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“Nice building, shame about everything else.”

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Hotel du Vin Exeter
Ranked #15 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
45 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Nice building, shame about everything else.”
Reviewed 1 September 2014

When you arrive at the Magdalen Chapter the building is really impressive. I had hoped this impression was going to be continued once walking through the door, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.

Check in is slightly odd, as other reviewers have mentioned, its not that clear where the check in desk is (its actually a lump of wood with a laptop on it). Check in staff were decent, friendly and helpful. Yes you get an iPad, pointless in my view, possibly a nifty gimmick when they first came out, but no need for it now.

The room was a standard double. Good points - bed very comfortable, free mini bar with a couple of beers and some soft drinks. Bad points - the room is so small if two people are in it at the same time you have to negotiate who stands where at what time, and you certainly can't pass each other.

We had lunch the first afternoon in the restaurant, which looks like some kind of cafe you would get in a visitor centre. For some reason the wine list comes on an iPad, again - pointless. I can not state how disinterested the staff are. The lunch was actually pretty good, but the service is awful and the dining room was dirty. We ate in the restaurant twice (lunch and breakfast) and on both occasions there was minimal contact with any staff, and we had the pleasure of sitting looking at our empty plates for what must have been about 15 minutes after we had finished.

The bar area is very comfortable, but completely spoilt for me by the abundance of fruit flies buzzing around, I can not understand how no one has done anything about them. The guy on the bar was pretty knowledgable and made some good drinks. It's bizarre there are no waiting staff coming round with drinks, so there was a constant stream of people coming up to the bar, ordering and then the bartender having to leave the bar to deliver drinks.

We did not use the spa, but the gym was pretty reasonable for a hotel, and the pool was lovely. The location is great, probably 5-10 minutes to town.

The hotel is a real disappointment, mainly down to the staff, we did not see a manager once in the time we were there, which possibly tells you something. It feels like the place needs a new set of strong management, to grab the place and shake it back to what you expect as you drive up to it. We won't be going back there.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jimok78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (251)
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English first
Twickenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
348 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2014

We stayed for two nights, arriving late on Friday after driving down from London. Check-in was simple once we'd worked out you need to wait by an oversized walnut which doubles as a reception desk.

The room, though by no means cheap, was very small and the way it had been furnished didn't help with this. However, the decor was stylish and the lighting excellent. We had to leave early for a flight and had a 5.30am wake-up call booked. All went to plan.

Returning to the hotel that evening, we had some wonderful cocktails (would definitely recommend Rosebud) and an excellent salmon and beetroot salad. Unfortunately, someone operating the Entrance Walnut had decided it would make sense for us to be woken at 5.30am two mornings in a row, which had a bit of a negative impact on our planned Sunday morning lie-in. A bit more common sense needed here. When we raised this on check-out, it was dealt with somwhat dismissively which we found disappointing.

Breakfast was excellent - praise where praise is due, lovely toast, a wonderful North African speciality and eggs benedict cooked perfectly. The dining room could have been cleaner, however.

The hotel is a fantastic conversion of an old eye hospital, with huge attention to detail.

Like a British twist on the W Hotels, this is definitely somewhere we would return to, although we are first planning a visit to the sister hotel in Cheltenham.

Room Tip: Check room size, some appear to be very small. Room 111 is an example of this, and is also just by t...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stenvoid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 August 2014

We arrived Friday evening and was given the key to a top price room. Noone really explained much about the hotel and we were not shown to the room.There was no parking so we had to find a space in a local car park.I beleive we paid £ 265.00 for a double room for the evening. The room was finished very poorly, the bath plug hole was broken and the room was still dirty. It is true we were handed a i pad on arrival but i would rather of had a clean room finished to a good standard. It took ages to run a bath, which i did and we went straight to bed. Breakfast the next morning was ok, the staff were very scruffy and did not seem interested in the guests, one member of the waiting staff stank of bo.
We went to sit down following breakfast and read a paper and purchase a coffee and a bottle of water. When we returned to our room to pack and go downstairs to meet friends the phone started to ring. By the time i had got to it it had stopped and then there was a knock at the door. I opened it to find a member of staff who said it had now gone past 11am (11.10) and we have to pay a further £ 15 as check out time had passed and we would now check out a 12. We agreed but were very shocked.
Noone mentioned this when we ordered our coffee after breakfast. It would of been much more aceptable if they had said would you like to check out first and then join us for a coffee.
We went down stairs to check out and explained that we intended to meet a friend at the hotel to have lunch before leaving so could we leave the account open and was told no.
We were made to pay the bill then pay for the lunch seperate. We were charged the £ 15 without any real explanation.
Overall it was not a pleasant experience, we were made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcomed and it certainly was not value for the money.
Mr & Mrs Ball

Room Tip: Dont use this hotel
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank KayBall2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
71 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2014

As always I must advise that I work within the hospitality industry and so my reviews are based on my own personal experience and are my own opinion.

So what can I say about this gorgeous little design hotel.

Chic and quirky from the moment we arrived you definitely feel special as you are handed your very own iPad (ours did not work and was not checked when given to us to ensure it was working). Not a problem as we were not in town for long.

Our receptionist was exceptional, suggesting somewhere on the peer to get a late lunch. Fantastic pizza joint which was amazing actually.

Our room was very comfy, with a large old fashioned bath (fits two quite easily for a romantic moment). The bed was soft (a little too soft for personal comfort) cosy and snug.

We had drinks in the bar. I ordered an espresso martini which tasted very watery but other than that the cocktails were pretty damn amazing.

Breakfast the next day was okay. The team seemed to be very rushed and looked short of staff but they coped admirably.

All in all our stay was superb value for money and I would definitely recommend the hotel to friends, family and complete strangers!

If we are heading back to Exeter I know where I am staying again!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GlobalOrbitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2014

From the wood burner in the indoor part of the swimming pool to the sneakers worn by the staff this place is wonderfully unique. Expect the unexpected. There is history but modernity, there is city life but an oasis of calm. We loved it as you can tell.

Room Tip: The more expensive rooms looked out onto a road so probably not worth the extra
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wrighty2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Javea, Spain
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

Magdalen chapter is the old eye infirmary. The city centre location is a great bonus if you want a night out in exeter. The is very little car parking. We came for afternoon tea. The good was poor some cakes burnt. Had to go and fetch sugar from the bar. No one came to check our food/drink was satisfactory or if we needed anything else. The place where they serve tea is very informal. Swimsuits, shorts, sleeveless t shorts all appropriate attire in this area. Poor service, poor quality food, I did complain about burnt food when paying I didn't even get an apology. Won't be returning

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank lesleybdf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 August 2014

We booked a standard double room and it was tiny !! My husband and I were having to negotiate around each other to get about in the room. The bathroom was equally tiny and quite dangerous getting in and out of the bath/shower as the side of the bath was so high. Bathroom products were Ren which is very nice.

We had a lovely cream tea out on the terrace in the sunshine and we had a lovely meal on the Saturday night. We were disappointed however to receive a letter under the room door saying that as the hotel was fully booked they would struggle to accommodate breakfast for all guests and to avoid disappointment get there early at 7.30am !! Why would I want to do that when I am on holiday. Thankfully we had only paid for room only.

When we checked out we mentioned that the room was too small, the bath was dangerous and the 'breakfast' letter and quite frankly the member of staff we spoke to didn't seem to care. He said that all the standard rooms are that size and that 'breakfast' wasn't his department it was the catering/beverage departments - not great customer service. Maybe they should have spent the money they used on an Ipad for each room (which we didn't use) to make the bedrooms bigger.

Room Tip: Don't book a standard double - they are too small!
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laurenjanderson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel du Vin Exeter

Property: Hotel du Vin Exeter
Address: Magdalen Street, Exeter EX2 4HY, England (Formerly The Magdalen Chapter)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Exeter
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel du Vin Exeter 4*
Number of rooms: 59
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Magdalen Chapter combines old and new to create a stunning contemporary hotel. Service and quality are to the highest standard where integrated interiors and technology make your stay it’s most enjoyable. Situated close to the sophistication of Exeter’s centre, it's an ideal place to stay for a city break or to further explore Devon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Du Vin Exeter Devon

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