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“Great stay, highly recommend!”

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Southernhay House Hotel
Ranked #21 of 31 Hotels in Exeter
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 10, 2014

Lovely property, decor was lovely, very nice, small hotel. We stayed in the silk room which was really nice and ate in the restaurant for an evening meal which was lovely and the breakfast was equally as nice.
The staff were all very welcoming and smiley and the location is vey central and easy to walk to any of the town centre.
Really enjoyed our stay and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: August 2014
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Thank Levibear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2015

Hi and thank you for your lovely review. I'm a bit in love with our Silk Room and would recommend for anyone wanting a straightforward, quiet and elegant stay. It's great to hear you eat with us too; next time, check our bar menu and our soon to be relaxed and funky library room. I hope you'll treat us as your retreat any time you come up from Plymouth.

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147 - 153 of 276 reviews

Reviewed August 9, 2014

It is located in a listed building, 5 min walking from the Cathedral, on a nice road with green islands in the centre reservation. The building itself is remarkable and the staff is very helpful.
I feel for them because the rating I will give does not reflect their professionalism.
The Wilberforce room we stayed in was a stuff of nightmares, beyond redemption.
It is so small we could not find a place to put the bed spread on.
No wardrobe - only three pegs on a wall. We stayed only one night - I do not know how the architect/management imagined people would cope without a wardrobe.
The room was double but the bad was smaller than 2 single beds put together.
The worst of all were the bathroom facilities.
The toilet and shower are actually in the room, separated by screens and partially by glass panels/doors. They are not completely boxed - at the top there are gaps (left probably because the boxes do not have their own ventilation), so all the noises (and smells) are shared with the other occupant of the room. I know my wife for more than 30 years now, but this is not something I would like to share, especially in a hotel room I paid for.
The shower cubicle is so small that, it is inevitable that some water will trickle into the room, where the washing basin is situated as well, so, if one of the occupants wakes up early, the other one has to have a very deep sleep not to notice the light and the noise.
I forgot - there is an additional peg next to the shower door - if you put a towel on it, it will be hit by the opening door.
I blame myself for not reading properly other persons' comments and I will never come back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Marininlon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2015

Hi there and thank you for your review. Wow! Not a lot was OK and I offer my unreserved apologies and sympathy for your plight. Now, I know that many comments have been made about our smaller double rooms and their bathroom facilities. Can I let future guests know: the small rooms in this Grade II* listed building have en suite shower and loos which are built into one end wall of each room. They are back to back, and have doors facing a blank wall about a metre away. We agreed the design with the planners, who did not want to see a Lego "brick" in the corner of the room. Nor did we. They do not allow for your partner to walk past or observe for any reason whatsoever.

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Reviewed August 5, 2014

My partner treated me to a wonderful weekend at Southernhay House. The rooms have unique names and we had 'Sugar' which is a triple-aspect room with large bathroom and a very comfortable bedroom area. The service is second to none and the staff were charming and as attentive as you need throughout.
All the facilities you would expect (although the absence of a fridge requires a call for a jug of milk, but this is done swiftly with a smile). The breakfasts are good and there is a nice range of options (the addition of a fresh fruit option would be good though).
Some families staying and popular with visitors from outside the UK, but this hotel retains a very personal feel and is great for a romantic break and is superbly located, being a 2-minute walk from cathedral close and the Princesshay shops and restaurants (the hotel's own restaurant is well worth at least one meal).
Parking wasn't an issue for us but you need to be aware that it's limited to about 3-4 cars, but there's a good public car park 5 minutes walk away (there are a lot of 1 hour only restrictions on the street but parking is readily available there overnight from 6pm to 9am).
I happily recommend this hotel - go in, treat yourself!

Stayed: August 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Graham P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2015

Hi Graham, thank you for your lovely review. It was our pleasure to see you and your partner enjoy the weekend and Sugar is a definitive "wow" room. It's the only nod we make to the Art Deco paradise of our (grown up) sister hotel Burgh Island and so we take especial pride in it. The location of the hotel is, as you say, brilliant for exploring Exeter's shops and historic centre and we're always happy to advise. We don't have fridges in the rooms as we're trying to be good on our carbon footprint and also we have a manager on duty 24/7 so can respond to any requests immediately. Hope to see you back soon!

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Reviewed August 2, 2014

Some very strong positives to this hotel. Attentive staff. Excellent drinks in the bar. Great breakfast. Clean, polished rooms. Strong wifi. I liked it a lot.

I won't go over all of the quirks that everyone has already mentioned but will offer a few suggestions that might address a few of those. One: yes, the clothes-hanging situation is difficult with the few "nobs" by the door only for clothes. It would be nice, though, if at least every nob had a hanger or two on it. I had a total of two for all of my clothes, and yes, I could have ordered more, but why not just provide them.

I was on the top floor and it was quite hot at times. I did ask for a fan, but they were not sure they had one that was not already being used. They did find one, for which I was grateful. However, it would be very inexpensive to put a small fan in each room (as many other hotels have) simply put aside in a corner for use if it is needed. Like the hangers, a quick and cheap fix.

Finally, a slightly more expensive suggestion. There is no place to sit and read or answer email except on the bed. I had two "toy" chairs that took up space but were not usable. Why not take out both small chairs, and substitute a small shallow desk for one of the night stands with a chair large enough to sit in to work on the laptop?

I didn't mind the odd toilet and shower placement--but I was travelling alone. I also drink my coffee black in the morning (and appreciate the French press in the room) so didn't have to order milk, which some people find annoying.

It is a lovely small hotel, well-located and quiet. I would stay there again.

  • Stayed: August 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Donald H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 9, 2015

Hi Donald thank you for your nice post and we appreciate your comments. Yes, our fault that we hadn't picked up the lack of hangers in the room. We value your comments but would be open about saying that we're not aiming for a business hotel per se - although relaxed biz travellers like yourself are our cup of tea. Anyone needing a desk is welcome to work in our private dining room (or bar area, which is quite during the day). You'll be interested to know we're converting the present dining room to a more relaxed work space/library during this summer too - I hope this will meet the bill when you return.

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Reviewed July 30, 2014 via mobile

Exquisite decor and easeful ambience - the hotel you'd take with you anywhere else - perfect for business trips or restful weekends. Location central yet peaceful - a variety if flexible environments to cater for a wide range of needs. Attention to detail by all staff beyond compare and all you could wish for from a hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014
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Thank Woodwarbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2014

Thank you for posting a really lovely review. I and all of our staff appreciate your kind words and your understanding of the more subtle aspects of our hotel.

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Reviewed July 15, 2014

Stayed two nights during graduation week and had the celebratory lunch in their private dining room which was perfect for the 12 of us. There is a choice from a set menu during Graduation week and the options were perfect for the age range (22 - 88) but didn't alter, so we had to go elsewhere for supper. Lovely food and we brought our own wine and paid corkage as the wine list is ok, but not inspired. Staff were friendly and helpful at all times and nothing was too much trouble. Car parking was ok although it is limited at the hotel and is on a first come basis, but we managed to get a space each time we needed one. Only niggle was that our room on the second night (Opium) was ridiculously hot (the hot water pipes for the hotel run underneath I think). Book early though as it is very popular.

Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
Thank Kate_Hampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2014

Thank you Kate for your lovely review and we appreciated your family celebration. It's good that you enjoyed our Private Dining menu - we do also run a seasonal Classics menu throughout the year and this would also have been available for you had you fancied eating with us a second night. Opium is more heated by name than nature but please always ask for a fan if you're here in a summer heatwave (wish there were more of them) as the listing of the building - and my inclination - doesn't allow aircon.

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Reviewed July 5, 2014

Completely agree with previous reviewer Tracy re style, service and location. We had a pleasant and efficient welcome, and the staff member even came out to greet us after we'd been for a walk later which was a nice personal touch. The room was spotlessly clean and stylish with some quality furniture. I did like the tea/ coffee facilities and having fresh milk. The bed was fantastically comfortable with great bed clothes and linens. But.. I realise that the bathroom arrangements have already been extensively discussed on here, and appreciate that it is a deliberate design feature. However it seemed rather impractical to have the basin on the other side of room to the loo. The toilet was not actually visible from most of the room but one felt rather exposed behind clear glass doors -even frosted would have been better. There was no shelf by the sink to set down a toothbrush, cleanser or shaver, and the lovely large towels could not be accommodated on the small chic towel rail once unfolded. Elsewhere in the room, a bulky armchair took up more room than was to spare (why not put in a neat window seat with storage underneath). For one night it made an interesting change but I would probably choose somewhere more conventional next time.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jacsho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deborahmaeveclark, Owner at Southernhay House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2014

Thank you for your nice review and I'm sorry that you won't be one of our regular VIPs - was it the loo thing or the huge leather chair that determined it? Genuinely, the loo thing (as I shall henceforth call it, as the eco rain showers don't get much of a look in) is not just a design feature but a solution we have adopted with the Planners in this Grade II* building. Thus no scope also for window seats. However, I'm pleased that the staff made a good impression and you enjoyed your stay overall - why not give us another try and, maybe, try another of our rooms? They're all equally comfortable and all different.

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Additional Information about Southernhay House Hotel

Address: 36 Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1NX, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Exeter
Price Range: $168 - $311 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Southernhay House Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Charming boutique townhouse hotel with 10 individual bedrooms, chic cocktail bar, private dining room for parties and informal Club Room for casual dining and meeting. Al fresco eating and drinking on our terraces and secluded garden. Food is modern, local and highly seasonal with daily changing menus. Southernhay House is located in the centre of Exeter just yards from the Cathedral and within easy reach of the University and Quayside. Staff are long-term, friendly and live locally so are able to recommend seasonal and regional activities during your stay. Languages spoken: English, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Hebrew. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southernhay House Hotel Exeter, Devon

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