My room on the fourth floor had a view down to the sea. It was not overlooking the beach, you understand because the Ayr Mercure is in the town but the beach is walkable in a slow ambling style in about five minutes and all the rest that the town has to offer like the Gaiety Theatre shops and cinema are on your doorstep.
I chose this hotel because I like Mercures (see my review of the excellent one in Letchworth). I also chose it because it was close to the railway station. I arrived in Ayr by train from Glasgow. The taxi ride from the station was less than £3.00 and the driver, pleasant and friendly.
So too were the reception staff. I had booked and paid via an agency and my stay cost £62.00 for the night - it would have been £41.00 if I had stayed on a Sunday night.
My room was large and pleasantly decorated and bright with a large window. The bed was very comfortable and even the screeching of the seagulls didn't spoil my sleep. In the morning I noticed the flat screen HD ready tv had a really bad quality of picture like it suffered from poor reception. I was amazed to see such a poor BBC1 signal.
The bathroom with its tub and shower was a little tired looking but everything worked and the toiletries were ample for three star.
The town of Ayr "wham ne'er a toon surpasses for honest men and bonnie lasses" as Burns put it, is looking very shabby these days. Particularly along the front. The council really should do something about brightening the place up. I know we've had a recession but Ayr is the county town of Ayrshire and needs more places like the Mercure.
The Ayr Mercure's public rooms are far from down at heel looking. The bar is bright and modern as is the whole lounge area and the lager I had was icy cold and tasty.
I had noticed complaints on tripadvisor about service in the restaurant and decided not to dine or indeed have breakfast at the hotel - an extra £10 for the buffet breakfast.
My one disappointment was with the Spa. The person who greeted me when I went for a swim was perfectly pleasant. But the male changing room and the pool area is desperately in need of refurbishment and decorating. Again everything worked - the jacuzzi and the showers and the steam room were operating but with paint peeling and doors hanging off the lockers and a general air of decrepitude it was not a nice place to spend much time.
I did not check out the treatment areas but I did see a gym area which seemed well-equipped.
I noticed as I checked out a plaque commemorating the opening of the hotel as the Caledonian Hotel in 1980's.
It has been through a few changes of ownership since I imagine and the closing of many businesses in the area and the curtailing of flights into nearby Prestwick Airport must have affected hotels as fewer people visit Ayr on business and air crews no longer night stop there.
In conclusion a handy place to stay if like me you need to spend the night in Ayr but as it stands I would not recommend it as a holiday destination.
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Ayr
- Ayr Ramada
- Mercure Ayr Hotel Scotland