You’ve heard of “Staycation”, well new for Summer 2020, I bring you the “Famcation“. The act of stay-cationing with family, somewhere to explore and have adventures. Well, that’s my take on it anyway and that’s exactly what we did up in Sheffield this week at the ibis Budget Sheffield Centre – St Mary’s Gate hotel. Family included the dogs here too, which was amazing. Here’s what we thought of the hotel and some fab family travel tips for your visit.
The hotel is brand new and was ready at the beginning of the year, with a £30m investment and was ready to open at the beginning of March. As COVID happened it delayed the opening of the hotel and it is literally like walking into a brand new hotel. It is also only one of two of the ibis budget hotels with an artisan café. The hotel is part of the Accor family, which is the biggest hotel brand in the world! The staff were all so very friendly, nothing was too much. It made our stay better.
The hotel has 128 rooms and is perfectly located; a short walk into the city centre and a short drive into the Peak District. Perfect for a family break at any time of the year!
Our hotel room
Our hotel room was so clean. As it is brand new everything was just perfect. I would never have said it was a budget hotel. In fact, we would have said quite the opposite. The room had Air Conditioning, which for our stay was a pleasant surprise. We had heat of 35 degrees and so this was a delight to walk into after long hikes up the mountains.
The rooms have new LG TV’s which have an array of TV Channels, including kids channels CBBC, CITV and Pop. The kids loved the fact they could watch their fave: Mr Bean, whilst getting ready in the mornings.
The bathroom, was again brand new, the shower super clean and free from mould. It was stylishly designed too, I love the brick styled tiles in the shower area. The shower was warm and fast too – something that is quite a novelty when travelling away from home!
Top tip – the rooms come with little storage. There are no drawers and wardrobes. There is a hanging rail and a long shelf which was perfect for the rest of our clothes. So pack light, or bring a hanging storage solution. In the light of COVID19 I think the less surfaces in a hotel the better, less risk and more clean!
Chill #10A Artisan Café & Bar
The Chill #10A Artisan Café & Bar is an artisan style Café that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can take the food up to your room or eat in. You also can eat in the café even if you are not staying at the hotel in Sheffield. The place is amazing, the decor is fabulous and we loved spending time there. There are board games on the shelves for the kiddies to play with and the artisan menu is perfect for families. The cooked-to-order pizzas were divine. The kids even shouted out they are the best pizzas they have ever had. The coffee was delicious, I loved the latte and they had a good selection of cakes and snacks. On our first night we enjoyed a pizza dinner and Mummy & Daddy even had our favourite tipple, there is a decent selection of most things. We loved it.
The breakfast was a croissant, jam or Nutella, apple or orange, hot drink and a bottle of orange juice. The croissants were yummy. You could have it bagged up to take out or eat in the café. We enjoyed eating on the comfortable sofas and armchairs, whilst watching the news or playing the games. It really was nice to chill!
Family travel tips for the ibis Budget Sheffield Centre
When booking a room at ibis you need to make sure you are aware that only 3 people can occupy a room, so as a family of 4 we needed 2 rooms. Which wasn’t a problem, I stayed with Isla in one room and Daddy stayed with Noah in the room next door. When booking ask for your rooms to be put next to each other. The rooms come with 2 key cards, so Daddy and I swapped one so we could get into both rooms.
As it is a budget hotel you will need to bring shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. You do get a soap. But I had forgotten to pack shampoo and needed to dash to the local shop, which isn’t a problem, I am just saving you the dash!
The budget hotel does not have parking. Which isn’t a problem in a city as there is parking everywhere. However, we found a handy little parking bay just behind the hotel, the road is called Young Street. If you park your car after 4:30pm then you pay £2 for parking until 8am the next morning. Fab tip!
The hotel is on the right side of Sheffield to get to the Peak District walks. The hotel is based on a roundabout with a junction for the A625, follow that road and it takes you straight into the Peaks! Perfect for a family adventure.
We brought Rambo his bed from home so that he had a safe and comfortable spot to sleep. The hotel has a beautifully clean floor, but it’s hard flooring so if you want your furry friends to be comfortable pack their bed.
In light of COVID-19, the hotel had responded extremely well and I felt safe. There is a one way system as you walk into the building and all around the café. There was a sanitising station and the check in area had screens so that the staff were behind the protected sheet. There was a sanitising station by the lifts too, you were encouraged to clean your hands before pressing the lift buttons. Our room was not cleaned, if we needed anything then we could ask at reception, otherwise there was no daily room clean – to prevent any spread of the virus.
We found these handy leaflets in our room too on arrival:
Have you seen my other family travel posts? Lots of ideas on what to do with the family for the rest of the Summer holidays. Have you been to Sheffield? I would love to know what you did on your visit in the comments below.