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“Rude, arrogant, incompetent service guaranteed.”

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The Highwayman Hotel
Ranked #5 of 5 Kidlington B&B and Inns
Reviewed June 9, 2013

When I read the other bad reviews of the this place I thought they were being too harsh, but our experience confirmed everything bad others have said about this place and worse. DO NOT STAY HERE - absolutely NOT recommended. Highway robbery indeed. Have any of the staff had any hospitality or customer service training? My guess is not. Especially the bar manager Chris who is definitely not a fan of 'the customer is always right', or a graduate of charm school. Basic manners have passed him by.

I made a booking over the phone, which was fine and they seemed very friendly (obviously I didn't speak to the politeness-bypassed Chris). Our plans changed and so a few days out we requested that our friends stayed the first night of the booking with their two kids and asked for an extra mattress to be put in the room. This also seemed fine. It turned out the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing - when they showed up the message hadn't got through. It seems not only is there a manners bypass in this place, there is also a marked communication failure. I received 6 phone calls trying to clear it up. Honestly 6! How difficult can it be? It was an extra mattress and we were happy to pay a surcharge.

The next day we arrived and I checked personally that they had got the message our friends would be leaving and we (a couple) would be taking the room for the second night, as originally booked. One person (a seemingly friendly barman/receptionist) told me that was fine and the room would be refreshed and told me to keep hold of the key. What could be simpler?

We got back to the hotel around 8pm to be confronted by the screaming, mincing Chris who practically attacked us in the carpark demanding to know where 'his' key was and informing us that our booking was cancelled and we were out on the street. No reason given other than we confused them by having our friends stay the night before. Apparently this was a 'sub-letting' infringement, a step too far for a professional hotelier (who does this every day of the week) to deal with. I mean blimey, I wasn't trying to buy a house, or negotiate a mortgage. I was just booking a room for a different set of people one night, and another the next. Let me just check the dictionary, but isn't this the definition of the hotel? Not according to Chris. He was very upset - the crime of the century. And then went on to demand the key back, saying he would charge us for the room anyway and threatened to call the police. Interesting. An over-reaction no? We had the key, but then we had made the booking, had been told we would have the room nice and refreshed for us, and were then being told by him that we were going to pay for it anyway. Hmmm. I was looking forward to the Police arbitrating that one - but as it turned out, Chris was making empty threats. Diddums.

A big argument ensued, in front of all his customers in the bar (all 6 of them). They seemed to be quite enjoying it. Maybe this is the chosen spectator sport in this part of rural Oxfordshire. Perhaps there is little better to do and they are in need of this kind of entertainment. (I'm speculating here, granted.)

Chris refused to give us the room. We refused to pay for the second night. We insisted on a receipt for night 1, which he gave us, begrudgingly. And we went off to seek our fortune somewhere else. Somewhere with a customer services policy - or just good old fashioned manners.

Chris, if you're reading this I know you have my phone number. Please don't call. I know you have my credit card details. Please don't use. I will be checking.

And Chris, some careers advice. A customer facing, people oriented environment outside a closed circle of your own mates, is not for you.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank jess T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 - 112 of 123 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2013

Have recently stayed at this so called hotel, please take heed of this and other reviews and don't go. The hotel website describes its self as the best hotel in Kidlington, if this is the best I would hate to see the worst!
The room was little more than a glorified cupboard very very basic and worn. They did not even provide soap in the bathroom if you could call it that. I stayed two nights and the room was not cleaned or the bed made during my stay.
Apart from breakfast I did not see anyone eating there for bar meals etc. the outside of the hotel is awful there is overflowing rubbish skips and piles of what looks like building rubble and wood. There is also two old broken down caravans on the car park right outside two of the 'rooms'.
They have what is classed as a certified location for caravans on a scrap of land at the side of the hotel, I think that I am right in saying that this should be limited to five caravans. When I was there it was occupied by six vans all crammed together and surrounded by the car park, an industrial estate and a busy main road. Sounds like a good place to stay, I think not.
So take my advice and steer well clear of the place.

Room Tip: There isn't one
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Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank PhileasFoggEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

My PA booked me into the Highwayman for a recent business trip to Oxford. I was greeted with a warm and friendly welcome and made to feel at home by the lady who checked me in. The room was surprisngly contempary for the price I had paid. The pub grub, real ale and roaring fire was a perfect way to round off a busy day. Highly recomend a stay here and for the price I have stayed nowhere in the area which offers such value for money.

Room Tip: The room I stayed in was very contempary and modern.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Bustrav_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2013

I booked two nights at this hotel on arrival I was shown to room which is in a small out building in the car park.

I found that the room was dirty and draughty
front entrance door to out building was difficult to open and shut
the ensuite had no heating
the bed was a small single bed and my feet were hanging out the end (I am 1.8m in height)
the mattress had no mattress protector
the carpet was dirty
no waldrobe or hangers

I had no choice but to stay the night and next morning I spoke the manager and asked to be moved to another room because if the problems in room 7
He offered me another room (room 4) but I would have to pay extra to have it.
As I had already checked that there were no other hotels available for the next night I agreed.
there was no appologie from the manager he really gave the impression he could not careless.

Room was much better and when I went to use the shower in the morning there was no hot water
That is there was no water comming out of the shower when it was turned to the hot position.
The power socket in the same room was broken as was the ceiling light shade
No appologies from the maager
My advice stay well away

Just look at my pictures of room 7 this is a very small out building located out in the car park

Room Tip: My tip is stay well clear of this hotel
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank ethernol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I stayed here two days whilst at Oxford Airport.
Booked over the phone with a foreign girl, English was terrible, didn’t send me an email as requested.
Rooms are dated, but equipped with tea/coffee facilities and TV
‘Free WiFi’ was impossible to connect.
Chef on the morning was really nice and chatty.
Building work was going on during the day.
I could hear the person in the room above me snoring! I didn’t get the best night sleep.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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3  Thank Aaron_Hall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Never in my life have I stayed in such a dirty, cold , damp b&b, we were never offered a breakfast although we were promised that because of our early departure Danny insisted " I'll sort something out " we were pressured into paying (no receipts) although there were problems with our room, shower, heating,WiFi not working , again we was assured " I'll sort it out ", could not wait to get out of there after a week of hell in room 2 ,which has one tiny window covered in mould! STAY AWAY!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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4  Thank cmak1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2012

As I was working locally I was already staying at a B&B around the Woodstock area, but needed to find accommodation for an extra 4 nights, so I rang to book. After I had placed my booking I was told over the phone by the "receptionist" that I had 48 hours in which to cancel. The hotel cancellation policy which is on the website and I hasten to say that you can't rely on the general public for reading everything on the website, which I did not read. However the hotel's cancellation policy was not given to me clearly over the phone by the "receptionist"

When I tried to cancel this was explained to me by the hotelier and I was told that as I had gone into the 48 hours I would be charged for the whole booking, so I wasn't just charged for the one night at £50 but 4, in total I was charged £200, which brings me to my next complaint. As I had been staying in an establishment for £50 per night I assumed that the quality of accommodation would be the same.

Oh how wrong I was!!! I booked a single en-suite, when I got there I thought I would naturally been shown to a room in the main building in the converted old coaching inn, however I was shown to a room in an outside bungalow in the car park with no central heating. The room was small with well-used dated furniture which was a bed, table and bedside cabinet the en-suite was also very dated with mould on the ceiling above the shower and the window although small would not shut and let the cold air in. The only heating in the room was an electric wall heater which was far to close to the bed in such a small room and therefore a fire hazard. The hotel Wifi did not work and the whole room looked like it hadn't been cleaned properly in months as there was a thick layer of dust between the bed and cabinet, and the smell of the sheets although washed should have been binned a long time ago with that well used aroma about them.

At first I just put my bags in the room and went for dinner in the bar which was agreeable pub food then I went out for a few hours and returned to the room to have a shower which was very tricky in such a tiny shower and then as I was getting ready for bed, walking around the room I could see little flies hovering over the carpet, at the same time my bare feet were tingling, I put 2 and 2 together and decided I was not going to stay in such a room. By the time I had reached this conclusion it was past 11 pm and the bar had shut as it was a small establishment there was no obvious reception and I had not been notified of any other point of contact. So I packed and left.

I have been in contact with the hotelier since who has not offered to reimburse me for my bad experience.

Room Tip: Avoid the Highwayman!
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank William A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Highwayman Hotel

Address: 249 Banbury Road, Kidlington OX5 1BF, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Kidlington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Kidlington
Price Range: $100 - $121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Highwayman Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
The Highwayman Hotel Kidlington, Oxfordshire

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