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“Nice location, quirky, good service, small rooms”
Review of ABode Exeter

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ABode Exeter
Ranked #12 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Nynashamn, Sweden
Level 5 Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Nice location, quirky, good service, small rooms”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Formerly known as the Royal Clarence Hotel (and still displaying this name), it's known as the oldest building officially referred to as a hotel in the country, dating back to the 1700's. When we mentioned we were staying here to people, they all said it was a bit posh. True, in the past I think it was classed a top hotel, and there have been some royal guests going back a few centuries. Now though, anyone can stay.

We spent a couple of nights in what was described as a standard rooms. We had booked 2 rooms, and requested cathedral views. Both rooms had perfect views, our wishes had been granted. The room on the 2nd floor was very small with no bath, the room directly above on the 3rd was a little bigger with a bath. You get double bed, small TV, an iron, ironing board, generous tea and coffee supplies, biscuits. It's probably the smallest rooms we've stayed in. The bigger room had a bath and a DVD player (which was broken) but apart from that was much the same. The whole hotel is a little quirky, with uneven floors, creaking stairs and an ancient lift. The maid did a good job of the cleaning, and the reception staff polite and welcoming. There were some breakfast trays left lying outside rooms all day, but apart from that the hotel seemed to be tidy, if a little worn around the edges.

WIFI is free, it even works while sitting on the green directly outside the hotel.

We didn't go for breakfast, although it was offered at checking. It's a little pricey (£11.50 I think), and there are plenty of other choices within seconds (for half the price) from the hotel door - Tea on the Green just being one of them. We didn't use the Michael Caines restaurant either, so can't comment on the food.

The main shopping areas are just a few minutes on foot, the quay about 10 minutes away, and it's a 15 minute taxi ride from Exeter airport, which takes you to the door. There's loads of restaurants and pubs nearby, the hotel has it's own either side too. All in all, if you need to be right in the centre, and can live with the small rooms it's not a bad choice. I'd suggest requesting a cathedral view beforehand, as this is certainly worth it.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank seany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Derbyshire
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

This hotel is in an excellent location overlooking the Cathedral. Unfortunately our room did not have a cathedral view and was of a smaller than average size with a dangerously small bathroom.
We stayed for 2 nights with other family members.
The biggest disappointment was not having any parking facilities or valet parking, which made dropping off luggage difficult in a busy pedestrianised area.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank 2goodDerbyshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013 via mobile

This was our second stay at Abode-our first one was a few years ago when my husband was on parade in Exeter, and it was called the Clarence Hotel. We had such a lovely stay that we booked again. It was lovely. The staff (especially the Australian receptionist) couldn't have been more welcoming and helpful. The room was well equipped, and extremely quiet and comfortable. This hotel has a real charm and elegance. It is spotlessly clean and tidy. Admittedly the parking situation was awkward, but we overcame it. We parked outside the hotel to unload our belongings, and simply moved the car to an NCP car park that was recommended. The rooms are a little quirky, and some of the fixtures and fittings are a bit "wonky" but I think that enhances it's uniqueness. We had a very enjoyable stay and we have done and will continue to recommend it to friends. Next time we stay there, we will book a table in "Caines" restaurant, as it looked beautiful.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Emma H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Abode Exeter for a couple of nights, we found it extremely cosy and comfi. The young staff extremely kind and professional, the night concierge so gentle and polite! We didn't pay too much for such a central position but of course we got a pretty small room, no breakfast and no view. But it was OK, we wanted to be central and found a good deal on the Internet, if we wanted the special view and bigger room I am sure it would be worth the money for them! I absolutely recommend this lovely hotel!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank CerbyLv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is marketed as one of the best in Exeter and it does probably have the best location but that's about it.
My room was small and badly needed redecorating and the bathroom was tiny. The shelf above the tiny basin nearly capped it to the extent I had to twist around to clean my teeth properly. Also, once you took one of the four towels off the one towel ring there was nowhere else to put them.
A positive is the outside terrace by the cathedral which was lovely on the sunny days that I stayed. However their licence means you can't have an alcoholic drink outside unless you are eating. I saw at least ten groups get comfortable before they were told this. A small sign on the table or in the menu would help.
The bar is ok and mixes a good cocktail but again could do with a refurb.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank TopherTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ludlow, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013

Once you have overcome the satnav contradictions this is one of,if not the most difficult hotels to use with a car. Not a lot they can do given their location but a single track route around the cathedral grounds is complicated by numerous pedestrians and delivery vans.Parking is an experience a good 5 minutes away via the one way system to a soulless NCP car park. In the morning when you return,Once you have avoided the numerous rough sleepers who hang around the area be prepared to be blocked in by various service vehicles accessing the hotel and adjacent shops.No help available with bags which for a £170 room(not the cheapest) is poor. Room Ok,food quality above the average but service in MC Bar on a quiet night poor.All in all over hyped and did not meet expectations.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank p35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trowbridge, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

This is billed as a 4 star hotel but no way does it fulfil that rating. Its location on the Cathedral Close is stunning but the hotel itself falls short of excellent, being now rather shabby and old-fashioned. The standard rooms are very small indeed. The one to which we were first assigned smelled nasty and the noise of the air con outside would have spoiled any stay. We settled for a slightly larger one but still found it ultra-cosy. Clean, yes, but nonetheless shabby. Breakfast is good value at £10; this buys you either continental or cooked. Don't expect a bowl of fruit or cereal before the bacon and eggs. Probably wouldn't stay here again despite the downtown location.

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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank prisbishop67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ABode Exeter

Property: ABode Exeter
Address: Cathedral Yard, Exeter EX1 1HD, England (Formerly Royal Clarence Hotel)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Exeter
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — ABode Exeter 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Looking to the future of The Royal Clarence, we have every intention to rebuild the hotel with enormous sympathy. The 18th-century hotel, said to be one of the oldest in England, was gutted when a blaze spread from an adjacent building on Friday morning. The fire wrecked the inside of the landmark building and left the frontage on the brink of collapse. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Abode Exeter Hotel Exeter
Exeter Abode Hotel
Abode Hotel Exeter
ABode Exeter Devon

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