First impressions are so important. It was with some surprise, after reading reviews about how friendly and helpful the staff were at the Mercure, to be met with a rather snooty and unfriendly receptionist. After a long and difficult journey, a warm welcome would have been nice. She couldn't even manage to crack a smile. After telling me (or reprimanding me) that the card I showed her was not the one they had on their records, she asked me if I would prefer to speak in French or English. My reply was 'My French is very bad', to which she took this as a cue to give me some practice in French listening comprehension and proceeded to rattle off information with no speed limit. I managed to catch about one in four words but felt too intimidated by her to ask her to repeat this in English. One piece of information was obviously about how to use your room key in order to activate the lift. In the lift, seeing I didn't know what to do, a fellow guest, a young French speaking lad, tried to come to my aid. However, even he was fazed as he tried to press the buttons for my floor and his. Nothing happened and we tried several times to get the lift to work, repeating the process, but neither did the lift go up, nor the doors open. Slight panic until we did manage to get the doors open, and called our friendly receptionist, who put us right (each guest has to use his own key for his own floor - hah - these stupid English!) - again without a smile or a lighthearted comment. This was strange as she was later giggling and joking with her friends behind the bar when I was having dinner. She obviously just doesn't like hotel guests - or maybe English speaking hotel guests!.
Reception aside, the room was enormous and comfortable - probably about three times the average size of a similar grade hotel in London. Very big flat screen T.V. (I think only a news programme in English though). Very quiet, considering it is right near the railway station. Excellent location if you need to get to the station - a few steps away. Also opposite the Rhone Express.
I loved the shower room - very tastefully decorated with a huge double shower. The only slight complaint was that the toilet was on the other side of the room and round the corner, and twice I went into the wrong room when I wanted to use the loo - I don't know why they separated the loo from the shower ..... However, limited bathroom accessories - just shower gel and shampoo. Good job I brought my own shower cap!
Dinner was tasty but pricey for what it was - I had the three tapas starter (tiny portions but delicious - came with bread) as I wasn't very hungry, small carafe of house wine and some mineral water, and it was about 17 euros.
It was good that the guy on reception the next day was completely opposite to the girl - helpful and with a smile, so I went away with a better impression. Surely hotels should give their staff, particularly those on reception, better training on how to deal with guests.
I actually booked and paid for a room with a double bed and a single, but there was only a double bed in the room. As it turned out, I didn't need the second bed, as my daughter didn't come in the end - I don't know if they would have changed the room if it had been an issue.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.