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“Would even spend my own money”
Review of ABode Exeter

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ABode Exeter
Ranked #12 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Sutton Coldfield
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Would even spend my own money”
Reviewed 16 January 2009

I stayed here as part of an arduous business trip and found it very enjoyable. The staff were helpful, the room was good (although the bed was too soft but that's just down to personal preference) and the restaurant was fantastic. The standard of the food was very impressive. Little things seemed to matter to the staff (in a good way)... I was sitting on my own in the restaurant so I was given a newspaper. There were several extras sent out "compliments of the chef" in between courses. There was also Wi-Fi access and a gym (the latter was pretty basic but more than adequate for a short stay).

The only downside is that the parking is in a multi-storey about five minutes walk away. Given the fantastic location though (opposite the cathedral) this is to be expected. The staff also pointed out that it is possible to park up outside when checking in, so that shouldn't deter guests who expect to be heavily bagged up.

A small point, but given that I had an early start, it would have been good if breakfasts were ready at 7am instead of having to wait for the kitchen staff to get started.

Fantastic place though - so good that I'd even go back and spend my own money there as opposed to the expense account!

  • Liked — Restaurant
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank finbofinbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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east coast
Level Contributor
113 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2008

Used to be called The Royal Clarence Hotel - so much nicer. Quirky old building in a fabulous location a stone's throw from the cathederal. They have made the most of the rooms while keeping the wonky staircase and useless lift - no one closes the gates - with very comfortable beds, stylish bathrooms which look great but the showers make a mess on the floor, tea and coffee facilities, safe, internet access, telly,ironing board, haridryer but no minibar. I have stayed twice and had rooms overlooking the ugly back workings, but they were quiet.
Breakfast was included, luckily, as I thought it was very poor value for £13.50 - cardboard haddock and indifferent bacon & eggs with tasteless bangers. If you're not on a B&B rate, go elsewhere.
Nice friendly but under trained staff - coffee tray in the bedroom missing the coffee one day and milk the next. Cafe staff perfectly pleasant but fairly clueless. Training again. Didn't go to Caine's restaurant - not feeling rich enough!
I'd happily go back but opt for the room only rate and if on the 3rd floor again, make sure the lift is operational. However, reception staff were happy to run upstairs and retrieve it when other guests had forgotten to shut the door. This happened several times over my 2 night stay.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Lack of staff training/supervision
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank bubblesEastCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dorset
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2008

Our Son and Daughter bought us a one night special at the Hotel, with Bed, Breakfast and Dinner for early November. We were rather worried after seeing some of the previous reviews, but, after our stay, we really wonder whether we were just lucky, or the other reviewers unlucky. Our Room, 201, was on the 2nd floor directly opposite the Cathedral, and there was a bunch of flowers on the bed for my Wife when we arrived. The fittings were very modern and practical, and we had an enormous bed. Bathroom and shower were excellent. Dinner was in the Michael Caines Restaurant on the ground floor, with a glass of Champagne in the Champagne Bar before hand. The food was excellent, and the service was probably the best we have had in the UK. Breakfast was buffet style in the Cafe, and again the food was excellent. The Hotel has a very old structure, but the inside has been modernised and is very tasteful. Whilst we were there, there was a Wedding Reception at the Hotel, but we were not affected by any noise from the party.
If you are travelling to the Hotel by car using a Satnav, use the post code recommended by the Hotel (EX1 1DZ), but when you are in North Street, just after crossing the High Street, take an immediate left into the private road where there is a bollard. The satnav tries to take you 100 yards further on down the road, so be aware of this.
Our time at the Hotel seems to differ from other guests, but we can only report it as we experienced it, and we would thoroughly recommend room 201 and the Restaurant and Cafe. The staff and service, and food was excellent.

  • Liked — food and service
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dorsetpair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucestershire
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2008

I had looked forward to staying in this hotel after viewing the website but what a disappointment. My room was so tiny and the big bed (the only good thing) dominated the space. It was a struggle to get around it and I bruised myself on both the TV shelf and desk chair in doing so. No comfortable chair so the only place to watch TV from was the bed. Room was freezing - no radiator and aircon/ climate control just pushed out more freezing cold air. Light was not working so rang reception who said someone maybe be up to look at it - but did not happen and no follow up call advise me that no-one was available. Room was very dusty. Toilet just would not flush - something I was very uncomfortable about. Shower flooded so having had warm shower spent next 15 minutes mopping the floor. Reception staff busy with their own conversations, so customers had to wait until they had finished and there was no question about whether the room/ stay had been OK. Location is unique and central, but would have preferred a few basic comforts like warmth and with frosted window in room to conceal walls a few feet away the location did not score points and did not compensate for lack of car park. If Abode want an exclusive hotel they have a lot to do and maybe they should try a taste of their very unpleasant medicine.

Stayed November 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank Disview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich
Level Contributor
47 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2008

You are paying for the location, i.e. the Exeter Cathedral but your room most likely will not have a view on it. The very modern shower room was impractical: The water went everywhere when showering as the shower glass was too small and it was almost impossible to wash your face in the basin due to the size of it and the fact there was a shelf above it obstructing access. However the decor was pleasant, facilities in the room were good and the bed was excellent.
The waiters at the breakfast appeared very hurried and the choice for breakfast was quite limited.
The Abode is extremely expensive (sorry but Exeter is nothing...) hence the value for money not good at all.

  • Liked — The bed and the location, closeby the cathedral
  • Disliked — The price: low value for money
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank The_Strategist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2008

I was looking forward to this Hotel in fact chose to vacate a very reasonable hotel to sample it, I was put in a Cathedral view room. It had no shower, not even an overbath shower.

The bath and basin were an object lesson in style over function.

I vacated the hotel and returned to my former place after one night. Not sure in such a historic building injecting "boutique" furniture & sanitaryware works on any level.

Wouldnt return again, but would re visit the restaraunt at any time -excellent food.

Incidentally breakfast is in the Cafe bar next door - why?

SG

  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank W124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
63 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2008

When visiting my son at University we stayed at the Abode on Saturday night. Six of us had a meal that evening at the restaurant which was excellent. The atmosphere was relaxed, the decor was elegant, service was good and the food including complimentary canapes and coffee sweets were fantastic. Our experience of the hotel was not as comendable. It is an attractive looking hotel and has plenty of old world charm with modern amenities. On arrival, Check-in staff appeared stressed and there was confusion as to whether we could check-in or not. The toilet in our room did not work and although we notified reception about it, it was still not fixed 4 hours later. They moved us to another room but did not offer us an upgrade for the incovenience despite the hotel not being full. In the room, the air conditioning unit was noisy and the very modern shower room was inpractical. The water went everywhere when showering as the shower glass was too small and it was almost impossible to wash your face in the basin due to the size of it and the fact there was a shelf above it obstructing access. However the decor was pleasant, facilities in the room were good and the bed was very comfortable.
We were surprised that breakfast was served at the cafe open to the public rather than the restaurant; On opening the door a dark haired waitress very rudely shouted at us and asked us to go and wait in reception as she didn't have any tables, this happened to us a second time when my partner poked his head in. The same waitress then called us and seemed to be very stressed and hurried around the cafe. It was not a relaxed stress-free breakfast time which is what you would want on a Sunday morning on a weekend away ! The acoustics in the cafe did not help either. There was great hurry to take our order but the delivery of the order wasn't at all quick; it would have been nice to have our tea served before our cooked breakfast and for the cooked breakfast to have come with the toast rather than having to ask for missing items time and time again. We had the scrabbled eggs and salmon. The portions were small and overall although there was a buffet breakfast included in the price it was not worth 13.95.
We would recommend the hotel for its location and its restaurant but staff need to find a way of not showing their stress and I would thoroughly recommend them to start serving their breakfast in the restaurant; I believe from reading one of the reviews that this has happend in the past.

  • Liked — Location and food at the restaurant
  • Disliked — Stressed staff
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AP_JLondon
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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