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“Shabby and outrageously overpriced”

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Macdonald Randolph Hotel
Ranked #17 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Reviewed September 18, 2013 via mobile

We booked two nights here for a work trip. We paid £588 for two nights. This didn't include parking, breakfast or use of the gym. When we arrived we were checked into room 31. It was freezing cold, small, gloomy and incredibly tired looking: paint peeling off the woodwork, cracked tiles in the bathroom, grubby caulking around the bath, stains on the carpet. We tried to turn the heating up using the wall thermostat as there was no radiator and left the room to let it hear up. Came back over 30 minutes later and it was still freezing. Called reception and asked them to look at it and went out again. Came back an hour later to find it still freezing but with a bottle of red wine on the side and two glasses. Perhaps their solution to defective heating is to supply booze? Called reception again and they sent housekeeping who told us the wall thermostat only controlled the cooling and then fished an old electric heater out of the wardrobe and proceeded to plug it in - this is a three hundred quid a night "5 star" hotel!?!? We complained and got moved to a better room with a radiator, although it was incredibly noisy due to creaky floorboards and insomniac guests upstairs. This really is a very old school hotel for old school people and appalling value for money. Sure the location is good and the staff couldn't have been more helpful but putting us in such an obviously substandard room just felt as though they were trying it on - the sad thing is a lot of people probably wouldn't have complained. There was a general "penny pinching" feel to the place too - they only replenished half our toiletries and tried to put the bottle of wine, which the housekeeper had claimed was a "gift" on our bill. My advice about staying here would be to first of all check whether there are other, better hotels available. If there aren't make sure you ask to see the room you've been allocated before unpacking your stuff. And take some ear plugs!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank Teamlines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gareth T, Manager at Macdonald Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2013

Dear Teamlines

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us here at The Macdonald Randolph. I was disappointed to hear of your dissatisfaction with your original room but am pleased that you were subsequently moved to a room that was more suitable for your needs. Accommodation in Oxford is always in demand and the price structure that we operate here is the same as all the other hotels that we compete with. When the availability is low then the price does unfortunately go up. There are always plenty of special offers available on our own website if you are in a position to book in advance and this may be an avenue worth pursuing for a more competitively priced room in the future. The heating system in room 31 has now been fixed as there was in fact a failure in that room that was only discovered when it was reported by yourselves which I thank you for.

Yours sincerely

Gareth Tebbutt, Deputy General Manager

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2,102 - 2,108 of 3,237 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2013

On the plus side, the location is excellent, right in the centre of the city, and with secure car-parking. The staff are all extremely pleasant and ready to help. The building itself is beautiful, and with much history attached. Everywhere was clean and well-maintained. The bed was very comfy.

But, our room was very small-not really enough room to put a suitcase down. And the highly-priced breakfast was absolutely mediocre. Hard toast. Scrambled eggs which had obviously sat around for a while. Manky bacon, tasting far too much of pig, unfortunately.

So in conclusion, we don't feel that we got value for money for the £300 which our night's stay cost us.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Maenol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gareth T, Manager at Macdonald Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Dear Maenol

Thank you for your recent contribition to trip advisor folowing your recent stay with us. The team really are a testiment to the passion that exists for hospitality at The Macdonald Randolph and I am pleased that this showed through during your time with us. All of our rooms have different floor plans and configurations due to the age and uniquness of our building which we endeavor to allocate with our guests best interests at heart. Thank you for your consructive feedback with regard to your breakfast experience, I will be discussing this in person with our executive Head Chef to remedy any issues.

Yours sincerely

Gareth Tebbutt, Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed September 17, 2013

I love to stay at Randolph whenever I visit Oxford. For me it is a very nice traditional English hotel which is becoming very difficult nowadays. Some functions are missing and some of them are not working properly, but it is fun to stay at Mac Donald Randolph, sip your 5 o'clock tea in the tea room, your cocktail at the famous bar and walk on the squicky flooring.The location is perfect both for reaching colleges and also for shopping.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank altanbak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gareth T, Manager at Macdonald Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Dear Altanbak

Thankyou for your recent review of The Macdonald Randolph, I have passed on your positive comments to our team and they are most motivated by your feedback. Thank you again for your valued contribution and we look forward to welcoming you back to The Macdonald Randolph in the near future.

Yours sincerely

Gareth Tebbutt, Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed September 15, 2013

We checked in with distinctly poor timing: in the middle of the St. Giles street carnival, which was taking place in all its cacophonic glory right around the corner from the hotel. Obviously, the hotel had no control over that. However, they should have had control over their own hot water system, but apparently did not, because cold showers were the order of the day until they got their probably ancient plumbing fixed. Much of the hotel was without hot water for a day.

This was one of those instances in which one wrong thing encourages you to look for other wrong things. We found them. We were apparently placed in a handicapped room (we don't need one). The tubless shower drained out on the floor of the loo, so puddling was a problem. Actually, the whole bathroom was poorly designed, particularly the faucet in the sink, which could never quite deliver both the volume and temperature of the water that was desired. Quarters were cramped in the room, and pieces of furniture obstructed one another. Electrical plug placement was inconvenient, and to crown it all off, a belt loop was broken on my bathrobe. . .the horror!

In sum, I came away thinking that the MacDonald chain is riding on reputation, and needs to put some serious money into its properties. I will grant that the central location of the Randolph is a plus.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RebelVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gareth T, Manager at Macdonald Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2013

Dear RebelVirginia

Thank you for taking the time to post a review on your recent stay with us here at The Macdonald Randolph Hotel. I am pleased that you found our location to be a beneficial for your time in Oxford. The St Giles Fair is an annual event that dates back to the 17th century and is usually well received by our patrons. I am sorry that this was not to your taste and marred your experience with us. Unfortunately we did have an issue with hot water while you were with us but this was rectified within a couple of hours and I would like to apologise for the inconvenience that this caused you. Our accessible rooms have been recently refurbished and the addition of the wet room facility has been very popular. Thank you for your helpful comments regarding this. My management team would have endeavored to find you another room had this been requested at the time. Thank you again for your constructive feedback and we hope to be of use to you in the future if your travels ever bring you back to Oxford.

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Reviewed September 12, 2013

I arranged a night away as a surprise for my husbands Birthday.
It was a very relaxing evening and we enjoyed a drink and a delicious meal before we retired to our luxurious room.
After a lovely breakfast, we explored the delights of Oxford.
We cannot wait to return

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Anne A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

very nice traditional English hotel,

we went there with a group of friends and had a good hotel experience,

nice afternoon teas, very good service. and very helpful staff.
the bar service was so amazing and the drink choices were plentiful.


would be back again soon :)

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Mkd20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

I stayed at the Randolph on business for three nights in an Executive Room. The room was spacious, well-equipped and very comfortable, where one could relax easily.
I only used the restaurant for breakfast and although it was crowded, the service was attentive and high quality.
Reception and concierge were very helpful and polite.
A very good experience all together.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank LondonWizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Randolph Hotel

Address: Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LN, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Oxford
#4 Family Hotel in Oxford
#7 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
#11 Business Hotel in Oxford
#14 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
Price Range: $196 - $500 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Macdonald Randolph Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 151
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Randolph Oxford
Hotel Macdonald Randolph
Randolph Hotel Oxford

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