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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.