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Mercure Wigan Oak The hotel has recently been taken over by the 'Mercure' brand, previous to staying here I had read other reviews which stated that it was being refurbished, all work has been done now, although as we havent stayed there before I don't know how much had changed. As a lovely Christmas present from my boyfriends mum she brought us a 2 night weekend break from buyagift.com. We deliberately didn't use it until now because we always find that with Xmas, New Year, My Birthday and then Valentines day all in the space of 3 months we end up doing nothing after February, so we thought this would give us something to look forward to. There are some nice hotels which you can choose from, although being from Stoke a lot of the nicer hotels were down south and a bit too far for us to travel, so we ended up choosing Wigan. Neither of us have ever been there before, the hotel was in the centre of shops and bars, there was a free car park and free wifi, so we decided to book it. We weren't sure whether we would be able to go the last weekend of May with it being a bank holiday but we phoned up the hotel to see and they said they had rooms available and we could use our voucher. They had the reference number from us over the phone and we booked a double room for 2 nights. Very straightforward. The day before we went we phoned the hotel up just to double confirm our booking as we didn't have a reference number or any confirmation emails, they confirmed that it was all booked and looked forward to seeing us. Check-in Check in is stated at 2pm, we arrived a little earlier around 1.45pm, and we did have to wait until 2pm before our room was ready, which was fine. The receptionist was nice, she took our car registration number, handed us our room card, gave us some information about breakfast etc, and that was it. Very simple and easy check in. Room The room was nice, I know describing a hotel room as 'nice' isn't going to win me any review of the year awards, but that's what it was. It had a double bed (which was 2 larger single beds pushed together) which was very comfortable and had plenty of pillows and space. The bedding was all white, which did make it a little boring but nothing to really complain about. It had a nice plasma TV on the wall with all the freeview channels. There was shelving and drawers under the TV. If I am honest and not being sexist at all, I would say the room was designed by a man. There were just several flaws which have 'male designer' written all over them. The first problem is that there is only 1 plug!! Yes 1 plug! How was I supposed to straighten my hair, charge my phone, have my laptop on and make a cup of tea all at the same time! (As we know, women can multi-task). We did search the room for more plugs just in case there was one hiding somewhere but sadly we had no joy. Another problem being that the 1 plug isn't really that close to a mirror, so if your straighteners don't have a long lead you may be walking back and forth to the mirror. They do have weddings at the hotel which I would see as a huge problem if you have more than 1 woman getting ready with only 1 plug not close to a mirror. There is a full length mirror in the room which was good but again not near a plug. There is a hairdryer in the main room which is already plugged in (and no its not a normal plug you can just unplug!) Its not that powerful and you do have to press your finger to down to keep it on, but hairdryers are always a great touch. There are tea and coffee making facilities in the room, kettle, mugs, tea, coffee etc. There was a window in our room, and if you have read any of my other hotel reviews before then you will know that we aren't known for having the best views, this is no exception. Our view was of the staff car park where you would see the chefs sitting outside smoking. We weren't really in the room too much anyway so the view wasn't a problem, we just chose to keep the curtains shut a bit more than we would normally. Lighting- This is also another flaw of the hotel room, with the curtains open there was plenty of light coming into the room, and at night when sleeping it was pitch black which I love. However when the curtains are closed and the lights are on, its not that well lit. It can be a bit dark, we managed fine and the bathroom is well lit so this makes up for it. Storage- this is another area which I think has 'male designer' written all over it. On the main shelving under the TV, there was 3 drawers and then at the far end of the room there was a rail with about 6/7 coast hangers on, and that was it. I know, its probably a hotel which guests only stay for short periods but still, its nice to know you can unpack all of your things without running out of places to put them. Even just adding a few more drawers or bedside drawers would be helpful. The bathroom was lovely. There was plenty of towels when we arrived and the shower was very powerful and relaxing. There was a large mirror above the sink and the toilet was next to the sink, so that was all fine and nice until I used the toilet roll. Ok, so I know I am going to sound like someone who is never satisfied and likes to complain about everything, having just complained about a plug, but the toilet paper was that very very cheap toilet roll that was literally just paper. It was not nice at all and definitely something the hotel should upgrade! They had little sachets and tubes of soaps, shower gel and shampoo which was nice, but I would much rather use my own shampoo and shower gel and have decent toilet roll! (Not to be too crude, but its like wiping your bottom on sand paper!) The wifi was very easy to connect to, you just needed to ring the reception for a username and password, we had no problems with this and it was a good connection. On the Friday night as we were getting ready the smoke alarm in our room went off. It is a very loud, piercing sound, but after a few seconds it went off, and then it came back on again, then went off, then on, then off, I think you get the picture. I rang down to reception to tell them and they said pretty much in so many words 'don't worry about it, bye'. It's hard to ignore when it was blasting in your ear drums! After about 15 minutes it went off and thankfully stayed off for the rest of our stay. If it was planned by the hotel then a little notice would have been nice. Breakfast We did have breakfast included with out voucher, however due to unforeseen circumstances (us being too lazy to get up) we didn't have the chance to have it. The times for breakfast the weekend were 7.30am-10am. There was a menu in the room which you can have food at certain times, they also served dinner and tea in the main restaurant. Although the prices on the menu I thought were a little expensive, especially for a small hotel, £4.50 for a sausage bap! Check-out This again was very quick and straightforward, we handed in our room key and we were on our way! The only thing to mention would be that when we phoned up about booking the room they told us that checkout was 11am, however they had 12pm written on the room key card, we checked out about 11.45 and this was fine. Location The hotel was easy to find, it is just off a main road, it is only about a short 5 minute walk to the centre where there are shops and bars. We went on a night out and I was easily able to walk to the bars in my new heels, although I cant really say the same about the way home! You also need to ring the bell on the gate outside the hotel as it is all locked up at night. Car Park It is a secure car park which locks the gates at night. Our car was fine there all weekend. It is free to park here if you are guests at the hotel, although shoppers can park here too for £2 and they have to give their registration number in at the reception. A nice touch to this car park (if you're a woman) is that they have 'ladies only' spaces. Granted they are only about a step away from the other spaces, but still a nice touch. Prices As this was a Xmas present I do not know how much the hotel was. So here is how much the hotel would cost for 2 people for nights, the last weekend in June: Standard room without breakfast- £100 Standard room with breakfast- £130 plus gift. Superior room without breakfast- £120 Superior room with breakfast- £150 I would also recommend looking at buyagift.com just in case you can get the hotel you want at a cheaper price, and look at using cash back websites too. Summary Having got this far in the review I feel as though it sounds quite negative which isn't really the case, it is a nice hotel room, it just makes you realise that it really is those little extra's which make other hotels worthy of their 4* and 5* ratings. Overall I probably would recommend this hotel to someone if they wanted a good hotel in the centre of Wigan, it does have a lot of positives such as the free car park and free wifi and nice comfy beds. The negatives I have mentioned are possibly just me being fussy for a 3* hotel. If I was going to go back to Wigan then I would stay here, I would just bring a plug extension and toilet roll with me!