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My partner and I stayed here from 16th - 19th april 2009 as we needed somewhere in oxford that wasn't too expensive and we got a great deal as it was Easter time. It cost us £159 for the three nights and this included our breakfast each morning and also a free dinner on the first night.
I was a bit worried when we got there that is was a bit far out from the city centre, but thankfully it was just our sat nav being tedious and sending us on the long road to nowhere, when in fact its only a few minutes drive into the town centre. I will advise though that Oxford is not a very car friendly town, there is hardly anywhere to park and of the small places available it can be quite expensive as most people here use bicycles. I do have to say though Oxford has an excellent bus service and buses run every 15 minutes into town and back and from the stop at the hotel (just across the road) it costs only £3 return per person which is great considering ataxi into town cost us just over £10 on the first day and we never made that mistake again!
Anywho on to the hotel. When we arrived we were extremely early and couldnt check in until our appointed time of 2pm, they did offer to mind our cases and things for us until then but we declined as we had a car anyways. They did however fill in our details and things so it was all ready to go when we returned.
Upon our return our check in took seconds and the staff explained to us where everything was, ie, restaurant, breakfast area, gym, pool, etc. We were then given our key cards and off we went. The trek to our room was very long to say the least and there were a few stairs involved as this hotel has no lifts, which really arent required as the stairs consisted at most of about 8, but with heavy cases this can be a pain, luckily for me my other half is a gentleman and carried both of our cases :)
We finally reached our destination and thankfully the room keys worked fine. The rooms themselves are quite small but they are very clean and tidy with no funny smells, but then we did only pick the standard room so we were very happy. There was a double bed, a dressing table, tv with various normal and pay channels, tea and coffee making facilities and also a very nice warbrode which houses enough hangers and also extra pillows and a blanket, there was also a modem and phone line if you required the use of the internet.
The bathroom was a white suite, which was exceptionally clean with enough towels for us both and then some, there is the usual sink, toilet and bath/shower combo. The thing I liked about their shower curtain is that there were magnets on the bottom of it to keep it in place which was great as it meant no spillages all over the floor, the only thing that annoyed me in the bathroom was that the plug was a bit poo, we filled the sink with ice one night to keep a pint of milk in and when we got up in the morning there was nothing in the sink except an undrinkable pint of milk so of course we had to use them little pots of milk they leave in your room which takes about 4 per cuppa lol.
All of the rooms are of course non-smoking, but the hotel does have an area at the front of the building with tables and chairs which is covered for all thesmokers, there are also hallogen heaters so we don't get too cold :) They do have signes in the room informing you that if you smoke in them there will be a £100 fine so beware all you sneaky smokers out there!!
One thing I will mention about the room that surprised me, in a good way, was the hairdryer. They actually have decent hairdryers here so no need to pack one. They weren't the usual little white things with no power in them whatsoever. The ones in this hotel are Babyliss one and do a great job I was so impressed I didnt even remove mine from my suitcase!!
We had the best nights sleep ever as the beds are super comfy and the curtains are full blackout ones...the walls could be a little bit thicker I suppose as we could hear the other rooms tv, but then we dont know howloud they had it exactly.
We made it for breakfast bright and early in the morning. It seems to run from 7am to 10.30am, though this sometimes changes depending on how busy the place is and also on weekends. There is a huge selection of food, including cereals, toast, fruit salad, yoghurt, pastries and buns, various juices and of course all the requirements for a yummy fry up....including bacon, fried eggs, pork sausages, vege sausages, beans and fried tomatoes...I can only comment on the cooked food as we had a fry each morning and my god was it good, seriously im a fussy eater but everything was warm and well cooked and you could have as much as you wanted as it was all self-service. There was also tea and coffee available which was brought to you at your table by the very nice waiting staff.
Although we had got a special deal for a free dinner on our frist night, the staff let us change it so we could have it on the second night as we wouldnt be doing anything that night cuz we were to be up bright and early on the saturday morning.
Surprisingly the free dinner was exceptional. We were a bit weary about the starters as what we ordered was cold, though it was meant to be, but man was it good. I had sundried tomatoes with mozerella and my partner had some chicken and ham thing...we chared and they were good...the only other starter I can remember was the soup which was potatoe and leek. For mains I had chicken with bacon and cheese which can with baby boiled potatoes and avrious vegetables and some salady stuff, my partner had beef bourningon with mash potatoes and various vegetables and again we shared and both were exceptionally good, we couldnt fault any of it....our desserts consisted of a bowl of ice cream (I was very full) and sticky toffee pudding and these were both eaten in an instant lol. The service was fast and all of the waiting staff and servers were very pleasant and helpful...even if your staying and don't get a free dinner I would recommend their food.
I cannot comment on the gym or swimming pool facilities as we didnt use any of them. The hotel seems to be used a lot for business people and have various conference rooms. I wouldnt say it was just a conference hotel though as there were lots of families and couples during our stay.
There is free wifi in the hotel if you have a laptop....just ask at reception for a password and code. There is also a couple of computers near the lobby for public use and they cost 25p per minute, which is qutie expensive when you can go into town and use an internet cafe for 99p for a whole hour.
One bad point I will note about the hotel is that the food is way expensive if its not included in your package. Seriously its like £12.50 for a club sandwich!!! a normal sandwich is around £7 and if you get this delivered to your room you can add another £4 on top of that for delivery...needless to say we never ate any paid food here just our free included stuff.
There is a burger king about 2 mins walk away though which is great, especially if you have kids and the hotel staff never even batted an eyelid at us taking some to our room....there is also a garage basically across the road, its not very exciting but no garages ever are lol, they sell the usual magazines, sandwiches & drinks, etc which isgood if thats all you need to take with you for a wee picnic somewhere.
I can't really think of much else to say about this place...the staff were all very helpful and friendly, the hotel clean and the rooms comfortable, the only problem like I said was the price of food...overall though I would recommend this place to friends and family and anyone who's reading this review...its also a lot lot cheaper than a lot of the hotels in the town centre oh and one more thing, they have a huge car park which is free to keep you car in, many of the other hotels in oxford dont have this facility and all they can do is give you a 10% discount for the pay car parks which would end up costing a fortune.
Anywho if your planning on a wee visit to Oxford have a great time and I hope you enjoyed my review :)