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Historical Traveler Reviews ABode Canterbury
Went to historic Canterbury for the weekend and was surprised to find what a beautiful city it is. Wasn't expecting much from the Abode after reading a few negative reviews but was very surprised by the stay and will definately come back again.
I was greated by a cheerful and friendly porter by the name of "Oscar." A quick check-in by the effecient reception staff was followed by an information pack provided by "Oscar" which was very useful as i'd never been to this city before. The meal in the MC restaurant was without doubt one of the best i've ever eaten and the service was superb. All in all, my stay was perfect and i in tend to come back shortly.
We had a good stay
Having read the previous reviews on this site we weren't sure what to expect, but it seems that management has taken some of the earlier comments on board. Certainly, the staff we met were charming, smiley and helpful. They had booked us the wrong type of room and changed it quickly and without quibble - room 106 looked gorgeous but we wanted double not twin - but 110 was similar large size though with much lower ceiling. But still a good room especially as we'd snuck in through a booking website which threw in breakfast for £115 the room.
But it was so cold! I gather (from previous reviews) that in room 106 we'd have been awake all night but at least we'd have been warm - the corridor outside 110 was so cold that I put my gloves on for the trip! Our room had a rather low-key heater that was too noisy to run in the night. Luckily the bed - probably the most comfy ever - kept us warm. The bathroom was too cold to bathe in. It was the first cold weekend of winter, but still not that cold outside - they need to address this. And was it only me who manages to flush the auto-flush while still enthroned...? Every time....?
The bar was lovely - I had a great cocktail, the ambiance was perfect and staff good. Breakfast was mediocre - too little unappetising hot food, too long a wait between being given out tea/coffee and toast (and who wants this while still drinking juice and eating fruit or cereal?) then forgetting to take our hot food order, then another wait. And no salt ont eh table - I had the feeling I was going to be told off for asking for it - the waiter went into the kitchen to look for some. I can understand that chefs don't want their guests over-seasoning the food - but surely that's our choice, not theirs? And anyway, we're talking poached eggs here.
Fantastic position - wonderful to walk out into that calm high street with classical buskers playing lovely music and all the shops and the cathedral right there. Car park - it claimed to be full but we went in anyway and found a spot - it would have been a real pain if we hadn't - we'd got very lost finding the right approach to the hotel along the city's one-way system too. And if they're going to charge £5 a night for parking they need to tell us in advance - I didn't make a fuss but they should address this.
All in all an excellent weekend - dinner at the Goods Shed was wonderful, a 'must' but book ahead - we'll be back.
They think they're something they're not
Great location on the main street. Call them selves a "boutique" hotel. Think that means they can charge plenty for medocre service and cut costs wherever they can.
Dont accept rooms 108 - 109. Above the function room its like you are the guest of honour at someone elses bad taste birthday party. Shower was cold and low pressure too, but management were unable or unwilling to resolve. Did offer some Champagne, but it wasnt ever going to replace a nights sleep and a shower. No room in the car park either.
Has a lot of promise but fails to deliver the basics.
Location location location
We stayed here in late September with our friends who were on Honeymoon, we live in Cornwall and they live in london. We booked through a website for late room rates and got a great rate of £100 per room per night for standard room. I had tried phoning direct but they wouldnt budge on price and informed me they only had enviable or fabulous rooms left, all standard (desirable) were booked, but the website personnel assured me that the rooms would be booked as per their contract.
I phoned the day before our arrival to check the reservation and as promised 2 rms were reserved, I chatted to the receptionist and mentioned that our friends were on their honeymoon and they upgraded them to a fabulous room and us to a enviable ! All for £100 - excellent.
Both rooms were great - but the fab was indeed fab on the top floor, open plan modern funky and spacious. Ours also was great but I wished we were on honeymoon!
Oscar the doorman on arrival was switched on, polite, friendly and even handed us an umbrella as it had started to rain. Recommended an Italian just steps away from the hotel which surpassed our expectations ( husband is a chef) and we couldnt have asked for a better location, right on the main street, close to the river and cathedral and near the shops - what more could we ask. The absent chef as reported previously was in house and indeed we had a chat with the famous Michael Caines. He was there for the opening of the new Tavern, which they allowed us to eat in on our last night as it wasnt due to open officially until the weekend, we were some of the guinea pigs - superb pub grub served very professionally - music later on in the evening and a great atmosphere.
Only down side was the car parking which is due to be resolved I believe. All in all it was an excellent stay - my husband and I have worked in hotels for many years and we were impressed the mix of old traditional building and funky modern decor was great and we found the staff brilliant - we couldnt fault it - maybe something to do with the great rate or the copious amounts of champagne cocktails served late into the night - who knows - try it.
Did not have time to clean my room
This has to be the worst experience of a hotel ever!
I checked in at 10pm only to be told that the car park was not finished and I had to park about half a mile away. When I commented that this was not a good service I was promptly told that it was down to the person that booked it - As this was me I asked if I was to blame - The internet should have told me - I was made to feel that because the car park was not finished it was in some way my fault....
The rooms are nice and the beds are amazingly comfy - However, the bathrooms are tiny and the shower weak and not at all a plus point for the hotel.
The breakfast is dull and service is very bad - You have to ask for everything two to three times before you can get anthing and throughout the experience you are made to feel as though it is your fault for asking where the coffee is that you ordered 20 mins ago!
We went out for the day and when I returned at 3pm the room was not cleaned - I phoned andwas told it would be done later - When I again returned at 7pm it was still not done so I had to clean the room myself and ask for new towels as we were in a rush to get out. I asked why the room had not been cleaned and was given a 'forgot' answer.
I then got back to the hotel at 1am and went to the bar for a drink with friends - I was told that the machines that served tea had been turned off so I could not even get a cup of tea - No fear, my girlfriend went to the room to do the task that the hotel found so difficult to manage, flick the kettle on and make a tea - When my girlfriend returned the 'hotel staff' managed to also flick one on and make a brew without even telling us they were doing so and then tried to charge me for it stated that they had in fact done a tea and therefore wanted 'paying'.
I can honestly say that I have never had an experience in a hotel like this - I would have had better service if I pitched a tent on the high street and taken my chances.
Dear Abode - I shall never darken yourdoorstep again!!!
Nice room but food dissappointing
We stayed 2 nights at this hotel as it was the venue for our nephews wedding. Before booking I looked on their web site and saw that children under 12 stayed free when sharing with parents but when I asked for a family room i was told they do not have one and we would have to book 2 rooms, when I questioned them on this they came back and said they could put a bed settee in an enviable room at £170 a night which was better than 2 rooms at £140. We booked several months in advance and I was shocked to find that the hotel had charged £500 to my credit card straight away, turns out they had taken the deposit for the actual wedding from our card!!
The hotel was very modern inside and the room was of a good standard with a lovely bathroom and freestanding bath although space was tight with the extra beds for the children.
Breakfast was rather disappointing for a michelin star restaurant and on the second day they forgot about mine and I had to ask twice if it was comming.
The function suite for the wedding was very small and there was no direct access from the main hotel which meant several trips back and fore in blustery rain in our wedding outfits. The buffet meal was average.
The location is great but dificult to find by car and no car park close by. My husband had to leave during the reception to replace the parking ticket as they are only valid for 24hours.
Not Quite 4 Star
This hotel claims to be 4star but unfortunatly its not quite there. Its a shame because it is a lovely modern hotel in a characteristic building. The location is fantastic! But there is a big BUT sadly.
We came away a bit dissapointed. Our room was an enviable room which cost near to £200, and the pictures on the website look really something. The finish wasnt great, the bed covers and throw wasnt that luxurious as promised on the internet. The windows were filthy dirty and had horrible boring net curtains keeping the daylight out. It was obviously rushed and on a budget. Although the bed was massive and comfortable. At night there were so many noises to keep you awake! The air con sounded like a plane taking off and you could hear people walking around upstairs as clear as anything.
Breakfast in bed was late, well i actualy think they had forgotten, but my boyfriend called reception and they came about twenty minutes after and said sorry. I wouldnt have minded so much but the breakfast was nothing special at all, just thrown together. The toast was burnt on one side quite badly. Not good. They didnt charge us for it.
The car park situation (doesnt exist yet) is annoying. You have to park quite far away. We had all our luggage with us obviously, i wasnt impressed. They should have got the car park sorted before they opened.
On a plus, the Champagne bar was gorgeous! The staff in there were very smart and professional and friendly. We had cocktails before we went out for a meal and it was great. My favourite part of the whole experience. Inside the hotel is very modern and clean, and the restaurant looked very nice.
The reception staff looked all serious, they need to smile and be more welcoming. I dont think that is a lot to ask for.
There are lots of area's that need attention with this hotel, if they sorted these things out it could be fantastic and worth its 4 stars.
An amazing place!!!
I have had very few good experience with hotels in the UK having been spoilt by Far Eastern Standards and have yet to find one in London that lives up to their 5 star status BUT i would give this place 5* without hesitation.
The most basic room which we had at £125 was roomy, elegant and funky. Its only been open a few weeks so the quality of everything is pristine, excellent quality toiletriesf rom arran aromatics, lovely beds and linen, LCD TV, individual room style and a lovely breakfast delivered to the room too.
The set lunch in the Michael Caine Restaurant was truly perfect, presentation, quality, service and a price of £17.50 for 3 courses was exceptional. A truly friendly but knowlegeable Maitre'D which is a big big asset and no feeling of distain when we ordered no wine only water.
The only downside we found was that the downstairs corridor to the public loos seems to have been decorated in a hurry and its shows the ond skirtings around some doors which is tatty and a few feminine touches in the ladies like tissues and hand cream would be pleasing, but thats a bit minor. Also the reception team need to remember they are staff and not guests and learn to smile and be less haughty. We will be back next month to see how they have progressed once their new "Tavern" is open as well ...... I think this hotel has a real future in Canterbury which is sadly lacking in quality establishments.
Tramps in the Car Park
I spent ages on the Internet trying to find a half decent hotel for a weekend break in Canterbury. They all seem to be either very tired, dated, and/or grubby (Catherdral Gate!!), or fully booked in the case of the one or two decent ones. Saw Abode's website and made an enquiry - at first I thought it too expensive (and they refused to budge!), but a day later I relented after more fruitless hours on the Internet.
We arrived to find the hotel does not yet have a car park (this is due when the remaining part of the site is finished, but some months away I believe), so we were given a pass (£4.50 fee) to a local multi-storey about half a mile away on Castle Street. Avoid this car park (there is a choice of two), as we found several tramps in residence the next morning, with the stairwell odour testament to their toilet arrangements.
Anyway, our Comfortable grade room was indeed comfortable but small. It was well furnished in a modern style, although not completely refurbished - signs of old woodwork , windows, and doors. The room and the communal areas are all fitted with brand-new carpets though.
Tried to book a table for dinner in the restaurant, but it was fully booked by early afternoon (later found out why, when trying to find anywhere of a good standard to eat in Canterbury. There's virtually nothing to choose from apart from lots of pubs and several poor quality restaurants). The menu and decor look promising, so book early if you want to eat there. 2 courses table d'hote is approx £25 from memory. A la Carte is significantly pricier.
Breakfast the next day was OK. Some excellent cheeses and cold meats, and good selection of fruit. The cooked breakfast, however, was a case of style over substance. It was presented in a nouvelle cuisine style, with small servings of each ingredient (one mushroom, egg, sausage, half tomato, etc), some of which had been cooking/warming for far too long.
In summary, this hotel is pretty good, and will not disappoint most people. It has very helpful staff, is in very good condition, and its position in town is peerless. However, don't expect a perfect weekend, and be prepared to feel that it isn't quite worth the money - rooms, food, and drink are pricey.
PS - who is the absentee 'celebrity chef' Michael Caines?
Doesn't bode well
We have just tried an overnight escape from the children at the newly refurbished and partly re-opened former County Hotel - now Abode Canterbury. There is a lot of hype locally about this hotel and the web-site gushes about the aspirations of the new owners.
Good bits first - it is fresh and clean and the champagne bar and restaurant have been sensitively renovated and modernised. Pre-lunch cocktails were great. Lunch in the restaurant was very good. The staff are young, friendly and clearly making a lot of effort. Noise from the bustling high street is not too intrusive and the location is fantastic, right in the centre of the city.
Bad bits - the Comfortable catagory of rooms are very small and uninspiring, the bathroom was tiny and despite hints on the web-site, the opportunity for any kind of social bathing was very limited. We asked to change to a bigger room but the Desirable room offered was very similar so we didn't bother. Maybe Enviable and Fabulous will live up to their names when they are available but we won't be back in a hurry to find out.
The quality of the food produced for evening room service was poor and disorganised. We gave breakfast in bed a miss in case it was more of the same and headed home.
Making allowances for the fact that they have been open only a few weeks it is perhaps unfair to expect the service to be good but the staff do need more training if the hotel is going to live up to its promises.