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“4 star lobby, 3 star room”

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Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel
Ranked #9 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 1, 2013

The location of this hotel is great--walking distance to the Cathedral and High Street (you can see the Cathedral from the hotel, if your rooms face the right way). There is good (paid for) parking provision and the lobby definitely makes an impression.
In fact, we were given a long time to get that impression: we were queued to check-in for a good half hour as the one receptionist dealt with a couple who had a series of problems with their reservation (it being non-existent, forgetting their PINs when they tried to make a new booking, their credit cards being repeatedly declined, etc).
The queue extended to the hotel entrance and there were people ahead of us who had waited even longer, but throughout this time, nobody else (e.g. one of the several people in the back room) came out to help either the problem customers or the rest of us. However another lady who had the same uniform as the one receptionist at the desk was sat at the side having a good long chat with someone before she disappeared. When we eventually got to check-in, the receptionist was pleasant enough (although she did not apologise for the wait). Only after the queue had cleared did a second receptionist finally show up to the desk.
Our room was not as grand as reception. It was fine, but did not appear to have been updated since the hotel was first built. The base of the bed was some sort of carpet-covered wooden construction on top of which a mattress was placed, but the wood creaked with every movement, whilst the mattress seemed a bit old, as there were high points and low points (although this might easily have been the fault of the wood base). The windows were single-glazed and so there was some noise from outside (although it is a quiet area, so it was not bad, but because of the noise, it sounded like they'd been left open.) We weren't disturbed by noise from neighbours, although we were surprised when the maid knocked and then burst in before we were able to respond, at 9 AM.
The bathroom was the most dated, with everything from the tiles to the fittings appearing a bit worn and tired. Even at full heat, it took until the end of the shower for the water to get from warm to hot. However the water from the sink scalded you instantly if you were unwise enough to turn on the hot tap without also turning on the cold. The paint was peeling off the back of the bathroom door, apparently from years of moisture without benefit of maintenance.
All that said, the hotel was fine for our purposes and we might stay again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CoastalBreaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,501 - 1,507 of 2,065 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2013

We visited as a family between Christmas and New Year and we needed somewhere convenient and central to stay, which could accommodate us and our two small girls.

We checked into a very nice double room with a huge comfortable bed and a sofa bed for the children. The room was immaculate and the bathroom luxurious (large walk in shower). The room was superbly appointed, with an excellent television, fridge, tea and coffee and a brand new Nespresso machine (really good coffee). We all had a really good nights sleep, as the room was very quiet and had blackout curtains.

The hotel itself was stunning, with some really contemporary furniture and finishes. The lounge area was excellent. Staff were really friendly and helpful throughout our stay.

We ate tea in the bar area (bar menu), which was brilliantly presented, fresh and delicious. The children had their own menu (excellent value and equally good).

Breakfast was very relaxed, with a great choice and delicious cooked buffet. The children had plenty to choose from and enjoyed trying different things.

Overall, we would definitely recommend the Southgate for a family (or any other type of) stay.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Sarah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Booked 4 night Xmas break and overall the hotel gave what you expected The room was spacious with a good size bed and all the luxeries from homw. Its location adjacent to the Cathredral was excellent and Exeter has a lot to offer for shops and history. The hotel has a good size pool and Gym for those who want them. Staff were polite and efficient. Negative side !) £10 for car parking is quite dear and for £ 600 for they stay was a little over priced on reflection. That aside the hotel is well worth a visit

Room Tip: Third floor at the rear has a great veiw of the city walls and Cathredral
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank bobprosphero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

I used to stay at this hotel back in the 90s when - from memory - it was part of the Posthouse chain, so it was my first choice when I wanted to visit Exeter this Christmas.

The staff throughout the hotel are very personable and friendly and undertake their roles with efficiency. Check-in and out were both very smooth. I arrived just after noon and my room was already ready.

The rooms are of a good size and seemed quiet and well soundproofed, although I sensed the hotel wasn't full. You get free wireless Internet too and the signal was generally strong and reliable.

Even with the bedroom heating system fan off, heat did seem to trickle into the room, so it wasn't hard to feel snug here. The bed was comfortable and I slept well and it was nice to see two arm chairs. So many hotels just have the one which is no good when the room is being occupied by two people. The television had the full selection of UK Freeview channels, with a clear reception.

I can't honestly remember how the rooms were furnished back in the 90s, but they did look dated and in need of some attention. Clearly a chunk of plaster had been knocked out of one wall and badly repaired with just a dollop of white filler. There was also a deep gouge in the headboard. I also noticed lots of dust clinging to the walls in each corner of the room. The bed was also not properly secured and slipped easily on its casters when knocked. And there was a taped up crack in one window panel.

For a four-star hotel, I was surprised that there wasn't a safe in the room.

The bathroom did require a lot more attention. The tiles, although clean, looked very old and there was a broken tile under the bath, with a sharp edge. The paint was also peeling off the inside of the door. A very thin shower curtain was hung from a standard straight pole, rather than one of those newer curved poles you see in other hotels. The temperature dial in the shower was also incorrect. When you moved it in the direction of the hot arrow, the water cooled; when you thought you were mixing in more cold water, it actually did the reverse. I also heard another guest mention this to friends at breakfast. It's worth pointing out that the water pressure is very strong and the hot water appears to be instantly scalding hot when you turn on the tap, so being able to regulate the temperature successfully is even more important. Parents should ensure their children run the cold first.

So I do urge the management to take a tour of their rooms and look to spend some money bringing them up-to-date, more in line with what today's discerning guest seeks.

The breakfast buffet was very good and the food always served piping hot.

The hotel has its own open air car park which is always a benefit in a city location.

You will have a very comfortable stay here. I just feel that the hotel would benefit from some updating.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank BritTraveller68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank jonjonesuk
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

The southgate hotel is located walking distance from everything. The staff is very friendly. The rooms are really clean. We had breakfast daily and it was amazing. Very fresh. They have a really nice heated lap pool. I will definitely stay here again if I'm fortunate to go back to Exeter.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank GVrockstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Lovely city hotel ,lovely staff .Very central with its own car park although you do have to pay.Room's have everything you need we had a special deal so we upgraded and had bathrobes etc,but I am sure all rooms would be spotlessly clean as was the whole hotel .There was a warm friendly feel in the reception and bar area with warm fires and comfy chairs .We ate in the Cloisters Restaurant both nights and found food and the staff top notch ,with a set menu for £18 for 3 courses.The pool was lovely and warm with a sauna and spa.I really can not fault this hotel although for the lady's I would advise taking a hand mirror to do your makeup as the one in our bathroom was behind the wash basin and to far away to be of use,small point and will not stop me staying there every time we need to stay in Exeter.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank pickyNickyDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Exeter
Price Range: $104 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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