Hotel Ibis HermosilloIn a good location for downtown walking tours
Hotel Ibis Hermosillo
Av Cultura 48
Proyecto Rio Sonora Hermosillo XXI
Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico 83270
+52 (662) 208-4700
Some of you may have noticed that, after years of traveling in and writing about the state of Sonora, Mexico, the information I had presented about the state capital of Hermosillo was, well… scant.
I had been to Hermosillo many times, but mainly just passing through. As seen from the periferico, the city does not look very appealing, in fact some parts are downright blighted and ugly. And combined with the fact that Hermosillo has some of the hottest summertime temps on the planet I didn’t find the motivation to visit.
That changed in May 2017, when I spent three days in Hermosillo to explore the downtown area and see some of the interesting and picturesque places to visit there.
I stayed at the Hotel Ibis Hermosillo, which is located across the street from the massive office buildings for state employees. It is also located less than a mile from the center of the downtown area, Plaza Zaragoza and the Hermosillo Cathedral, along with other nearby government buildings, museums and other places of interest.
After doing some initial research, I had selected the Hotel Ibis as my base of operations mainly based on its proximity to the area I wanted to visit, and the price (about $40 a night). I checked various online hotel booking sites and found the best price on Booking.com.
Although most of the online reviews of the Ibis were overwhelmingly positive, there were some negative reviews – the Ibis is not for everyone. The rooms are very small, which makes them difficult for accommodating family units, and the Ibis has no workout facility or swimming pool.
Since those “issues” were not a deterrent for me, I decided to give the Ibis a try. I had come from Southern Sonora on a bus, and the taxi fare from the bus terminal was 50 pesos (about $3). The building is a new-looking high-rise, and the reception desk and other first-floor lobby and other common areas have a modern feel that is clean and basic.
The main part of the entrance floor is a cafeteria-style gathering area with rows of small white tables and comfortable red stuffed vinyl chairs, divided into sections by islands of stuffed bench-style seating, TVs and potted plants. Along one wall two sous chefs were busy preparing a la carte dishes for people who sat reading or having conversations.
I took the very quiet elevator to my room on the fifth floor, where the hallway window framed the spires of the Hermosillo Cathedral, illuminated in the gentle light of the setting sun. I snapped a couple of photos that turned out well, although later in the evening I realized that the vantage point loses its photographic usefulness at night due to the reflections of the hallway lights on the window.
After seeing online photos of the rooms at the Ibis I was ready for a compact living environs, and small is what I got. But I liked it – in this case, small meant comfortable. At first I thought about the extremely small lodging areas like in Japan, where people pay to sleep in a body-sized cube, not unlike sleeping in a railroad sleeping compartment.
But then I began to appreciate the size of the room. I was traveling alone and did not need much space. In fact, it would be completely adequate for two people as well I thought about the wasted space in a typical hotel room, filled with furniture like a dresser and armoire and open carpeted areas.
The room was compact but functional. The full-sized pillowtop bed was comfortable. A small settee next to the bed to put my suitcase, wall-mounted desk space, closet space and open shelving to stash clothing and other immediate-need items. And above all, it was very clean and quiet. What else did I need in a hotel room?
The bathroom was equally practical. No packages of soap and shampoo (that you are going to end up hoarding anyway), just wall-mounted soap dispensers. Clean and effective. The dispenser in the shower was filled with a soap and shampoo combination liquid, although it leaves hair as dry as straw, so if you have specific shampoo requirements you should bring a travel-size container of your favorite shampoo.
There is no ironing board in the room. Instead, there is a common-use ironing board and iron at the end of the hall on every floor. I did not see any ice dispensers or soda machines, you can purchase drinks and food on the first floor.
Like many urban hotels, the Ibis is in an area without nearby convenience stores or a supermarket. There are Oxxo convenience stores in the downtown area, although those in the downtown area do not sell alcoholic beverages.
The Ibis features a variety of good food at reasonable prices. But if you do not want to eat at the Ibis, there is a small mall with a Subway within walking distance going west on Avenida Cultura (although be very, very careful in traffic), or if you go north on Calle Galeana within a couple of blocks you will find a Banco Santander ATM with a reasonable transaction fee to get local currency and just beyond that, across the Rio Sonora bridge, is Restaurant Palominos, a nice place to eat and have a drink.
For me, the Hotel Ibis Hermosillo was a great place to stay while I explored the downtown areas of Hermosillo. I liked the style of the hotel, all of the staff I interacted with were helpful, friendly and professional, and I found the accommodations to be very comfortable. However, if you prefer a more standard hotel with larger rooms, there are others in the area – although none quite as convenient for walking tours of Hermosillo, Sonora.
Wherever you stay while in Hermosillo, enjoy your visit and please let us know if you would like to share information about your travels.