The location of this hotel is great--walking distance to the Cathedral and High Street (you can see the Cathedral from the hotel, if your rooms face the right way). There is good (paid for) parking provision and the lobby definitely makes an impression.
In fact, we were given a long time to get that impression: we were queued to check-in for a good half hour as the one receptionist dealt with a couple who had a series of problems with their reservation (it being non-existent, forgetting their PINs when they tried to make a new booking, their credit cards being repeatedly declined, etc).
The queue extended to the hotel entrance and there were people ahead of us who had waited even longer, but throughout this time, nobody else (e.g. one of the several people in the back room) came out to help either the problem customers or the rest of us. However another lady who had the same uniform as the one receptionist at the desk was sat at the side having a good long chat with someone before she disappeared. When we eventually got to check-in, the receptionist was pleasant enough (although she did not apologise for the wait). Only after the queue had cleared did a second receptionist finally show up to the desk.
Our room was not as grand as reception. It was fine, but did not appear to have been updated since the hotel was first built. The base of the bed was some sort of carpet-covered wooden construction on top of which a mattress was placed, but the wood creaked with every movement, whilst the mattress seemed a bit old, as there were high points and low points (although this might easily have been the fault of the wood base). The windows were single-glazed and so there was some noise from outside (although it is a quiet area, so it was not bad, but because of the noise, it sounded like they'd been left open.) We weren't disturbed by noise from neighbours, although we were surprised when the maid knocked and then burst in before we were able to respond, at 9 AM.
The bathroom was the most dated, with everything from the tiles to the fittings appearing a bit worn and tired. Even at full heat, it took until the end of the shower for the water to get from warm to hot. However the water from the sink scalded you instantly if you were unwise enough to turn on the hot tap without also turning on the cold. The paint was peeling off the back of the bathroom door, apparently from years of moisture without benefit of maintenance.
All that said, the hotel was fine for our purposes and we might stay again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 4 Star City Centre Hotel Which Is A Great Base For Exploring The Devon Coast & Dartmoor. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Accor Southgate Exeter
- Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel Devon