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“Fell in love with 'The Bear'” 5 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
Boston
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Fell in love with 'The Bear'”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

My company booked my business trip here and I was more than pleasantly surprised! I stayed for one week and fell in love with this historical hotel and the history of Woodstock! There was a small (and free!) but very informative Oxfordshire museum located just across the street from The Bear. Another great place was the Blenheim Palace which is only a 5 min walk from the hotel.... Beautiful, simply a beautiful palace and grounds. If you buy a one day pass, you can turn it into an annual pass and you get an ID with your pic on it.. very nice touch. I was planning on jumping on a short bus ride to Oxford but found myself staying in Woodstock to enjoy the quaint countryside for the weekend. I would recommend this place in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • 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 MonkeyLove33
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, 26 June 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review of the Macdonald Bear Hotel. I really enjoyed reading your review and that you especially enjoyed the sights of Woodstock so much!

We appreciate the recommendation and look forward to welcoming you back 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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1,578 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 (272)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

We stayed only one night in June, the weather was very hot.
The room was oldy world just as we wanted, beams everywhere. Could have done with air con but that's not possible in such an old building I suppose although there was a fan in the room.
We slept on the very top floor and had the window open all night and there was no noise outside so a good nights sleep was had.
The restaurant served really nice food, large portions as well, we eat on the first floor as the restaurant I think was having a group with buffet. The upstairs room was quite warm and we were glad to have finished to get fresh air. Nevertheless the overall was very nice.
Very convenient for Blenheim palace and a pretty hotel.
Good staff and a superb breakfast this time in the restaurant.
Would I stay again...Yes of course

Room Tip: We had the room at the front of the Hotel and there was no noise, so I can assume that most rooms wo...
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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 Keith B
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, 26 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 had a good nights sleep and enjoyed the meals you experienced.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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
Redditch
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2014

Wow a wonderful hotel in a great setting. First appearances did not disappoint and the interior was just as impressive having a feel of old worldy but with modern touches and facilities and staff who were always cheerful and helpful. The rooms are all individually refined and the bathroom in room 30 was nearly as big as the bedroom, fantastic. The in room facilities were everything we needed and more. Big thank you to the staff who made our short stay a very memorable one. A must stay hotel and perfect for visiting Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds. :)

Room Tip: they are all unique but room 30 was fab
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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?
1 Thank liverpoolfc1
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, 26 June 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for submitting a review of your experience following your stay at the Macdonald Bear Hotel.

I enjoyed reading your review and appreciate the helpful details you provided. It is lovely to receive feedback of this nature and the team are always encouraged by it.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Kindest regards

Paola Cassotti
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2014

My boyfriend and I went away for a weekend in the middle of June, we initially booked a standard double room but were lucky to be upgraded to an executive room. We had room 40 which was at the top of the house and the only room on the top floor, there are a lot of stairs but we're both in our 20s so this wasn't a problem. The room itself was clean and well presented, the only downside was that there was no air conditioning although there was a fan and the reception staff did say we could have further ones if we needed so this wasn't a problem. The bed was very comfortable and it was easy to get a good nights sleep. There was a nice restaurant but we only tried the hotel bar which was lovely and cosy, there's also a lovely little Italian restaurant opposite the hotel. Breakfast is quite expensive as it's £20pp each day so we chose to go further afield. All the staff we came into contact with were very polite and all did there best to accommodate you and greeted you if you went past. The village the hotel in is lovely and it's a good location to be able to make it into central oxford in a short time, it's also right by Blenheim Palace. There is car parking, however the main car park is tiny but there is an overflow carpark round the back where we always managed to get a space. The only downside to the hotel is that it doesn't have a gym or a spa like some of the other macdonald hotels which was slightly disappointing. We really enjoyed our stay at such a lovely historical hotel and wouldn't hesitate to return in future!

  • Stayed June 2014, 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?
1 Thank Tammy_Jayne
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, 17 June 2014
Dear Guest

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

I appreciate you taking the time to provide such a detailed account and was really pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay and the service from the team.

We hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back 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
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Collingwood, Australia
Level Contributor
88 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

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
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stowm
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

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
Helpful?
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 review, 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
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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