We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Won't be going again”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Macdonald Bear Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Woodstock
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 April 2011

We spent a night at The Bear after having failed to get into The Feathers nest door. We'd stayed here before some years ago. The reception was OK but the room an absolute let down. The carpet - the colour of which could be best described as elephant hide post mud bath - was very heavily rucked and the floor creaked loudly with every step. As if in sympathy, the door emitted similar noises when open or closed. The walls were stained and other paintwork was in similarly poor condition. The bath contained some black material which had come back up through the plug hole. Some of the lamps in the bathroom were defective.

We went to the bar for a drink and bite to eat. The bar was being run single handed by a young Dutch work experience boy. Trays of dirty glasses were being brought in from the restaurant and filling up the bar surface. There was no draught beer available, only the normal brands of freezing lagers and Guinness. We had a coupe of drinks each and a mediocre meal. The bill came to an astonishing £60! It transpired that the glasses of wine (admittedly 250 cl but from an already opened bottle) cost around £12!. You can pay less for a glass of wine at Gordon Ramsey's in Hospital Road!

This was the last straw as the B&B rate for the tatty room was £190. Time to let them know all is not well. The duty manager was apologetic and cleaned the bath for us. The next morning we were asked to wait in the bar (where thankfully all the glasses had been cleared away) before we could go into the dining room for breakfast as the dining room was full. Breakfast itself was fine.

The morning duty manager was helpful and we eventually received a 50% deduction of the bill. This was followed up by a letter from the national Customer relations Manager apologising and offering a free night at a MacDonald's Hotel within the next year, which was fair enough.

What is really of concern is that Woodstock is at the heart of England, close to Blenheim Palace. The Bear is a famous old Englisg coaching Inn. Many foreign visitors must stay there. One can only hope their experiences are better than ours was.

Our experience at The Bear confirms us in our decision to never stay at a corporate chain hotel (see my review of the Edgware Road Hilton for further reasons).

It's a little difficult to work out. While we were staying at The Bear it was full and we were in room 50. The car park was full. Clearly they are doing something that many people find acceptable. I'm afraid that we don't.

Room Tip: Try to get in The Feathers next door
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Bubbleandme
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 reviewResponded 1 June 2011

Dear Klazina,

I was extremely sorry to read your review of the Bear, more so because I felt we had alleviated your concerns both with the Duty Manager during your stay, and my correspondence after you departed.

I do hope that we can restore your confidence in the hotel when you return and I look forward to hearing from you when you have a date in mind.

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
Write a ReviewReviews (1,720)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

1,529 - 1,535 of 1,720 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2011

A very friendly and welcoming hotel. Service excellent from arrival at reception (Sophie & colleagues) to the bar (Alice) and then in the dining room. Breakfast exceptional, served by Rose and the staff who looked after us very well.
My room in the main building was a little cramped and I would recommend requesting accommodation in the newer part of the hotel. Four poster rooms were very airey and spacious.
No request to much trouble.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank J0hnG-31
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 reviewResponded 13 April 2011

Dear J0hnG-31,

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 - particularly Sophie, Alice and Rose.

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
Reviewed 2 April 2011

My husband and i stayed at this hotel for a 4 day break. We were very pleased to have our room upgraded to a four poster room. The room was very nice and clean and the bed was extremely comfortable. The bathroom was a little bit tired, (though very clean) with a couple of broken floor tiles and the bath panel was very scratched and needed painting.

We found the staff on reception and in the dining room to be extremely efficient and friendly. This made us feel at ease and welcome.

The breakfast was lovely and the service was excellent. It was served quickly to order and with a smile. I cannot praise the staff highly enough

We had one evening meal whilst there which i would describe the food as nice but not marvellous. However the rapport with the waitress was most entertaining and jovial.

To sum up i would say that the bear is more like a homely and comfortable inn than a luxurious hotel. It makes a very comfortable base. We had a great holiday and would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 6hikers
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 reviewResponded 13 April 2011

Dear 6hikers,

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
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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 reviewResponded 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
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Woodstock
0.1 mi away
Feathers Hotel
Feathers Hotel
#2 of 6 in Woodstock
863 reviews
0.1 mi away
The Kings Arms Hotel and Restaurant
4.1 mi away
Eynsham Hall Hotel
Eynsham Hall Hotel
#1 of 1 in North Leigh
1,423 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
7.6 mi away
Macdonald Randolph Hotel
5.7 mi away
The Manor
The Manor
#1 of 1 in Weston on the Green
665 reviews
10.7 mi away
De Vere Oxford Thames
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Macdonald Bear Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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: £52 - £217 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Odigeo, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, HotelsClick, Ebookers, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly, getaroom.com, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Cancelon so you can book your Macdonald Bear Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Bear
Macdonald Bear Woodstock
Bear Hotel Uk Woodstock
Bear Hotel Woodstock

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing