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“Lovely hotel”

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Macdonald Bear Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Woodstock
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 June 2014

I and my husband stayed at The Bear hotel for the may bank holiday weekend. We stayed for 2 nights. We had a king room room with breakfast included. I got the deal on the Macdonald website. We wanted to visit Blenheim palace and visit Oxford. This hotel was ideal. From the hotel you can use the Pear tree park and ride and get the bus into Oxford. It cost us £4.50 return for both of us. The bus ride took 15-20 mins to get to Oxford. The park and ride is a 10 minute drive from the hotel.
The Bear hotel was very nice. The room did get too hot and their was a problem with the central heating being on, when it was off! The staff were lovely, Debra fixed the problem. It did take a little while, but the staff were great and offered us complimentary drinks, which we enjoyed at the outdoor seating area, as it was a lovely warm day.
The breakfast was £60 for 3 days for both of us. I think it is expensive, especially as you only get small portions. I wouldn't include breakfast with your room. You can walk next door and go to the cafe's on the same street, where breakfast is very reasonable.
The only issue we found with the room apart from the heating issue was they are not very soundproof. The people in the room below or next door seemed to like being up at 6.30am and watching the news!
Woodstock is a lovely village, there are 2/3 restaurants, but mainly pubs. We ate at The Star Inn and another pub on the second night. the food was good. I recommend booking a table for The Star Inn as it is very busy on an evening.
Blenheim Palace is a lovely place to visit, you can exchange your tickets for a annual pass and go back within a year as many times as you like! The tickets are expensive to buy, but you can get 10% off if you book a day before at least, on the website. You can also use the 2 for 1 vouchers you can pick up at other palaces that you have visited. I forgot to take my voucher!
Overall a lovely hotel, great location, great staff and car parking is available too.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Aloha_dreams
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 17 June 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to complete a review of the Macdonald Bear Hotel following your stay with us.

I was pleased to note that you enjoyed your stay overall, however may I sincerely apologise for your disappointment with some of the aspects of your stay. Please be assured that your feedback will be discussed with the team so that any similar lapses could not be repeated in the future.

I was also sorry to learn of the noise you experienced from the room below to you. I would like to assure you that I will be undertaking a review of the soundproofing in the hotel with our property team so that the appropriate works may be completed to ensure that any future disappointment could be avoided.

I hope to welcome you back to the Bear - indeed do contact me directly should you have a date in mind.

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,100 - 1,106 of 1,672 reviews

Reviewed 8 June 2014

A weekend away, we decided on The Bear Hotel for the village lifestyle and proximity to Blenheim Palace. The hotel is full of character and history, an absolute treat. We had a twin room, which was sufficient size. There is no cooling system nor do the windows open, so be mindful during the warm weather! Thankfully we found a fan tucked in the wardrobe to use.

Reception staff extremely personable and hospitable, including providing information on local things to do, primarily Blenheim Palace (you can spend a full day at the palace...don't rush it!). As the triathalon was on and most hotels and restaurants were booked, we were appreciative to be booked for the last table for dinner at the restaurant. Two course meal for £32 or three course meal for £39, the food was a culinary delight. Professionally presented and a taste sensation, highly recommended to eat the food, unfortunately the highlight of the food was let down by the service. Seated, we were left for 10+ minutes before being approached again for our food order, we had to ask to order drinks. Plates were left longer than expected to be cleared. With ample staff and not a full restaurant, including the prices we were paying, I would have expected a higher level of service to match the level of food. What was meant to have been a highlight of my visit to the UK was left tarnished by poor customer service from the restaurant staff (but well done to reception and the kitchen staff!)

Consider alternatives for food, including the bar or The Star Inn across the road.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Lucy F
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 17 June 2014

Dear Guest

I was pleased to learn that you had an enjoyable stay at the Macdonald Bear Hotel recently, especially our location, the friendliness of the reception team and the food you experienced in the restaurant. I was however extremely sorry to note that you were disappointed with the service from the restaurant team.

Please be assured that on receiving your feedback, I have instigated a programme of retraining and team building exercises to ensure that we continue to deliver the high standards our guests deserve.

I appreciate receiving your constructive feedback and hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back to the hotel - indeed to contact me direct when you have a date in mind.

Warm regards

Paola Cassotti
General Manager

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Reviewed 8 June 2014

Stayed for one night and business meeting the next day. Hotel is beautifully and staff polite and helpful at every turn. Food very good though Eggs Benedict for breakfast were disappointingly hard. My room was by the road but no disturbance from traffic as there was little. Bed very comfortable and slept very well. Meeting room was a little small but we managed. Coffee was good and the cream scones delicious. Would recommend this hotel to anyone for business or pleasure.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
Thank Lisa C
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 17 June 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for your review of the Macdonald Bear Hotel following your stay and business meeting with us.

I appreciate you taking the time to provide such a detailed account and was really pleased to read that you enjoyed your visit overall.

I appreciate your constructive feedback, which will be discussed with the team for training purposes, and hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back in the future.

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Staying here as we are doing the Blenheim Tri later this afternoon and looking forward to a bit of a lay in bed. Rudely woken by water cascading in from the room above. Rang reception and the DM came across to sort out the issue, an occupier above with no sense ( flooded the bathroom). While deciding what to do the water fall started again, rang reception who came over with a new room key and the offer of assistance to move our gear. Now in new dry room and complementary breakfast. Thanks to the DM and staff for their swift and efficient service.
Otherwise a lovely hotel

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank skirover01
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 17 June 2014

Dear Guest

Thanks for submitting a review of the Macdonald Bear during your stay.

I was really pleased to learn that you enjoyed your stay, however may I reiterate the Duty Managers apology for the inconvenience you were caused by the guest in the room above you.

I am glad you felt looked after by the team in this situation and hope that the remainder of your stay was enjoyable.

I appreciate your review and hope to welcome you back very soon.

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

Me and my husband visited here for one night before visiting Blenheim Palace.
We wish we could have stayed longer as the hotel was in such a beautiful, peaceful location.
We arrived during the evening, dropped off our bags and went straight to eat in the bar area. The food was lovely and the setting was perfect - really relaxed!
Our room was lovely, quite large and decorated well. There was tea and coffee in the room and it was very quiet in the hotel!
The breakfast the following day was lovely, good selection of cereals/ pastries etc as well as a lovely cooked breakfast!
Would highly recommend this hotel - we would visit again!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank LizQ87
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 8 June 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to review the Macdonald Bear Hotel following your recent stay.

I was delighted to note that you had such an enjoyable stay, especially our location, your room and breakfast experience.

It is great to know that you would recommend us and you will return - we look forward to welcoming you.

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

This hotel is full of character and lots of charm. It's facilities manage to be reasonably up to date without interfering with the hotel's traditional nature.
One of the principal benefits is that it is within an easy walk of Blenheim Palace and it is an ideal base if that is the object of your visit.
I was amused to be sat in a comfy armchair in reception to sort out the normal formalities rather than standing at a counter or desk. The staff I found to be friendly.

The bar was very quiet and relatively expensive compared to its local competitors.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mike N
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 8 June 2014

Dear Guest

Thanks for taking the time to review the hotel following your recent visit. I was really pleased to learn that you enjoyed your stay.

We look forward to welcoming you back!

Warm regards

Paola Cassotti
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

We stayed 2 nights at The Bear as historical Woodstock appealed. It is a small, pretty town with good, interesting retail. The Bear is in a good location in the town with ample free car parking. Most in actual courtyard of hotel, in front of downstairs rooms. Our stay coincidentally was the long weekend, and The Bear was booked fully. I suspect it mostly is, because of Blenheim. As a local retailer said happily "it helps to be next door to a Palace". We initially thought The Bear expensive. We had been avoiding hotels in favour of independent accommodation in England, but The Bear showed the benefits of staying in a good hotel. Being pampered. The staff were exceptional, extremely professional, well trained in Customer Relations and beautifully mannered, all of them. Maids carrying baskets with supplies who cheerfully checked at rooms early each evening in case guests required anything. Never experienced that. A gracious touch.

Hotel has no elevators so we requested a courtyard room which was spacious, private, quiet, had a mini frig, large bathroom, bathrobes, crystal glassware, complimentary water, free WIFI and 2 comfortable lounge chairs and a table. Fastidiously clean throughout premises and car park/courtyard areas. Clothes iron and ironing table were I think the first satisfactory examples of these I have ever found in an hotel. Was almost a pleasure to do the ironing. Complimentary breakfast includes a diverse hot choice of eggs, sausages, bacon and was excellent. We noted each morning guests who were regular visitors, over many years we gathered and were very fond of the staff, knew them by name and happily had polite catch-ups with them.
Had dinner in the elegant restaurant and it was beautifully served and enjoyable and we met famous Winston a huge bear especially made many, many years ago to be the hotel mascot. After seeing Winston having dinner with a very tiny guest, I was smitten by him. Also an exceptional employee. I wanted to book Winston for breakfast, a sleepover and a drive in the country but my husband pointed out the child guests needed him. Sad. Had to contend with having a cuddle and taking photos. We loved our stay at The Bear and recommend it highly.

Room Tip: Courtyard rooms lovely and parking in front.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank POLLYANNA57
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 8 June 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to submit such a wonderful and detailed review following your stay at the Macdonald Bear Hotel.

I was extremely pleased to learn of your enjoyable visit, in particular the service from the team, room facilities and restaurant experiences. We appreciate such a helpful review.

I will be delighted to share your feedback with the team as I know they will be encouraged by it.

We appreciate the recommendation and look forward to welcoming you back very soon!

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
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

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: £75 - £257 (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 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Bear
Macdonald Bear Woodstock
Bear Hotel Woodstock
Bear Hotel Uk Woodstock

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