Mercure Hobart: dated rooms, but decent services and great staff

Hotel Review: Mercure Hobart: dated rooms, but decent services and great staff

Country:
Australia
City:
Hobart
Rating:
3-star
Room:
Deluxe Suite

location:

rooms:

meals:

overall:

What's Hot

  • decent restaurant
  • wifi included in room rate

What's Not

  • seriously dated
  • no aircon

X-Factor

  • particularly good location for rental cars

Introduction

Hobart is remarkably short on upmarket business class hotels, so during a recent trip I decided to go towards the lower end of the mid-range scale and reviewed the Mercure Hobart, set slightly back from the waterfront on Bathurst Street.

Location & Impressions

When a hotel chooses a night shot for its publicity it always makes me think the place must be seriously ugly. On the plus side, you can't see it when looking outwards...

Don't confuse the Mercure with the Mercure Hadleys Hotel -- formerly the Grand Mercure -- a couple of streets over. (The apartments next to Hadleys are now the Grand Mercure.)

While the location is not the most convenient for Hobart, it's hardly far out, and does have multiple rental car locations right across the road: always a road warrior consideration.

The building itself is a fairly tired 50s/60s style block, which is completely without air conditioning. That was a bit of a problem during my stay, where the temperatures hit 40 degrees. Obviously, that's unusual for Hobart, but if staying in summer keep the AC situation in mind.

Cheery and helpful receptionists directed me straight up to my room, which was one of the Deluxe Suites on the top floor.

Room

The suites are spacious but dated, despite the attempt at sprucing them up with a bit of paint on the walls.

The Mercure's deluxe suites have the bathroom as you walk in, then the king-sized bedroom and a doorway leading into the living room area. Both living room and bedroom areas have access out onto a small balcony.

A revamp is fairly desperately needed for the whole hotel, but none more than the bathrooms, which are dated, pokey and feel pretty cheap, with a shower-over-tub and an unloved, spartan decor.

Toiletries are the Mercure own-brand stuff, which is fine in a pinch -- but bring your own if you're even slightly choosy.

The bed was comfortable enough, though the tiny bedside tables didn't provide spare power points or useful space for glasses, phone chargers and Kindle.

On the plus side, one of the bedside tables did have an iPod dock, which is always a nice touch.

You'll find two flatscreen TVs in the suites, with one facing the bed and one through the doorway into the living area.

The living area is about the size again of the bedroom and bathroom, with a four-person dining table, sofa and chair seating three.

The TV sits on top of a credenza that includes the minibar plus a tray of snack foods.

Work

The dining room table is the best plan if you need a work surface.

I was pretty impressed by the wifi in the room, which hit a very respectable 8.25Mbps down, but only 0.77Mbps up. Internet is included with the Deluxe Suite price, or it's an uncomfortably high $25 otherwise.

With the large dining table, you'll have more than enough room to spread out to get some serious work done. Power points are relatively close, but the hotel has extension leads if you've only brought a shorter cable.

Your other options for work areas include the large lobby area downstairs, or the business centre you'll find just off the lobby.

Eat

Embers restaurant is bright and airy -- but the food's better in the evenings than at breakfast.

I tried the room service and found it well above average for the Mercure brand. The pizza I ordered was particularly good.

Breakfast downstairs in Embers restaurant in the morning was fine, but nothing to write home about, with the usual buffet and machine-made coffee.

Relax

The hotel's gym exceeded my expectations, with modern equipment and a cheery room to work out.

In the 40-degree heat and no air-con, I rigged up a fan and a bucket of ice with a couple of cold beers and relaxed on the balcony, where there was a little bit of air.

Since the hotel's a fair way in from the harbourside, there's not a great view, but you get a good bit of fresh air on the balcony.

I popped my head into the gym to check it out, and was pleasantly surprised to find a small yet modern, bright facility with several cardio machines and a weights bench.

Summary

All in all, the hotel's services are fine but it's desperately in need of a makeover. If you're used to recently revamped Mercures like the excellent Treasury Gardens location in Melbourne, the Mercure Hobart will be a disappointment.

John Walton

John Walton (John Walton)

@thatjohn

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.
 

1 Comment

  • traveller

    traveller

    17 May, 2012 07:39 pm

    I've stayed at this hotel previously and can safely say that it is one of the worst in Hobart. "Seriously outdated" could honestly be changed to "Totally oblivious to modern-day standards". I checked out after one night and left words with the manager (granted, very professional and sincere) and checked in at Hotel Collins. Hotel Collins was perfectly suited to business travelers; central, well equipped, fresh and modern.

    As an "expat" of Tasmania I want to stick up for my home state and say that there are some seriously top notch hotel options in Hobart CBD that are reasonably priced and accommodating. Obviously choosing a low priced, mid-range, self rated hotel is going to bring about a typical get-what-you-pay-for experience anywhere in the world.

    Great review John and I wish you better luck next trip!

    No member give thanks

Guest

28 Sep, 2016 01:46 am

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