In mid-April this year, I boarded a sky tube and stayed one night in Canberra at the Mercure Hotel 🙂
I was on a work trip, so expenses (flights and accommodation) were paid for.
Looking back, I didn’t take any photos of the outside of the accommodation. But to be fair, everyone knows that taking pictures of the front of your hotel is a sure way to invite disaster and poltergeists into your life. Especially if you’re only staying one night.
Also, most of the time I was outside the hotel, I had my suitcase with me and it was awkward for me to wave my phone about and take a selfie with a building while wheeling my pyjamas.
On arriving, there’s an olde-worlde feel. I could sense John Howard – or his historical time-travelling twin – passing buggy laws in the distance.
Reception was friendly and helpful, even when I did an awkward dance between the ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Priority’ check in desks. I’m never quite sure sure how fancy I am, and who should get to serve me.
Turns out I was a priority, because I was the only one there.
I was allotted room 142, and with the aid of a map, Reception Guy (not his real name) showed me that my destination was up two short flights of stairs.
I’d booked into a Standard Room, and the living area was spacious and traditionally furnished. The room definitely had a Heritage feel, with a high ceiling and plenty of space for a silent disco … or a quiet Netflix binge.
A work desk was positioned near the window for all my roof staring needs.
An express check out info sheet was on the work desk, but I didn’t want to touch it. Someone had eaten their dinner on it, or used it to squash bugs 😦
Obviously there was some kind of paper saving push on, as the Breakfast Menu card was also a bit mucky.
The previous guest has decided at the last minute that they could make their own food, and scratched their name out.
“No need for breakfast delivery, Mavis! We can eat dry cornflakes out of our travel mugs for FREE!” — (imagined half-conversation from previous guest).
There was a cabinet sitting in the corner of the room. I kept my cardigan on when I opened the doors, just in case of Narnian adventures.
Turns out the cupboard is responsible for hiding your coke.
Not drug coke … well … the fizzy bottled kind. Also some of those awesome (not) small Anchor long life milk cups that make my eye twitch with full-sized milk dreams.
Tea and coffee fixings were provided – however the only coffee I got was decaf. Perhaps after my reception dance, they decided to limit my caffeine intake?
On a side note – has anyone noticed that when you open up a little UHT milk, it sounds like a velociraptor baby mewling for its breakfast?
Well it does.
Ok, so the biggest issue I had with the room was with the bed.
The bed was comfortable and I had a reasonable nights sleep – at least until 4.45 am when I was woken up by the hotel fire alarm. No fire, thankfully. Just the smoke detector in the linen closet freaking everyone out.
Anyway … bed.
When I pulled the top covers down to check that the sheets were clean and there wasn’t a previous guest still in there – I noticed what appeared to be a collection of gross-lets-not-think-about-it marks on the linen.
On closer inspection, turns out the sheets weren’t stained. They were just barely sheets at all.
Surely some of my hotel check-in dollars, can go towards upgrading the linen from ‘ew ghost’ to ‘good host’?
After “getting the sheets” with the linen, I looked closer at the pillows – one of which had a yellow mark on it that I did not want touching my face.
Thankfully there was a walk-in closet that held replacement pillows that were more presentable & I switched ol’ yella out.
The bathroom was a good size, with clean towels. There was no hand soap though, so I had to use shower gel when washing my hands at the sink.
The shower was large, with enough room to recreate that dance party from earlier. An older showerhead meant that no politician was trying to restrict my water pressure.
As I’m a human with food needs – and also one that doesn’t like to walk anywhere – I ordered some room service for dinner.
I got the Hokkien Noodle Stir Fry. It was ok. $20. A steak sandwich would have set me back a cool $25.
The cooked breakfast was $28 and cornflake continental for $23 so I could understand why the previous guest had opted out.
For those playing along at home, I ate a muesli bar and some left over Kit-Kat for breakfast, with some decaf coffee – mmm cheap.
But how many creep hatches were there in the room, I hear you ask?
These many …
So to sum up, my stay at the Mercure was not fantastic. But it was also not terrible. It was warm and dry and the people were nice.
- Price Point : As at June 2019, looks like a Standard room runs for approx $170 to $200 p/night. Again, I stayed here on a work trip so the cost of my accommodation was kindly covered by my employer.
- Cleanliness : Hmmm … well it wasn’t dusty. The marks on the menu and check in/out info sheets, didn’t leave a great impression. There were also some marks on the back of the bathroom door that I tried not to think about. I’m sure the sheets were clean, but the fact that they were so worn was not encouraging.
- Cosiness : Reasonably cosy – though the hotel alarm going off in the early hours, didn’t make snuggling down an easy option. There was air conditioning to take the chill off & hot drink facilities provided.
- Overall Fishbird Rating : 5 Fishbirds out of 10. I’d stay again if in a pinch, but would try somewhere else on my next visit to Canberra.