Mercure Inverness hotel, Inverness, Scotland: hotel review
I stayed at the Mercure Inverness hotel from the 27th-29th of July, 2016 and booked my room on accorhotels.com. It costed me 327 GBP (170 GBP + 157 GBP for two nights) excluding breakfast for the two nights I was there. Despite the Accor Hotels member's discount and considering the fact that Mercure Inverness is only a 3 star hotel, I found the price per night very expensive but that's what happens when you visit a top tourist destination in Scotland during holiday season and book last moment. Traveling by Scot Rail from Edinburgh Waverley, it took me approximately 3 1/2 hours to arrive at Inverness. The ticket was only 16.20 GBP as it was an advanced single valid only for the train I was traveling on. Even though Mercure hotel is only a 6 minute walk from the Inverness train station, thanks to my heavy suitcase, I was forced to take a cab. The cab driver did not seem very much pleased to drive me such a short distance for 3 GBP only, so feeling bad for him, I ended up giving him 5 GBP instead of 3....I did feel bad for my wallet later on!
Arriving at the hotel, I felt instantly pleased with the ambience of the hotel and the modern and rich decor. The lady at the front desk gave me a warm welcome and half-jokingly asked me if I would like to pay in pounds or the currency of my country, adding that these days everybody was preferring to pay in pounds! After some good-humored remarks on the pound and Brexit, she checked me in giving me the room of my preference. My advise to anyone booking online would be to take time to read the reviews of the hotel you are booking before you reserve your room. One review on Trip Advisor for Mercure Inverness told me to ask for a room facing the Ness river which I had mentioned in my booking. This very attentive front desk officer, after reading my online request, switched rooms for me last moment, giving me the room with the best view of the Ness river and Old Town of Inverness!
I was also grateful that there was a porter at the hotel to help bring my bags to the room. As I drew open the window curtains of the room, I was completely mesmerized with the view in front of me. My room faced the Old Town of Inverness that boasted 18th and 19th century architecture with the river Ness running right through the city. It felt like I had time-traveled to a medieval century fairy-tale town with it's beautiful cathedrals and churches and where men wore long coats and jodhpurs, and women went through the city in elegant gowns riding in horse-carriages.
Thankfully, the room offered tea and coffee making facilities, and after making myself a hot cup of Earl Grey tea, I set about my program for the day or whatever little that was remaining of it. The temperature outside was about 16 degrees celsius and having no jacket on me, I decided to walk to the nearby Marks and Spencer to buy something warm. However, I soon found out that MNS in Inverness closes at 6:30p.m. and by the time I stepped out, it was already quite late.
The good thing about Mercure Inverness hotel is that everything is in walking distance of the hotel, so from MNS I decided to go to the nearby Bella Italia restaurant for dinner. I am not sure if I made the right choice as the place was very noisy and crowded and the service was poor. It then began to rain and I walked hurriedly back to the hotel, looking forward to snuggle up in my bed with a nice book and a cup of hot chocolate and dreamy views of the Old Town from my room window. Even from my bed, I had great views of the city!
The next morning I woke up around 4:30a.m. with the sun just rising and penetrating its rays through the clouds dissolving the Old Town of Inverness in a rich and beautiful golden-colored mellow light. I thought I had very good karma to witness such ethereal beauty in my life!
After a quick shower, I went down to the Ness river for an early morning walk, followed by a short period of meditation in a nearby church, and a lengthy and well-deserved breakfast buffet at the hotel! Check my post on the breakfast buffet at Mercure Inverness here.
The same day I took a trip to the Loch Ness islands to see the ruinated Urquhart castle (post coming soon) and couldn't be more grateful to return to a comfortable hotel and room at the end of the very long day. I would have very much liked to sit and enjoy my evening meal at the hotel restaurant that offered magnificent views of the city, but my body was dying of sheer exhaustion, so I ordered room service instead--vegetable broth with whole wheat bread and deep-fried onion-rings on the side!
The food was delicious except it is taking me a while to rid myself off of all those extra calories that came with the onion rings....but they were delicious...alright!
Sleep was sweet as I watched the sun slowly set behind the clouds amid breathtaking views of the city from my bed!
If i get a chance to visit Inverness one more time, I would most definitely stay at the Mercure Inverness hotel again and ask for a room with a view of the Ness river. I strongly recommend this hotel to anyone traveling to Inverness and looking for a nice and affordable hotel to stay there.