The Best Hotels in Exeter for Every Traveller

Exeter boasts places to stay to suit every taste
Exeter boasts places to stay to suit every taste | © andrew payne / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Jo Fernandez-Corugedo
24 November 2020

From boutique boltholes to renovated old inns and slick city apartments, Devon’s easy-going capital has places to stay to suit every taste – and our list makes finding them a cinch.

Southernhay House

Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Southernhay House Hotel / Expedia
Boutique hotel Southernhay House is a vintage-lover’s dream – sash windows, antiques and soft shades of Farrow & Ball. This Grade II-listed Georgian officer’s residence now has 11 individually designed rooms. Scoff the in-room Devon fudge then walk to Exeter’s grand Gothic Cathedral – it has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England. Do dine at the hotel – in season, there’s delicious venison with wild berries and truffle.
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Hotel du Vin

Boutique Hotel
Map View
Hotel du Vin Exeter
Courtesy of Hotel du Vin Exeter Hotel / Expedia
Britain’s HdV brand loves a good conversion – and you’ll adore this sprawling red-brick former hospital near the Cathedral. Urban-oasis extras include walled gardens with terraces for drinks, a spa and a heated outdoor pool open year-round. Browse the library and wine cellar, then sink into the custom-made mattress in your room, admiring the softly illustrated wallpaper. Bistro classics include a fine French onion soup. Dartmoor and its ponies are a half-hour drive away.
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Queens Court

Boutique Hotel
Map View
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Courtesy of Queens Court Hotel / Expedia
A quick walk from the station, this white-fronted Georgian townhouse is a must for period-decor fans. While the 20 rooms are decent, in shades of brown, the suites (with family-friendly sofa beds) are splendid, in calm grey tones, with whirlpool baths and dramatic light fittings. Dine in-house on creamy saffron risotto with white truffle oil. Then find history five minutes away by car: the ruins of Exeter Castle, a magnificent Norman landmark built for William the Conqueror.
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The Globe

Pubs with Rooms
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Courtesy of the Globe / Expedia
History permeates the Globe, once a coaching inn in the 16th century, now a pretty pastel-green boutique bolthole of 21 rooms beside the burbling Exe. There’s warm panelling, open brickwork and rustic shades of light green and teal blue – how many pubs offer that? The bar area is an oasis of brick hearths with timber mantels and logs piled in bookshelves. Devon pork sausages and buttered mash set you up for walks to, say, Topsham village, for boat trips along the river.
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Number 18 Apartments

Apartment
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Almost in the shadow of Exeter Cathedral, Number 18 Apartments ooze period charm: the two-bedroom serviced apartment has a kitchen of original Georgian sash windows, with venerable panelling and homely marble fireplaces. Two one-bedroom apartments and a studio are supplied with hotel-grade fluffy towels, as well as dishwashers to save you falling out over washing-up duties. Through full-length windows, you get some lovely city or garden views.

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  • Headweir Mill House

    Pubs with Rooms
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    Courtesy of Headweir Mill House / Expedia
    Near the banks of the Exe, 200-year-old Headweir Mill House feels super fresh. Rooms have rich yellow cushions and headboards of reclaimed wood – and sash windows reveal garden and river views. As a B&B, it doesn’t have a restaurant, but rooms offer Devon spring water and biscuits. The next-door pub is deliciously local, with dishes including River Exe mussels in cider, leek and cream sauce. Walk it off with a quick jaunt to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

    City Gate

    Pubs with Rooms
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    Courtesy of the City Gate Hotel / Expedia
    Who doesn’t love a G&T on arrival? And it gets better. The 15 home-spun boutique bedrooms here range from panelled gentlemen’s club to quirky: think balls of wool in glass lampshades among the references to sheep (a nod to the Devon countryside nearby). The traditional British pub menu honours local – try Brixham hake – and you can sup real ales in the large garden. Fashionistas and foodies should head to Fore Street, for ethical boutiques and Mexican grub.

    Blue Ball Inn

    Pubs with Rooms
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    This pub in Sandygate, on the edge of Exeter, is so cute you could pinch its cheeks: notice the thatched roof, whitewashed facade and real ales by winter log fires within (there’s a beer garden for summer). Meat is sourced from South Devon; fish is caught just off the coast. Sunday lunch is the main attraction here – popular with players from the nearby pitch. And if you need a snooze, there are four sweet bedrooms, with pea-green cushions and timeless wooden furniture.

    These recommendations were updated on November 24, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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