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“Perfect Choice”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of ABode Exeter

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ABode Exeter
Ranked #12 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Somerset, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Perfect Choice”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2014

The Abode at Exeter was the perfect choice for our first wedding anniversary. The staff are friendly and helpful and made us very welcome. When we arrived our room had been upgraded and there were chocolates and a red rose on the bed. We had booked into Michael Caines restaurant where we enjoyed a superb meal served by friendly and knowledgable staff. Nothing was too much trouble and we will definitely go back

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Melanie P
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, 6 September 2014
Dear ‘Melanie P’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, we are all so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us. Where possible we do try to upgrade guests and as I’m sure you can understand this is not always possible.
It is great to hear you felt my team came across as friendly and knowledgeable, the people who work here create the show and it is always nice to hear they have performed well!

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (285)
Date | Rating
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English first
Fleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2014

Situated right on the Cathedral green, you can't get any better in this city. The font of house staff were very friendly and accommodating, and quirky lift up to room! If you choose the stairs then make sure you are sober, as they go at all angles due to the age of the building!!
The room was......adequate. At least there were high ceilings which made it feel more airy. Otherwise, pretty compact. The star in the crown of this hotel is Michael Caines' restaurant. We chose the tasting menu with matched wine flyte, and it was superb. Seven courses, with the cheese, and we had nine matched wines which were perfect. What made it all the more special was the Sommelier, Malek, who was extremely knowledgeable and was so interesting to talk to about wine and food pairing. The other restaurant staff, Jake especially, were equally good.
Would love to return and have the tasting menu again!

Room Tip: Ask for a Cathedral view room, and if you can go for a superior room instead of standard.
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  • Stayed September 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jenny1866
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, 6 September 2014
Dear ‘Jenny1866’

Thank you for your review, we are so pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us.

I will personally thank Marek & Jake for their excellent customer service in our MC Restaurant and share your feedback with the Kitchen brigade.

I hope to welcome you back soon.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2014

Decided to schlepp down here at very short notice, as London over Bank Holiday did not appeal (I might even have been tempted to go and get "shanked" at "Carnival"!).
I tend to go for the better rooms so booked a small suite.
Largest bed I have ever seen; their was a roll-top, free-standing bath in the bedroom plus a separate, very spacious, shower room.
Also a comfortable desk and chair, large wardrobe (complete with iron and board, which are not always available!) and the usual tea/expensive bowl of titbits.
The location cannot be bettered, being bang opposite the, in my opinion, most beautiful Cathedral in England; it's a lively place but in no way loud or threatening (unlike "Carnival").
There is an old fashioned lift, complete with railing that you have to make sure is in place. I managed to trap my thumb twice, but I'm an idiot anyway.
Have to say I have never been too impressed with Michael Caines' creations; I think them overrated.
Breakfast is extra, though I was sneaking out to get mine at the local Wetherspoon anyway!
Nice cafe bar attached to the main hotel.
The staff are extremely enthusiastic and helpful; didn't even charge me for falling asleep with my Michael Caines room service (tired, not drunk!) and leaving huge stain on the duvet.
Extremely attractive ladies on reception (so nice to see sheer nylons rather than frumpy woollen ones). I am probably not allowed to say that but what the hey!
Not cheap but well worth it; the attention from the staff makes all the difference.
Have rated as "Excellent" as I already knew I wouldn't like the food.

Room Tip: Obviously, one at the front with view of Cathedral
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BPB_11
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, 6 September 2014
Dear ‘BFB11’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review regarding your most recent stay, I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed all aspects of your stay and will share with my team.

I hope to welcome you back in the future.

Many thanks

Matt Collins
General Manager
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Solihull, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2014

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would firstly I am totally disgusted with this so called 4 Star rated hotel, however lets start with the positives, the reception team are very welcoming and extremely helpful excellent service, general atmosphere is good, lovely quant lift which I personally loved, we where in room 216 seemed fine small but okay, dropped the luggage in and went out for a meal with my wife, got back closed the CURTAINS and in morning woke up only then did I see the state of the CURTAINS black with mould (obviously not been cleaned in a very long time) I then went into the bathroom (this just gets worse!) again Mould in the shower cubicle and around the tiles again obviously had not been cleaned proper for a very long time as mould this bad takes months to get as bad as this was.

Also the toilet where the where the water comes out the Flush was filthy brown again see photo!

I went to reception and requested to speak to the manager on duty (Name escapes me) however really nice guy, I asked him to pop up to my room (Left the wife down stairs had enough of a head ache of her because of the room) we went to my room whilst chatting I again asked what star rating the hotel he confirmed they purported to be a 4 star, upon entering I agreed the room looked okay until I showed him the curtains he was extremely shocked how bad they where and then again when I showed him the shower area totally unacceptable, he straight away offered to move us as we where going out shopping we agreed to discuss when back, upon arrival we where moved to room 103 which was even smaller however seeing my Wife face I said it would be fine so we moved are stuff, shame you cant open the wardrobe doors and the room is so small the bed is in the way, and also again poor maintenance in the shower area (call me picky) I again took a photo on the filth on the tiles and no its not water if dirt again.

Such a disappoint totally disgusted however the Manager did only charge us for 1 night stay I just could not be bothered arguing over our replacement room, such a shame fantastic location, just poor Management regime in place, the Manager who dealt with us had been there for 2 months and had obviously not inspected the rooms, there is obviously no standard Audit being taken on a regular basis to ensure that the Hotel meets there so called Standard, obviously the cleaning Team do not take there job seriously nor does the maintenance team check the rooms either.

Don't go here thing 4 star more being critical 3 star B&B on a good day, needs strong Management structure to get the Hotel up to standard, would I stop there again NO.

Please look at the photos, I can only post 3 however if you want more examples I would be pleased to send them onto whoever.

Such a shame and total waste of money,

Regards

Bernard

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BK1875
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 September 2014
Dear ‘BK1875’

Thank you for your review. Once again please accept our sincere apologies for the disappointing stay. We take matters like this incredibly seriously and once informed, we made every effort to deal with the issue in hand. I will not claim that we get it right all the time but cleanliness is high on our priority list and a full and a thorough investigation has taken place on the back of this incident with the whole of the department. All comments both positive and negative are always fully listened too and where possible addressed.
There is no excuse for this and I am pleased to hear William my Deputy Manager whilst new to this hotel used his experience from other roles to ensure everything possible was done to appease the matter making a point of coming to see you on check out to ensure the remainder of your stay was comfortable.

Once again please accept our apologies.

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
Lytham
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2014

I was so disappointed with this stay. It was our 11th anniversary treat and because I wanted to eat at Michaels restaurant we booked in to the hotel so we were on site.
The pictures of the bed in the standard room are very deceiving. They look like super king, which is what I have at home and talk about the most comfortable beds you will ever sleep in. Well unfortunately that is not the case, they are standard doubles and the mattress is akin to a trampoline. Every time one of us rolled over in it we feared we would bounce the other one onto the floor.
The room itself slopes significantly, which means basically you are at an angle whilst lying in bed and both of us had mild headaches in the mornings. I appreciate this is a very old listed building so the rooms wont be exactly square but had I suffered with arthritis of the hip rather than the back it would have been impossible for me to walk around the room on a slope. I wont mention the lift, again old building and the lift is very quaint, we often had to walk to the third floor because they had left the gate open but that really didn't bother us.
The bathroom wasn't cleaned properly, shower gel was used up on first day and never replenished throughout our four day stay. Unfortunately I dropped a piece of tissue (Clean) whilst blowing my nose and it fell under the sink on the first day, I cannot bend very easily because of the arthritis and my husband was not in the room at the time so I could not ask him and then forgot to do so. That tissue was still on the floor on our third morning.
We used the milk on the second morning from the tea tray and it was not replenished until the fourth morning. On our last night we did not receive our complimentary bottled water, which I will add was a lovely touch had we of received it every day that we were there.
We like to lie-in when on holiday so we never have breakfast and also like to sleep with the window open. Well the noise up until about 1am and then starting again at about 5am was horrendous. We had a front room with an excellent view of the cathedral, which was stunning but the noise from the delivery and collection lorries outside was pretty unbearable. The other guests would then seem to use raised voices whilst walking past the room on the way to the lifts, in the very early hours of the morning, didn't know you could even have breakfast that early! I must also add after about 09.30am you then had the cleaning staff who insisted on calling down the corridor to each other and banging about a lot, so all in all because of the noise my husband and I really didn't have much sleep over the four night stay.
You must visit Michael Cairns restaurant though. I have been fortunate enough to eat at five Michelin rated/starred restaurants in the last few years and this was excellent and the staff were professional and attentive, food was amazing.
If I had not got a special offer on some of my nights and paid the full 4 star prices I would have been very upset. If you can afford it I would highly recommend the suites, I am sure you would have a much more comfortable stay but if at the front and enjoy open windows, then I think you too would be disturbed by the noise.
May I add though that the hotel staff were outstanding. They were all very well dressed, polite, helpful and always had a friendly smile for you whatever the time of day.
One last note its cathedral policy that you cannot drink a bottle of wine or any alcohol whilst in cathedral square unless you have a main meal with it. As we were eating in Michaels restaurant we did not want to eat and so we could not sit outside the hotel or along that strip and enjoy a bottle of wine before dinner. Of course not everybody drinks but I wanted to warn people as I have not read that on any of the reviews and we had to find outside seating in the town or by the quay every time we just wanted a drink.

Room Tip: A cathedral view room if you sleep with the window closed, such a beautiful view. The standard rooms...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Claire-Louise C
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, 30 August 2014
Dear ‘Claire-Louise C’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review following you most recent stay. I’m sorry to hear that we fell short in couple of areas during your short break with us but really pleased to hear you enjoyed your meal and felt all of my team offered a high level of service.

The bedrooms dependent on size have various sized beds in with about half of the rooms having King Size or larger beds. The Royal Clarence is a very old building with sloping floors, we do our best to level the beds and furniture when we can and will try to find out which room you stayed in so we can correct. In terms of the noise we do not own the land in front of the hotel and whilst we can control our own deliveries to an extent other business do unload out of the front of the hotel.

The cleanliness is unacceptable and upon seeing your review highlighted with my Housekeeping team, this is totally unacceptable and one we are not proud of but rest assured my Housekeeping Team will step up to ensure future oversights do not happen.

You are quite right, unfortunately our licence does not allow us or any business in the grounds of the cathedral to serve just alcoholic beverages outside it has to be accompanied by a plated meal.

Once again please accept my apologies and thank you for your kind comments, comparing our Restaurant to Michelin Star is a big compliment. If I can be of any further help please contact me direct so I can personally look after you.

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
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile

Very tempted to only give this hotel three stars, but the friendliness and enthusiasm of the staff lift it to four. Also, not complaining at all about the price, especially given the central location.

As for the room, I would describe it as compact. I have started in similar sized rooms before without complaint, but unfortunately this one doesn't make the best use of the space - there was not even a single hook in the room. Yes, there was a good sized picture with its own light to show it off, but nowhere to hang my coat.

The rooms also had some background noise of some machine humming, and the splash of rain a little too loud outside.

TV was about 20in, but good quality. DVD player also included, but unfortunately I didn't bring any with me. WiFi was good, and free.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank David M
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, 30 August 2014
Dear ‘David M’

Thank you on behalf of the Brownsword family for your review following your recent stay. Our Comfortable Room’s are in general small but vary in size, in general the higher the category the larger the room. All the rooms have wardrobes for hanging space.

Thank you for your comments regarding our team here in Exeter , it is always nice to receive compliments and will duly be passed on.

Please let me know next time you wish to stay so I can show you the different category rooms we have.

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
West Yorkshire England
Level Contributor
218 reviews
125 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2014

The hotel is exquisitely situated in the centre of Exeter directly opposite the cathedral. We had a three night package of dinner, bed and breakfast. This sounded good but, in practical terms, it meant two courses from a very limited menu (and the same each day) taken in a café environment - plus, of course an "optional" service charge. But, instead, you could get an allowance of £11.25 a person towards greater things. There was a posh restaurant - "tasting menu" £65 plus a "flight of wines" (don't ask - I don't know!) for only £38 and, if you want cheese, just pay a £10 supplement! This all took a lot of working out because the receptionist we first spoke to on arrival had no idea about the detail of our package.
And so it went on. The wine at the hotel bar was 7 or 8 pounds upwards per glass and, perhaps I am being unreasonable, but I would expect some sort of nibbles included in a fairly plush bar at these prices. They were, however, available at £2.50 for olives or £2.50 for mixed nuts. And so it went on - there was a service charge (I think it might have been 121/2%) on the prices on the drinks list and then you were invited to add a further tip - this is NOT America!. And so it went on - want something different to drink at breakfast, other than the included coffee? Certainly, only £2.75 for a cappuccino, £2.75 for a latte or £2.75 for a hot chocolate. We asked for extra coffee one morning and, boy, were we relieved not to be charged!
If I were a charitable person, I would say our room was compact. I am not - it was small and the splendid view we had over to the cathedral was only a partial consolation. It was reasonably appointed but I found it difficult to squeeze between the bed and the television hanging on the wall and the bath was a tub not a bath.
Despite all these cumulative niggles (I haven't mentioned returning the luke warm coffee one morning - I thought I might get charged for that!) we had a quite a good stay. The breakfast was excellent and the staff were extremely helpful and pleasant. The food - we used our £11.25 allowance strategically - was actually very good and I can recommend the burger and the steak. I paid up happily but I will not be back to the hotel - or to the chain as I have had previous problems elsewhere. My reason is that I shouldn't leave a high quality hotel with the sense of irritation that I had. Should I?

Room Tip: On this occasion size is important - ask for a decent sized room.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hibees43
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, 30 August 2014
Dear ‘hibees43’

Thank you for taking the time to write a review.

I’m sorry to hear you were disappointed by the room size and pricing in the hotel. We have a number of different category rooms and are some of the cheaper Comfortable Rooms are on the small size.

The wine in the Champagne bar starts at £6.25, wine in the Café Bar and Tavern in the same size are from £3.50, the price reflects the quality of the wine and are priced competitively with similar outlets in the city. We offer a discretionary service charge of 12.5% in our Restaurant and Café which we are happy to remove should you wish. I take on board your comments regarding a nibble and will review this.

Thank you once again for your review I have taken note of your comments and where necessary will review pricing and the offers we have. If I can be of any further help in the future please contact me direct.


Matt Collins
General Manager
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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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