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“Just an afternoon tea :)”

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Old Parsonage Hotel
Ranked #2 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 8, 2013

Lovely afternoon tea with scones, gorgeous jam and cream. Wasps were annoying though and i thought customer service could have been better. It would have been nice to see smiling faces and more enthusiasm from the staff.

1  Thank Tikal999
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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430 - 436 of 731 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2013

I regret to say that I was very disappointed with our experience at the Old Parsonage Hotel, particularly as it had been so highly recommended to me by friends.

My husband and I booked the hotel as as treat for my parents as they were visiting from out of town. At over £200 per night, I was shocked when I saw the unbelievably small room they were given (Room 24), but beyond that, I was appalled by the overwhelmingly unhelpful, unsmiling attitude from the staff.

As we had wanted to pre-pay the hotel room for my parents, the hotel could not take card payment over the phone for some reason and asked us to fill out a form and send it in prior to the hotel stay. My husband then received a curt email from a receptionist stating (and I quote) that "we have still not received the third party form for his stay, please can you provide this. If we don’t receive a form then we will have to take payment from your father-in-law". The tone of this email was most unfriendly and unwelcoming. Unfortunately, this tone was continued throughout the length of the stay.

When we arrived to the hotel, the staff behind the counter at reception did not greet us, but waited to be greeted instead. We enquired about the free walking tour taking place at 2 pm and were instructed to wait outside (this was confirmed twice) the Old Bank Hotel. Upon arriving to the Old Bank Hotel, we, along with another couple, waited outside until 2:10 or so as the guide did not appear. I called Old Parsonage to ask what was going on and they then told me we had to proceed into the reception of Old Bank Hotel, where we would be met. Turns out, the guide had been inside all along, but we had been given incorrect instructions. The other couple were as unimpressed as we were.

Cleaning supplies were left in the corridors of the hotel, unattended, along with housekeeping log books. Chips in paint were found throughout and the hotel looked poorly cared for.

Still, I was really excited for breakfast the next morning, as we were joining my parents in the courtyard and I had heard good things about the quality of food at Old Parsonage. However, the poached eggs ordered by four members of our group all contained hard centres and the ham was grey and tough. My tea cup had chocolate fingerprints smudged on it and I had to ask for it to be replaced. This is definitely not the standard I was expecting. We asked for our preserves and jams to be removed as there were several wasps that had appeared. The server grew impatient and rolled his eyes at us at one point, not returning to clear the table.

In the past, if there was really something I've been unhappy with during our hotel stay (which has been rare, since I've not really ever had a bad experience), I have felt comfortable speaking to management in order to find a solution. The staff at Old Parsonage had made us feel so unwelcome from the beginning and throughout my parents' stay, that I did not feel as though I could approach anyone to, say, ask if there was any possibility in switching rooms, etc.

Worst of all, it was our wedding weekend in Oxford, and I felt that this experience really did ruin aspects of our day. I felt very let down by the hotel and will not be recommending it to anyone in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Angloyankophile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toby A, Front Office Manager at Old Parsonage Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2013

Thank you for your comments, which we read with much concern. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the poor level of service you appear to have received. To have arrived at the hotel and not be greeted and a friendly and professional manner is unacceptable. That this attitude and unhelpfulness seems to have set the tone for your parents’ visit is even more worrisome.

We always take pride, without complacency, in the overwhelmingly positive comments and compliments we receive, both for the hotel and its staff. To receive feedback like this is a jolt and a firm reminder to ensure standards are maintained and training provided.

I would like to address some of the individual comments you have made. We do treat credit card security with great attention to detail, for your protection as well as ours. Whilst the wording of my colleague’s email lacked graciousness, it was sent, within the context of previous correspondence, with the best of intentions. Apologies, again, for any offence caused.

I am sorry that you were misdirected to the Old Bank Hotel. We were able to identify this lack of knowledge and clarify the correct procedure, straight away. Part of the induction process for new employees involves taking the tour, to gain first-hand experience. The young man who directed you had yet to do this, but is now fully aware of the procedure.

Most importantly, we are sorry that you felt uncomfortable about addressing your concerns to the hotel management. We are always approachable and would have listened to your concerns and dealt with them in as timely and appropriately a manner as possible.

Do feel free to contact me personally, if you wish to discuss these matters further.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

We visited the Old Parsonage for Champagne Afternoon Tea to celebrate our anniversary, the location is central (5 minutes walk from the High Street) and the building was beautiful! We enjoyed a drink on the terace, prior to being serviced our tea inside.

Afternoon tea is one of my all time favourite treats, the sandwiches and scones (if a little small) were on par with all other places we had visited, though I was disappointed with the pastry selection! These little pastries should be delightful, though I couldn't complain about the taste, I didn't feel lemon cake, chocolate brownie or a shortbread biscuit was inkeeping with traditional afternoon tea.

Good selection of teas and I would reccommend the Old Parsonage blend, overall a great afternoon and I would suggest is a more relaxed experience (no dress code) than what I was expecting!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Homertron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We stayed here to celebrate a special family occasion, and were not disappointed. A beautiful hotel, very atmospheric and an oasis of calm just a short stroll from the heart of the city.
Our celebratory lunch in the shady garden was very memorable. Wonderful sea food and excellent desserts .... with friendly, efficient service from the staff. A real treat.

Room Tip: Avoid ground floor room overlooking the car park, as we found it noisy.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Rosemary N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Imaginative redevelopment of a central site with great attention to detail - quite a pleasure.

Expensive but not excessively so given the location and service which really was excellent - meticulously professional but friendly without being casual.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Wadestown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toby A, Front Office Manager at Old Parsonage Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2013

Thank you for your comments. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay with us.

It is particularly gratifying to hear that you received exactly the level of service we aim to provide; it is so important that we strike the right balance.

We do hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Old Parsonage Hotel, in the future.

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Reviewed July 16, 2013

My wife and I stayed here with our 4 month old baby during a heatwave in July 2013. The hotel staff (especially Voitek [sp?] at the front desk) were very helpful and kind. They wisely put us in room 30, which is slightly isolated from the rest of the rooms so the baby noise did not disturb anyone else. This actually made it a lot more relaxing for us. They also provided a (clean and relatively new) cot for the baby, which made travelling easier. We decided to stay an extra day and they allowed us to keep the same room, although I think it meant some reservation gymnastics for the front desk. We got in-room massages and would recommend them for other guests. We also got the champagne afternoon tea on Sunday, which was delightful!
The location is nice too - close to the Jericho neighbourhood of Oxford.
We first stayed in this hotel in 2008, and I am glad we returned five years later. It is still very nice!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank mojofc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Comfortable bed...cosy bedroom overlooking an inner courtyard, extremely quiet location, wonderful teak furniture on shaded patio, where bikes, which were free to use, awaited us after a Lovely breakfast on shaded patio which was surrounded by stone walls, furnished with teak tables and chairs and umbrellas for shade. Bikes were available for use to tour the city, free of charge. Extremely pleasant staff, who were exceptionally helpful with directions to various spots around town and outside of Oxford. Very intimate dining room, with bar off the side with wood burning fireplace....home away from home. Wonderful relaxing stay.

Room Tip: Our room was not overly large but that was fine...if space is an issue, perhaps ask for larger room...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank scottieg13_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Parsonage Hotel

Address: 1 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Oxford
#2 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
#5 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
Price Range: $227 - $502 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Old Parsonage Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ranked as the best hotel in Oxford, the 17th century Old Parsonage is situated in the heart of this historic city at the end of the beautiful boulevard St Giles. The recently completed restoration combines the original charm and character of the building with the very latest comfort, amenity and technology available today. The Old Parsonage restaurant and bar, famous for its intimate, bohemian, clubby atmosphere, serves classic British food with a modern, light touch. Open every day of the year, breakfast, lunch, dinner and our famous afternoon teas can be enjoyed in the company of Oxford's academic and literary elite. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Old Parsonage

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