Review Ibis Frankfurt Airport / Kelsterbach

In late May I was flying to Bangkok (BKK) from Frankfurt (FRA) on a cheap Gulf Air fare via Bahrain (BAH). Unfortunately I was at the other side of Germany and the flight left rather early in the morning, too early to make it to Frankfurt on the same day.

While I would have loved to fly from an airport near to where I was, that doesn’t work as Germany has basically only two points from where to fly to Asia which is Frankfurt and Munich. To make sure I would be at the airport on time I decided to stay nearby the night before.

Now I have low expectations when we talk about airport hotels in Germany, because usually “airport hotel” seems to be defined as a hotel in the vicinity of an airport, but not the close vicinity. That results often in hotels that are 20 – 30km from the actual airport in villages, I guess there is no cheaper place to build a hotel than in an industrial area in a village. And there surely is no brand that embraced this principle as much as Ibis, and the Ibis Frankfurt Airport is no exception.

Marketing the hotel as an airport hotel is, as far as I am concerned, outright scam and it should be called the Ibis Kelsterbach, because that is where it is. Kelsterbach is a village with its own train station, one stop from the airport (sounds close right, it isn’t).

While the trip to the village station takes only 3 minutes that is not where your journey ends. The actual hotel is at the very far end of the village, in a dark and at night completely deserted industrial area. Right next to several logistic companies and a discount supermarket is the Ibis Kelsterbach. You could take a taxi to get there (and you should), just there are none in this village, at least not at night. Walking however will set you back 25 minutes and the way is not on roads that are particularly accommodating to luggage.

After making the long walk I finally arrived a little after 1am (thanks to the train delays), rendering the stay there basically useless as I had to get up at 7am. While that is not the fault of the hotel, the incredible bad location in the hinterlands did not help either.

After walking into the freshly renovated lobby, that looked quite sleek I had a quick and very friendly check-in. The front desk agent turned out to be the only positive thing I can say about this hotel. He stocked me with my welcome water and set up the (paid) shuttle for the next day. While EUR3 for a shuttle is not the world, I find it appalling for any “airport” hotel to charge a fee for bringing guests to the very location that the hotel is built for. To make matters worse the shuttle goes only to terminal 1, if your flight doesn’t leave from there then it is up to you to find a way to terminal 2.

Small drawer next to door in Ibis Kelsterbach

After I finally got into my room the problems didn’t stop unfortunately. As it turned out the renovation efforts ended once the lobby was done, as the room was clearly the old Ibis brand standard! Right behind the door was a 1x1m “compartment” with a mini drawer and then behind another door to the actual room, with the bed straight ahead and the bathroom to the left.

Double room in Ibis Kelsterbach

The bed was alright and as expected for Ibis. The room also had a small bench next to the bed with stained padding. A chair, a flatscreen TV and a cracked, not working phone.

Cracked and broken phone in Ibis Kelsterbach
Side bench in Ibis Kelsterbach
Flatscreen TV in Ibis Kelsterbach

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wifi speed was decent but the network had login issues and constantly kicked my devices out after a few minutes, so we can call it barely workable.

Wifi speed in Ibis Kelsterbach

Unfortunately the whole room had only 3 power sockets, of which 2 were located in a way that there was nothing to place the charging device on, rendering them useless. That is definitely not convenient. All sockets were for EU plugs, for an airport hotel one would think they could accommodate all plugs at least in one socket (or give an adapter).

Bathroom in Ibis Kelsterbach

The bathroom was extremely small and stocked with Ibis brand soap. It was in fact so small that while sitting on the toilet one has to lean away from the sink as there is not enough space to sit upright. Maintenance wasn’t great here either, the soap holder was broken so the soap was just falling off whenever it was touched. Same for the hair dryer, it basically disintegrated when touched.

In conclusion this hotel has nothing of what an airport hotel should have. It is nowhere near an actual airport, it has a shuttle that goes to “half” the airport and you will need to pay for it. The rooms are in dire need of renovation and fall apart, while the lobby was renovated to give the impression that this hotel is updated to Ibis new brand standards. If you need to spend a night around the airport, do it anywhere but here.

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