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“good, but not as good as it was nor as good as it thinks it is....”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of ABode Exeter

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ABode Exeter
Ranked #12 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
essex, england
Level Contributor
37 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“good, but not as good as it was nor as good as it thinks it is....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2008

This was my fifth or sixth stay at Abode (aka The Royal Clarence). Business has taken me to Exeter quite a lot over the last few years and a stay at Abode has always been something I looked forward to.

This time I thought the hotel had lost its edge. Why is breakfast no longer served in the restaurant but in the cafe bar? Nothing like as pleasant and relaxing a start to the day as it used to be, I for one object to local commercial radio blasting in my ear. Service was also more than a little haphazard.

The rooms are well appointed if sometimes a little quirky. The rooms at the front have views to fight for (over the cathedral green); those at the back less so!

Car parking is difficult (but this is an old building in the centre of an old city); a valet parking service would make life a lot easier.

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank steamtrainian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Wiltshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2008

We couldn't fault this hotel, from the moment we stepped through the lobby doors we were treated like royality, the staff were helpful and friendly, the room was spacious with a roll top bath in the bed room, the rooms were very clean with every thing you could need including iron and board. the tea tray had individual coffee filters. We ate in the reastaurant and had a fantastic 3 course meal, we used abode's web site and found that they were offering "Hot Summer Nights" special deal, do take a look and see if it is still available it was for 2 nights acc with dinner and wine on one evening, breakfast plus a room upgrade. We shall be returning.

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FoodLoverWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2008

I stayed 2 nights in this hotel and I was really looking forward to it since everything about it looks modern, fresh and clean. The plus points are that the rooms are clean and smart and everything you need is provided and the location is brilliant just opposite the cathedral you can't get more central than that.
The bad points are that I found some of the were staff quite rude. I didn't find it a welcoming environment.
Secondly the breakfasts were simply dreadful. Over-priced and not worth it at all. In fact the second morning we went to a cafe down the road which was far better food.
So overall I was disappointed with this classy new hotel and when I visited Exeter again this year I stayed somewhere else.

  • Liked — Modern, clean
  • Disliked — staff, breakfast.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank brontefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
180 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2008

Having been thrilled some 28 years ago to have any kind of a room in the Royal Clarence for a short honeymoon, over the years we have enjoyed returning to enjoy the Olde Worlde Charm of the Royal Clarence. In keeping with the times the RC is now an ultra modern boutique hotel a la Ikea. Having said that the upgrade has added to the comfort level. The side rooms which in the past were impossible to sleep in being alongside the entrance in the alley to the pub are now well and truly sealed from disturbance. They are well double glazed with an efficient air con meaning it is no longer necessary to open up the windows to the sound. If you hate air con and go for windows don't accept a room overlooking the side alley.
Once you have experienced a Hotel du Vin breakfast the Abode Clarence was doomed never to measure up. Hot cooked full English, very good but the buffet add ons a bit depleted by half 8.

Will I return? Unlikely if in the car, as the old area for parking has now been absorbed by the Cathedral Close, fair do's, but the parking in the Mary Arches car park, is not the nearest . On a cold rainy July day (!) valet parking would have helped.

  • Liked — Central city location in picturesque Cathedral Close
  • Disliked — Inconvenience of car parking
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank dmhLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
midlands
2 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2008

We were looking forward to our w/end, expecting excellent food & some luxury. We had paid extra for a best room overlooking the cathedral. Having checked in (after some difficulty in finding the hotel), my partner was directed to the car park. This involved being given a map with a highlighted route sending him down one way .streets the wrong way - valet parking would be goodl The lift might be quaint and in keeping with the building but the internal grill doors are an accident waiting to happen. After trapping a finger in them I refused to touch them again. The 'fine dining' experience was anything but. My a la carte was but nothing exceptional. My partner had the table d'hote which had quite a limited choice(am I being cynical here or is to make you choose the much more expensive a la carte?) He was very disappointed with his meal and complained about the toughness of his pork. The maitre de whisked the plate away returning from the kitchen with the comment 'we've checked it and its only alittle bit tough'. The restaurant was not open on Sunday so ate in the cafe bar. On asking for some sauvignon blanc was told there was none available as they'd had a run on it that day and there was none chilled down. What incompetance. Our room was large with a super king sized bed but the mattress (for us) was far too soft. The windows were dirty with broken panes. There was a good roll top bath in the room and a separate toilet and walk in shower. The black mould round the shower was not very appealing. The room was very dusty especially the skirting boards and corners. A hairgrip at the side of the bed remained throughout our stay. The room was decorated in pleasant Farrow & Ball clours and felt very light and summery. We would not stay at this hotel again-average food and dirty room. What a shame, such a lovely position

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — cleanliness
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pompomMidlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frigiliana, Spain
Level Contributor
345 reviews
110 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2008

On balance we enjoyed our stay-- but with a bit more care and attention (and more than anything proper management) it could and should be so much better.

The Good:
Location in the heart of the town and ideal for a walk before/after dinner
The food in the main restaurant was good and fresh (especially the fish)- if over salty

The Average:
The young staff did ok, especially in the restaurant and reception
The room, 117, had the 'boutique makeover' not a great one but ok

The Bad:
A private party was booked with live music in the hotel function room which bellowed out LOUDLY until 12:30am-- obviously we didnt know when we booked it, not acceptable
The room wasnt the cleanest, especially the bathroom
The room was small and backed onto the hotel aircon units
No sign of hotel management actually providing leadership- some staff seemed more interested in their social life

Would we go back: No, too many issues for the money- and I really couldnt take another late night party at my expense!

  • Liked — Food
  • Disliked — Noise late at night
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SpanishTinto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2008

This hotel has pretensions which it does not realise. The food is adequate and sometimes good. The staff seem very friendly, overwhelmed, disorganised and polite.

Having stayed there for 2 weeks in July 2008 I would neither stay there again or recommend it to anyone for business or leisure. It is too expensive to forgive its faults. Incorrect information was given to me about pricing and room availability.

The rooms are clean, and either small and expensive or medium sized and very expensive. The facilities would be adequate if they worked which sadly for me they did not.

  • Liked — Friendly staff
  • Disliked — Disorganisation
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Ozkar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ABode Exeter

Property: ABode Exeter
Address: Cathedral Yard, Exeter EX1 1HD, England (Formerly Royal Clarence Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Exeter
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — ABode Exeter 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Looking to the future of The Royal Clarence, we have every intention to rebuild the hotel with enormous sympathy.. The 18th-century hotel, said to be one of the oldest in England, was gutted when a blaze spread from an adjacent building on Friday morning. The fire wrecked the inside of the landmark building and left the frontage on the brink of collapse. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Abode Exeter Hotel Exeter
Exeter Abode Hotel
Abode Hotel Exeter
ABode Exeter Devon

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