This is truly one of the grand old hotels in Oxford and the city location is just superb.
I arrived slightly early at around 13ish and unfortunately my room was not ready by then. After a long distance flight, it would have been nice to head into the room but such is life.
In the long run, I was not disappointed because I took the opportunity to have the Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room. It was exactly how you expect a English afternoon tea to be, it was a delight! My advice to everyone, make a booking because there were numerous people being turned away as places are very limited. I was lucky that they could fit me in and I could sit there in comfort waiting for my room to be ready, which was at around 15.00....
The room, 167, for those interested, is a spacious well appointed executive room and I had booked something bigger on purpose because as a single traveller you might get a sort of rumpus room - has happened to me before at other hotels in the UK.
It is on the back side of the house which means it is undisturbed by the traffic in the front but does not have any view at all. I would not recommend it for someone who has limited walking abilities though because it is quite a walk and you also have to navigate some stairs. Fortunately a staff saw me carrying my hand luggage and was very quick to offer help. Of course, the larger suitcase was delivered by the bell boy.
My advice, don't dismay during the walk to your room, the public areas could need some tender love and care and I was slightly worried at what awaited me at the end... but without a reason.
Also, because I noticed that other reviewers had commented on this, this room does not have any problems with wifi and in fact, I did find the Cloud easy to use. The staff at the reception had also mentioned the need to set up an account which was easy enough to handle.
I had tried to contact the Spa beforehand in order to make a booking but waited in vain for a reply. Upon sending a second email, I finally got a response advising me that they were fully booked for the requested day and instead offered another day and time. Unfortunately that did not suit me. Upon check in, I mentioned this and the Reception Manager tried to see if there was still a chance to get a booking. I thought that was a really nice touch. So, I cannot comment on the spa, except that they might want to be more prompt in replying and you should not think that it is easy to get a booking even for a weekday and more than one week in advance...
The breakfast is a very lovely buffet and the option of hot breakfast made to order. I would suggest that you get your hot order in immediately, otherwise they might forget that you exist. And this was the problem, the service did not manage the room well, only focusing on what is in direct line of sight. If you are sitting in a corner, bad luck. They will not clear your table, so be prepared to stack the dishes. However, when I got up to go the buffet for a second time, everything vanished, including the fresh tea that I had just ordered. Hmmm, you will get it back, eventually....
Other than this, the food is excellent and it is a good idea to see whether you can book your accommodation with the breakfast included.
Would I stay there again, yes I think so. Despite the slight set backs in service, once you make your expectations and wishes known, they will try to accommodate you. Just be prepared to ask for it because at the end of the day, you are paying a fair bit of money for this hotel! So the overall substance is there but in regards to the little things that would make a stay more than average, in particular for a five star hotel, well, in my case you have to work on them...
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- Also Known As:
- Macdonald Randolph Oxford
- Hotel Macdonald Randolph
- Randolph Hotel Oxford