Despite several emails between myself and the NOA regarding check-in times, size of apartment etc, on the day of arrival (23rd May 2011) we arrived at the apartment on 200 Woodstock Road where no one was around to show us our apartments. I telephoned the number on the reservation and spoke to a gentleman (Anthony) who came over and explained that they thought we were check-in on the 24th May and not the 23rd May. I showed him my confirmation email from late-rooms (who we made the booking through origionally)
Anthony explained that none of the apartments would be ready until the 24th May, and offered to take us to the Lina Guest House (their guest house on Banbury Road in Oxford) We accepted this and the gentleman drove us to the Lina and explained that he would drive us back to the Noa the following morning so we could stay there for the remaining three nights as planned. Breakfast was also included whilst staying at the Lina.
In the morning after the one night at the Lina, Anthony drove us to the Noa Residence for the last three nights which is hardly "a serious alternative to luxury hotel accommodation", as promised on the Noa Residence website.
Had our room looked anything like those pictured online, we would have been perfectly happy. However, despite specifically booking a "luxury" apartment, we was given a tiny basement level room that was just barely larger than the cheap and uncomfortable double bed.
The website shows reasonably sized bathrooms and kitchens. Our room had a tiny kitchen area with a fridge, cook top, microwave, washing machine and limited cooking equipment. However, it was so small, the idea of actually cooking in the kitchen was beyond impossible. On the website there are pictures of cooker ovens, this is totally different to what we received and could only be described as a microwave. I would not consider cooking using that to avoid any food poisioning.
Unlike the rooms pictured, there was no place to sit down to eat besides two stools underneath the kitchen counter. The bathroom consisted of a stand-up shower and a half-sized sink with a tiny mirrored cabinet above the toilet. No flowers, just dust around the windowsill.
There is no 'daily maid service'
The Noa has excellent transport links with buses to Oxford City Centre every 15 minutes operated by the Oxford Bus Company and four buses an hour (roughly at the same time as each other) operated by Stagecoach. A single ticket into town is £1.80 or a 24 hour day ticket is £3.70 (a group 24 hour ticket is £7) Two buses an hour operate direct to the rail station. A taxi to or from the rail station to the Noa is around £7.
When we eventually arrived at the Noa, I enquired with Anthony about payment, he said we could do that tomorrow (Wednesday) or later in the week. Due to being out all day on Wednesday and Thursday we never saw Anthony or anyone else.
Cheap and bare cheerful. Oxford is a expensive City when it comes to accommodation, so be prepared to pay a lot but just don’t quiet stay here.
On the Friday morning (day of check out) I attempted to call “Anthony” to remind him about paying and that we were to check out today but the number I was given was “not available” later on in the morning the housekeeper asked when we would be check-in out. “Anthony” called and wanted to know. I mentioned that we were check-in out at 11am.
Check out was attentive, and quick. Payment can be made by credit or debit card or cash in sterling. Due to the error on the first night, we only paid for three nights instead of four.
I emailed the owner and was promised a full reply.
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