Sue McQueenie explores the Mercure Paignton Hotel, and shares what she discovers.


Standing prominently in a prime location on Paignton’s sea front, alongside the Victorian seaside houses, is the new Mercure Paignton Hotel – its modern exterior a dramatic contrast to the hotels and B&Bs which have stood over the last century and more.

Built on the site of the former Park Hotel, the £30million 161-room hotel is part of the Fragrance Luxury UK Hotel Group’s £150million investment in the area, which also includes a new Ibis Hotel right next door to the Mercure.

A carefully landscaped terraced area looking over Paignton Green to the sea leads to the front door. Inside the hotel is immaculate, there’s a distinctive and stylish art deco influence in the interior design, contemporary, yet reflecting the era of the original sea front houses here and as you step through the door you’re met by areas of plush velvet seating, perfect for relaxing.

A modern botanical theme runs throughout the décor, with rich jewel tones of teal and bronze complimented by planting, creating a glamorous look and feel to the hotel’s communal areas. There’s also a small but fully equipped gym, which is free for hotel guests.


The floor to ceiling windows in our sea-facing room made the most of every inch of the spectacular views across the eastern esplanade, towards the pier and across the bay and the huge, very comfortable bed dressed with sumptuous linen guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

As you would expect in a newly built hotel the bathroom was immaculate and equipped with Elemental Herbology toiletries.

Looking to explore further afield? Check out these top 10 things to do in Devon.


Italian and seafood Restaurant Latitude 50 offers a wide range of choice, featuring a locally inspired and influenced menu, perfectly balance with the cuisine of the Mediterranean. South west suppliers include Salcombe Gin and Bays Brewery, with fish freshly sourced from nearby Brixham. Situated along the front of the hotel, with its panoramic windows, its location makes the most of those wonderful sea views.

Our meal began with starters of pork belly bites with carrot remoulade and main courses of braised feather blade of beef with shallot purée, thyme and parmesan triple cooked chips. The beef was melt-in-the-mouth delicious, complemented by the thyme and parmesan. My friend went for the Brixham fish and chips, which was freshly cooked and equally delicious. Service was attentive without being overbearing and we left feeling pleasantly full. There is also an all-day menu, featuring ciabattas, pizza, pasta and steaks – ensuring all tastes are catered for.

Breakfast offers a wide choice of continental or cooked dishes, all of which you select buffet style.


Yes, you can! This has to be one of the most dog-friendly hotels I have ever visited. Everywhere you look there are well-behaved pooches of all shapes and sizes. All of the bedrooms are dog-friendly and if you book the hotel’s pet experience you can receive a special welcome pack for your doggy friend, that includes local walking routes.


The location is the difference. This stretch of the English Riviera, incorporating Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, is a designated UNESCO Global Geopark, thanks to its diverse landscape underpinned by geology of global importance – one of only eight in the entire UK and 140 in the world.

Stay at the Mercure Paignton and you create the perfect base for exploring the English Riviera and beyond. Whatever you want from your break, whether it’s a family holiday or weekend trip, there’s a wealth of activity to choose from.

You’re a ten-minute walk from the station, a few minutes from the town centre and metres from the beach and pier; families will love the traditional seaside fun – don’t forget the nearby Paignton Zoo!

The more adventurous can choose from water sports and adrenaline-fuelled adventures along this inspiring coast. Take a bus trip to the historic town of Totnes, enjoy a show at Torquay’s Princess Theatre, a boat trip to Brixham, visit the historic Torre Abbey or Greenway House, the home of Agatha Christie. It really offers a modern and stylish base to explore the area.


Standard double rooms start from £100 (room only).


Visit:, call 01803 229444, or email [email protected].