As Accor hotel regulars, our night’s room price (£175 - more than we’d ever spent before anywhere), and the Inverness Mercure being close to top of Inverness Trip Advisor hotel rankings when we booked in January, we had high expectations of our stay at this hotel.
While not terrible, it turned out to be a big disappointment, and very surprising given the generally excellent standards of the Accor group.
The plus bits:
The riverside location is very central, 5 minutes walk to both train and bus stations, and the Victorian market. The room was a fair size, bed comfortable, and when we were there a nice swimming pool – though we understand this will soon to close permanently.
The minus bits:
Our room, facing the main street (not the river), was the noisiest we’ve ever stayed in with street bars and drunken groups rowdy to the small hours along with hyperactive seagulls. We really struggled getting to sleep. The cheap double glazing simply isn’t adequate to block out the noise and need replacing and/or have added sound insulation, as most city hotels have. The bathroom was also very small and dated.
The whole hotel has a very tired - if not exhausted - feel to it: worn carpets, ageing and loose fittings and furnishings, including the dining room, giving a gloomy feel reminiscent of former Soviet Union hotels we’ve visited. This includes the exterior too, especially the riverside frontage that is frankly a bit of an eyesore. It felt to us as if the management had given up on looking after it.
But the most surprising thing was the dirt – we’re usually reasonably tolerant on these things, but so much of the public areas were evidently only patchily cleaned, including the brass stair rails, and very notably the weeks (?)-old ingrained dark grime on the doors leading to the toilets in the lobby - all in full view of the reception desk. We couldn’t understand how any manager could let this happen, and were even tempted to go and by some cleaner and do the job ourselves. But we had better things to do!
While breakfast was OK the overall standard and presentation of food again had a bit of a Soviet era feel to it – nothing like the standard we’ve experienced in other Mercures, Novotels etc.
Our next night's stay was at the Mercure Edinburgh, which was very good. So a real mystery as to why the Mercure Inverness has got into this state: we definitely would not stay here again or recommend it to anyone unless it was completely renovated.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Choose the Mercure Inverness Hotel situated in the heart of Inverness' vibrant city centre on the bank of the River Ness, with the bustle of the thirving shops and local nightlife right on the doorstep. You can't get more central than this! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Inverness
- Inverness Ramada
- Mercure Inverness Hotel Scotland