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“Nothing special”
Review of ABode Canterbury

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ABode Canterbury
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Canterbury
London
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Nothing special”
Reviewed 26 June 2009

We stayed here last night as we had a concert to attend at nearby Kings School. The hotel is conveniently located for the school and for all the historic areas of Canterbury and is adequate for a short stay.

We had an 'Enviable' category room which is one of the best rooms. It was comfortable enough and made an attempt at looking stylish but the overall effect looked a bit cheap. It had terrible looking double glazing and a view over a roof into another room.

The main feature of the room was a large bathroom area with the sink and a freestanding bath on a raised area off the bedroom with a toilet and shower room in a separate room. A flaw in design meant that the toilet light could not be turned on without turning on the lights in the rest of the bathroom so I was woken up in the night when my husband had to turn on all the lights just to use the toilet.

My main issue with this hotel was the service and the lack of interest from the staff. The hotel advertises itself as having a car park which is a bonus given there is limited car parking in Canterbury. Despite indicating in my booking that I would require a car parking space, when I telephoned from the car a few minutes before arrival to check where the car park was I was told it was full and directed to a public car park some distance away. No apology was offered. Valet parking was not available nor was there anywhere to drop of the bags before parking the car.

The front desk staff were not particularly welcoming (it was too much trouble for them even to smile) and did not create a good first impression. When I handed over my credit card at check-in, I was asked to enter my PIN number into the machine without any indication as to the amount I was being asked to authorise. I was assured that I was pre-authorising £235 (the room rate of £185 plus £50 for 'extras') but there was nothing that showed this. When I checked out and paid my bill in full I asked for the pre-authorisation slip back as the hotel had no further need for this. This was only handed over after a lengthy debate.

I had to give up waiting for the directions that I asked for as the person dealing with my request turned away to help several other guests in the middle of serving me.

Breakfast was fine for £6 per head for a full English but was nothing special.

In summary, this hotel is absolutely fine for visting the historic city of Canterbury (where there is limited good quality accomodation) but don't expect too much. In my opinion it is a good 3* rather than a 4* hotel. At £185 per night (so nearly London prices) they should work on the service / front of house aspects.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JoLo40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CanterburyAB, General Manager at ABode Canterbury, responded to this review, 25 July 2009
Thank you for your recent review. With regards the car park, as we only have11 car parking spaces we are unable to reserve any spaces for our guests in advance, we do inform our guests this when booking but are unable to advise guests should they book via an agent or 3rd party website. When the car park is full our concierge does offer to take guests luggage prior to the guests parking at rosemary lane car park.

I am disappointed with your comments relating to reception and can assure you this is not indicative of the very high standards of hospitality we consistently deliver at the front desk. We do preauthorise all credit cards prior to check in and explain to the guest the charge as the card is being authorised. I apologise that the slip was not returned quickly when requested. If I can be of any further assistance please contact me at the hotel. Regards Declan
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Ripley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
277 reviews
114 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2009

We booked a 'desirable' room, which are supposed to be larger than the basic double room. On arrival at our room, it was apparent that it was not a larger room. In fact, the plan of the floor on the back of the door showed that the room was one of the two or three smallest rooms on the floor. The carpet, was also dreadfully stained. I went to reception and complained. They assured me the room was a 'desirable' room but could not tell me why it was so small. Eventually, I was shown another room, which was roughly double the size of the first room. That was much better and what I believe I should have been given in the first place.
Not a lot else to say about this hotel, really, apart from the fact that it is very well located in the High Street. We didn't dine in the restaurant but had breakfast there the next morning. Although we were the last in (09:55am) we were made to feel welcome and the breakfast that we were served was exceptionally good and not a buffet, either. It was fantastic.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kenc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CanterburyAB, General Manager at ABode Canterbury, responded to this review, 27 June 2009
Thank you for your recent review. I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay. We are planning to change the carpets over the next few months as there are some rooms that have stains that cannot be removed. However I can assure you the carpets are clean. Thank you for your kind comments relating to breakfast. Regards Declan
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Paris, France
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2009

I stayed in the Canterbury Abode County Hotel for a few nights in a twin room. This hotel is centrally situated and relatively quiet. The hotel has a small car park a good bit away (behind the hotel on Stour Street).
The staff at reception were exceptionally friendly and helpful at all times. What a pity they don’t wear name tags - then we could really thank them individually.
The room was very nice, modern, bright and spacious. The electronic (key) card for opening the door of the room worked very well and never gave any trouble. The access to Internet is very good.
A big advantage is the individual air conditioning. The weather was hot and there would seem to be under floor heating so it was nice to be able to cool off. Some of the cleaners obviously did not understand that I wanted the curtains left closed in order to keep out the heat.
The modern bathroom is small but adequate (a few small corner shelves would come in handy) but the toiletries provided were very good (suggestion for improvement - add hair conditioner instead of some of the creams - that would be real luxury). I agree with the trip advisor who says that the bathroom extractor is exceptionally noisy.
Another trip advisor mentioned the lack of double glazing. In fact there is one modern window inside the old window which unfortunately stayed partially open all the time (impossible to get it to close properly - see photo).
The room I was staying in seems to have been designed with one night stays in mind. There was a desk (see photo) and a smallish wardrobe for 2 people also. There is a kettle and the necessities for making tea, coffee etc but it takes up a shelf in the wardrobe. It would be much nicer and safer to have it separately on a purpose built shelf. The room generally is bare and could really be improved with the addition of open shelves for storing all ones bits and pieces including toiletries... The bedside lockers have one small drawer each. The storage therefore is very inadequate for a four star hotel.
What let’s this hotel down is it’s restaurant food.
First of all breakfast. It is very basic for a four star hotel. There are some fruit salads and some yoghourt and also a good choice of cereals but no fresh fruit (banana, kiwi...). There is a fair choice of cooked dishes also. The English breakfast included bacon, sausage, egg, tomato and mushroom. But they ran out of mushrooms at 8 am one morning. The tea and coffee are good. However the quality and variety of bread is not great. The toast is a bit like cardboard - tasteless. To improve the breakfast, please add a variety of breads (brown , granary, white...) and fresh fruit.
But the weakest part of the hotel is without a doubt the restaurant dinner at night. The set menu is posted in the lift (same menu every night apparently). There is no sign of the à la carte menu at the entrance to the restaurant or at the reception.
They go in for what may seem like very fancy food except that it does not reach the standard of high class restaurants. They give you extras in between courses, but I would far prefer to get a decent portion of the course I have ordered. The main course portions (in the menu) are tiny. If you are staying in a hotel for a few nights, it is also important to be able to eat plain healthy food and this is not obvious from either of the menus. After one dinner, I had no desire to renew the experience so instead like many other residents, I went out to one of the many restaurants in the centre of Canterbury. I had a look at the bar behind the hotel but the menu did not attract me to eat there. However I particularly liked the Weaver’s Restaurant.
If you can manage to bet back to the hotel at lunchtime or before 6 pm you can order soup and sandwiches and other snacks with your drinks (12.00 to 18.00). I enjoyed the mushroom soup and sandwiches very much indeed. The bar staff are very friendly and efficient. In order to improve the service and enable residents to dine in the hotel, why not provide the option of soup and sandwiches until at least 7 pm.
Throughout the hotel there is a policy of adding 12% to the bill (it is theoretically discretionary) but in fact it is a little difficult not to pay it so allow for it in your budget.
I enjoyed my stay mostly of because of the location and the wonderful staff. I would stay again but might pop out for breakfast and dinner.
The manager(s) could learn a thing or two from the Barcelo, Riu and Iberostar hotels we have stayed in.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lili75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CanterburyAB, General Manager at ABode Canterbury, responded to this review, 13 June 2009
Thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive review. I am delighted to read you comments regarding the staff and that you enjoyed your stay.

Regarding your comments relating to breakfast we do offer fresh orange segments, grapefruit segments, pineapple segments, melon and a fruit salad, there is also a fruit bowl available. I am sorry their were no mushrooms available for you at breakfast.

Our tavern menu does offer a wide range of healthy food such as grilled chicken salad, poached salmon salad, a sharing platter, seafood pasta as well as our daily changing specials or you can choose from the grill menu which is also available in the tavern.

The resident menu I believe is wonderful value for money. We offer canapé, appetiser, freshly baked home made bread starter and main course all for £20. Our residents also receive a complimentary glass of wine when they dine. I am disappointed that you found our food and beverage offering to be the weakest part of your experience. I do believe we cater for a wide range of tastes offering excellent value and focusing on local seasonal produce.

I look forward to welcoming you back to ABode in the near future. Best regards Declan
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Solihull
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 June 2009

We had the "Leap Into Spring" offer based on the Desirable room type, which turned out to be quite small with a view of a corrugated iron roof. This not great but for 20 GBP extra, we got an excellent and huge room (201) overlooking the main street. The Michael Caines restaurant meal included was superb.

The hotel location is very central but not unduly noisy. The car park was reasonable at 5 pounds per day.

Overall, with the upgraded room, it was a good pick.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank carrickSolihull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CanterburyAB, General Manager at ABode Canterbury, responded to this review, 13 June 2009
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay. I look forward to welcoming you back soon. Best regards Declan
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Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2009

We stayed at the Abode in Canterbury for two nights over a bank holiday weekend in early May. We had seen mixed reviews about the hotel but my brother who had been there for a wedding reception advised us to try it so we gave it a go. We were able to get a good deal on the stay by shopping around and we ended up with a deal that included a complimentary cooked breakfast. Things got off to a bad start when we tried to navigate to the hotel. Whilst the location of the hotel, slap bang in the center of Canterbury, is fantatstic, trying to drive there is a nightmare. Even with the help of Sat Nav this finding the hotel was no mean feat. On arriving at the hotel car park (eventually and with a few curses along the way) we found it full. A quick dash to the recption was required to get directions to a public car park. I guess this isn't the hotel's fault but they should do as much as they can to provide adequate information to guests about this "issue" to avoid guests having a pretty uncomfrtable experience navigating around the old, narrow, pedestrianised one way streets of Canterbury.

Check in was efficient and unproblematic. The room was small but big enough for what we required. I can see what other reviewers mean about the stained carpets. Cream probably seems like a poor choice for a hotel carpet. The room was clean and well furnished. TV reception was a bit hit and miss and the bathroom was a bit pokey. The air extractor in the bathroom was also exceptionally noisy.

We ate a late meal in the Tavern and this was very enjoyable. The staff were chatty and courteous and we would recommend a meal here. The cooked breakfast the following morning was nothing out of the ordinary. I wouldn't have fancied paying full whack for it but was happy to eat it as part of our hotel package. Had we been paying we would probably headed out for breakfast. On the second morning I had the corned beef hash which was disgusting. It was barely cooked and horribly stodgy.

The champagne bar was very good. A great selection of drinks and attentive service. The drinks are on the expensive side but when were champagne bars ever catering for the cheap end of the market?

Our room was at the back of the hotel and on the Friday night the noise from a nearby pub / club meant that it was very difficult to sleep. The single glazed windows don't help much here, neither did the fact that it wouldn't close proerly due to a broken catch.

The last comment about the room is that although it had "climate control" it was pretty uselesss. We had the air conditioning on the lowest setting and the room was still uncomfortably warm.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay here but would not recommend paying full price. Get yourself a deal and this hotel becomes better value.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mikey_sara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CanterburyAB, General Manager at ABode Canterbury, responded to this review, 9 June 2009
Thank you for your recent review. I am pleased you enjoyed your stay at the ABode. With regards the issues you had finding the hotel: I have amended our postcode under our map & direction information to give the postcode of the car park to assist guests with sat nav. As a standard we issue directional maps and address details to all guests that book direct with the hotel or via our website. I cannot comment on the information you may receive from 3rd party websites.

I am delighted that you enjoyed the Tavern and Champagne bar. I can confirm the comfort cooling in the room has been repaired. I am disappointed to read your comments relating to the corned beef hash which I have discussed with my executive chef.

Remember to look at our website for the best deals available!

I look forward to welcoming you back soon. Best regards Declan.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2009

Perfectly located in the heart of Canterbury - this is a light, stylish hotel.

We arrived at about 8pm - check -in was quick and the room did not disapoint - very clean, huge comfortable bed, sofa, lovely bathroom. Car parking is limited (as you would expect in a large historic city centre) however there is public parking just a few minutes walk away so don't be put off!

The room itself had a whole array of nice 'extra' touches - great filter coffee (no fiddly nescafe sachets!) dvd player, good selection of magazines...fresh flowers in the bathroom and truly comfortable bedding...

The only drawback was the breakfast. It was a Sunday bank holiday so I imagine it must have been busy - however we arrived 45 mins before the end and there was hardly anything on the buffet left....2 tiny pieces of cheese, a solitary bread roll and some pretty unappetising looking cereal...if you could locate a bowl to put it in. I've worked in catering myself so understand things can get pretty busy - however the staff were mostly hanging around looking glum and and didn't seem to appreciate that 1/2 a can of tinned pineapple and a slab of brie does not a continental buffet make. ...I'm afraid it just really took the edge of an otherwise good stay.

Otherwise this is a lovely hotel - would stay again but might pop out for breakfast!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lou1533
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CanterburyAB, General Manager at ABode Canterbury, responded to this review, 2 June 2009
I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay and thank you for your comments. I am greatly concerned to read your comments with breakfast I can assure you that this is not indicative of the high standards of food and service we deliver at the hotel. I will discuss your comments with the team. If I can be of any further assistance please contact me directly. Regards Declan
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harwich
Level Contributor
59 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2009

It's an old County Coaching Hotel with a facelift, nothing wrong with that but it has a sense of self importance about it not really backed up with quality service. The Car Park issue is an annoyance but is balanced by the Hotel's excellent location. Room was small but OK, however the bathroom (and bath) were tiny, it was problematic turning round in it. The room was warm yet it was impossible to open the window as the catch was broken and the windows had been nailed shut !. Service in the Champagne Bar was slow however The Tavern food was very nice.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank peterharwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CanterburyAB, General Manager at ABode Canterbury, responded to this review, 19 May 2009
Thank you for taking the time to post your comment I am disappointed to read the comments relating to slow service which I will share with my champagne bar manager. With regards the bedroom temperature all our rooms are fitted with comfort cooling to allow the guest to set their desired temperature. I am delighted you enjoyed your meal in the Old Brewery Tavern. Regards Declan
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Additional Information about ABode Canterbury

Property: ABode Canterbury
Address: 30-33 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Canterbury
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:
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Canterbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — ABode Canterbury 4*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ABode Canterbury is a stylish boutique hotel that has been beautifully designed and refurbished, maintaining the old wooden beams and traditional fabric of an ancient and historic building while adding contemporary design features and modern comforts, with understated British style. With its central location, within the ancient city walls and only minutes away from Canterbury Cathedral (a World Heritage Site), Abode Canterbury is the perfect place to visit the city and enjoy the shops, historic sites and traditional architecture.There are 72 bedrooms, rated Comfortable, Desirable, Most Desirable, Enviable, Most Enviable and Fabulous. Bedrooms have been designed with a sense of luxury and relaxation so the guest can enjoy an ideal night's sleep, and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Bedrooms at all levels are well-equipped: trademark ABode features include Vi-Spring beds; luxury toiletries; personal DVD players and state-of-the-art LCD televisions. Some rooms have imaginative wet rooms and baths integrated into living areas; the Fabulous suite has a rooftop terrace with stunning views over the roofs of Canterbury across to the Cathedral.Michael Caines MBE and his talented team of chefs offer an incredible range of dining and drinking experiences, from superior room service or a drink in the stylish Champagne Bar to a pint and a pie or char-grilled fish or steak in the traditional Old Brewery Tavern. The Michael Caines Restaurant offers the ultimate dining experience, with delicious modern European cuisine accompanied by an exceptional wine list, served with professional yet not too formal style. ABode Canterbury is the ideal place for weddings, private parties, private dining and meetings, and any and all special occasions, whether for business or pleasure.We even have the facilities to make you feel absolutely fabulous. Why not join us for a workout in our well-equipped and comfortable residents' gym.ABode Canterbury, in the very heart of an ancient and historic city, is your home from home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Abode Canterbury Hotel Canterbury
Canterbury Abode Hotel

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