Poitiers is a very tightly packed town on a hill,with few central hotels.The Mercure has an excellent location on a very quiet street.If you are an expert you can get a car in front to unload,otherwise it is 5 minutes gentle uphill from the Theatre multistorey carpark,to which the hotel sells reduced price tickets.
Much is made of the architectural features,but the building is actually a concrete shell at street level,and the majority of the rooms are in a modern structure off the west end of the old church.The second floor breakfast room has the clerestory windows and some low vaulting,the stairs are interesting,but only the expensive rooms would not be dominated by exposed concrete.I did not eat in the restaurant which occupies the lower part of the nave,strangely crisscrossed by leaning concrete colums supporting a keel-shaped mass of concrete which is the underside of the second floor.
My room was a low priced one on the nominal ground floor,which is actually about 8 feet above the street.It had a peculiar layout,with a bathroom area ,between the bed and the window,reached by two steps.The lower step,in a restricted space at the foot of the bed,had a hazardous sharp corner formed by two mitred metal edging strips.I put a large sticking plaster on this,to prevent having to apply said plaster to my shin! The walk-in(why?-room unsuitable for disabled) shower has no door,so that water reaches the bedroom carpet.The bathroom basin is also impractical,being a trendy shallow bowl sitting on a wooden shelf.It even has the added annoyance of having no plug or waste valve. The WC is in the position ,by the room door,usually taken by the bathroom.It has rough emulsion painted walls which are clean at present,but obviously cannot remain so.
Apart from these annoyances,the bedroom is excellent for sleeping,with a comfortable bed and crisp sheets.There is a small desk to work at,but no easy chair,nor space for lounging.The limited space,and lack of furniture,make the room hard to keep tidy.
Breakfast has all the usual items,and some local specialities.I think it is well worth the 15 Euros.
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