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“Overnight Stay”
Review of ABode Exeter

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ABode Exeter
Ranked #12 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Overnight Stay”
Reviewed 4 April 2014 via mobile

This is the second time I have stated at this hotel and it is excellent. I had an envious double room and I think it is well worth the money.
The room was beautiful with a wonderful view of the cathedral , the staff so helpful and the cocktails are amazing!

Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank Emma J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at ABode Exeter, responded to this review, 5 April 2014
Dear ‘Emma J’

Thank you once again for staying with us, it is all the more important to look after our regular guests and I will ensure your kind words are shared with my team.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (285)
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Wales
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2014

I had such high hopes for the Royal Clarence having stayed here upon recommendation from a colleague. Unfortunately these hopes did not come to fruition and I was bitterly disappointed with the overall stay.

One thing I must firstly address, though, is the attitude of the staff, which was excellent throughout. The reception staff were attentive, polite and helpful, however I must also point out that my poor night's stay was not mentioned during my stay as I had to leave very early the following morning for a work event.

Firstly - the positives:

- the hotel is in an excellent location. It's situated right in the centre of Exeter near to shops, restaurants, etc. and is also right in front of the cathedral in a very picturesque area.
- as said earlier in the review, the staff are excellent and clearly very well-trained in customer service.
- the hotel is incredibly clean, both the bedrooms and public areas.

Now for the negatives:

- the night's sleep was awful. As some of the previous reviews have pointed out - the beds are ridiculously soft, to the point of it actually being laughable. I'm normally indifferent to the hardness of a mattress but I actually opted to sleep on the floor on top of the duvet as I awoke in agony with my back half way through the night. While I have stayed on soft mattresses elsewhere on my travels, unfortunately the beds at the Royal Clarence seem soft from years of over use.
- the 'sleep' - or lack thereof - was made worse by the position of my room. I stayed in one of, what I assume to be, the cheapest options, which was right above one of the alley ways. Come midnight there was a cacophony of singing, shouting and talking from the pub below. This was on a Tuesday night so who knows how much louder it would be on a weekend. The noise was ridiculous and, while I understand that a degree of this is out of the hotel's control, perhaps there should be something looked into in regards to further noise proofing the rooms as it was impossible to 'shut off' from the racket outside.
- the room was very small, claustrophobically so, and the bathroom even moreso. The size of the sink is quite ridiculous and I would challenge anyone to wash their face or clean their teeth without getting water all over the floor. While they're quite aesthetically pleasing, it would seem that it most certainly is style over purpose.
- the toilet took ages to flush - this is not something unique to this room as it would seem that my colleagues had similar problems resulting in you being able to hear the cistern filling for about half hour after you'd flushed, which was pretty irritating.
- the breakfast options were a bit silly. £11.50 is the set price and, while there are many options for hot food, for those of us that just want a continental option it is a bit annoying to have to be expected to fork out over a tenner for the privilege. Surely there could be the option - similar to places like Premier Inn - where you can have either continental for a lower price. After eating breakfast on the first morning, I then opted to go to Costa on the second.
- the parking situation is far from ideal. Again, I appreciate that this is the centre of Exeter and there's little the hotel can do about this but please do be aware - particularly if you're here on business and regularly need to use a vehicle - that parking is quite a way from the hotel. The carpark recommended by the hotel is quite a dank multistorey (I certainly wouldn't want to go there at night alone), down quite a steep hill. While prices are reasonable it is easily a 10-minute walk to the hotel, which may not sound a lot but if you're carting a lot of luggage, laptop, work material, etc. then it isn't great.

I don't mean to sound overly negative but it is harder to give anything more than 2 stars considering the appalling night sleep I had and the little extra problems regarding breakfasts, parking, etc. What did make my experience even more sour was on the morning I left when I was clearly struggled with all my luggage down the quaint narrow corridors only for an employee to stand and half smile at me, not even holding a door open.

I would love to give this hotel another chance as I will invariably be back in Exeter to work in the not too distant future, but I certainly hope some of the above issues are addressed else I would prefer to stay in a Travelodge!

Room Tip: Request a room opposite the cathedral - not only do I imagine the view to be worth it, but I think y...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank peacarwales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at ABode Exeter, responded to this review, 5 April 2014
Dear ‘peacarwales’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review and your positive comments. Please accept my apologies for the disappointing overnight stay.

We are a City centre hotel and unfortunately we do suffer from occasional noise issues, both the day and night team will act upon any disturbances raised.

We have a gradual plan of improvements across the board for all areas in the Hotel to try and address the issues you have raised along with the replacement of mattresses of which we have replaced many already from the on going checks put in place and review of the bathrooms.

The Mary arches Car Park is 0.2 miles away, a comfortable 5 minute walk. You can park directly outside the hotel where you have a 20 minute grace period to unload bags. We offer a reduced rate fee of £10.50 for 24 hours with tickets available at Reception allowing entry and exit a number of times through out the day. I think you may have used a different car park as Mary Arches is not down a hill.

Once again please except my apologies, if you could contact me directly next time you are due to stay in Exeter so I can personally ensure everything is as it should be and would be useful to know which room you stayed in.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
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Droitwich, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2014

Just returned from a business trip stay at this Hotel. Which I could not fault on any level, reception staff were attentive, pleasant and helpful. Breakfast was great and the quirky lift was a throw back to a time forgotten. Room was functional and immaculately clean with all the usual benefits needed for a good business trip. I would thoroughly recommend this Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rob G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at ABode Exeter, responded to this review, 5 April 2014
Dear ‘Rob G’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I’m so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us whilst here in Exeter on Business and hope to welcome you back on return visits.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
Level Contributor
67 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

We stayed here for one night on 30 March. The main reason for choosing this one was the central location and the luxurious and grand aura that this place seemed to emit.

We were greeted at Reception by a lovely and helpful young lady who upon checking she informed us that our room was ready for us and swiftly checked us in. She also said that we had been given a complimentary upgrade to a superior room. I had previously requested a bath and a Cathedral view so I was very pleased with this.

The room (201) was amazing. A double bay window gave the best view of the Cathedral I could imagine and the bed was HUGE! Beautifully soft cotton linen and lots of pillows. There was a bathroom with bath, with shower over, Belfast sink and toilet. Plenty of soft towels also.

In the bedroom there was a small desk with a basket of goodies, ie nuts, chocolate etc. This was all chargeable which I would expect, but the two bottles of water should have been complimentary.

The room more than exceeded our expectations. In fact the hotel did with its elegant grandeur.

Unfortunately this is where it ended for us. As part of the Spring Break package we were entitled to take 2 courses from a special menu in the Café/Grill or an allowance of £11 each from the A La Carte. Both menus seemed to lack inspiration with steaks, burgers and pasta on the a la carte which we didn't want. To be honest we expected a lot more because of the association with the celebrity chef.

We decided to eat our two courses from the set menu and we were very disappointed. Choosing a main and dessert each my husband went for the Pork Escalope and I the Sea Bream. Both were not presented very well especially the Pork. This was a Pork steak overcooked in breadcrumbs with a mustard sauce and put on some sliced roast potatoes. Not a vegetable in sight and neither were any offered as a side dish. My fish was passable, but not a pleasant experience for a foodie such as my self.

Dessert was better with Creme Brulee and cheese and biscuits. Overall a very disappointing experience from such an exquisite hotel For The Spring Break Menu I would recommend more choice (3 mains isnt enough) and a more inspiring menu.

After a comfortable nights sleep (the double glazing is excellent at keeping out the Cathedral hourly clock chimes) we went for breakfast in the Fine Dining restaurant. This was lovely with FRESH orange juice. (Unusual in hotels these days), excellent coffee and a nice English Breakfast.

A swift checkout followed which was good. We parked in Mary Arches which was about a 5 min walk away and the hotel has a special overnight rate of £10.50.

In summary then. Would we stay again? YES most definitely. Eat here NO.

We would like to stay next time in Room 202 which I understand is a room category above the one we are in, but the website displays no rates so I will email them with this enquiry.

Room Tip: Ask for a Cathedral facing room for the best views ever
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HullyBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at ABode Exeter, responded to this review, 5 April 2014
Dear ‘Hully Bristol’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review regarding your most recent stay with us.

I am pleased you liked Room 201 with its glorious view of the cathedral. I’m sorry to hear this did not carry through to the Café Bar & Grill, it is our more relaxed dining option perhaps next time try our Fine Dine Restaurant. We will be changing the menu in the Café Bar shortly to coincide with the seasonal change but in the mean time will address the comments you have made from the current menu.

Please contact me direct when you are next looking to stay so I can personally welcome you back to try our Fine Dine experience.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2014

Very enjoyable stay at ABode Exeter. Brilliant central location opposite the cathedral. Very helpful staff. Excellent food and relaxed atmosphere. Loved the Champagne Bar. Quirky and characterful old building - the oldest hotel in the country - with plenty of atmosphere.
Vivien Humber

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vivien H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at ABode Exeter, responded to this review, 5 April 2014
Dear ‘Vivien H’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review regarding your stay. It is always nice to hear such positive comments regarding my team that do justice to what is arguably the oldest Hotel in the country.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2014 via mobile

We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and collection our Grand Daughter from Exeter Uni so decided on a two night stay. As the room was only £2 more than the Premier Inn we decided on the Abode. In a wonderful location facing the Cathedral and close to all the shops, bars and restaurants . Bright open reception with the quaintest lift to the 2nd floor where our room was. Room was clean and very tidy with a massive king size bed that was incredibly comfortable. Modern en-suite with loads if hot water, no cold showers here! Intimate Champagne bar with the widest selection of cocktails of which we tried more than a few. Booked a table in the Michael Caines restaurant and had the six course taster menu with the recommended wines. Rally enjoyed the meal and the ambiance was wonderful. Altogether a delightful stay our only complaint was we went to have Afternoon Tea and told we had to order 24 hours in advance although this was not at all apparent! We will be back

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Wighttiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at ABode Exeter, responded to this review, 5 April 2014
Dear ‘Whitetiger’

Thank you so much for such a lovely review, I am so pleased you chose here to celebrate your Wedding Anniversary enjoying both the food and drink that we are so passionate about here at ABode Exeter. We always recommend booking afternoon tea due the limited seating we have particularly on a Saturday where we are normally fully booked.

I look forward to welcoming you back.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Truro, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014 via mobile

Booked the spring break for myself and a friend, dinner, bed and breakfast for both of us. On arrival we were very warmly greeted and the check in was very efficient. The hotel is a listed building and although old was decorated very tastefully. Our room was on the 3rd floor and was reached by an old lift with a sliding gate. Although we were told at check in to shut the gate otherwise the lift would not work it was very frustrating that some guests seemed to completely ignore this. Every time we wanted to get back to our room we had to walk up 3 flights of stairs.
The room was quite big and although the en-suite was small it was fine for one night. My only gripe is why do hotels think it is ok to have black mould around the shower cubicle? A little bit of bleach would easily do the trick.
We booked a table in the grill bar fir dinner. There was a deal of 2 staters. 2 mains and a bottle of wine for £30 which our waitress informed me that could be included in our package. The staters were very good, I had the mackerel pâté and my friend had the black pudding salad. The mains of pork escalope, although tasty, had very little plate appeal. It all looked beige which was a bit off putting, a bit if salad garnish would not go amiss.
Breakfast was the best, freshly cooked to order absolutely lovely.
All in all a great stay, would absolutely recommend.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank rosnaree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General M, General Manager at ABode Exeter, responded to this review, 5 April 2014
Dear ‘rosnaree’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review regarding your most recent stay and pleased overall you enjoyed your stay with us. I will address the points you have raised as whilst I am glad this did not have a negative impact on your stay it is important for us to action for future guests.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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