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“Quirky...in a good way !” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Crazy Bear Hotel, Stadhampton

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Crazy Bear Hotel, Stadhampton
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Bear Lane, Stadhampton OX44 7UR, England   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Stadhampton
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Quirky...in a good way !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

From the check-in on board the red double decker bus in the car park, to the bizarre room decor - this was never going to be an ordinary hotel stay. Staff were incredibly friendly & helpful. Weather was fab which allowed us to sit in the garden before & after dinner. Patio heaters and garden lighting made this really comfortable right up to 11:30pm. The bedroom was disappointing (Deluxe room 11). It's very, very dark inside and has a totally impractical bathroom with no storage / shelf and a very wet floor. Not even towel storage, or rail. We were supplied with 2 bath/2 hand towels which we has to keep in the bedroom as nowhere to fold/hang in the bathroom. The bedroom has black drapes and black carpet with minimal lighting. Felt very claustrophobic and was far too hot. An ugly, noisy air con unit was positioned in the room pre our arrival and relied upon the window being left open all night for the pipe to hang outside. We kept our time in the room to a minimum and have to say that the garden, bar and restaurant experience more than made up for the bedroom. The garden is lovely and both dinner and breakfast in the restaurant were superb. Service was efficient & friendly. Not sure I would return to this Crazy Bear but might give the Beaconsfield one a try.....

Stayed July 2014
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175 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Having read some of the reviews I was a bit apprehensive not sure what to expect. It was one of the funkiest places I have ever been to and really good fun. If you are expecting ordinary it is not the place to go. The superior room was exactly as expected the bath was fabulous especially when accompanied by the ice cold champagne. This room did however have a separate toilet and was situated at ground level.
The staff were fantastic and the service was very slick. We had the set meal as part of the package we booked but wished we had tried the al a carte menu as the steaks looked fabulous.
The only downside was that drinks were London prices not that that in any way spoiled our enjoyment . Look forward to returning to try the Thai restaurant.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Harlow, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

My partner and I stayed here on Friday night for our 5th anniversary. My partner had called the hotel previous to have something delivered which the were totally accommodating to and she mentioned it was our anniversary. When we arrived they had taken the time to place a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice for us, which was complimentary - very impressed!
We have previously stayed at the Beaconsfield hotel and it is quite different to the Stadhampton hotel. As the staff explained the Beaconsfield hotel is more glamorous where as the Stadhampton hotel is more rustic which is true. The rooms were still beautiful but I have to admit I preferred the Beaconsfield hotel!
The 7 course tasting menu we had at the English restaurant was exquisite and the cocktails we had in the garden after we're perfect!
The staff were amazingly friendly and always willing to help!
Overall the stay was brilliant, and still Crazy Bear Hotel is one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in and will definitely be booking our 3 rd stay soon!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

We stayed in suite 3 for a bday celebration for my wife. Great bath & shower , which is what your paying for really, but a noisy air con that never really switches off ! The lighting even at its brightest in the room is so dark its hard to see anything... & we are only 35yrs old ! The crazy bear place is literally mad money for what you get..... it really is, Service is so slow, drinks are really over priced by any standard, food is ok but the Thai restaurant smelled very damp and so they had the door open all evening which was cold on the diners.. As another reviewer echoed the club sandwich is very large for one person at lunch so be warned! They do make good cocktails but it does take some time to get one. We booked a massage but the thai lady only gave my wife 30 mins instead of the booked 60mins which was bizarre and they did try to charge for 60mins on check out. The breakfast room is hilarious as it is so small, our table for two was incapable of having breakfast on with all the plates etc so we had to use another table & we kept having to ask for tea, toast, condiments etc,,, just poor attention to customer service. Would I stay here again ... NO. Would I recommend it to a friend.. NO Total cost £765 !!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: book somewhere else
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Stadhampton hotels

Bristol, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2014

Having always wanted to stay at a Crazy Bear after seeing the photos but not being able to justify the expense, we finally took the plunge after securing a Secret Escapes deal. It was still a lot more than we would normally pay to stay in a hotel at a cost of £300 but a Suite plus 3 course dinner and bottle of Champagne thrown in were enough to tempt us. It was our anniversary after all. Unfortunately I did not read the trip advisor reviews first! I was so sure I would love it and at that price we could be assured of a five star service that I didn't even think about it. Reading the reviews only after we had booked I became quite concerned but there were good reviews too and so we hoped we would be lucky. Sadly our optimism was not rewarded.

Firstly I would just like to say that this is not a hotel at all. This was the first surprise. We pulled up into the car park, (a nightmare at Sunday lunchtime with cars abandoned everywhere) and made our way to the Reception double decker bus. It was a hot day and we were grateful that we didn't have to stay in there for long, especially as you couldn't even stand up straight! Apparently our room was ready and the receptionist said she would escort us to it. She took us through to the pub and kept walking down this little lane of houses! We then stopped outside what was just an ordinary medium sized detached house! Our suite (and about 3 or 4 others) were in here! We had booked the last remaining suite apparently which was No. 7 and it was up in the attic. Well don't book that one if you have any mobility problems! We climbed one flight of windy stairs with only a rope "handrail" to steady us. The black carpet did not help matters as it made individual stairs very hard to see! We reached the door of the suite to be confronted inside with another flight of black carpeted stairs up to the attic room which we again staggered up. The heat took your breath away even though the velux windows were all open. This had little effect on the temperature as the sun was directly on them and had the added bonus of letting in the noise from the road outside as well.

The receptionist then spent a few minutes explaining how the TV worked and how the infinity bath worked, telling us about breakfast and ironing boards etc. before leaving us. I didn't think to ask about air conditioning at the time as we were still a bit shell shocked from finding out this "hotel" wasn't a hotel after all. Having said that, the room was opulently furnished and the décor was completely OTT with padded velour walls and a silver bed. There were mirrors everywhere but only for decorative purposes. The bathroom is open plan, ie no door. The toilet is opposite one of said decorative mirrors at exactly the right height to reflect you sitting there in all your glory to your partner lounging on the bed! If your husband is anything like mine and shall we say "regular" in the morning I'm sure you can imagine my consternation (and his amusement) at what was in store for me at his morning ablutions! Having been married now for 26 years we are pretty comfortable with each other but even so for a romantic break you really don't want to see (or smell) certain things for £300 a night do you? For those of you who may not be so "comfortable" with each other this could be a serious consideration!

Anyway, by this time the heat, coupled with my hormones were making the room unbearable and I was about to ring reception to ask for a fan when we found a remote control for the air conditioning. We thought this a bit strange as the receptionist had been at pains to explain everything else so why wouldn't she have mentioned the air conditioning, especially on a day as hot as this. To cut a long story short we then had several visits from various people to try and rectify the situation and eventually had to have a mobile air conditioner put in the room which had a huge vent pipe out of the window. It was noisy and didn't look very attractive but at least it cooled the room finally. The Manager apologised profusely for our inconvenience and said he would tell his staff "to look after us" at dinner. We assumed this meant we would at last get a free drink but apparently not! After waiting for almost 2 hours for it to sorted before we could finally get into our infinity bath with our champagne (no doors so not even I could get in on my own unless I wanted to scare the manager, which I didn't, at that point anyway) not even a single glass of wine, let alone the free bottle we were hoping might be made available!

We had in the meantime ordered room service which would have been lovely, my husband's club sandwich and chips was enormous and we could easily have shared it had we known how big it was. I had ordered the smoked salmon with green salad and sourdough bread however. Unfortunately they forgot the green salad and sourdough bread and by the time this was rectified I had eaten the salmon anyway!

Finally we were able to make use of our infinity bath and this was the highlight of our stay. Fantastic, we loved it. Later on we made our way to the restaurant for dinner. I echo what others have said, the bar/pub itself is tiny and the restaurant also very small but looks twice the size because of a huge mirror. I also echo the lady who mentioned the ridiculously oversized and completely impractical light fittings on one side (our side of course :/) of the restaurant. Everyone hits their head on them. Madness. But as you will find, the Crazy Bear does seem to be a triumph of design over function and practicality. More of that later. Having been told we would be looked after we then waited for that to happen. We ordered drinks from the bar as we did not want a bottle of wine after the bottle of champagne we'd already had in the room! They did not come until after our starter was served and we'd reminded the waiter we still hadn't had them. The service was slow in the extreme. The food was okay, I haven't anything bad to say about it but it certainly did not wow us either. The choice I thought was extremely limited. We were on a set menu of course but there were only 4 choices, one of them vegetarian. The drinks prices at the bar were pretty steep but that was to be expected I suppose. Breakfast the following morning was much the same experience, the service was really slow, it was an age before anyone even offered us coffee but I did enjoy the scrambled egg and smoked salmon I had.

Just a word about the impractical nature of the rooms which was also mentioned by others as I remember. There is a dressing table but the mirror is that mottled, distressed glass, you can't do your make up in it and there was no plug for my hairdryer or straighteners. I had to use one by the bed and then of course there was no mirror. Bring a mirror for your make up ladies! Also in the middle of the bathroom was a rainforest shower head sticking out of the ceiling, no shower cubicle, so if you wanted a shower which you do because the infinity bath isn't really practical for more than sitting and sipping champagne in, the whole of the bathroom floor gets soaked and very slippery and the water just stays there so if you come in wanting to use the loo later you will be traipsing through it all again. Of course the toilet will also be wet, the padded walls also get wet. Why they didn't put the shower head over the bath I just couldn't understand. The sink yet again, when you see it you think wow! Try using it and you get splattered with water! It was a slab of marble with a soup bowl in the middle and the tap was quite a distance from it. Therefore you turned on the tap, the water hit the marble slab and you get drenched! If you cleaned your teeth you had a bowl of toothpaste and spit in front of you until you emptied it out. Very off putting, again no mirror except those at bum level for decorative purposes!

So would I go again, not bloody likely I'm afraid. I'm sure for the same money you could stay in a proper 5 star hotel and not a house down a lane from a little pub. It's ridiculously overpriced even at the so called half price we paid for it. I'm sure some of the other suites are much better than the one we stayed in but even so, had it been raining that day/night we would not have been amused that we had a 100 yard walk in the rain and the dark to and from the pub! Although thoughtfully, they do provide you with an umbrella and a torch! Oh and the bed was really hard and the pillows like marshmallows, did not pass the pillow test at all I'm afraid.

Room Tip: Choose a different hotel!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

My husband and I have just returned from a nights stay at The Crazy Bear Stadhampton, having been to the London restaurants several times I couldn't wait and wasn't disappointed! From the moment we arrived nothing was too much trouble, the receptionist was helpful and very polite as were all members of staff we encountered. We both had massages and they honestly were the best massages we have ever had! Our room (Suite 3) was fantastic and just what we were hoping for. Black velvet walls, a HUGE infinity bath which filled from the ceiling at the bottom of the bed, a seperate wet room and lovely patio with table and chairs outside. The bed was amazingly comfy and we had a fantastic nights sleep, didn't hear any noise at all even though there was a wedding being held there.
We ate in the Thai restaurant on Saturday evening and had a wonderful meal. Service was great and the food so delicious, I cannot recommend it enough. We had an excellent breakfast the next morning and finished the weekend off with a trip to the farm shop which was great and just down the road.
We throughly enjoyed ourselves and can't wait to come back. It was exactly as expected and if you like good food, delicious cocktails and quirky rooms then this is the place for you.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grimsby, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

We arrived and was upgraded on the first night to a lovely room big bath but very dark,the menu was oviously different for secret escape buyers because the full menu was lovely. We we were moved to a small room 2night which was cosy but had to have the air condition removed as it nearly took over the room but was compensated with champagne in the room chilling in a ice bucket. The meal the 2nd night was lovely but we were given a huge bill £175 to pay although we were DBB a big mistake made by a very rude waiter who actually came to the bar and called my husband mate. The receptionist was very helpful and efficient and removed the extra of the bill .we were supposed to get a call from the manager but it never happened. Would I recommend the crazy bear or go again NO spoilt by that one remark mate !

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crazy Bear Hotel, Stadhampton

Address: Bear Lane, Stadhampton OX44 7UR, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Stadhampton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Stadhampton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Crazy Bear Hotel, Stadhampton 5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The original Crazy Bear has been entertaining guests since its creation in 1993. Abundant gardens, eclectic design, award winning dining and inventive facilities, within eighty acres of working farmland all contribute to its distinctive personality. The Crazy Bear Stadhampton is a unique oasis in a countryside setting, and is the foundation for our Crazy Bear culture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crazy Bear Stadhampton
Hotel Crazy Bear
Crazy Bear Hotel

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