I used to be very against airport hotels. After shelling out all that money to visit a given destination, I never understood why anyone would want to spend their final night of vacation in a bland hotel away from all the action. When I visited Los Angeles, for example, I wanted to be close to restaurants and big sightseeing attractions, rather than cooped up in the boring strip of big-name airport hotels near LAX. Why waste that last evening rotting away and wishing to be somewhere else?
Then I stayed at an airport hotel with my family, on our big trip to France in 2014. Staying in the hotel was so incredibly convenient, since it was located on the actual airport property. We woke up, had breakfast, and literally strolled out the door and into the terminal.
There was no last-minute flurry of activity before rushing to catch a bus or taxi and hope that traffic was fine. There was no panicked realization that we had left our passports in the hotel safe (and even if we had, the hotel was a short walk away from security). Everything was easy and stress-free, and I wondered why on earth I had never given airport hotels a serious chance.
Naturally, when Dan and I began researching hotels for our European adventure, I remembered our awesome hotel experience at Charles de Gaulle, and wanted to recreate that stress-free feeling on our final night in Europe. I certainly didn’t want to fly in from Rome, rush around to gather our luggage and check in for our next flight, and hop right back onto our flight home in the same day. No, we decided to spend one relaxing night at the airport and unwind a little bit before boarding our return flight.
The venue for our stay? The Hotel Ibis Styles CDG.
We touched down in Paris after a short flight from Rome and set about checking into the hotel. The easiest way to get there is to take the free CDGVAL shuttle service to Terminal 3. Just get off the shuttle, take the escalator upstairs, and go out the glass doors, where the recently-opened hotel is waiting to welcome guests.
When booking any hotel, I focus on location, style, and comfort. The Ibis Styles CDG easily passed the location and comfort checks, with big fluffy beds in the heart of the airport itself, but what really got us going was the unique theme of the hotel.
Drumroll, please. The Ibis Styles CDG is…outer space themed. How cool is that?! The theme was apparent from the moment we walked into the lobby, with its deep blue, star studded walls and collection of sci-fi memorabilia.
The theme carried through the hallways and right into our rooms, with a huge moon dipping lazily behind the double bed, and furniture inspired by the 60’s mod space age.
The room was small but very comfortable, with clean lines, plenty of white, and simple, functional furniture. In addition to the double bed, our Standard Room had an open mesh storage unit, a desk, a 32 inch LCD TV, and an updated bathroom with shower, toilet and hair dryer.
The staff had kindly left a complimentary water bottle and bag of strawberry candies on the bed, which I reluctantly shared with Dan. The room also featured a huge window facing the runway, where we could watch planes speed up and away.
After checking into our room and getting settled, Dan and I headed down to the on-property restaurant, Foody’s Planet, for our final dinner in Europe. The dining area was adorably decorated to match the mod, spacey theme of the hotel, with bright yellow dinettes in the center of the room, and blueprints of various spacecraft adorning the walls.
I ordered scallops with risotto, pepper cream and chorizo, while Dan had a good old-fashioned bacon cheeseburger with the standard toppings of lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and mustard.
I laughed at Dan’s very American order of a cheeseburger and fries, but when the food arrived at our table, I wished I had ordered the burger as well!
The scallops were under cooked, both chewy and grainy in texture rather than soft and buttery. I did not complain, thinking it must be a French thing to serve the scallops cooked medium, and set about eating my neon yellow rice with sickly cream sauce and chorizo. Even the wine we’d ordered was watery and flavorless. It was, without a doubt, the worst meal I’d eaten abroad, and even though I was hungry, I wound up pushing the plate away half-eaten and gulping down the boring wine. Dan’s burger, on the other hand, was fantastic, and I was very grateful when he offered me half of it so I wouldn’t starve. Looking around the dining room, nearly everyone else had gotten the burger as well, which I found an interesting departure from the fancy French meals of our first week in Europe.
Back in the room, we settled in to watch The Walking Dead en français and redistribute our belongings between two suitcases (after an embarrassing overweight bag situation at the airport in Rome). Dan plugged in our travel adapter, the same one we’d been using for the entire trip, and promptly knocked out the power in our room. We were super embarrassed to call the front desk and explain, certain they would blame us and assume we’d used the wrong adapter, but they were very sweet and understanding. Someone came up to our room five minutes later to escort us to a brand new room (with a brand new bag of strawberry candies! Score).
Getting ready the next day could not have been easier. The huge, modern bathrooms offered plenty of space for two people to get ready, and even featured a full size, all in one shampoo and body wash. No trial size freebies here, wink wink. Then it was down to the dining area, where we enjoyed a delicious complimentary buffet breakfast. I probably shouldn’t have loaded up on all those flaky chocolate mini croissants and toasty French bread, but hey. When in Paris! I sure miss those guilty pleasure breakfasts now!
Check out itself was quick and easy, just a quick courtesy stop at the front desk and we were on our way! 30 seconds later, we were in the airport and headed to the luggage check. Easy as that. You truly cannot beat the convenience of this hotel, and when it comes to style and comfort, the Ibis Styles is a slam dunk.
Have I convinced you yet that airport hotels are the way to go? Click here to check out the Ibis Styles CDG and book your next stay!