I have just returned from two nights at the Mercure in George St, Sydney. I found the place was great, but some of the service was inconsistent.
First, I booked via a travel site and got an excellent deal that included car parking and breakfast. Make sure that your deal includes these if you need them. The cost of breakfast and parking would have added 50% to the cost of the stay if they had been paid separately. This says more for the deal than the cost of the rooms.
Parking was good, with decent sized parking spaces. And access is good to the rest of the hotel. Too good maybe, with no card needed to get from the parking garage to the levels that the rooms are on. You will always need to use stairs if you use the carpark so this is a warning. The lift quite reasonably is shared between two floors. When you get your parking ticket take it to reception and they will validate for unlimited entry.
Checkin was simple, but they advised that they were going to actually charge my Visa Debit card for $50 and then would pay it back if needed; and that this would take up to two weeks. I decided to pay $50 in cash as a deposit for incidentals.
The rooms are nice if a bit pokey. This is normal really for inner-city hotels. The bathroom was well sized, but they did not seem to provide a bathmat. Or if they did it was the size of a hand towel.On the second night we were left with one clean towel and one used towel for some unknown reason. We had left both in the bath to be swapped, but one was places onto the rail to dry.
The A/C unit is interesting. You set the temperature and fan speed, but not the mode. Many people think you need to press the button to change between heat and cold. But it only looks like a button. Red means heating, green means cooling, and off means you are about the temperature you want. The only thing is that the temperature is not right. 26C is the top and there was no way that the room was that hot. But since the calibration was out it would not warm the room any higher.
We did have a real issue with the room. There were only two pillows, but there was a 'Pillow Menu'. The brochure advised us to ring 7 and order any other pillows and gave four choices. I rang up and asked for two more rubber pillows. I was advised at about 3pm that they thought that they were out of them, and asked for them or contoured pillows if possible. No problem, they would be sent up. Nothing happened for many hours, so I rang up again. No problem, sorry for that Sir. I will get someone onto that. Never arrived. Needed to ring at 10:30pm at night and say that my girlfriend was in pain with a sore leg and needed the pillow to get two sent up, and even then it took 20 minutes. Less than impressed!
The menu was interesting - and I remember what Gordon Ramsey said about menus. If you have to explain the menu to your guests then there is something wrong. Our waiter started by saying that he would explain the menu. And it needed explaining. Basically small size is three of the listed item, and large is six. The idea with large is that you can share. This was not bad, and I should say that the salad was a larger size than I expected. My girlfriend has allergies and because she only had the meat she was given a large size of the meat for the price of the small.
The second night things were more disorganized. We were told that there would be a 30-45 minute wait for a seat. This was just after 7:15, and were were told they would ring us when the table was ready. We gave up 90 minutes later and were told great timing and were told that he was about to ring us. We were shown to our table. The thing is that my Girlfriend knew the woman who had been sitting at that table earlier and she had left a while before. They had forgotten about us - why else would the guy have then asked what our room number was when he had it written down on his sheet!
They forgot to take drinks orders, but did give us water. My girlfriend ordered a steak cooked in a pan without oil. Her allergies are bad and char grill can be an issue contaminating her food. When her food came out, it was char grilled. We were reassured that it was safe, but we were nervous. We were seated next to a balcony which was fine, but at the bottom was the main door to the hotel for anyone not coming by taxi. So all during dinner the door was opening letting the cold winter air in. Not nice.
Noise can be an issue in the rooms. More glazing is needed as the hotel is next to a major bus interchange. There is activity throughout the day and night. Higher floors probably have better noise characteristics.
One of the nice features with this hotel is that each two floors are paired with a shared space making a balcony. This creates space making the hotel different from most. Great idea.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mercure Sydney's convenient location is the perfect place from which to explore Sydney's major attractions, making it the perfect choice when travelling for both business and leisure. Boasting 517 modern contemporary accommodation rooms over 14 floors, these rooms have been designed for guests requiring a combination of convenience and comfort. Unique facilities include 24-hour room service, 24-hour indoor rooftop swimming pool, gym with air-conditioning, sauna, 2 restaurants and secure parking. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mercure Sydney Hotel Sydney
- Accor Sydney