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“Needs to do more ...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of ABode Exeter

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ABode Exeter
Ranked #12 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Amersham
Level Contributor
201 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Needs to do more ...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2009

Stayed for just one night in a "desirable" room - the room categories seem to be quite random! The room - up in the ancient lift, down a flight of stairs and up another - was tiny, barley 4m x 4m, + bathroom. With internet access (wired) on a rickerty half table but a very comfortable bed and a fantastic and dramatic view of the cathedral. That is what you are paying the premium rate for - a "character" building, the location and the view.

Our rate (through late rooms) did not include breakfast but the offering from the "cafe" did not look anything very special and there are very many other options right by the hotel.

The staff were pleasant in our short dealing with them.

TIP: Drive to the hotel to unload your luggage then drive to park your car.
TIP: This hotel is *not* suitable for anyone with mobility problems.

This hotel needs to do more than offer a "room with a view" if it wants to establish a good reputation.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hazy_amersham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,287 reviews from our community

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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
Bournemouth
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2009

We knew where the location of this hotel was as we often visit friends in Exeter, however we had not stayed at the Abode before. The rooms are small but nicely furnished, very clean and the bed was extremely comfortable. The toiletries were high quality and the tea and coffee making facilities were very good (nice biscuits and filter coffee as well as a good selection of teas). We didn't have breakfast or any other meals but the cafe bar looked good.

The staff were amongst the friendliest I've come across

Minor niggle - the shower screen wasn't terribly effective and the water did splash on the floor a bit and there is no parking so its a little walk to the public car park.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank shoesandkittens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
italy/belgium
Level Contributor
136 reviews
121 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2009

The location is fantastic as it is on the Cathedral Yard. Better however to arrive with a taxi as cars are not allowed as it is a pedestrian part of the city. It is a charming, very stylish and very well kept hotel. Staff was very friendly and helpful. The room we got was very nice and very big (even if it looked at the rear). However, we glanced through some open doors while cleaning was taking place and we realised that there are also small rooms. Better therefore to ask for a big room when booking. There is no lounge or sitting area and this is a pity for such a nice hotel as the reception area is really so small that one does not know where to sit. The breakfast is rather poor for such a nice hotel also considering that the bar where breakfast is served belongs to a famous chef. Not really what you would expect from such a chef. The style of the bar is not too nice either with wooden tables that do not match the style chosen for the rest. Apart from one exception, staff in the bar is rather unfriendly.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank claudiac67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2009

Our first impressions were excellent - a beautiful building opposite Exeter Cathedral. The service reinforced that. On check-in, the staff member noticed my wife's crutches and asked us if we'd like a room near the lift. A nice touch that went a lot way. However, we did have a few issues with the room itself. As a Desirable room, it's a touch on the small side, albeit with a very comfortable bed. The real issues are with the bathroom. The shower is covered by only half a screen, so you'll be doing well to avoid getting water all over your bathroom floor every time you use it. That accounted for half the towels. Also, the sink basin is tiny, and with a shelf butting over it, it was almost impossible to get your face over it if you wanted to wash or rinse - more water on the floor.
Our other problem, albeit minor, was that the much-vaunted restaurant was closed for a private event. That's fine, but perhaps it would be polite to email guests to that effect in advance. There was a disgruntled couple in reception complaining they were only staying there because of the restaurant, and I could understand their grievance - especially as the champagne bar was also closed for 3 hours for the same event. There's also a sense that Abode have moved over to the corporate hotel world rather than the boutique world - the place is branded almost to death.
Overall, I'd recommend the hotel - Exeter isn't overflowing with good places to stay - but do feel that corners have been cut in terms of space. £135 isn't going to buy you five-star luxury in England, but at that price basic design faults shouldn't impinge on your experience. However, exemplary service made up for it and the location is perfect.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Drewhuge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
challenger08
Level Contributor
192 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2009

Stayed one night on business - arriving late on a Sunday night. Terrible trouble finding the hotel - my usually reliable sat nav couldn't find it, nor could the series of local people I stopped in the street to ask. Eventually phoned the hotel and spoke to the night porter - he has to be on the most helpful, considerate people on the planet. His helpful manner really helped diffuse my frustration with trying to find the place. He talked me through the city centre and right to the Hotel. For anyone considering staying here, it is right in front of the Cathedral and off the main road. There is no car parking - always a disappointment - and the hotel could be a lot better at advising customers about this prior to their arrival. Car parking is close by - Mary Arches car park is a 2 minute walk away and the hotel gives you discount vouchers - but again, you won't be told this before you book.
Once in, the hotel is very smart. My room was great - biggest, most comfortable bed yet. Good desk to work from and free Broadband connection. Bathroom was compact but good, with good quality fittings and a good range of bath and shower bits and pieces. Decor in the room is very modern, and the public areas are also modern, but with clear references to the previous old hotel (beams, un-even stairs and walls, etc). All fits together quite well. My room was at the front, facing the Catheral and a very nice view it was too. The hotel has a good, city centre location (once you can find your wa there) and is handy for shops, restaurants and bars. I didn't have time to try the restaurant in the hotel, but it was a Michael Caines one - breakfast was taken in my room and was very good indeed, so I imagine the restaurant would be no diffferent. Overall I was pleased with the quality of the hotel and would return. What really made a difference was the extremely helpful and capable night porter, who couldn't have been more helpful.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank challenger08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
321 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2009

Impossible to access by car, motorcycle or horse unless one is super determined. Parking is miles away in a urine soaked public car park. Lift is hopeless, and reception staff complacent to all comments. Tiny and over priced rooms with horrid bathrooms without baths. Great view of Cathedral if you get one of those rooms. Hideously overpriced and bad breakfast.

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PUTNEYBIKER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Midlands, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
218 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2009

My husband and I enjoyed a mid-week lunch here earlier this month. Having eaten at Gidleigh Park Hotel we were expecting the food to be of a very similar, excellent standard and we were not disappointed. We would certainly recommend eating here for anyone looking for a special meal in the centre of Exeter. If anything, we thought the food and certainly the value for money was better than at Gidleigh Park. We did not use the hotel facilities apart from the cloakrooms so cannot comment on staying here.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jackie S
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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