Stayed in this establishment on 25th March, overnight on business. I write these reviews as I find the places I stay, not as an opportunity to spit the dummy and whinge like many treat this site. However, I must say had I paid for this stay myself rather than my company, I probably would have rated it overall as average, rather than very good. I came away reflecting on my stay at this hotel as being a bit like devouring Ferrero Rochers but from an old paper bag. Let me explain............
Mecure is a reputable brand; I have stayed with them once or twice before I was arriving with high expectations in terms of quality and standards. I happened to walk straight past the hotel first of all because from the outside, it doesn't sell itself as a typical Mecure. It's exterior doesn't do the hotel full justice because it looks quite old and dated, and I came to realise that this was precisely part of its character and some may say appeal (although old style hotels don't appeal to me).
To get to the reception, you have to walk half way up a courtyard, and the turning old fashioned style doors are on the left. Inside lives up to the grandeur and vintage appearance that the outside gives - an elaborate grand staircase in front, with old features throughout. I'm not sure what period (as I'm not a historian) but Jane Austin is used as a selling point as apparently she frequented the hotel in her youth.
Given my key, I made my way to the first floor. Exiting the lift, it took me 10 minutes to find my room and that was after asking a cleaner to show me! The first floor is a bit like a rabbit warren - heavy grey doors, with unclear signage as to where rooms are. The corridors were very old and again, the maintenance wasn't to usual Mecure standard. The cleaner led me to my room, which happened to be tucked down a narrow flight of stairs (akin to the type that you get on yachts leading to a gully! Very narrow turn to the room door (be wary of big luggage) and the distance between my door and the door opposite was less than 0.5m. The floor boards in the corridor were extremely squeaky and bounced when you stepped on them.
Inside, the room was extremely stuff (no a/c). Separate toilet and bathroom. Quite dirty titles, old fashioned decor with randomly quite a modern, funky style sink. The shower was one of those fixed ones with a massive shower head, the water was intermittent warm/hot.
However, the furnishings in the room were very modern and comfortable (horrible vertically opened window which the cleaner had to open for me!!), flat screen tv and a lovely double bed. There was a hairdryer, iron/ironing board and safe, kettle with plenty of supplies. Room service was efficient and outstanding manners displayed (felt guilty I didn't leave a tip...). You have to pay a £5 supplement for the tray in room service; considering my company were paying for my meal, I didn't mind as much but I probably would have if I'd have paid the room myself. The food was delicious - excellent standards, one of the most delicious meals. Breakfast equally exquisite (you must try the eggs benedict!!). Choice of hot breakfast with continental available. Both dinner and breakfast is 6.30-9.30 respectively. Again, the staff were incredibly welcoming, polite (everybody was addressed as sir/madam) and the high Mecure standards were maintained.
So, my Ferrero Rocher analogy is basically to say that I enjoyed immensely the high quality and outstanding service I know Mecure for, but within an old establishment that misplaces it slightly. Will return again on business, not sure I'd choose to stay here for what the room prices are. Personally, I'd shop around....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin hotel is a stunning Grade II listed 4 star hotel located in the heart of Southampton - offering a modern and contemporary feel, while maintaining its traditional appeal. Perfectly located to explore the historic old town and walls, extensive shopping centre within walking distance and the perfect place to stay before and after your cruise with park and cruise packages available.Free Wifi available throughout the hotel.Privilege rooms now available. On site car parking available however there is a charge for this service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mercure Southampton Centre Dolphin Hotel Southampton
- Southampton Dolphin Hotel