The first time I stayed at this hotel, it was late July and I was put in a hot, sticky room, with no air conditioning, and got bitten so many times in my (fitful) sleep that my shoulder looked like a toadstool. I was all set to be a grumpy bugger and vowed never to set foot in the hotel again.
Then I sampled the breakfast. Properly good stuff - I travel on business a lot and it makes a huge difference to have not just a comprehensive range of local food on the buffet, but also a number of dishes that can be cooked on demand. The Eggs Bennedict was absolutely spot on. They didn't even mind when I very obviously made myself a bacon roll to take away (lunch!). And they have proper Bonne Maman jams, and even little individual glass jars of ketchup and mustard!
So my own greed brought me back to the hotel the next time I was in town, and I'm happy to report that my numerous stays ever since have been far more comfortable than the first. In general, the rooms are quite spacious (not massive, but tolerable), the TVs are enormous, and the wifi isn't bad - the main requirements of a business traveller. Also, in my experience, the staff have all been incredibly pleasant and helpful, despite my checking in at stupid-o-clock in the morning on a number of occasions.
I will echo the comments of others about the parking, which (owing to the location of the hotel) is shocking. However, I always bung the car in the town carpark which is literally just over the road - this is free from 6pm to 8am. The hotel carpark has always cleared out by 8am as the early risers get on their way, so I always grab the car at 7:59 and move it 50 yards into the hotel's lot before returning for breakfast. Yum. Did I mention the breakfast??
The rooms don't seem to have minibars, so make sure you bring your own bottle if you fancy a swift shandy in the room.
Finally, the hotel is situated a very short walk from some *lovely* gastropubs - I would definitely recommend the food at the Old Vine and the Wykeham Arms.
In short - rooms variable, parking atrocious, staff lovely, location world class, breakfast brilliant. I look forward to my next stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 4 star hotel with 94 en suite rooms, many with views of the Cathedral. Ideal for visiting Winchester Cathedral, the steam railway and zoological park. Easily accessible via the M3, 15 miles (24 km) from Southampton Airport, 1 mile from Winchester railway station and a 1 minute walk from the coach station. Features five airconditioned conference rooms for up to 100 delegates, Walkers At The Wessex restaurant, Kings Lounge, 24 hour room service, pay parking as well as use of the nearby leisure centre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mercure Wessex Winchester Hotel Winchester
- Accor Wessex Winchester
- Mercure Winchester