BACKGROUND After more than six months of closure, a £15 million revamp and rebrand saw the Mountbatten hotel in Covent Garden completely reopen at the start of October as a member of Rezidor’s Radisson Edwardian group, and renamed the Mercer Street hotel. It is located on the corner of Mercer Street in Seven Dials, in walking distance of the British Museum, many shops and theatres, and Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square tube stations.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The designers of the four-star, seven-floor property have taken brave steps to introduce a somewhat unconventional – and at times incohesive – set of colourways and ornamentations, with crushed velvet bedspreads in fuchsia and lime green, and artworks ranging from golden sheep in the lobby to paper cut-outs of female nudes in the guestrooms.
ROOM FACILITIES There are 129 rooms across two categories (Standard and Deluxe), plus eight suites (707 is probably the best), each with different décor. A good portion of them are quite feminine in style, with silver padded headboards and raspberry-coloured carpets, while others are a little more masculine. As the building used to be a hospital, the corridors and bathrooms tend to be narrow and the layout and size of the rooms vary.
Amenities that come as standard include safes, robes, tea- and coffee-making facilities, air conditioning, free wifi, and fridges (large Union Jack ones by Smeg in the suites). The rooms also feature Samsung/Apple TVs that are designed to sync with iPods, iPhones and iPads, although the one in my suite did not work. Most have combined baths and showers with shampoo dispensers. There are mini bottles of upgraded products in the suites, along with large walk-in wardrobes, living areas with sofas and low tables, Nespresso machines and king-size beds (as opposed to queens). My room looked on to the street, which was a little noisy with the windows open, so opt for one at the back if you want peace and quiet.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS The hotel’s bar and restaurant, Dial, is fitted out with bold purple and black banquettes and armchairs. I ate here on a Friday night and it was less than busy, but the waiting staff were attentive and chatty (throughout the property, staff are welcoming and helpful). Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, it has a relaxed atmosphere and a range of tasty dishes. I had an attractively presented salad of roast butternut squash and red pepper with toasted pumpkin seeds, broad beans and mint dressing (£7.50), followed by succulent herb-crusted cod fillet with mashed potato and a lemon and chive butter sauce (£14.50). A modest breakfast buffet included yoghurt, cereal, fruit, pastries, cold meats and cheese, and there were also à la carte options such as omelettes and eggs Benedict.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel has six meeting spaces (two on the ground floor with daylight and four on the lower ground floor with artificial illumination only), the largest of which holds 50 delegates theatre-style. Walls are covered in pink chenille fabric. A business centre has three PCs and free printing.
LEISURE FACILITIES There is a subterranean fitness area with a decent selection of free weights, Core Centric balls and Technogym equipment. There is no spa but for those wanting a massage, therapists can be booked for in-room treatments at least one hour in advance.
VERDICT A well-located hotel for both business and leisure travellers. The décor may be a little mismatched in places but the free wifi and Apple TVs are a plus, and the staff are welcoming. A good four-star option.
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in February started from £205 for a Standard room.
CONTACT Mercer Street hotel, 20 Mercer Street; tel +44 (0)20 7836 4300; radissonedwardian.com/mercerstreet