Alex’s Grandma hasn’t been very well recently, so last week we took a quick trip down to Devon to pay her a visit. Luckily, she has made it to the ripe old age of ninety four and there seems to be no stopping her just yet!
We’ve spent a lot of time in both Devon and Cornwall in the past and generally try to milk more than a few days there if possible. However this time we paid just a fleeting visit, due to our work commitments and the not so great Spring weather that we have been experiencing.
We tend to book a cheap as chips travelodge for our first night away as we usually drive down relatively late at night, to avoid the traffic. We then spend a little bit more on a nicer hotel the night after. On Thursday, we chose to stay at the Abode in Exeter. We’d stayed here before and had a lovely time, but this time around was a different story…
We booked a £99 special, which to me seemed like a great deal. It included a one night stay for two, dinner from the abode cafe set menu and breakfast the following morning. Check-in was seamless, the service was excellent at the front desk and our room was a perfect size… All OK so far! I had a bit of work to do so sat down to concentrate, whilst a busker played extraordinarily loudly from the cathedral square. Ah, that’s what the triple glazing was for! As I was working it seemed to get hotter and hotter in the room. The air con didn’t seem to be working, but like a fool, I thought we could live with it. It is only spring after all.
After about half and hour, Alex suggest we ask to move rooms – Heat and the busker were driving me stir crazy, but I said it would all be OK and that we should just stick with it. This was totally the wrong move… Even though the busker finally took off, we still had to tolerate a whole lot more noise throughout the night.
The menu that we were able to select from for dinner was pretty limited, but didn’t taste too bad, if you removed the honey roasted cashews from the Thai chicken curry that is. The mojitos we ordered were far too sour, so we sent them back. The waitress told us that she made them suited to her taste. Hmmm. When our drinks were returned to us by yet another waiter (we had three as the cafe was empty), he told us that there was sugar on the table if they still weren’t sweet enough. Are you kidding me – I paid £7 for this drink?!! Needless to say we decided not to try out the hotel bar after dinner…
At around midnight, the pub right outside our window was filling bins and banging loudly for a good half an hour or more. Ah, another reason for the triple glazing. This was obviously a room with no view and extra sound effects. I always feel it’s a bit late to call down to reception at that time, so we just tried to sleep through it. When the worst was over, we managed to doze off, only to be woken up at 7.15am by the same pub unloading barrels and shouting for a whole forty five minutes. That was me awake and in an exceptionally foul mood!
I’m extremely disappointed that our stay was below average this time round. I do appreciate that the hotel can’t control the noise levels on the street, but the Abode are clearly aware this room suffers from external noise pollution. As the hotel wasn’t full, perhaps a different room could have been allocated to us in the first place. I do not expect to be downgraded just because I’m on a package price.
The manager offered another stay at the same price (even though this is a regular deal they offer) with a room upgrade on top. Very presumptuous of them to think we’d like to return and as if I’d book the same deal knowing you get the dodgy rooms in the hotel. We were not prepared to pay for our room that night and the manager said that the general manager would have to call us – So many managers!
We are still waiting for the call and are yet to pay. I’m not sure we will be back.
*BlOG POST UPDATE – (10.50pm)
I have just seen that Abode have taken money from my account, without calling to discuss this matter as they said they would. Will most certainly not be going back.
*BlOG POST UPDATE – (16th May)
My faith in the Abode has been slightly restored… We finally managed to speak to someone and it appears that our messages got lost due to a member of staff leaving. We have been offered a full refund and an upgrade on a package deal should we chose to return. May go back one day and give it another shot :)
Have you had any bad hotel experiences? Would you have moved rooms earlier?
Do you think I’m being a bit harsh?
The Bedroom. Lovely huge bed.
The bathroom. Looks lovely, but has a tricky flush and a shower that floods the room because the screen door is too short.
Alex was clearly bemused by his dessert. He ordered a meringue pudding, but struggled to find the meringue!