Abode Exeter, Exeter, Devon $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Be sure to request a front-facing room at the Abode for views of the cathedral in Exeter's historical center. Originally the city's Assembly Rooms, it first opened as a hotel in 1769. A nearly $6-million refurb, completed in 2005, updated the hotel without rubbing out its 18th-century charm: Some of the 53 rooms and suites have original wooden beams, cornicing, and claw-foot tubs, but there are still LCD TVs, DVD players, and complimentary broadband. Three impressive split-level suites with wooden-beamed ceilings and spectacular views on the top floor were also unveiled. Co-owner and Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines (the man behind swanky Gidleigh Park) has brought modern fine-dining French cuisine—such as braised rainbow chard in truffle sauce—here too.
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