It boded well when, on arrival at the “Mercure Winchester Wessex Hotel”:https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-6619-mercure-winchester-wessex-hotel/index.shtml, our room was available at 12.30pm despite a check in time of 2pm. However, “you’re having a laugh” was my immediate reaction on opening the room door. I’d booked what “hotels.com”:https://uk.hotels.com/ described as a small double room for three nights and so expected a smaller room, not a smaller, 4-foot bed. What exacerbated the problem, was that one side was right against a wall which meant one person having to climb over the other to get in or out during the night.
Reception offered me an upgrade to a regular double for £10 a night extra, but eventually having protested loudly and suggested they try the bed out with me, they checked with the manager, who waived the £10.
Our second room, 244, had a full-size double bed, two comfortable wing back arm chairs and table, plus desk and chair. The wardrobe had an iron and ironing board, spare pillows and portable heater. The hairdryer sounded powerful but lacked heat. The fridge was empty which was handy for chilling our M&S wine. There were tea and coffee making facilities, but no safe. However, we did have fabulous views of the cathedral.
The bathroom was a reasonable size and we were surprised to have a bath with shower over it, however, unless you were under 5’ 4” you had to duck under it. Only one set of towels was laid out in the bathroom, the second being in the wardrobe. On the third day, when towels were automatically replaced, one set was left in the wardrobe despite it being obvious that the room was occupied by two people. And bizarrely, the bar of soap we’d used a couple of times, and half used containers of shower gel and shampoo, were removed and replaced with new ones. What do they do with them?
There are 93 rooms in the two-storey hotel, which was built in 1964 and designed to give all the public rooms a view of Winchester Cathedral. However, it was a hotel of two parts with an annex above the car park which was between floors 1 and 2, so you either took the lift to 1 and walked up a few steps, or to 2 and down steps.
We declined to add on breakfast, a whopping £15 per person, as the hotel is centrally located, just off the main High Street, where there are many options nearby. We particularly liked the “Cafe Winchester”:https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Coffee-Shop/Cafe-Winchester-248733835243423/ where we enjoyed bacon and sausage sandwiches in thick brown bread on a cold wet morning and toasted fruity teacakes on a more pleasant day.
The hotel is around a 15-minute walk from the railway station, but it is a little hilly. There is a car park which according to Trip Advisor reviews is expensive compared to the nearby long-stay car park.