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“Excellent value, great location”
Review of River Hotel

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River Hotel
Ranked #24 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Highlands Ranch, CO
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent value, great location”
Reviewed October 12, 2009

OK, having stayed at many UK small hotels and B&B's, I had clear expectations for this type of hotel and I was spot-on. Sure it's an old building with small rooms and creaky floors, but that's why they don't charge 100 pounds a night. On the down side, the furnishings are dated and the carpet could use replacing. Did that have any effect on my stay? Certainly not. The bed was comfortable, the room was quiet (#7), the hot water was plentiful, the Wi-Fi worked without issue, and the service at breakfast was wonderful, with a well-appointed cold buffet and any sort of eggs and bacon/sausage cooked to order in a manner of minutes. On my final day, I had to leave before they opened for breakfast, so on prior night they insisted that I select a cold breakfast tray with cereal, yogurt, milk, OJ (the cold items on ice) to keep in my room for the next morning. Very nice. Best of all, I was only 200 yards away from both the Oxford train station and the Said Business School.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank flanclan6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Covent Garden, London
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2009

There are a few good things about this hotel - location is excellent for rail station & city centre, staff were friendly and helpful, breakfast pretty good - but that's it. We stayed there with friends, and as other reviewers found, both rooms were extremely shabby, with very faded furnishings and discoloured wallpaper and looked to have been last decorated well over 20 years ago. The bedroom carpets were badly stained (re the recent review that referred to stains hidden by a bathroom mat in "room 1" - the hotelier points out there is no room 1, but our friends did indeed find stains as described, hidden under a bathmat in room 2 - mystery solved). Our carpet was also badly rucked and wrinkled and the skirting boards cracked and crumbling in places. No remote for the TV meant no choice other than BBC1. Water from the shower changed all the time from very hot to completely cold. The toilet seat slid sideways but it was in such a tight spot between the bath and wall that you couldn't go far. A strange little dusty basket with the mouldering remains of pot pourri begged to be thrown out and the shower rail was detaching itself from the wall. Even the laminated sign on the bathroom wall about use of shower curtain appeared to be going mouldy! The bed was way too soft (but sheets clean and quite new, blankets very old and worn).
We got a glimpse into the room next door and it looked to have a newer carpet and somewhat fresher (but very dated) decor, so perhaps there are some better rooms, but I wouldn't risk it. Dreadful value at £80 a night. But it would have been bad value at half the price too.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chloie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
patisis, Owner at River Hotel, responded to this review, October 2, 2009
Some of this review is covered in our response to 'Amybb'.

Our regular customers over many years are aware of the property lease issue, a poster is in the bar with the media coverage.

To stay for two days and not ask about the TV remote is remiss, all the time it was attached to a springed holder fixed to the on/off standby switch by the bed. The desk is staffed all day until closedown as well as 'on call' thoughout the night.

Now that maintenance is back the carpet issue will be resolved, covering bleached out spots, not a dirt stain, was a pro-temp measure.

One would be hard-pressed to find an accredited ensuite double room with the expected facilities at £40.00, including breakfast cooked to order and VAT. The most reasonable rate nearby is at the Youth Hostel.

Rest assured that we benefit return business from satisfied guests from all walks of life, globally, not all resorting to this site to comment.
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Travelers are raving about these Oxford hotels

rugby
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed September 7, 2009

I work away for a living and have done for 5 years... this hotel is a nightmare, it is dirty, disgusting, old fashioned - the beds are stained, there are no duvets, just old dirty brown blankets with starched white(ish) sheets, the shelf fell of the wall as we walked in the room and smashed 2 glasses on the floor - when I tried to pick the glass up I got handfulls of other peoples hair - and not just the hair on your head! The furniture is about 40 years old. the bed I slept in was so old that I kept rolling onto my partner in the night, it is on a main road with windows that needed replacing about 20 years ago.. we ended up arguing as the fraustration of getting no sleep what so ever!!!!

We were supposed to be there for 3 nights whilst I was on business, my partner commuting to Oxford thinking it would be a nice treat to see each other whilst I was away - but no, we checked out after the first night, refusing to stay in such a hell hole.

I did not try the breakfast, I wanted to get out as quickly as possible - and i am not sure what standards other people expect but if they could have a dirty room like ours was visitble, I would dread to think of what the kitchen is like - yuk - not a chance!!!

We stayed at a hotel in Goring and Streatly (which was AMAZING if you do not mind a 30 min journey to Oxford and want something which is number 1 for romance and country walks - food excellent too) as it was too late for me to book anywhere else

DO NOT STAY AT THIS HOTEL - I CANNOT BELIEVE ANYONE HAS ACTUALLY WRITTEN ANYTHING POSITIVE

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank amybb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
patisis, Owner at River Hotel, responded to this review, October 2, 2009
To respond to comments made:
We do not purport to be a 'modern boutique' establishment. Originally an 1870's master-builder's home, run in a traditional style with courtesy.

The impression of the building at present is due to the prevailing property owner's lease issues which prevents the usual ongoing investment until finalised.

Our conventional crisp white linen is from a national professional laundry service, also used by other Hotels in Oxford.

The top blanket, brown, is supplied and used specifically as a fire blanket.

In the evening it was reported to the desk about the bathroom shelf, in the presence of the guest it was found that the chrome fitting was intact, with the glass shelf tilting, causing two glasses to shatter.

The glass was removed from the basin and bath, then shower hosed. The floor left clean with a new bathmat and more towels to use for extra safety. July being a busy month for short notice bookings, we were unable to offer an alternative.

The bedroom furniture is matching pine. The outer original window is sash corded with a latch, the secondary double glazing also closes horizontally, installed about five years ago. to quote 20 or 40 years is somewhat exaggerated.

Our breakfast service offers a good starter selection from the buffet, At the table we take the cooked order, which is prepared from the kitchen visible at the back of the restaurant, all to an acceptable standard, sending our guests away with the right impression.
In this instance, we were not given the opportunity to prove ourselves.

It was our duty to contact the guest repeatedly by phone and email to refund her deposit and to report lost property left in her room; this was collected from reception at the end of the week.

It is unfortunate that the visit was not to expectations which is regrettable.
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FW, Texas
1 review
Reviewed August 2, 2009

My husband and I travelled to England in June of this year. We stayed in London, Glastonbury, Wells and Oxford. We booked our stay at the River Hotel in Oxford online the night before we took the train into Oxford. It was just across the street from the train station and that seemed convienent enough. Upon arriving we were greeted by a young man, we were given all the instructions on how to leave the hotel and when to leave the key with the front desk. We were assigned ROOM # 1, it is just across from reception down the hall. I must say first of all that my husband and I have travelled in Europe before and know just how small the rooms can be. This is not an issue. For us we just wanted a clean/nice place to lay our heads. The first thing I noticed as we walked into the room was an old worn out tattered "dirty" bath mat in the middle of the floor. I lifted up the mat to see that it was covering up a large bleach stain on the carpet below. The carpet was dirty and looked as if it had not seen a vacuum in months. Still, not a problem. The wallpaper was peeling from the walls, the curtains had seen better years with rips and holes in them and the windows were painted shut...and still not really a problem as the beds looked ok and the sheets appeared clean. The problem begins in the bathroom. First of all I noticed that there had been some "fixing up" done to something over the sink. Could not tell what had been fixed but there was a mess all over the sink and in the sink from looked like sheetrock falling. It was just left there! Second, as I lifted up the toilet lid I counted 5 hairs on the seat! If that isn't gross enough the smell in the bathroom alone would knock one out! I still to this day do NOT know what that smell was but it was rank! I could not stand to brush my teeth in there. The shower was fine and had hot water, thankfully, but it was so unbearable to be in there it made the whole stay the worst place I have ever stayed before. Keep in mind that we were only looking for a clean place to stay the night. Price was not reasonable for the unkept and smelly room we received...Room #1. It is just unimaginable how someone can go in there change the sheets on the bed (we hope) and leave a mess in the sink, 5 hairs on the toilet seat and not do something about the smell and leave it calling it clean and ready for guests!!!! Don't stay here, not even for a night, not even if it 's deeply discounted.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kmpohl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
patisis, owner at River Hotel, responded to this review, September 15, 2009
Having discussed this review with the relevant staff, it is agreed to respond to the issues raised, it seems there is some confusion apparent.
This booking was telephoned from Somerset on Sunday 21st by 9.30 a.m.to be claimed by 4pm on Monday, arriving by train, not booked electronically.
There is no #1.
Referring to check-in info, we hold high regard for the security of our guests, especially for late entry after closedown, Oxford is a busy tourist City, keys left at reception in the day-time is a safer option than the likelihood of being lost or pocketed, apart from the replacement cost.
There is a tumbletwist mat on the wall-to-wall fitted carpet outside the bathroom door, regrettably spoilt by a bleach spillage. The carpets are cleaned and vacuumed regularly in keeping with the constant use of the rooms
The wallpaper is not peeling from the walls.
There are no rips in the four window nets or lined drapes.
The windows are not painted shut, the original outer windows are sash-cord with a horizontal locking latch, in keeping with the 1870's build. the secondary double glazing displays a notice of how to open, or, to request assistance from the desk if preferred.
It would appear that routine maintenance work had not been cleared up.
If the toilet seat needed attention this could easily have been corrected by reporting to the nearby desk, which is staffed until closedown.
The isolated incident of the smell was caused from an exterior sewer which affected that end of the building and soon rectified. Be assured that the room is in continual use without such a problem recurring.
Bearing in mind that this is an old property, run on traditional hotel lines, much appreciated globally my many from all walks of life. It is regretted that they were so disattisfied and did not give us the opportunity to make good their stay by following the recommended procedure of bringing issues to our attention, which is mentioned in our check-in key card.
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Arlington, VA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 15, 2009

Actually, the title of this review is the hotel's "motto", and it is accurate. I'm a repeat custormer for several reasons. First, the staff are very helpful, personable and eager to be of service. Second, the location is beautiful, peaceful, and convenient. The hotel is a four minute walk from the train station, and a ten minute walk from the bus station. East of the hotel is the hustle/bustle/congestion of Oxford, but in other directions are foot/bike paths and a quieter, more bucolic environment. The Thames flows right by the hotel offering scenic walking opportunities and evoking Wind in the Willows and Philip Pullman's Gyptians (from The Golden Compass). The breakfast is excellent -- try the kippers -- and the homey dining room offers views of the river and a good library for travelers. My room was not especially large, nor luxurious, but it was comfortable and spacious enough -- including for working as well as sleeping.There are several neighborhood pubs nearby, including the Waterman's Arms (a five minute walk south along the Thames) where Henry presides. I felt so comfortable there I kept returning rather than checking out the others. Ask him for the story behind the photograph of the Beatles over the mantle.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Xwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed July 9, 2009

This hotel advertises "colour television" as a bonus. Seems not to have had any money spent on it in the last 30 years. Has a genuine Fawlty Towers feel, for fans of vintage British comedy. This has good aspects - as with Fawlty Towers, the staff (apart from the owner) are lovely. Unfortunately, it also has all of the bad ones. The rooms are ancient, and poorly furnished. The shower/baths are a joke, as mentioned in other reviews. What hot water there is is spasmodic, meager, and arrives only after half an hour of cursing. And the owner redefines the phrase miserable old baggage. You leave feeling sorry for yourself having stayed there, but feeling much more sorry for the staff who have to work with her.

Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank theowlmustdie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerset
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2009

I stayed here with four members of my family and we all had very different opinions! I really liked this hotel - great location, friendly staff, large room but best of all some really individual elements such as big bottles of Radox in the bathroom, tourism leaflets in the room and Nutella as an option on toast!

That said, the room desperately needs updating, the bed was very soft and the noise from the road outside was unbelievable.

If you are looking for character, individuality and a warm welcome then this is your place. If you want a good night's sleep, I would look elsewhere................

Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank jellyfer78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about River Hotel

Property: River Hotel
Address: 17 Botley Road | Oxford City by River Thames, Oxford OX2 0AA, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — River Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Long established local business in a good location by the River Thames at Osney bridge. Walking distance to city, colleges and venues, Oxford rail and bus stations, one of nearest to Said Business School and Kings Centre. Small hotel friendly service and value, all rooms with own bath with shower head and toilet, digital TV, radio and free tea/coffee tray. Residents bar/lounge, Free car park on site, Free wifi. VisitBritain **Metro grading awarded since 2007, free breakfast service with buffet and main meal cooked to order. 24-hour access with key. Oxford college owned property, originally 1870s master-builder's home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
River Hotel Oxford

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