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Mercure Hotel Opens in Southampton

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 4 June 2010

The Southampton hotel where Jane Austen danced the night away for her 18th birthday has been re-launched as the Mercure Southampton Centre after the completion of a major refurbishment and upgrade.

 It was in 1793 that Jane, her family and friends took over the Assembly Room at the then Dolphin Hotel to celebrate her birthday. Dancing was a great passion of the young Jane, and her 18th birthday soiree was the prelude to her attending balls in many of the great houses in Hampshire, and for these to be featured regularly in her novels.

Jane subsequently lived in Southampton between 1805-09, and visitors today can retrace her connection with the city and the surrounding Hampshire countryside through organised tours.

The Mercure is housed in a Grade II listed heritage building that has stood in the heart of Southampton since 1423, and the High Street hotel has survived Nazi bombers and architectural scars of modern development to be one of the city centre's most cherished landmarks.

Jane Austens legacy lives on in the hotel with the Jane Austen function suite, where she held her 18th birthday. The function space contains two striking bay windows, reported to be among the largest in Britain, as well as two stone carved fireplaces, facing one another across the length of the room. The venue is capable of hosting dinners for up to 100, and is very popular for weddings.

The atmospheric 90-bedroom hotel is a significant addition to the Mercure network in the UK. Mercure Southampton Centre is the 33rd hotel to join the Mercure UK network.

Mercure General Manager, Neil Brailsford, said, Its great to see this local hotel come alive again after all the hard work. The age and history of the hotel makes it truly unique and we didnt want to lose this during the refurbishment. The building is steeped in tradition and it was often visited by the timeless author, Jane Austen, hence our new Jane Austen suite.

Rates start from GBP 55 per night per room.

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