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Southernhay House Hotel
Ranked #21 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 June 2014

stayed for one night as a last minute booking - positives are the very helpful and pleasant reception staff - the quality of the bed and the general fitting out of the room and hotel - negatives - felt the room was a bit squashed and badly laid out - interesting concept for the shower and toilet - you certainly need to be comfortable with your partner - but need to walk from loo to basin and risk walking into something - not good late at night - lack of cupboard space would be an issue if you were staying longer and found the need to get milk delivered to the room to make tea a little odd. Very much a matter of taste but have to say was not really to ours

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Thank you for posting your balanced review and I'm sorry the room was not to your taste; I have previously mentioned in this forum why some of our rooms (4) have screened shower/loo and that is primarily style but with hefty input from the Planners, who didn't want this Grade II* building to be full of lego box units. I would always suggest to guests who are staying longer term to book one of the larger rooms - where we have space for an additional clothes rail but the pleasure of being a small 10 bedroom hotel (and an independent one) means that we can try and accommodate all guests' needs or requirements and that includes bringing fresh milk to the room at any time. I can't be doing with what are called, in the trade, milk jiggers!

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153 - 159 of 275 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2014

Definitely has a wow factor from the quality of the refurbishment, to the service and then there is the wonderful cocktail bar.

After 6 hours stuck in an horrendous motorway blockage from the North West to Exeter, we were tired, agitated and hungry. We were greeted in a welcoming way with a swift check in and an entrance to a wonderful room with triple aspect on the top floor.

We had opted for the Sugar room which was large, spacious and had a mix of contemporary and retro. Very well appointed with a touch of opulence.

We made use of the cocktail bar which at 5pm was quiet and by 5.30 was packed with people from the local offices enjoying an after work drink on a Friday. Atmosphere was very enjoyable and a welcome relief.

We did not eat at the hotel in the evening as we had made other arrangements with friends but the breakfast was superb and cooked to specific requirements.

Positives: whole experience
Point to note: do not choose the top rooms if you have walking difficulties as there are no lifts

If you want something different and exclusive this is well worth considering. I would prefer this over the main hotel chains in the vacinity and will return when we next come to Exeter. We are aiming to stay in the Cotton Room or Tulip on our next trip!

All credit to the owners and staff who have made this something special.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mandalaylv1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Thank you for your super review and appreciation of the décor. Sugar is a personal favourite of mine as it hint at the Art Deco style of our sister hotel, Burgh Island. I hope we'll see you again soon, and tempt you to eat in the restaurant or bar.

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Reviewed 22 June 2014

We decided on an impromptu overnight stay following a family meal at a nearby restaurant. Thankfully all the hotels nearby were full and we were directed to try this one. Located just a short walking distance from where we were eating this Georgian Townhouse Hotel offered the most amazing comfort and service. Although on the expensive side I believe it was worth it (especially as my partner paid)! The room boated not only a comfortable bed worthy of some of the best hotels but a sitting area, TV etc. The normal tea, coffee you would expect in a hotel was not there; instead ground coffee, fresh milk etc etc. This added touch for me made this hotel stand out from all the luxury hotels around the world. The service was out of this world, non hurried, and discreet. Eggs benedict for breakfast were cooked to perfection. All in all this hotel was a truly magical find and surely one I (we) will be visiting again in the future.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rod N
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southernhayhouse, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Thank you for your more than generous review - it was our luck that you decided to stay over and we hope to welcome you back when you are next in town. It's always good to hear what are the details that our guests clock: I have a particular thing about hotel hospitality trays (hate them) and so this was a big hurdle to overcome and I'm glad we've got it right. The beds, also, are a bit of a mission for me; as a hotel we're selling quality sleep!

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Reviewed 7 May 2014

Let me start by saying that I like this comfortable hotel very much, the room that we had was lovely and the restaurant very good indeed. However the thoughtful décor of the building, the quiet position close to the cathedral and the restaurant deserved a 5* excellent and the reason that it was a 4* is down to being let down by a few minor but disappointing details. On arrival we were greeted by one of the staff about to go off duty and without hesitation he obtained the key and showed us to our room, carrying our luggage there too. A good start. After a stroll around the interesting historic centre of old Exeter we returned to the hotel and found the smart cocktail bar was buzzing and literally full of people enjoying a 'Friday' drink on the way home. The atmosphere was great and we joined in. After a shower in the very expensively equipped marble tiled shower room, we returned to the restaurant to find that we were the only table booked in and on a Friday night that is disconcerting. We feared the worst. To the contrary the meal was excellent, the three tomato and whipped English mozzarella starter was a brilliant twist to the Italian classic and the dressed crab that followed was fresh and cleverly presented. This was a very good meal unfortunately served in the solitude and silence of ourselves, atmosphere lacking. Breakfast the following morning was good too, the perfectly cooked boiled eggs a rare treat served around a huge Victorian walnut dining table, ourselves at one end and the other end laid up for the only other guests that night. The hotel has been exquisitely renovated and decorated with Indian silks and very interesting pictures and filled with a mixture of antique and deco furniture, everything is in excellent condition. Our large bedroom was likewise expensively decorated along with a large and very comfortable bed and a large high-tech television mounted on the wall. So what was my problem then? It seems that many reviews do not take into account the cost element. The more that it costs, the greater the expectation. There were a few too many small things that reduced the enjoyment level a few notches to be able to award the highest accolade. For example, there was no cupboard to hang clothes in the bedroom, just five smart wooden pegs on the wall along with only four smart hangers that left us having to drape jackets and dresses on chairs. When I raised this issue on booking out, I was informed too late that a mobile hanging rail was available. The shower was excellent with masses of hot water flowing but the washbasin had only a dribble of warm water and I for the first time in many years I had to shave using cold water, a small technical hitch that is fixable. One of the lamps in the shower room annoyingly flickered too, only worth mentioning with the other matters. The second night in the cocktail bar required a bottle of champagne to celebrate an amazing and rare victory by our football team so a rose champagne was chosen. This was not in stock so we were offered an equivalent from a previous wine list that was a few pounds more expensive and we were charged the higher price. Perhaps I am being picky here but the 'new' lower price would have been nice gesture especially when paying over £70 a bottle. The second breakfast was served in the dining room with the many other guests that had appeared on Saturday night and was a more leisurely affair being on a Sunday. Perhaps I took more that the allotted time scanning the football results in the paper and caused a problem. When the waitress appeared ahead of my schedule with the plates of magnificent scrambled egg and bacon, the unfinished muesli and fruit was unceremoniously removed from before me, the cooked breakfast put in its place leaving me with a spoon in hand and the muesli the other side of the table where it was impossible for me to reach it with any style. Quite extraordinary. Eventually the breakfast plates were removed and warm toast served, but the muesli was still on the table when we left! I liked nearly everything about this hotel, it has style, presence, great location and is away from the hubbub of the town centre while being close to it. It just does not quite get to where it should be for the money. We visit many hotels around the world, some more expensive and some less so I would like to think that we have a reasonable expectations on value. However I am fully aware that on another day some of these little deficiencies might not have occurred, that I would have been allowed to finish my muesli in peace and I then would now be joyously recording, 'great hotel, wonderful restaurant, fantastic value, five star'. Perhaps next time as I would return.

Room Tip: Ask for one with adequate wardrobe facilities!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Graham P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernhayhouse, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2014

Thank you for your very generous review. I have certainly taken your niggles on board; I was there on checkout and you spoke to me in person. It's really refreshing and kind of you to appreciate the design and thought that has gone into this project - it is a labour of love on my part and that of our dedicated and professional staff. I trust we'll see you again in the future, when you return to further explore the alleyways of Exeter.

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Reviewed 30 April 2014

We stayed here a while ago now, but loved the experience. The Staff were brilliant (we did recognise a few from Burgh Island which helped) as they are at Burgh island. This hotel has a very different feel from its sister hotel but is well worth the visit. The room was perfect as were the pre-dinner cocktails and dinner itself. We will be back i am sure.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank garethgreig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernhayhouse, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for your generous review and we all appreciate your comments about the staff - most have been trained at (and some still work part time/swap locations with) Burgh. We don't aspire to the Burgh black tie glamour but we do hope to achieve similar standards of customer service, quality and design. Let alone food and drink......we hope to welcome you many time in future for cocktails and that sneaky city break.

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Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

I took my wife to this hotel as a birthday suprise and we were delighted with its location 2 or 3 minutes walk from the Princess Hay shopping. The service is second to none and cleanliness superb. Only slight criticism is the glass door on the toilet in the room which I thought was a step too far. Apart from that,o complaints. Did not try the restaurant as there is a brilliant italian restaurant 5 minutes walk away. Will definitely return

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank TerryAnneMarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernhayhouse, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for your kind review and I'm pleased that you enjoyed your stay. Glass door .... don't get me started on this one ;). It was our pleasure to welcome you to central Exeter and Southernhay. Please do try our risotto on your next stay; it might even beat Carluccio's!

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Reviewed 27 April 2014

Me and my wife were on our way to the exeter food festival when we popped in for a drink. We Felt very welcomed from the moment we arrived to the moment we left. So instead of eating at the food festival we came back and they managed to find us a table. It's a great menu which has been carefully thought out. It is not so large that you don't know what to choose. The food was presented superbly and tasted as good as it looked. The strawberries and cream are something of a masterpiece for something which sounds so simple to being served in only what can be described as a goldfish bowl the flavours are out of this world . The chef popped out throughout the meal to make sure all was good. We left there feeling thoroughly looked after and will definitely return again. Thanks for a great evening

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Trevor L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernhayhouse, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2014

Thank you for stopping by....and for your lovely comments. It was our pleasure to serve you (and more so in that we had just changed to our summer menu, so we were all quite excited by the new dishes on offer). Our strawberries and cream is a major success - and I'm pleased you were able to meet Chef Rob1 (we have 2 Robs in the kitchen, thus....). While Exeter Food Festival is a fabulous showcase for our local producers, customers often miss the fact that we use them all year round so it's really gratifying to read your kind comments and understanding of our menu.

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Additional Information about Southernhay House Hotel

Address: 36 Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1NX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Exeter
Price Range: £98 - £250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Southernhay House Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charming boutique townhouse hotel with 10 individual bedrooms, chic cocktail bar, private dining room for parties and informal Club Room for casual dining and meeting. Al fresco eating and drinking on our terraces and secluded garden. Food is modern, local and highly seasonal with daily changing menus. Southernhay House is located in the centre of Exeter just yards from the Cathedral and within easy reach of the University and Quayside. Staff are long-term, friendly and live locally so are able to recommend seasonal and regional activities during your stay. Languages spoken: English, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Hebrew. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southernhay House Hotel Exeter, Devon

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