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“Great new hotel but avoid the breakfast”

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Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29)
Ranked #4 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Certificate of Excellence
Barnstaple, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great new hotel but avoid the breakfast”
Reviewed 4 June 2014

There's times when all the frills aren't necessary, when all you're looking for is a clean, comfortable and quiet place to sleep. Having stayed at a number of hotels in Exeter, and needing to be there for a meeting early the next day, I decided on this occasion to overlook the city centre hotels I've stayed at before, mainly because they were twice the price of this hotel, would have parking costs of £10-£20 overnight and I didn't need the extras. There are quiet a number of business hotels near to the M5 and on this occasion I used Tripadvisor for reassurance and came across this hotel.

I've stayed at the Premier Inn hotel at Countess Wear before, but found it worn and wasn't overly comfortable with the motel format. The other Premier Inn hotel in Exeter is opposite St David's station which, although a much newer hotel than Countess Wear, would have incurred parking charges. So after my previous experience at Premier Inn in Colchester I decided to give Premier Inn another go... not the usual bells and whistles but they only wanted £51 per night and that was booking the day before. The city centre hotels wanted at least double that.

First impressions were great, ample car parking and the hotel looking immaculate being virtually brand new. The lady at check-in was very welcoming although not sure once she took my details I then had to self check-in which printed out my key card. Access to the rooms is through a key card door, reassuring after the Countess Wear hotel. The reception area also featured a couple of vending machines; ok it's not room service but the hotel is not that big and the prices were reasonable so I did get a couple of snacks.

The corridors were modern and bright, if just a little tight if two people passing.

Then came the room and I was very impressed. The four star chains in Exeter should be very worried. The bed was large and comfortable with good linen, bed runner and choice of pillows (you don't get the latter two anywhere else in Exeter that I've seen). There was a large tv on the wall along with a fitted multimedia hub (the only other Exeter hotel I've seen that is Magdalen Chapter). Plenty of space in the room and although the view was of a car park, it didn't really matter, the room itself was exceptionally clean, in immaculate condition and stylishly decorated.

The bathroom was a fair size with a bath with overhead shower. Soap and shower gel/shampoo came from wall dispensers but little bottles seem to be disappearing from lots of places. I stayed in a premium Upper Deck room with Village Hotels a while ago and this bathroom beat it hands down. For a budget hotel, I was surprised to see Hansgroe taps and shower fittings, something normally only seen in a few premium hotels.

Sleep quality was spot on... the hotel was quiet, there were black out curtains and the temperature was fine (I noted proper room air con/heating rather than an ineffective electric heater I've seen in other Premier Inns). The windows don't open in this hotel which didn't bother me and they tell you at the time of booking. They state it's for environmental purposes but more likely to be so they can ensure a "good night's sleep guaranteed" without people affecting that by letting the noise in or the temperature to fluctate.

In particular, this hotel knocks the socks off two others in Exeter. Firstly the direct city centre competitor Jurys Inn; the rooms are much bigger, much quieter, beds more comfortable and there's a bath rather than a tiny shower cubicle in a tiny bathroom. Also free parking on site, faster check-in/out and less room noise. The second is also the city centre Mercure Southgate; again the rooms were bigger, better furnished, better equipped, better bed, better tv, much better bathroom and all for half the price and no parking charges (plus everything else that is wrong with Accor hotels).

It's not comparable with say Magdalen Chapter or Abode Royal Clarence in the city centre, but I would use these hotels are for very different purposes for their leisure experience or walking into the bars/restaurants/shops etc in the city.

The rating I've given this hotel is based on the price, the standard and the expectation of a budget hotel and is due to every single expectation being far exceeded.

The only thing I was disappointed with was the Premier Breakfast. It's served in the Brewers Fayre next door but I fell it was far short of the equivalent breakfast at the Table Table next to the Colchester hotel. In this one, the staff seemed either overworked or not sure what they were doing even though the restaurant was less than a quarter full, starting with a five minute wait to be seated and then what seemed like an endless wait for the buffet to be replenished. The cold buffet was poor with nothing like to choice at Colchester. There were no plates for toast, no spoons for coffee, orange juice had run out and no muffins. I don't really like hot buffets - in Colchester they took your order and brought it over - here it was the worst aspects of buffet combined; eggs that have whites like rubber and yolks like sawdust, undercooked bacon, poor sausages and a few baked beans swimming in sauce. My advice would be to avoid breakfast here, there are lots of other places nearby (the local supermarkets are cheaper and do better food) so I've not allowed it to influence my score for the hotel.

Room Tip: All rooms seem to be the same
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kpd1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jayne H, Manager at Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29), responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Thank you for your fantastic review of your stay with us at Premier Inn Exeter M5 J29, as always our team here do their very best for our guests. I am pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you again soon. I have passed youcomments to the Restaurant Manager next door.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Had quite a good nights sleep.
It was great the everything was still shiny and new.
We were quite surprised by having check ourselves in and that a machine did everything. I did miss the personal touch.
The noise was minimal and from outside non-existant.
I was very surprised that there were no phones in the room and that if you wanted reception when no one was available, you had to ring an '08' number which would cost you. I wonder what someone would of done if they needed help and did not have a mobile on them.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jksunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jayne H, Manager at Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29), responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Thank you for you kind review. I apologise that you had one of the old cards in your room the new cards have our direct number on them that brings you straight to reception. We hope to see you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey, Uk
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

They offer the good night guarantee, but it wasn't needed. Noise from within the hotel was minimal and from outside non-existant. The room was very clean and modern. The 40" TV was very clear.

This is one of their newer hotels and our room and the corridors were all spotless. The reception staff were very efficient and welcoming at check-in, and provided some additional local knowledge, which was appreciated.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Phil G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jayne H, Manager at Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29), responded to this review, 21 July 2014
We really appreciate you taking the time to leave feedback for us, I’m glad you found our new Tv's easy to watch that you slept well and we hope to see you again soon for another great stay with us at Premier Inn Exeter M5 J29.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Stayed here for 2 nights and it was great - lovely spacious rooms, brand new, spotlessly clean, nice showers/bath, big new telly, big comfy beds, excellent service. Handy for the motorway and Exeter and also quick to get to the beach (I reckon it took us about 20 mins in the car). We all slept well which is pretty good going considering we had a baby and a toddler in the room!
I accidentally left a few clothes behind, but when I emailed to see if they'd turned up (assuming they were lost forever) I got a quick reply and they were sent right back to me special delivery! Very impressed with this and delighted to have my clothes back. Excellent service, thanks premier inn :-)

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mrsmi1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jayne H, Manager at Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29), responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Thank you for your kind review about your stay here at Premier Inn Exeter M5 J29, our team always strive to give outstanding service and I'm pleased to hear that your things got back to you safely and that you enjoyed your stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonn, Germany
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

A comfortable hotel although isolated from the city. I booked a standard room and it was spacious, comfortable and very clean - really enjoyed my nights. The hotel doesn't have telephones in the rooms though, a slight inconvenience in case you needed to check something with the hotel reception! The staff was very friendly, including in the attached restaurant.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Motsomi275
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

We stayed here for one night in May, on our way to Newsday. Nice clean room, friendly staff, though a bit harassed as they were short staffed. Nice restaurant next door. There is also a 24 hour subway close by if you don't want a proper dinner. We would definitely stay there again.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Louisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jayne H, Manager at Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29), responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Thank you for your kind review. We look forward to welcomimg you back in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2014

Have just returned from a 2 night stay here with my daughter,
Found the hotel staff were great providing excellent customer service.
The room was spotless.
Good value for money.
Breakfast was lovely too.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephjc73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jayne H, Manager at Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29), responded to this review, 21 July 2014
Thank you for your fantastic review of your stay with us at Premier Inn Exeter M5 J29, as always our team here do their very best for our guests. I am pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29)

Property: Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29)
Address: Fitzroy Road, Exeter EX1 3LJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Exeter
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29) 3*
Number of rooms: 143
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Convenient location, just off of Junction 29 of the M5. Parking is available for a discounted rate of £2.50 per 24 hours for Premier Inn guests. Ten minutes drive from Exeter International Airport and 20 minutes from Exeter St Davids train station and city centre. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Premier Inn Exeter (M5 J29) Devon

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