|Mercure Catania Excelsior living room and view into bedroom|
On a trip to Catania in Sicily, we booked a 5 night stay in the Mercure Excelsior, a 4 star property in the city center, within walking distance of the main sights. Mercure hotels vary widely in quality, with a just acceptable Mercure Bologna city center to a very good Mercure Krakow, but the focus is on budget-focused 4 star properties in central locations, usually either at the railway station or in the city center.
|Mercure Excelsior Catania bathroom|
We checked in at 9 PM and I asked if there would be an upgrade (being a Accor 'ALL' gold member) and this was indeed affirmed. Upgrade policies vary widely across hotels, but this time we we lucky, receiving a double upgrade to a suite. It consisted of a luggage room (a small 'walk-in closet'), a small hallway, a bathroom with separate bath and shower and two sinks, a living room and a bedroom. Both living and bedroom had their own balcony, however, without furniture.
All in all, the room was very nice given the hotel category, if slightly dated (but not as dated as the almost campy Mercure Bologna). At some 90 euros per night including breakfast, we had very little to complain about, even receiving a complimentary bottle of water and some snacks. The view, however, was probably the room's best feature. Although it looked primarily at a large parking and the justice palace, behind that was a clear view of the Etna.
The breakfast wasn't overwhelming, but generally good. However, removing tea and coffee at 10.15 when the breakfast is to last until 10.30 is an absolute no-go. And using thermos flasks for tea that once contained coffee is a no-go too - you'll always taste coffee in your tea. The hotel is a conference venue as well, and actively used as such, so expect the usual murmur of conference attendees in the evening at the hotel bar.
|Etna view at sunset from the Hotel Palace Catania UNA Esperienze hotel|