What are some of the things that new-age consumers would want? Quick and hassle-free check-in, smart television, multifunctional furniture, round-the-clock access to check-in, and electric boards that can accommodate all sorts of charging devices? ibis Vikhroli, the newly launched economic hotel from Accor, provides all of the above and more.
Situated right opposite 247 Park, the 15-floor hotel caters to one of the most commercial establishments in the region as well as people staying or travelling to areas like Ghatkopar and Powai and has everything a business traveller would need - apart from the earlier mentioned amenities, it also has meeting rooms that can accommodate a small group of 15 as well as conference rooms that are ideal for a day-long corporate meeting or workshop.
We were invited for a stay at the property and liked how well-suited it is for modern age travellers. If you have stayed in ibis before, you know what’s on the platter but if you haven’t ever or in a long time, ibis is ideal for all types of business travellers - the jet setters, party animals and gourmands who love to experiment. It's even better for seasoned travellers who prefer a good night's sleep and simple food.
We checked in late on Sunday night and were pleasantly surprised to see plenty of female staff present at midnight. At the reception, we were told that the hotel has done away with the physical checking process and was instead checked in using an iPad. Famished, we ordered a club sandwich (to be served in my room) and headed to our floor. Do note that ibis, being an out-and-out business hotel, doesn’t have a policy of their staff taking guests' luggage to the room. We took our luggage and headed to our room. Although compact, just 17 square meters, it had everything one would need - a sleek cupboard, tea and coffee station, television and a daybed by the window, which very easily transformed into a work desk the next morning, which being Monday was packed with deadlines and meetings.
The bathroom designed in tones of grey reminded me instantly of the lavatory in aircraft. Although in capsule format, it had space for everything one would need except if you want to place your shaving or makeup kits. But, what I absolutely loved is their environment-conscious approach when it comes to the toiletries. The bathroom had only refillable toiletries - soap, body wash, shampoo and lotion, all of which were vegan and chemical-free. We were marvelling at this thought when the bell rang and our scrumptious sandwich, loaded with stir-fried vegetables, arrived. To set the mood right, we switched on the television only to discover that it is OTT-enabled (guests have to log in with their own details). We played an episode of friends, ate my sandwich in peace and called it a night.
The next morning, we were taken for a tour where we were told that in 2019, Accor had decided to make ibis more warm and vibrant for travellers, and ibis Mumbai Vikhroli is the first one to accommodate those changes. Designed by Singapore-based French designer Isabelle Miaja, the hotel has done away with its standard oversized reception desk. Now, there is an informal greeting area, which also offers a casual seating area, an ideal spot for a short meet-and-greet. The elements of art, particularly the ones that bring alive the essence of ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ and its culture, can be spotted everywhere - each floor of the hotel has artworks like the iconic kaali-peeli Ambassador taxi, and photographs portraying the transition of Bombay to Mumbai among others designs in the hallway. This locally-inspired design element extends to their 249 rooms as well, which have been given different themes, including Mumbai’s lifeline - the local train, its pride - the Dabbawalas, its picturesque skyline, its history - the royal lifestyle of Maratha empire and Kolam - a traditional form of art drawn using rice flour.
The leisure element here hasn’t been overlooked at all. In fact, an entire floor has been dedicated to it. On its second floor lies its multi-cuisine restaurant Spice It, where it serves all its meals. Interestingly, it serves one of the longest buffet spreads, starting as early as 4 am (what a relief during early morning flights) and continuing up until noon. We tried dosa and idli for breakfast. Minus excess oil, the masala dosa alongside sambar and coconut chutney were spot on when it comes to taste. The idlis were soft. However, what stole our heart was their Tomato Soup topped with a generous amount of burrata, a mixture of olive oil and pesto and some pepper, which I had for dinner later that day. It offered perfect thick consistency and flavours. Sharing the space with the restaurant on this floor is also a library bar, stocked with over 200 books and local beers on tap alongside other spirits.
Back to the property, like every ibis, it has meeting rooms and conference halls for the business travellers as well corporate events. Not only that, this ibis also had a gym on its topmost floor and a yoga deck on the ground floor, something that ibis has never offered to its guests. And, building on its approach to cater to newer hubs in the city, they will be opening another property in Thane.