Press statement from Accor: “Paris, June 28, 2012 – Mercure is accelerating its expansion and revamping its hotels with a global refurbishment program. The brand also plans redynamize its image by continuing to build a strong, attractive and coherent brand for its customers, teams and partners.
Mercure is the world’s third largest hotel chain in the midscale segment and the largest in Europe where it has 500 hotels. It is the leader in France, Germany, Brazil and Australia and is expanding its network in the countries where it already operates, notably in the United Kingdom and Italy.
2011 was a record growth year for the brand which opened 80 hotels worldwide, including 63 under franchise contracts. This dynamism makes Mercure a key player in the midscale segment, which is the world hotel industry’s core market and one that appeals strongly to both investors and franchisees.”
In January 2013 I received an invitation to attend the opening party of the Mercure Milton Keynes. A rebranding. I wasn’t able to attend the opening but did accept an invitation to go and take a look at the property at the end of February. I must admit I didn’t do my homework so I didn’t realise that Milton Keynes was home to Bletchley Park and not just the home of over 500 roundabouts. If I had, then I might have tried to wangle a couple of nights so I could go visit the birthplace of the first computers, which were developed and installed there as part of the key wartime effort to break enemy codes in the second world war.
However just spent one night at the hotel and I was impressed. The first time I have been impressed by a Mercure. Previous visits (see the Review of the Mercure Troyes) have shown me hotels without restaurants (even including the boutique M Gallery version the Francis in Bath), so I was impressed that the new owner is determined to develop a business based not just on bedrooms but on his food and beverage offering. Primarily I was impressed however by another professional interior design job done by a designer who obviously knows hotels. Shocking, in a nice way, after my visit to Ampersand to find a second exemplar of professionalism so quickly, delighted with interiors that worked, were harmonious and deserve to bring clientele and repeat business to an hotel that an Accor executive apparently described as “the best Mercure in the UK” to the owner.