Mercure Southgate Exeter

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

Southernhay East, (formerly Macdonald Southgate Hotel), Exeter, Devon, EX1 1QF, United Kingdom

1 Review

Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 4 star hotels

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Good For Families
  • Families79
  • Couples77
  • Solo58
  • Business68
  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Classy and Central but...


    This is a good quality 4-star central hotel with all the standard facilites of a classy establishment. As to be expected room rates are generally at the high end of the market but for advance reservations (and also last-minute bookings) the non-refundable room-only price can be very reasonable.

    The rooms themselves are spacious, well-furnished and spotlessly clean and service, whilst slightly formal, is friendly and helpful.

    It may look a bit of a blockhouse from the outside but internally is quite lavish with tastefully individual decor and fittings and a welcoming roaring fire in the lobby on winter evenings.

    However I do have a few little niggles.

    As a late arrrival (about 11 pm), having pre-booked and paid, check-in was slow - just bad timing as there was a small group already checking-in and only the night-receptionist on duty. Then I had to fill in a form which required me to write down all the information that I'd already given when booking online. Only a minor hassle and the guy was friendly enough but one that at the end of a long day I could have done without.

    As I've already said the room was fine but totally unheated - the heating seemingly only operating when the key card is put into the slot. Not something that I personally was too bothered about but definitely an oversight for a 4-star place. Then the curtain decided to self-destruct on me as I closed it, the plastic hooks departing company with the curtain rail.

    Having sort of rehung it I did get it closed and so that wasn't too stressful but I reckoned a brandy from the mini-bar would make for an ideal nightcap, along with a coffee from the buckshee facilities. Only to find an EMPTY mini-bar. It seems the system is that you have to buy a mini-bar "package", which you order from room service. It seemed a bit pointless having a mini-bar in the first place if you have to use room service anyway??

    Then I noticed the prices of eveything - the cheapest "mini-bar" option was a couple of small beers, along with a couple of items of confectionery for £11.00 - I gave that a miss. Also expensive are the breakfast (almost £17) and the internet connection (£7 for 2 hours) and so I gave those a miss as well.

    In its favour I did get a good night's sleep and the bed was as comfortable as any. My early morning call was exactly on time and the shower hot and powerful. Opening the curtains though, which once again popped out of their brackets, I got the naffest ever morning view- the ass-end of a car in the carpark almost parked on the window ledge - pic #5.

    Unique Quality: All-in-all the hotel was OK, reasonably cheap and for the required bed for the night acceptable.

    I suppose if you make use of all the facilities, including what looks like an excellent leisure centre, and you get a room with a better view (the upper floor rooms do look out over the city) this would be a good choice, just be careful of the "extras" unless you're on expenses.

    Directions: In the "Southern Quarter" of the city, a short walk from the Cathedral.

More about Mercure Southgate Exeter


by TripAdvisor Member CambridgeShoequeen

I stayed here for just one night when in Exeter on business and was delighted with what I found when I arrived. The check in was efficient, polite and warm - my smoking room was no 101, which caused both the receptionist and myself some amusement.

The room was fine - a little shabby but that's forgiveable when everything else is OK. There was plenty of tea, coffee and hot chocolate and toiletries, it was clean and bright, the bed was very comfortable and my wake up call arrived at the time requested.

Breakfast was amazing, the range and choice of food was excellent and the service was impeccable. Both the toast and the coffee arrived almost as soon as they were ordered and were piping hot.

I would strongly recommend this hotel, I found it delightful and would return any time, either on business or leisure.

so close to everything

by TripAdvisor Member sputnik2007

Just arrived back from the hotel. What a lovely gem this is. 2 minutes walk from the new Princesshay shopping centre. The hotel is quite dated but we liked this. The rooms are very comfortable , with lovely soft pillows. The service is first class. When we arrived there was fresh fruit left in the room and a card as we had told them it was our anniversary, what a lovely touch.The swimming pool and gym is excellent. Although it is quite pricey to eat and drink in the hotel, this didn't matter because there is so much choice nearby. If you dont want to pay £14 each for breakfast, you can get an ample breakfast for less than £3 from Wetherspoons just around the corner. By the way this is an excellent Wetherspoons , set in an old church. The quay is also only a five minute walk away and is a lovely place to relax with a glass of wine. Chaucers in the town centre is a lovely place to eat aswell. There are so many places to choose from, so just go and enjoy.

Excellent Staff

by TripAdvisor Member SuffolkCountryman

The friendliness and the quality of the staff made this a most enjoyable stay. The hotel itself is very comfortable, the room was of a good size and everywhere seemed clean and in very good condition. The location was very good; just a short walk to the cathedral and the city centre. I would have no hesitation in staying here again, or indeed recommending the Southgate Hotel.

Worse staff I've ever seem

by TripAdvisor Member miabonds

I've decided for this hotel because of the spa and swimming pool. Not bad at all. But the serious problem in this hotel is the staff. Absolutely horrible. I haven't felt one moment welcomed at this hotel.
Started in the reception. I was "welcomed" by ANdrew (I think that's the name of the English taller man). He just gave me my card, took my credit card and that's it. After I asked, he gave me a map. Again, I asked for some directions and he said to me to ask again in tourism information... ok, maybe, he is a litle bit stranger, let's take a rest in the spa. Another disappointment. The staff, one tall man with black hair was absolutely rude when I asked where I can put my stuff. Him and another blond lady seemed more interested in look at each other and drinking instead looking after the customers.
When I get in my room, for the first time I saw a not clean room in this kind of hotel. Many hairs in the toilet! And actually they stayed there when I left the hotel (three days after). Maybe they are there untill now! Anyway, the room is so small and the tv's got a ridiculous size. Really! I can't remember the last time I saw a tv like that.
In the breakfast - I must say that the food was oh-so-good. But, again, the staff. I've passion for the breakfast time, but I couldn't feel comfortable over there. Agata and Miriam were the worse staff I've ever met! They were so busy in looking after one only table that all the time they passed fr me - to get in this vip table, they couldn't take my plates and glasses. The only one that deserves a raise in this hotel is a blond Polish girl, whom bring the coffee. The rest, all my dear, nobody deserves pay this value to see horrible faces!
For sure, I'll never go back again and I'll say anyone to do the same!

Schoolboy errors...

by TripAdvisor Member Shuntros

Room decor was a little tired, but comfortable none the less. All was fine until the morning when we spent half an hour in the restaurant trying to order breakfast to no avail. We were shown to a table immediately, then repeatedly ignored by the staff. Apparently because I wasn't wearing a suit I was only entitled to a second class service, or so it seemed. I had to leave and eat elsewhere or I would have been in danger of missing my flight. They also tried to put £50 of evening meals on my bill, even though we had eaten out. Small mistakes and oversights, but I expected better with it being one of the more expensive hotels in the city.

Not bad, and great location

by TripAdvisor Member mrs_slink

The Mercure Hotel is really central, making it a great base for exploring Exeter.

Staff were pleasant and friendly and the newly done up dining area and bar were lovely. We also had a fantastic cooked breakfast there!

However the rooms were small, with dated decor and bathrooms. Everything was extremely clean though.

I can't comment on the spa as we didn't use it. I'd say the hotel is great for a short stay but the room size would put me off using it for more than a long weekend.

Best hotel in Exeter city centre, with great facilities

by TripAdvisor Member SophieCalifornia

I stayed at The Southgate several times in the past, when visiting my younger sister who was a student at Exeter University. My parents and friends have also stayed here.
Since I last visited Exeter in 2006, the hotel was taken over by yet another hotel group, but has been upgraded. As far as I know, the leisure facilities are still the same. There is decent size pool and gym and this is the only hotel in the city that has a health club, so it's ieal for a romantic or fun weekend away. All the main Exeter shops, restaurants and bars are within walking distance and I would recommend this hotel to anyone who is visiting the town for the first time and doesn't mind spurgling a bit on some luxury.
The breakfast here is very good, but evening meals are rather overpriced, although excellent service and I have to admit that the meals I had were always good. The bar here is popular with wealthy students from the university, their visiting families and business professionals.
Rooms are supposed to be the best in Exeter. The amenities are really good. You get all the essential free toiletries and lots of different teas and coffees to choose from.
There aren't many very good hotels in Exeter itself, but The Southgate is a landmark and will be for a long time yet.


by TripAdvisor Member dawnExeter

I stayed at this hotel one night to get respite from building work at home and really wished I hadn't bothered. The hotel sounds enticing with it's spa and attractive looking lobby...but that's as far as it goes. The staff were indifferent and gave the impression they were far too busy to do anything as menial as provide service. The room was thoroughly disappointing, old fashioned with a hole in the wall, peeling wallpaper and not well cleaned at all. For £130.00 for one person per night I expect better than this. I would not recommend it to anyone. Go to the Barcelona.

Bitten by bed bugs

by TripAdvisor Member jud4hols

We stayed at this hotel visiting our son at the 178....ripped wallpaper (to be fair they are refurbshing some rooms), part of the wooden dedo area etc fine...two single beds as the last room available in the hotel and I awoke with 9 huge bites on me...needless to say my husband didn't have one as he was in the other single bed!!
I know this could happen anywhere but I would have expected a decent level of response/apology from the hotel, but the reaction was as though it happened all the time.
I wrote and asked what had happened to the room and was told I would be informed what the pest control people had to say.......I am still waiting!!
Never, ever again - wouldn't recommend it to anyone......


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 Mercure Southgate Exeter

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Accor Southgate Exeter
Mercure Exeter

Address: Southernhay East, (formerly Macdonald Southgate Hotel), Exeter, Devon, EX1 1QF, United Kingdom