Mercure Grand Hotel Bristol: The Worst 4 Star Hotel Ever?
First of all, let me start off with this. I will always be completely 100% honest in my reviews, even though I hate being negative! Like really, really hate negativity.
Brett and I stayed at this hotel as a treat away with the rewards points that I'd racked up last year in my Le Club Accor account. Looking on the reviews and facilities of the other Mercure in the city centre, I choose this one due to the fact that it had actual spa facilities and not the 'spa' that Holland House, the other hotel claimed to have (which is actually just an indoor pool). We have previously stayed at other hotels in the Mercure brand, and have been very impressed so thought that nothing would change, and that everything would once again be excellent, but how very wrong we were as you are about to find out with this run down, and review of the Bristol Grand Hotel.
Access To The Hotel:
The Access to the hotel was shockingly poor. The car park is good with 3 disabled bays that we could see of and reasonably priced parking although we weren't charged for this on check out and just given a validated ticket instead. Things got bad however, when we tried to access the hotel for the first time. The ramp that is normally at the front was not there, and the doorbell that those requiring assistance to access the hotel needed to press was either not working, or completely ignored. This led to me staying out in the rain whilst Brett went in to get help, although the reception staff didn't seem to understand that there was no ramp outside! In the end, 2 other hotel guests helped Brett carry me up the stairs and into the hotel, something that not only shouldn't have needed doing in the first place, but was also made more dangerous by the fact that the stairs were marble and the rain meant they were slippery.
It wasn't until after we checked in, we were informed of a side entrance I could get out of however, this was locked at 2200 (10pm for those that don't know the 24 hour clock) and the fiasco of trying to get me into the hotel once again began!
We'd actually booked a suite as I thought it would be a nice treat, and someone on TripAdvisor actually said that the suites had jacuzzi baths, I can sadly confirm that this is not true for all of the suites as the one we stayed in only had a shower. However, the suite we stayed in was exceptionally poor, the dark green decor looked dated and made the room too dark, and the lighting was also poor in the main area. The bedroom and living area was also not separate as described on the website. However, the room did come with a Nespresso Machine, and a stocked minibar which was complimentary (soft drinks were Coca-cola, Diet Coke, Harrogate Sparkling and still water, lemonade and orange juice).
I don't tend to book rooms labelled as accessible since some rooms labeled as accessible are actually more of a pain then a help, but if you are like me and a wheelchair user, the suite we stayed in had a 4 inch step between the bathroom and bedroom area. Some of the rooms are also only accessible by stairs as the floors are further split.
The sleep quality was also of varied opinion as whilst I had a reasonable sleep, Brett was kept awake most of the night by a buzzing noise.
To make things worse, my card wasn't working as I found out when getting back to the room from the spa and with no one on reception, had an anxious wait upstairs to see if Brett was awake to let me in. Whilst waiting a member of cleaning staff came up and I asked them to let me in as there was no one downstairs but they just said tough and that I'd have to go back to reception. This bad attitude left me feeling deflated and uneasy about having to speak to anyone else who worked for the hotel after the general attitude of the majority of the staff we'd interacted with whilst there.
I have added photos of the room to this for you all to make your own judgements on how bad it is.
The spa was probably the best thing at the hotel. However, it is outside and under the car park which means that going to the spa in your bathrobe isn't an option like it is as most other hotels! The spa has a separate disabled changing room which gives you access straight to the poolside area. The poolside area contained a reasonably sized swimming pool, jacuzzi pool, sauna and steam room. The sauna was of a good temperature as were the pools. There is also a small gym in the complex. Access to this was included in the room rate which is the norm for the majority of hotels. Access wise, I found that by transferring onto the side of the jacuzzi, I could actually get into the pool easily as well. The staff down here were also the friendliest and most approachable in the hotel, probably because they actually made me feel like a welcomed customer and not just another burden.
Breakfast was served in Keepers bar and restaurant, and consisted of both a continental buffet and a made to order hot English breakfast. The bread on the continental I felt was dry, and there was only one choice of cold meat. The real problem though, was with the hot breakfast. Brett and I had ordered at the same time, but it somehow took the kitchen an additional 17 minutes after I received my breakfast order for Brett to receive his. By that time, I was finished. My breakfast also had poached eggs, and I honestly thought they were overcooked and not runny enough. To make matters worse, the sausages were of a poor quality and tiny! This left an even more bitter taste to an already bad hotel stay, as the customer service was extremely poor in all areas.
Overall, this is one hotel that I won't be coming back to. I'm actually annoyed to have spent my rewards points here, but if I was a full paying customer I certainly wouldn't have been happy to pay the £150 that the suite cost. On check out we weren't even asked how our stay was, and that just proved how lacking in customer service skills the staff there are. To be an Accor Silver member, and enjoy staying at hotels across the Mercure, Novotel and other Accor brands, this was a big disappointment. This literally is the worst hotel of their brand I've had the misfortune of staying at, and brought me to think... Could the Bristol Grand Hotel really be the worst 4 star hotel in the UK? Possibly even ever?