Tramps in the Car Park A review of ABode Canterbury
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?