Not so many years ago, lots of perfectly good, traditional hotels decided that they would turn themselves into "boutique" hotels. In my opinion, in too many cases that meant stripping out all the character, fitting in lots of trendy-looking furniture, but not quite doing the job properly so that things don't work, or they break, or look tacky.
In my opinon, Abode Exeter is one such example. As a starting point, we were a tad surprised that our bedroom had no bath - just a shower. We asked to move to a room with a bath, and were told we'd need to pay to upgrade. Upgrade to get a bath??
We eventually overcame that problem and were moved to another room which did have a bath. But there were things which just weren't right. The view for example - was a view across some scaffolding and into windows on the other side of the alleyway outside. The aircon unit made a horrible rattling noise - so we turned it off - which then meant the room was stuffy. Fantastic looking trendy shower - but not enough water pressure to make it work well. Toilet plumbing cleverly hidden behind a panel on the wall - except the catch on the panel was broken so it hung open. Freeview box for television, but half the time it was only possible to get the sports channels. Room guide talked about how to work the Bose stereo - but there wasn't one. etc etc.
For such an historic city-centre hotel (overlooking the lovely Cathedral Green) you'd expect a nice lounge to catch up with the papers over coffee - but there wasn't one. You also might expect breakfast to be served in the main restaurant overlooking the Cathedral Green - but it was served in the Brasserie overlooking the same alleyway as our bedroom (although breakfast itself was very nice).
Two-course dinner was included in our package price (in the Brasserie) and was excellent - although portions a bit small for my liking.
An historic hotel in lovely city-centre location, but in my opinion spoiled by unsympathetic and not well conceived recent upgrades.
- 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