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“Excellent hotel, excellent food, lovely area” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Macdonald Bear Hotel

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Macdonald Bear Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Woodstock
Certificate of Excellence
Herne Bay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent hotel, excellent food, lovely area”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2011

We stayed for one night at the Macdonald Bear to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Let's run through the positives first:

It's in a beautiful old building which is in a beautiful village.
The room was gorgeous (a feature room, to be fair)
I booked flowers for the room and they were lovely and are still blooming at home a week or so later
After a day's sightseeing in Oxford, a couple of hours reading in the Churchill Lounge with a beer was very much what was needed
The dinner was exceptional. We had the cote de boeuf and it did not disappoint
The bar staff were quietly efficient in the way of good hotels
The breakfast - cooked to order - was delicious. I wish I knew where they get their Black Pudding from, it is quite simply the best in the world!

Now the not so positives:

Only one cider? And it's bottled Strongbow? Really? In 2011 I was expecting at least a choice of bottled ciders and preferably one on tap. It's not like Woodstock is a million miles from cider country.
The bath panel in our room was very badly cracked and needs replacing.
The waitress at dinner got the wrong dessert for the lady at the next table and tried to claim that what she had brought was in fact what was ordered. Given that the same waitress had just brought the correct dessert (i.e. the one the lady had ordered) for my wife, I thought that was pretty lame.

These are, as you can see, pretty minor quibbles. Overall I would say this is one of the most enjoyable nights in a hotel I can remember. I travel a bit with work and try to stay in either Macdonald or Best Western - this is the best for some time.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nick E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, 13 April 2011
Dear nickellis74,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review.

I was pleased to note that you had an enjoyable experience overall and would like to asure you that your comments have been the subject of our weekly management meeting to ensure that we may improve on the shortfalls you highlighted. I was sorry to note that you were only offered Strongbow cider in the bar. We also stock Magners and are looking into a suitable local cider.

Kindest regards,

Sam Aziz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,572 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (271)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Sussex
Level Contributor
74 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2011

My husband and I enjoyed a 3 night stay at The Bear March 2011. We found the staff most helpful and friendly. The room and bathroom were very clean, and the food was excellent, served by very pleasant waiting staff. The whole place had a lovely warm atmosphere with the Bar having a large open fire where we could sit and relax after a day out. We took our well behaved dog with us (she also enjoyed her stay!) which made it a perfect break for us all. Woodstock is a lovely place with Blenheim on the doorstep, Oxford, and all the other Cotswold villages/towns which we enjoy so much being a short drive away. There are quite a few venues to eat in Woodstock, but the Hotel's dinner proved to be the best. Great Trip.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JennyLea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, 13 April 2011
Dear JennyLea,

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to submit your feedback following your recent stay at The Bear.

It is such a pleasure to know that our guests have a positive experience and the team are extremely encouraged by your comments.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Bear.

Kindest regards,

Sam Aziz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wakefield, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2011

We had a two night stay in this hotel (a Christmas present from our son) and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.The room was very clean and comfortable and the food was excellent and the service was very quick and efficient. The staff were very pleasant and helpful thus making us feel very welcome. We had a little confusion on finding the parking area on arrival and think it could have been made a little more clear but we would definitely recommend this hotel. Also within walking distance of Blenheim Palace.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bambroughs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, 13 April 2011
Dear bambroughs,

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to submit your feedback following your recent stay at The Bear.

It is such a pleasure to know that our guests have a positive experience and the team are extremely encouraged by your comments.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Bear.

Kindest regards,

Sam Aziz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norfolk
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2011

February might not be the best time to go away but when you have the most gorgeous comfortable room in this lovely old Hotel, it doesn't matter what's going on outside.. This was a return visit after two years and was booked through Macdonalds Hotel central reservations, I was a bit nervous that my requests would not be addressed but I need not have worried. we booked 4 nights over a weekend, unfortunately it was Half Term so a few more people about but we. Had such a lovely time and the staff were so eager to please that we need not have worried.


We asked for a room in the old part of the Hotel which looks over the pretty main street, the rooms have a lot of character and we had a four poster room with a separate sitting room both with large tv's. It was my husbands birthday which I had mentioned when booking and a half bottle of champagne was waiting in an ice bucket. A great start! the room was so comfortable and well appointed that we spent every afternoon relaxing or watching DVD's on the DVD recorder. bring your own DVDs.

Reception was professional and Clive was very helpful. The restaurant is a large country style old pub space with beams and just off the small bar. Food was varied and well cooked, the staff were particularly attentive. It got busy later in the evening so we booked early.

the best thing we found was that we did not use the car at all during our stay. You can easily walk to the entrance of Blenheim Park and Palace and once you buy your ticket (available from The Hotel at £20 each is a lot BUT you can go back as often as you like for the following 12 months) we went every day walking in the park, around the fascinating House or gardens and the coffee shop is useful. There are plenty of shops and small caves to grab a coffee inWoodstock and there are walks in the surrounding countryside.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bellenorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, 13 April 2011
Dear BelleNorfolk,

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to submit your feedback following your recent stay at The Bear. It is such a pleasure to know that our guests have a positive experience and the team are extremely encouraged by your comments.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Bear.

Kindest regards,

Sam Aziz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2011

After a cancelled holiday to Egypt we decided to tour parts of the south of England. Our 2 night stay at the Bear was so enjoyable. Despite bitterley cold weather we relaxed in the surroundings of this very warm and friendly inn. The staff are both professional and welcoming and the log fire in the bar just what was needed.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ashmoleon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, 9 March 2011
Dear Ashmolean,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review following your recent stay at The Bear Hotel.

I was delighted to learn that the team looked after you so well and you had such a positive experience. It is always helpful to receive feedback such as yours as it helps us to ensure we are offering the level of service that our guests expect and deserve. I have passed your comments to the team as I know they will be encouraged by it.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kindest regards,

Sam Aziz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saffron Walden
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2011

The service and ambience of the Bear Hotel were exceptional, step back into history at this old coaching, with its beams, log fires and where service is the name of the game. The room we had was just their standard room, most other hotels would designate it executive plus, it was spacious, clean, comfortable, massive bed and a good bathroom. The food and the service was exceptional, the staff were very friendly what a pleasure to receive such high standards of service.
While we were at The Bear we visited Blenheim Palace, with its wonderful grounds and buildings a must to do

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank haybox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, 9 March 2011
Dear haybox,

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to submit your feedback following your recent stay at The Bear.

It is such a pleasure to know that our guests have a positive experience and the team are extremely encouraged by your comments.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Bear.

Kindest regards,

Sam Aziz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2011

We booked an afternoon tea party for my mums 90th birthday at The Bear in late January and the staff and setting were really lovely. The staff couldn't be more helpful and obliging and everyone commented on how lovely the room and setting were – it look every bit a typical English afternoon tea setting with cake stands and the most mouthwatering scones. The hotel was also easy to find for family travelling from outside of Oxford. I would recommend this hotel for a party as once it was booked, they handled everything and told me not to worry about a thing... they were right.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank EMLOX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, 9 March 2011
Dear EMLOX,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review following your mothers 90th tea party at the Bear.

I was delighted to note that you enjoyed the experience, particularly the service from the team and have passed your comments on to them.

We hope to welcoming you back to The Bear very soon.

Kindest regards,

Sam Aziz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Bear Hotel

Property: Macdonald Bear Hotel
Address: Park Street, Woodstock OX20 1SZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Woodstock
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Woodstock
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Bear Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Bear Hotel is one of the finest 4-star hotels in Oxfordshire and part of The Macdonald Hotels' Signature Collection. Set in Woodstock, in what was once a 13th century coaching inn, our hotel combines history and culture with exceptional facilities. With direct access to the historic city of Oxford, our hotel is a popular choice for leisure breaks, business and weddings.Our hotel is a perfect venue for celebrations, events and conferences; we boast superb hotel accommodation, stylish meeting and function rooms, peaceful views over the courtyard and stunning period features.Our hotel in Oxfordshire is perfect for a relaxing retreat. Roam the historic city of Oxford and marvel in the dreaming spires or linger in the city's many shops and museums. Once you've finished exploring - we recommend a visit to our award-winning restaurant and bar for the finest of fares and a well deserved nightcap. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Bear
Macdonald Bear Woodstock
Bear Hotel Uk Woodstock
Bear Hotel Woodstock

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