & cold cuts, plus a few hot options- hash browns, sausage rolls and bacon & cheese turnovers (winner).
The #CaptureIbisStyles campaign
Gray Matter like to think outside the box for their campaigns, and if you follow me on Instagram (@FrancesCassandra) you will have seen that during our time at the hotel, we were let loose to
cause havoc sensibly snap photos of some of the quirky features and spam each post with cringe-inducing hashtags (#like4like on my #picoftheday, anyone?) in order to rack up the 'likes' and prove our social media skills for a chance to win a two-nights stay in one of the UK's Ibis Hotels, plus the adorable Waaf dog lamp pictured above. We were also taken on a rather chilly open-top bus tour of Liverpool where we learned lots about the history of the city as well as having our imagination and creativity put to the test with a series of tasks which we were to complete via Instagram, including taking a selfie with one of Liverpool's iconic Superlambananas and hunting down a Beatles look-a-like. Unfortunately, I wrote myself out of the games pretty quickly, mainly due to the poor battery life on my retro iPhone 4S (note to self: find your power bank, that was the best purchase you ever made).
Now, all of this fun and games wasn't because bloggers get all the cool stuff or because of our tendency to Instagram everything from our morning coffee to our lunch, to the cute cat we made friends with on our way home from work. Not completely, anyway. We were the guinea pigs for a worldwide campaign which is due to launch on March 13, 2015. The campaign is offering the public local to any of the fifteen participating Ibis Styles hotels across the world a chance to win some of their quirky designer furniture, which means that if you live close to Liverpool, you could enter to win the dog lamp or the awesome cassette tape coffee table, plus two other pieces of cool home decor. More details on the campaign will be given in another blog post a little closer to the opening date, but you can take a sneak peek at what's to offer on the designated #CaptureIbisStyles webpage.
Have you stayed in an Ibis Styles hotel?
*DISCLOSURE: I was kindly invited to stay at Ibis Styles Liverpool free of charge to take part in their #CaptureIbisStyles campaign. All opinions stated are 100% honest and my own.