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“Surprised by the extra charges” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel

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Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1QF, England   |  
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Ranked #10 of 30 Hotels in Exeter
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Surprised by the extra charges”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2010

Bad points:
- The hotel is very dimly lit throughout (bit depressing) and seems to be targeted more towards guests on business trips than a family or couple.

- Hotel Wifi costs £4 for an hour, with decreasing hourly rates for longer periods of use. I have never in my life been charged for using hotel WiFi so consider this to be unscrupulous in the extreme.
If every other hotel I've ever stayed in can provide this free of charge why not Mercure Exeter?

- Incredibly, they charge guests £8 a night to leave their car in the hotel carpark during their stay. I have never known any other hotel to do this, and I've been to quite a few.
Upon trying to leave the hotel the next day, I had to repark the car as the card they gave me to scan at the barrier did not work. Had I been on a business trip the extra 10 minutes it took me to repark the car, go to reception, get a new card, and then leave again could have caused me to be late for a meeting. Highly inconvenient.

- I wouldn't say the milk at breakfast was warm, but it was certainly not cold.

- Don't bother ordering desert, it looks like it was bought from a supermarket and thrown in the microwave for 3 minutes. For the amount I was paid I exepected better.

- Hideous cow hide seats (with cow fur intact). I don't think i need to expand on this.

- The staff were adequate, but no more than that. I think the dark working conditions that they must be subject to has probably had an impact on morale.

Good points:
+ Leisure facilities including the pool are good, and the hotel is clean and tidy
+ Location provides easy access to city centre

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthgateExe, General Manager at Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel, responded to this review, November 15, 2010
I’m so sorry that you were disappointed by your experience saying with us. I appreciate the feedback and rest assured that we take all comments very seriously. We are looking into the matter.

Kind Regards
Peter Lister
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,090 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
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cornwall
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2010

My wife and I wanted a decent hotel within easy walking distance of the city.
The Mercure fits the bill nicely with easy walking to the historic sights and shops.

Good: Location, spacious, clean, bedrooms have very comfortable beds.
Disappointing: Leisure facilities/pool seems to be a club for the local residents so its busy with non hotel guests and lots of kids.
Bad: Daily parking charges and breakfast charges are ridiculously high (add £34 to the room rate per night, per couple) making a good hotel choice poor value.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthgateExe, General Manager at Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel, responded to this review, November 15, 2010
Many thanks for your comments. We appreciate all feedback and are glad you enjoyed your stay. I’ll look into the points your raised personally, and in the meantime, I hope we can welcome you back very soon.

Kind Regards
Peter Lister
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2010

I stayed here for 5 days 2 days on my own then with my colleagues.

When I arrived on Sunday Kate at reception checked me in. She was helpful, friendly and knowloedgeable about the facilities on offer and check in went smooth.

The room was ok if not a little dated , cracked tile at bottom of bath and some of the cover peeling off the bathroom sink surface and the start of the wall paper off in the main room.

Breakfast was good and the staff helpful and quick at providing Tea, Coffee and Toast. They managed a rude customer very well on Monday morning who was just an "idiot" who could not be bother to get a glass and was asking members of staff to come over and fetch him items.

The stay overall was fine however one issue I had with my colleagues was on Wednesday night when we arrived back at 11.55pm and wanted a drink at the bar.

We noticed that the drinks had been put away but the young employee was cashing up and locking things away,

I felt , and this was confirmed by my colleagues that we were causing him to change his plans for the evening.

We jokingly said " You look fed up" and then he told us he was on till 3am.

We did get a drink then he dissapeared into the office.. at this point we joked and said lets finish these and go to bed as we are not wanted here. !!

All in all its a good hotel........if not tainted a little with the bar incident.

One thing to note that in this day and age internet access should be free..come on ..its 2010 !!!!!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthgateExe, General Manager at Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2010
I’m delighted you enjoyed your stay. Please rest assured that I will take note of your comments and the matter will be addressed. I hope we can welcome you back to very soon. Kind regards, Peter Lister
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgwater, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2010

My husband and I booked to stay at the Mercure Southgate for the Saturday evening after my 30th birthday. We antagonised over whether to go to Bath or Bristol as we did not want to travel more than an hour away from our home. We decided on trying out Exeter as we had never been to Exeter as a couple and as a child I had spent many weekends with relatives who live in Exeter.

We chose the Mercure Southgate as the photos of the hotel on the internet gave the hotel a luxerious, chic feel and the available rate of £101 B&B seemed reasonable for a 4* city hotel plus the close proximity to the city centre seemed really attractive.

A couple days before the big stay I emailed the hotel and asked if there was anything they could do to ensure our stay was as memerable as possible as going away for the evening is a rare treat for us as we, like many other people, dont have the money to fritter away on hotels and weekends away and as it was my 30th I was hoping for something special. I was thrilled when I was told I would be upgraded from a standard room to a double privillidge room with Catherdral and City Wall view for no extra cost.

On arrival at the hotel the receptionist cooly asked us to fill in the checking in card and took a swipe of my debit card. I assumed that the details would be kept on file ready for check out. She advised us to head to the third floor and directed us to the lift. All good so far.

When we entered the room we were quite pleased with the room. Although it was quite small and poky it had a flat screen television and seemed quite clean and contemporary. The bathroom was quite clean however I noticed that the toilet seat was damaged, it was off its hinges and had a large hole by the hinges, so I rung front desk and told the receptionist the problem. I was concerned that we would be accused of causing the damage and really did not want to be charged. The receptionist apologised and asked if we wanted to move rooms because there wasnt a handy man around. I said there was no need as long as it was noted that there was damage to the toilet seat and that it was not caused by my husband and I.

My husband and I ventured out into Exeter and a couple of hours after a bit of sightseeing I decided to check my bank balance, I almost had heart failiure as my balance had dramatically shrunk and I hadnt spent any money (only gift vouchers given to me for my birthday). In a panic my husband and I went straight back to the hotel where I rung my bank in the privacy of our room. My bank were unable to tell me what pending transactions were coming out of my account. In a panic I told my husband to ring the front desk to just check whether the money for the room had been debited (as from my experience I assumed the money would come out after I had checked out, not before). I was worried that I would be unable to pay for the stay and that we wouldnt be able to go out that evening.

My husband told me that he was told yes, the room rate plus £50 had been taken out of my account and was "on hold". I was furious as noone had explained this to me and we had just ruined our afternoon by returning to the hotel prematurely to try and figure out why I had less money in my account than expected.

I rung front desk and asked to speak to the duty manager. The receptionist informed me that the DM was not in his office so she would ask him to ring me. A few minutes later the DM rung. He apologised and said that it was "standard practice" to do this kind of thing. I said that the receptionist should not assume that everyone knows hotels standard practice.

Putting aside my frustration and wanting to enjoy the hotel experience we decided to try out the lesuire facilities and on arrival in the fitness suite we read a sign stating that the pool was a "bit colder than usual" by 2 degrees. The pool was freezing however we stuck it out for about half an hour. Small details regarding the pool area lets it down. The actual pool looks quite grimy around the edges of the pool and considering the hotel was refurbished in 2009 it looks in need of sprucing up again. Also it would be nice if there was at least one cubicle for changing because communial changing rooms are quite embaressing and this was a communial changing area. I over heard one lady saying that there was apparently boiler trouble, I wonder if that was the reason why the changing rooms were also freezing cold.

On the plus side after a night out we slept really well, despite being near the city centre it was quite quiet and the bed was really comfortable and the room dark with the curtains shut so my husband and I slept really well which I was pleased about.

The next morning we went down to breakfast and were seated in the sun terrace. The waitress who seated us (I think she was a duty manager) looked quite harrassed and stressed out truth be told, she directed us to our seat and asked if we wanted tea or coffee and whether we wanted toast. We said we would like tea and toast and she advised us to help ourselves from the buffett. The selection of food on offer was fantastic and the food was cooked to perfection,

My only gripe with breakfast was that we still hadnt been served our tea or toast as we finished our meal and had to get up and ask where it was. The duty manager apologised and said that the waiter had ticked our name off as done. Quite clearly we hadnt had our tea or toast so that was a bit disappointing and almost ruined breakfast. Almost.

Check out was smooth and hassle free but I wasnt really happy with the charge for parking (which is automatically added to your bill). Why do you have to charge extra for onsite parking Mercure? I knew about the charge for parking when I booked the hotel but it was a bitter pill to swallow when I thought I had a bargain at £101 and then ended up paying £109.

All in all I would definately stay at the hotel again purely because of the location and because it is a nice hotel.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SouthgateExe, General Manager at Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel, responded to this review, October 25, 2010
Many thanks for your comments. We appreciate all feedback and are glad you enjoyed your stay. I’ll look into the points your raised personally, and in the meantime, I hope we can welcome you back very soon. Kind regards, Peter Lister
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel

Address: Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1QF, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Exeter
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
4 star city centre hotel which is a great base for exploring the devon coast & dartmoor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Accor Southgate Exeter
Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel Devon

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