It’s an ibis hotel, Jim… but not as you know it.
I’ll admit it had been several years since I last stayed in an ibis Hotel, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Back before their rebrand in 2011, my sole experience with the chain was their dated Sydney Airport property. But the new ibis Mackay Airport was a completely different beast.
For starters, it’s brand new. The ibis Mackay Airport opened on the 1st June 2015, so it still has the new hotel feel. It’s also actually really attractive, both inside and out.
I was lucky enough to be invited on a trip to Mackay earlier this year to attend the fantastic Mackay Beach Horse Racing Festival, which was worth the price of admission for the Shetland Pony race alone, and got the chance to road test the new ibis property for a few days.
Location wise, you couldn’t get any closer to the airport if you tried. It’s literally a zebra crossing away from the Mackay Airport terminal. Despite the close proximity though, I didn’t hear a single aircraft come or go in the time I was staying there.
My room on the seventh floor was simply furnished, with a classic grey, white and pale timber colour scheme. The only real pop of colour came from the red bench seat by the window, but for the size of the space this was more than enough.
The small desk by the window looked out over the cane fields beside the airport to the hills and major seaport beyond. The sunsets were pretty spectacular.
As an airport hotel, it’s not expected that you’ll stay here for an extended time so the storage options were fairly limited, but if you’re here for only a few days its fine.
Gadget wise the room had a large flat screen TV and Bluetooth alarm clock.
In the bathroom there was no TARDIS-style bathroom in sight. It was a proper bathroom, bigger on the inside, with a marble effect vanity, chrome fittings, and a decent size shower.
Outside the room, the ground floor of the hotel had a great restaurant, bar, and gym. The buffet breakfast in the morning has everything you could want and more. Best of all, there was proper coffee.
If you’re looking for a convenient and affordable hotel option in Mackay, I definitely recommend the ibis. It’s a little way out of the town centre, but easy if you have a hire car. The city’s best things to see and do are all within easy reach, and you’ll have no possible chance of arriving too late for your flight.
Find out more at: accorhotels.com.au/hotel/ibis-mackay
Check live rates at Booking.com
Five things to do in Mackay
1. Spot wild platypus in Eungella National Park
The Mackay Region is renowned for its wild platypus population. Aside from the viewing platforms at Broken River, the platypus diving experience offered by Rainforest Scuba is unique.
2. Share the sunrise with kangaroos
Cape Hillsborough National Park is famous for it’s resident kangaroos and wallabies, which like to hop down and enjoy the sunrise on the beach as they feed.
3. Visit the dugong sanctuary
Established in 1997, Clairview sanctuary is approx. 1.5 hours south of Mackey. Dugong’s can often be spotted surfacing to breathe from shore, a kayak or a boat.
4. Head out to Keswick Island
If you have time, a visit to the newly reopened Keswick Island is well worth the boat ride. Diving, snorkelling, and bushwalking are just a few of the activities on offer.
5. Swim at Finch Hatton Gorge
Take the plunge at Finch Hatton Gorge, a hidden gem with lush rainforest, cascading waterfalls, and volcanic boulders.
Learn more about Mackay at: mackayregion.com
Between Jetstar, Virgin Australia and QantasLink there are up to 10 return flights a day between Brisbane and Mackay. Virgin also offer a daily return Sydney service, while QantasLink fly to and from Rockhampton once per day, and Townsville three times per day with connections on to other regional centres.
Find out more at: mackayairport.com.au
– I travelled as a guest of Mackay Airport, Mackay Tourism, and Accor Hotels.