In this review, we will stay at the ibis Irkutsk Center Hotel in Irkutsk, a city in the vast Russian region of Siberia.
Returning to Irkutsk
After a great stay in the town of Listvyanka on Lake Baikal it was time to return to Irkutsk. Conveniently, the marshrutka (minibus) service back departs from the road right in front of my Listvyanka hotel. One marshrutka was already waiting at the stop for passengers to arrive.
After 10 or so minutes we departed without the vehicle being even a quarter full – which it would remain for the rest of the drive as contrary to the ride from Irkutsk to Listvyanka nobody really got in or out when we passed through villages along the route.
The minibus dropped us off in front of the open-air market in Irkutsk, from where I hailed a taxi (2-3 EUR only) to cover the last bit of distance to my hotel.
On my first two nights in Irkutsk I had stayed at the Matreshka Hotel. Even though I was generally satisfied by the experience, I had booked a different hotel beforehand for my last night in Irkutsk: the ibis Irkutsk Center Hotel.
At 2,890 RUB (42 EUR) per night it was a bit more expensive than the Matreshka and did not include any breakfast. On paper, the ibis however looked to be a step up from the Matreshka and gave me a chance to review a second hotel in Irkutsk.
Ibis hotel location
The ibis Irkutsk Center is located close to the Angara River and the bridge linking the centre of Irkutsk with the train station across the river. Even though the location was great, the immediate surroundings of the hotel were however a bit less attractive as it was surrounded by construction yards and warehouses.
The city centre was however a short walk away and the area very safe, making it a great base to explore Irkutsk.
Check-in by the (fluent) English-speaking receptionist was swift and I was handed my key card for my room. I had booked a standard double room, which was located a few levels up by elevator from the reception area.
It is quite easy to recognise the typical ibis design elements in the room. Even though the room had much in common with other ibises around the world, I found the finishing touches of the ibis Irkutsk Center to be much prettier and warm than I expected from a hotel of this chain. The red-and-grey colours, lights and carpet definitely gave it a bit of style.
The room had a comfortable double bed, plenty of sockets to keep your electronics charged, fast WiFi internet, a large flatscreen TV mounted on the wall and a proper desk to work on.
The room also had a window, although views weren’t too much to write home about. The only thing which I personally found missing was a kettle/coffee-making facilities, although for a quick fix you could also head to the on-site cafe/restaurant in the lobby.
The private bathroom was quite good. It had a good quality shower with high water pressure – definitely three steps up compared to the cramped bathroom at the Matreshka where I stayed before! The bathroom was also spotlessly clean.
The ibis Irkutsk Center has an on-site restaurant and bar in the lobby. Even though I had excellent meals in some Irkutsk restaurants, I opted to have my last evening meal at the hotel as I was simply too lazy to get out again into the cold to find a place to eat.
For dinner, I went with the house specialty of beef Stroganoff which was recommended on the relatively small menu. The food was beautifully presented and include a small side salad and some potato pancakes. The taste of the meal was excellent. If you want a quick meal for lunch or dinner, I can highly recommend the on-site restaurant.
After the meal I retired to my room to do some work and to relax a bit on the comfortable bed reading a book and drinking a glass of wine. Especially when the weather outside is freezing cold, you do not need much to have a relaxing, enjoyable evening.
The ibis Irkutsk Center was definitely a great choice to stay at. The room looked modern and fresh, the bed was comfortable, the bathroom spotlessly clean and the service was constantly warm and friendly.
The on-site lobby restaurant and bar is a nice addition too if you want to grab a quick quality meal, a coffee or a beer. To conclude my review, I would definitely consider staying again at the ibis Irkutsk Center the next time I would visit this magnificent Siberian city.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Siberian Shuffle – A Crazy Winter Trip Around Eurasia‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Oslo Sandefjord Torp (Airbus A321)
2. A Day in the Norwegian Capital of Oslo
3. Review: Norwegian Railways Night Train Oslo-Stavanger in a Private Sleeper
4. Review: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Stavanger
5. Stavanger – A Great Norwegian City Trip Surprise
6. Review: North Sea Lounge Stavanger Airport
7. Review: KLM Cityhopper Business Class Stavanger to Amsterdam (Embraer RJ-175)
8. Guide to the Carnival Celebrations in the Netherlands
9. Review: KLM Crown Lounge (Schengen) Amsterdam Airport
10. Review: Air France Business Class Amsterdam to Paris (Airbus A319)
11. Review: ‘Salon Paris’ Business Class Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2C
12. Review: Aeroflot Business Class Paris to Moscow (Airbus A320)
13. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Lounge Moscow Sheremetyevo
14. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Moscow to Irkutsk (Boeing 737-800)
15. Review: Matreshka Hotel, Irkutsk
16. Irkutsk Trip Report: Exploring the ‘Paris of Siberia’ in Winter
17. Review: Mayak Hotel, Listvyanka (Lake Baikal)
18. A Winter Trip to the Frozen Wonderland of Lake Baikal
19. Review: Ibis Irkutsk Center Hotel, Irkutsk (current chapter)
20. Review: Domestic Business Class Lounge Irkutsk Airport
21. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Irkutsk to Moscow (Boeing 737-800)
22. Review: Pushkin Hotel, Moscow
23. A 24 Hour Stopover in the Russian Capital of Moscow
24. Review: ‘Moscow’ and ‘Jazz’ Business Lounges Moscow Sheremetyevo Terminal D
25. Review: Aeroflot Business Class Moscow to Paris (Airbus A320)
26. Review: TAROM Business Class Paris to Bucharest (Airbus A318)
27. Review: TAROM Business Lounge Bucharest Otopeni Airport
28. Review: Air France Business Class Bucharest to Paris (Airbus A320)
29. A Short Overnight Stopover in Paris
30. Review: Sheltair Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2D
31. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class Paris to Baku (Airbus A320)
32. Review: Old City Hotel and Apartments, Baku, Azerbaijan
33. Destination Baku: An Intriguing Mix Between Old and New
34. Guide: Train Travel in Azerbaijan
35. Sheki: Azerbaijan’s Most Lovely Town and Springboard to the Caucasus
36. Must Be the Ganja! A Visit to the City of Ganja in Azerbaijan
37. Review: Shah Palace Hotel, Baku, Azerbaijan
38. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Lounge Baku Airport
39. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class Baku to Paris (Airbus A320)
40. Review: Air France Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F
41. Review: KLM Business Class Paris to Amsterdam (Boeing 737)
42. Review: KLM Business Class Amsterdam to Bergen (Boeing 737)
43. Blissful Bergen – Is It Really Norway’s Most Beautiful City?
44. Review: Bergen to Oslo on a Norwegian Intercity Train (Bergensbanen Railway)
45. The Flamsbana Railway – From the Myrdal Mountains to the Fjord at Flam
46. Review: SAS Economy Class Oslo to Brussels (Boeing 737-600)
47. Review: Diamond Lounge Brussels Airport Pier B Non-Schengen
48. Review: TAROM Economy Class Brussels to Bucharest (Boeing 737-800)