[Accommodation Review] – Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae (Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed), Busan, South Korea (29 Oct – 2 Nov 19)

Location

Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is located one street away from the famed Haeundae beach. The hotel is around 7 mins walk from Haeundae subway station and 4 mins from Gunam-ro and Haeundae Market, where there is no lack of food options. There are numerous convenient shops around Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae, with the nearest in the next building and another one just across the road of the hotel. Busan Sea Life Aquarium is 3 mins walk from the hotel. Being located in Haeundae district, Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is rather far from Busan Train Station, which takes more than 1 hour by subway. The main lobby of Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is located on the 20th floor of the hotel. There is a relay lobby by the main entrance to the hotel, however, this lobby is never manned throughout our three nights stay at Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae.

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There is a cafe on the ground floor of Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae

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The lobby on the ground floor of Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae

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The relay lobby that was never manned on the first floor

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Reception on the 20th floor

The Room

The Standard Room with 1 Queen bed is the smallest room in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae with a total floor area of 20m². Despite staying in the room alone, the small room feels full after my friend opens her luggage.

Minibar

The minibar is located next to the door to the bathroom. The minibar fridge is placed in the bottom-most shelf in the open cabinet. Above the shelf where the fridge is where the in-room safe is placed, maximising the small space the Standard Room with 1 Queen bed. An electric kettle and complimentary coffee and tea are placed on the top of the shelf. There are two power outlets strategically installed by the top shelf for guests for boiling water as well as an alternative spot for guests to charge their lifestyle devices.

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Minibar area in the Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed

Sleeping Area

As one walks into the room, space opens up to the sleeping area. The centrepiece of the sleeping area is the queen bed. The sleep quality on the bed is good, but the pillow is a tad too soft. Only two pillows are provided by Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae, however, one can always request for more pillows from the hotel concierge. Bedside tables are placed on either side of the queen bed, providing guests with space for them to charge their lifestyle devices. I thought the mounting of the bedside lamps on the headboard is a good move by the hotel as it frees up space on the bedside table for guests to put more things on. Above the bedside table are the powerpoint outlets with international plugs, meaning guests do not need to bring along an international adaptor.

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View of the room from the entrance to the room

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The Queen bed in the room

Facing the queen bed, mounted onto the wall, is a 42″ LCD TV allowing guests to watch TV whilst lying on the bed. The wall where the TV is mounted is painted with shelf graffitis, which makes the room feels cosier. A full-length mirror is found on the wall space next to the TV. By placing the mirror here makes the room looks larger than it is.

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TV and a full-length mirror in the Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed

Tucked into one corner of the room is a small wardrobe. The wardrobe is so small that it is not possible to stow away clothing for two pax. The queen bed occupies a bulk of the room, leaving little space for one to walk around or even have their luggage opened up and placed onto the floor.

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Wardrobe in the room

Sitting at the far end of the Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed, next to the wardrobe, is the work desk, placed by the only window in the room. The table is rather small but is sufficient for one to do some decent work on it. There is a table lamp and some powerpoint outlets fixed onto the wall by the work desk, allowing guests working on their laptops to charge.

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Work desk by the window

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Power outlet by the work desk

Bathroom

The bathroom in the Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is small but functional. One can see the entire bathroom from its entrance. The sink is located right next to the entrance of the bathroom with little space for guests to stow their toiletries. Next to the sink is the toilet with bidet function. Towels are found on the rack above the toilet. The walk-in shower surrounded by glass panels is located diagonally across from the sink. The walk-in shower is equipped with both a regular and rain shower head. The bathroom amenities provided Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is very basic and limited to the shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and toothbrushes. The hotel does not provide body lotion.

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Bathroom in the Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed

Service

The service my friends and I received at Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae has more misses than hits. Before our arrival in Busan, I called up the hotel from overseas to enquire about a few things, one of the things that were brought up during my call to Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae was the possibility of an early check-in. I was assured by the staff whom I spoke to that our rooms will be ready by the time we arrive at the hotel at around 10.30am. However, we had a rude shock from the only female staff who was manning the reception on the 20th floor during our arrival at the hotel. She insisted that check-in was only possible at 3pm, the hotel’s official check-in timing. Despite telling her my previous conversation with one of her colleagues, she did not even bother to check and was adamant that we can only check-in at 3pm. At one point, she even told us to show email proof of the arrangement. I had to tell her a few times that the arrangement was done via phone call before she told me to show her proof of my call to the hotel. Without such proof, the staff refuse to check us into our rooms despite having an earlier arrangement. From the moment we met her during our arrival to our leaving the hotel to explore Busan, there was no smile on the said staff. She was pulling a long face throughout our conversation.

My friends and I returned later in the evening to check-in. As an Accor member, my friend is entitled to welcome drink. Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae was very miserable in handing our welcome drink. We had another rude shock to find out that the hotel only provides one welcome drink for the three of us. The reason given was that the welcome drink is only provided to Accor members. When we told the staff who handled our check-in that all three of us are Accor members, only that the rooms are booked under one of my friend’s name for the convenience of our arrangement for our trip to Korea. Only at this point, we were told by the staff that welcome drink is only given to the member whose name the rooms were booked under. My friend and I often stayed in Accor Hotels during our overseas trips, this is the first hotel we met that was so stingy in providing only one drink and expect us to share. The other hotels (including the hotel we stayed in Seoul during the same trip) give welcome drinks to the number of guests checking into the hotel. This gesture does not only show that Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae does not even bother about service, their action of giving only one welcome drink seem to suggest they only pay lip service (to the requirement of Accor Group) in providing a welcome drink. We end up leaving the hotel without even bother having the so-called welcome drink.

Having said that, there are staffs in the hotel who were understood what service is all about. The elderly staff at the carpark knows what is service. When we drove into the carpark, the staff not only guided us to a very good parking spot, with his limited knowledge of English, he gave us clear directions on what we should be doing with the parking ticket. On the next night, he assured us that we do not have to pay any more parking as he was told that we had made payment for two nights of parking. All these time, he interacted with us with an assuring and warm smile across his face.

Hotel Facilities

Gym

There is a small gym on level 20 of Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae equipped with a couple of treadmills, a step machine and a stationary bike. There are some free weights and weight machine as well in the gym. Despite its small size, guests are able to get some decent workout in the gym.

Sauna

The signage Sauna as stated in the hotel’s lift lobby as well as outside the changing room is confusing. Instead of a sauna, I found a jacuzzi pool inside the changing room. There are no saunas found in the hotel.

Overall

Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is well located in a very convenient spot in Haeundae, with no lack of restaurants, shopping and 24-hour convenient shops around. However, the hotel is far from the Busan Train station. The Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed ais comfortable but a tad small for two pax. The service is what makes us avoid the hotel should we decide to return to Busan. The staffs at the reception behave more like divas and only paid lip service to guests. Providing only one welcome drink to the three of us checking into the hotel felt like the staffs at the reception are only interested in putting a tick in the box to Accor’s requirements according to their members. I would not recommend anyone to stay at Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae lest one wants to be treated badly at the hotel.

[Accommodation Review] – Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae (Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed and Sofa), Busan, South Korea (29 Oct – 2 Nov 19)

Location

Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is located one street away from the famed Haeundae beach. The hotel is around 7 mins walk from Haeundae subway station and 4 mins from Gunam-ro and Haeundae Market, where there is no lack of food options. There are numerous convenient shops around Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae, with the nearest in the next building and another one just across the road of the hotel. Busan Sea Life Aquarium is 3 mins walk from the hotel. Being located in Haeundae district, Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is rather far from Busan Train Station, which takes more than 1 hour by subway. The main lobby of Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is located on the 20th floor of the hotel. There is a relay lobby by the main entrance to the hotel, however, this lobby is never manned throughout our three nights stay at Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae.

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Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae signage

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Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is in a very good location in Haeundae, Busan

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The relay lobby that was never manned on the first floor

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Hotel directory

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Main lobby on the 20th floor

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Reception on the 20th floor

The Room

The room I stayed in is the Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed and Sofa in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae. The 45m² room is more like a small suite than a standard room as it has a living room with a separate bedroom. The Standard Room with 1 Queen bed and Sofa in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae comprises a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom and a separate toilet in the living room.

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All rooms in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae have a no smoking policy

Living Room

The main entrance to the Standard Room with 1 Queen bed and Sofa in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae leads to the living room. From the main entrance, the entire living room decorated in wooden furnishing feels warm and cosy. The first thing that caught my eyes from the main entrance a wooden table that extends out from the wall. This wooden table is the main study table that also doubles up as a dining table for the two guests that stay in this room. Underneath the table, at the wall side is where one will find a minibar fridge. There are powerpoint outlets on the wall above the table. To the right from the main entrance, is where one will find the toilet as well as a wardrobe with an in-room safe.

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Minibar fridge under the table in the living room

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Coffee facilities on the table in the living room

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Wardrobe in the living room between the table and toilet

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Climate control panel

Further into the living room, past the table, is the couch area. The living room in the Standard Room with 1 Queen bed and Sofa in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is furnished with a three-seat couch and two large cushion stools. Opposite the couch is a 42″ LCD TV mounted on the wall that separates the living room and the bedroom. A coffee table sits between the couch and the wall-mounted TV. There is ample space in the living room for the guests to open up their luggage or to stow their luggage by the wall.

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Couch area in the living room

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The TV mounted on the wall separating the living room and the bedroom

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We get a partial view of Haeundae Beach from the living room window

Toilet

The only toilet in the room is found by the main entrance, which is separated from the main bathroom. There is a toilet bowl equipped with a bidet and a small sink inside the toilet. I have mixed feelings on the separate toilet. Having a separate toilet allows guests to use without having to go into the room, which is great if the guests are hosting their friends over to the room. However, the glass door with the mid-section being frosted feels a little odd to use if there are other guests in the room. The separation of the toilet from the bathroom is also a tad inconvenient for guests staying in the room.

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Toilet and the wardrobe in the living room

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Toilet in the living room

Bedroom

The wooden theme of the room extends into the bedroom. At the heart of the bedroom, a queen bed awaits guests to rest upon itself. The sleep quality on the queen bed is good, however, the pillows are a tad too soft for my liking. As with most hotels, bedside tables are furnished on either side of the queen bed. These tables are large enough for me to set up my charging station to charge my lifestyle devices. International power points are located on either side of the bed, which means guests do not have to bring their international converter. On top of these powerpoints are bedside lamps mounted on the headboard of the bed, freeing up space for guests on the bedside tables.

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Queen bed in the bedroom

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Bedside lamp and an international power plug on either side of the queen bed

Opposite the queen bed is another 42″ LCD TV, where guests can be kept entertained in on the bed with numerous local and international channels, similar to that in the living room.

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There is another TV mounted on the wall facing the queen bed

Another wardrobe in the Standard Room with 1 Queen bed and Sofa in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is found next to the queen bed. This wardrobe allows guests to hand out a few days of their clothing. Next to the wardrobe is another small table in the bedroom which allows guests to put their toiletries. However, I am a little confused about the purpose of this table as there are no power outlets to make it functional as a work desk, nor is there a mirror for it to be used as a make-up table. Nonetheless, the placement of another table here gives guests additional space to put away small items.

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Wardrobe and a small table in the bedroom

Bathroom

Entrance to the bathroom in the Standard Room with 1 Queen bed and Sofa in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is next to the small table in the bedroom. A large countertop where the sink is placed on one side of the countertop allows guests to put a lot of their toiletries on. Next to the sink area is a large bathtub where guests can have a soak after a tiring day of exploring Busan. A separate walk-in shower cubicle is found at the far end of the toilet. The walk-in shower has both a regular shower head as well as a rain shower head. There is a lack of storage space in the walk-in shower for guests to place their toiletries. There is also a lack of racks in the bathroom for guests to hang their towels. With the amount of wall space, the hotel can easily install a towel rack onto the walls. The bathroom amenities provided Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is very basic and limited to the shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and toothbrushes. The hotel does not provide body lotion.

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A large sink countertop in the bathroom

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Bathtub for guests to soak away the fatigue of exploring Busan at the end of the day

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Walk-in shower with rain shower and regular shower head

Service

The service my friends and I received at Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae has more misses than hits. Throughout our stay in Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae, we never saw the relay lobby on the ground floor being manned, making the lobby a white elephant. The absence of staff manning this lobby also meant that guests wanting any assistance would have to suffer the inconvenience of having to take the lift to the main lobby on 20th floor before being able to gain any form of assistance.

Before our arrival in Busan, I had called up the hotel from overseas to enquire about a few things, one of the things that were brought up during my call to Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae was the possibility of an early check-in. I was assured by the staff whom I spoke to that our rooms will be ready by the time we arrive at the hotel at around 10.30am. However, we had a rude shock from the only female staff who was manning the reception on the 20th floor during our arrival at the hotel. She insisted that check-in was only possible at 3pm, the hotel’s official check-in timing. Despite telling her my previous conversation with one of her colleagues, she did not even bother to check and was adamant that we can only check-in at 3pm. At one point, she even told us to show email proof of the arrangement. I had to tell her a few times that the arrangement was done via phone call before she told me to show her proof of my call to the hotel. Without such proof, the staff refuse to check us into our rooms despite having an earlier arrangement. From the moment we met her during our arrival to our leaving the hotel to explore Busan, there was no smile on the said staff. She was pulling a long face throughout our conversation.

My friends and I returned later in the evening to check-in. As an Accor member, my friend is entitled to welcome drink. Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae was very miserable in handing our welcome drink. We had another rude shock to find out that the hotel only provides one welcome drink for the three of us. The reason given was that the welcome drink is only provided to Accor members. When we told the staff who handled our check-in that all three of us are Accor members, only that the rooms are booked under one of my friend’s name for the convenience of our arrangement for our trip to Korea. Only at this point, we were told by the staff that welcome drink is only given to the member whose name the rooms were booked under. My friend and I often stayed in Accor Hotels during our overseas trips, this is the first hotel we met that was so stingy in providing only one drink and expect us to share. The other hotels (including the hotel we stayed in Seoul during the same trip) give welcome drinks to the number of guests checking into the hotel. This gesture does not only show that Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae does not even bother about service, their action of giving only one welcome drink seem to suggest they only pay lip service (to the requirement of Accor Group) in providing a welcome drink. We end up leaving the hotel without even bother having the so-called welcome drink.

Having said that, there are staffs in the hotel who were understood what service is all about. The elderly staff at the carpark knows what is service. When we drove into the carpark, the staff not only guided us to a very good parking spot, with his limited knowledge of English, he gave us clear directions on what we should be doing with the parking ticket. On the next night, he assured us that we do not have to pay any more parking as he was told that we had made payment for two nights of parking. All these time, he interacted with us with an assuring and warm smile across his face.

The unsung heroes who made up our room every single day were diligent in their job, ensuring we have a clean and tidy room every night of us returning to our room. The room was made up to such perfection that it felt as though the room was ready for guests who first check-into the hotel. It is a shame that we never met these staffs who ensured we have a clean room to return to every night.

Hotel Facilities

Gym

There is a small gym on level 20 of Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae equipped with a couple of treadmills, a step machine and a stationary bike. There are some free weights and weight machine as well in the gym. Despite its small size, guests can get some decent workout in the gym.

Sauna

The signage Sauna as stated in the hotel’s lift lobby as well as outside the changing room is confusing. Instead of a sauna, I found a jacuzzi pool inside the changing room. There are no saunas found in the hotel.

Parking facilities

As we rented a car during our trip to Busan, we were glad that the hotel has (limited) parking facilities in the basement of the building. Guests of the hotel do not get free parking, we were required to pay for parking charges at the hotel premises. I do find the parking charges to be reasonable at KRW5000 per night.

Overall

Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae is well located in a very convenient spot in Haeundae, with no lack of restaurants, shopping and 24-hour convenient shops around. However, the hotel is far from the Busan Train station. The Standard Room with 1 Queen Bed and Sofa is comfortable and very spacious by Ibis standards. We had a good night sleep on the queen bed every night. The service is what makes us avoid the hotel should we decide to return to Busan. The staffs at the reception behave more like divas and only paid lip service to guests. Providing only one welcome drink to the three of us checking into the hotel felt like the staffs at the reception are only interested in putting a tick in the box to Accor’s requirements according to their members. I would not recommend anyone to stay at Ibis Ambassador Busan Haeundae lest one wants to be treated badly at the hotel.

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View from the view in the bedroom