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“60th Treat!”

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Vanbrugh House Hotel
Ranked #4 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 June 2014

I am sorry it has taken me so long to write this review – I have been meaning to ever since our lovely stay at this extremely hospitable hotel!
I booked this hotel for my mum’s 60th birthday surprise, my two sisters and I were treating her to a night away in Oxford – we wanted her to feel spoilt and the Vanbrugh looked like the perfect place. The Website showed a cute boutique hotel with luxurious looking rooms and when I checked on Trip Advisor the main selling point for me was that the General Manager was taking the time to answer everyone’s comments and reviews – this confirmed to me that we would be well looked after!

The lovely ladies on reception whom I booked with via email and telephone were extremely helpful and answered all my questions, including reassuring me that the park and ride bus service would be really easy. We wanted to be in the centre to be near the restaurants and shopping but obviously didn’t want to pay the crazy parking charges.

We booked two rooms, a superior twin for my mum and one lucky sister and as we were on a budget my other sister and I decided we’d squeeze into the small double! After a very easy bus ride and short walk, we arrived at the hotel around midday on Sunday and were warmly welcomed, I had told reception we would be arriving early when I spoke to them the previous week – they had said our room wouldn’t be ready but they were happy to hold our bags whilst we went for some lunch. They were very friendly and the receptionist who took my card details was very discreet about confirming the price so that mum wouldn’t hear!

When we came back to the hotel after lunch we were shown to our rooms and our bags were already there! The Superior twin was gorgeous, really spacious, lovely décor and a lovely plate of chocolate dipped strawberries and a birthday card for my mum! The bathroom was nice, the windows were bright and the real milk and complimentary drinks and nibbles in the mini fridge were a real bonus! Next were shown to the small double, which I must say was just as luxurious, in fact our bathroom was bigger than the Superior twin’s!

The night porter was great and kindly brought 4 G&Ts to our room when we got back from our evening out. The next morning I snuck to the restaurant early to decorate the table with some 60 confetti, present and cards, the ladies running the breakfast were really helpful and offered to decorate our table for me so that I could sneak back up to the room without mum noticing! The breakfast itself was delicious and lots of choice.

When it came to check out the receptionists were again fantastic and kindly stored our bags whilst we went off shopping!

Thank you to everyone at The Vanbrugh for making organising the stay so easy and for making us feel so welcome while we stayed!

We will be back!

Room Tip: If you want a quiet night request a back room, but remember this hotel is in the centre of Oxford Ci...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Josie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vanbrugh House H, General Manager at Vanbrugh House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2014

Dear Josie P,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a fantastic review. I am so pleased that you all enjoyed your time spent at Vanbrugh House for your mothers 60th treat, and that you found the hotel and its rooms of the high quality intended.
It pleases me to hear that you were so well looked after by the team, just what is needed after a hard days shopping!

We all look forward to your return to Vanbrugh House.

Kind regards

David Robinson
General Manager

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514 - 520 of 750 reviews

Reviewed 11 June 2014

As previous reviews have mentioned staff are very friendly and helpful. As to the non-human, if you imagine that over 50% of your nights stay is going towards location you should almost be prepared for the level of quality you will encounter.

The design and furnishings are atrocious! To put it generously, the neoclassical-by-way-of-Scandinavian-kitset furniture contrasts with what little remains of the architectural heritage of this Grade II* listed building, "parts of which date back to the 17th century." The floor has not been levelled and therefore the sharp clean lines of pieces of furniture such as the headboard and fridge cabinet are very noticeably crooked. Don't get me wrong, I know some people are into this furniture, however this range of stuff is much better suit a new build, it shows no sensitivity to the existing staircase, windows, frontage, etc. Other oddities in the choice and placement of the furniture include: TV on top of ridiculously large cabinet, desk with mirror (so you can look at yourself while you're writing? who does that?), fireplace with three weird concrete balls in it (... still trying to imagine what kind of planning meeting led to these), and mirrors with giant silver floral ornamentation over the fireplace and in the bathroom.

At 275 per night, the bathroom not only does not include a bathtub, but also smells strongly of mould. Since the hotel is new my guess is that this is due to poor installation of the shower tiles. There is a horizontal crack in the sealing/caulking near the bottom of the shower wall which is coated in black mould. The room is a little stuffy but its not loud in the street tonight so fine with windows open.

Having briefly glimpsed the rather grim basement dining area I was planning on heading out to a cafe tomorrow morning, however after reading a few other reviews I am now intrigued to see the infamous half field mushroom that is apparently a regular occurrence at breakfast.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank munndaniel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vanbrugh House H, General Manager at Vanbrugh House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Dear munndaniel,

As General Manager it disappoints myself and the team enormously that you were so unhappy with the design and furnishings of the hotel. This of course is your personal preference, and one which of course I will have to respect. I will state however that I disagree with your review and in my professional capacity will only respond to the point that I see as valid and constructive.
I have immediately begun looking into the odour in the bathroom to which will be addressed accordingly. I thank you for bringing my attention to this.

David Robinson
General Manager

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Reviewed 8 June 2014

Just returned from a lovely sunny weekend in Oxford! The hotel was boutique and the welcome was very warm couldn't have asked for a better location! We stayed in a lovely spacious room which provided complimentary drinks and snacks which is a rarity from many city center hotels we've previously stayed in. Although there isn't any air conditioning in the rooms and the weather was very humid we spoke to a young friendly housekeeper who immediately brought us an extra fan and further recommended things to do and see in Oxford which we were grateful for. The breakfast was delicious and the staff were very attentive on both days would definitely recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sinead M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vanbrugh House H, General Manager at Vanbrugh House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Dear Sinead M,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your 5 star review. I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit to Oxford and Vanbrugh House, and had the luck of the weather too!
I am glad that your room and its complimentary products were to your liking and that our attentive staff looked after you to the high standard intended. Thank you for recommending our hotel to others.

We look forward to welcoming you again at Vanbrugh House.

Kind regards

David Robinson
General Manager

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Reviewed 7 June 2014

In the center of town, yet quiet and peaceful. Hotel staff was wonderful. Room was lovely, included snacks and beverages in room refrigerator, and free wifi. If it weren't for NO air conditioning or elevator and LOTS of narrow hallways and stairs, my rating would have been higher. It may have said on the web site that they were not available but I never saw it. Being elderly and craving cool air after a full day of touring, these were big disadvantages to me.

Room Tip: If the stairs matter, ask for a lower level with fewer of them.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank likeniceplaces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vanbrugh House H, General Manager at Vanbrugh House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

Dear likeniceplaces,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review of your recent visit to Vanbrugh House. The hotel is housed in a very unique, historic, grade 2 listed property. With this in mind the planning authorities did not permit the installation of lifts or air conditioning, as it would not be preserving the buildings period features.
I am sorry to hear that this effected your stay as its sounds as all other aspects were very much to your liking.

I do hope to see you at Vanbrugh House again soon.

Kind regards

David Robinson
General manager

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Reviewed 5 June 2014

From the moment of our arrival this was the perfect accommodation in Oxford. The staff is very kind and extremely helpful. They went out of their way to make us feel special and valued. We were in a very large room with windows looking onto St. Michael's Street.

The hotel's location is excellent. It is a short walk to the center of Oxford and numerous shops and restaurants. It is a five minute walk to the University as well.

The hotel restaurant was very good. We had breakfast there for the entire five days of our stay. The staff was extremely attentive.

If we are in Oxford again we will stay at the Vanbrugh House Hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank journeymaid48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vanbrugh House H, General Manager at Vanbrugh House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Dear journeymaid48,

To say that the team made you feel' special and valued' is really pleasing to hear. Customer service at Vanbrugh house is of paramount importance and your comment is entirely our intention. I will be passing on your praise to the team accordingly. Thank you for your review.

Kind regards

David Robinson
General manager

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

The hotel is well situated in the heart of Oxford - walking distance to everything you will want to see and is on a small street difficult to find with or without a GPS. We had a small standard room which was fine except that the bed frame extends well beyond the mattress and is camouflaged by a coverlet at the bottom of the bed. needless to say I stubbed my toes more than once - give the hotel some demerits - also there is no air conditioning. When I arrived our room was warm and the windows do open to a very limited degree give some more demerits, otherwise the hotel is boutique - what ever that means - the staff welcoming, the bathroom large and functional, the bed - with its toe stubbing frame quite comfortable. Good breakfast - we had dinner at the hotel and it was satisfactory but not up to the standards of the hotel

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank spectator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vanbrugh House H, General Manager at Vanbrugh House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Dear Spectator,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. Vanbrugh House is a grade 2 listed building and therefore we were not permitted by the planning authority the installation of air conditioning throughout the hotel. The window restrictors are also a compulsory health and safety measure. I am sorry to hear that these caused you to de merit the hotel.

Kind regards

David Robinson
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Think of this more as a guesthouse than a hotel - there are no public rooms other than a small reception area and the "restaurant" is just a basement room with small tables so not somewhere you would choose for a romantic night out. Having said that the welcome was warm, the staff were very friendly and helpful and the bed was very good. But our suite was quite small and pokey. You would probably be better off not with a suite but a slightly larger room.
One of its best features is its position right in the centre of Oxford so it is very handy for everything. However that is also its biggest problem - noise, especially at night, from drunken revellers and loud music. And skateboarding past our window. On the Saturday night the noise went on until about 5:30am and we had a terrible night's sleep (or rather lack of it). Our room overlooked the street but the people staying at the back of the hotel also suffered. This is a pity as otherwise we would stay there agin but we can't do without sleep.

Room Tip: The rooms at the back might be a little less noisy
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vanbrugh House H, General Manager at Vanbrugh House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Dear Johnmole,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review,our guests feedback is of great value to us. I am sorry to hear that your sleep was interrupted during your visit to the hotel. Vanbrugh House is situated on St Michaels street, in the very heart of historic Oxford. On the whole the location is peaceful, as you can read in past reviews, but I am sorry that if on this occasion it was not the case.
On a positive note it is pleasing to hear that the team were friendly and attentive. I do hope that we see you again at Vanbrugh House.

Kind regards

David Robinson
General Manager

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Additional Information about Vanbrugh House Hotel

Address: Vanburgh House 20-24 St. Michaels Street, Oxford OX1 2EB, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Price Range: £139 - £252 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Vanbrugh House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 22
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