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“Good service, location.... nice hotel shame about the pool area”

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Oxford Spires Hotel
Ranked #9 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Good service, location.... nice hotel shame about the pool area”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Stayed here for one night with a group of friends. Booking process for multiple rooms was easy. The hotel was very busy with a few groups and a wedding. Service & friendliness of the staff did not suffer because of this and food quality was also good although as usual for hotels food and drink prices were on the high side having said that the portion sizes were generous. We had lunch in the lounge bar and breakfast. We did not have dinner so I can't comment on that.
They could do with having an extra person working on reception as plenty of times there was a queue and the reception staff seemed to have to double up as concierge when it came to storing luggage leaving no one at the desk for short periods of time. Again the individual service was still very good. The quality of the rooms and lounge bar areas were very good. I used the gym which was well equipped but the changing room was relatively small. The decor and ambience of the pool/sauna/jacuzzi area was not relaxing and did not give the feeling of being in a spa so those thinking of visiting for a 'spa experience' may be disappointed with the layout and decor, I didn't see a relaxation room either. None of our group had a treatment so I can't say about that.

The smoking area was immediately outside the front door entrance and unfortunately the smell wafted in to the lounge area - I would suggest that they need a place away from the main entrance to accommodate those who wish to smoke further away from those of us who do not wish to experience it when entering the hotel or sitting in the lounge bar inside.
The rooms were a good size, comfortable beds and were very warm with all the amenities you would expect; toiletries, tea/coffee etc
The location was easy to find by car and close to centre 20-25 minute walk or a short taxi ride - price of taxi to/from town ranged from £4 - £8 with no obvious reason why.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rachel O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

The recent mothers day was expected to be a treat for me, my parents and my grandparents, however unfortunately it didn't turn out like that. Considering i work in hospitality in a 4* hotel, when we pulled up to the hotel i was dumbstruck as to how this wonderful looking building could possibly be only a 4* hotel. With a cloakroom service free of charge, which of course was a wonderful touch on mothers day, and all kinds of services you'd expect from a 5* hotel, there was only one way this hotel could have let us down, that was on the food. Here lies the problem.

Once hastily seated to our table, after being introduced to FOUR different members of staff who said they'd personally tack care of us, we were quickly asked for our orders. Within a matter of, no more than 2 minutes of ordering our starters arrived, soggy brioche with mushrooms in a sauce which can only be described as dishwater, with a film on top, with an accompaniment of a teaspoons worth of tomato. Next came the horror show, for our mains we chose the carvery, which was elegantly (not) laid out with the chef offering us a choice of three very dry, very fatty, poor quality meats. Along with the terrible meats, was uncooked veg which "tasted of dishwater" as my mum quoted, followed with 'roast' potatoes which must have seen the oven from a distance instead of being put inside! After struggling through our £15 carvery meal, we were asked for our dessert orders, and with all of us now fed up and wanting to go home, we knew whatever we ordered wouldn't be of a 4* quality. It wasn't. With apple pie and ice cream choices limited to strawberry and chocolate only, my mum and grandmother weren't satisfied with their childish puddings. Mine however was a chocolate torte, which was physically stuck to the plate due to the 'chef' putting chocolate sauce onto the plate, followed by the torte and storing it in the fridge causing the sauce to almost freeze the pastry to the plate. The torte however was very tasty, and was the highlight of the meal for myself.

On the table was a bottle of "fresh sparkling water", this was in fact already opened and was still warm water, which tasted as if it came from the tap. Along with this, i had to clean my own cutlery as when i sat down i noticed some vegetable remenance from the lucky customer before me.

We were dealt with after by the manageress (both of them), one of them who was incredibly understanding and offered a heart felt apology along with repaying us in full for the meal and our drinks. However the other manageress, who approached us, seemed more interested in the other happy customers giggling and laughing (who obviously hadn't yet had their meal), which seemed more like she was rubbing it in instead of consoling us.

All in all, we won't be visiting the hotel again, nor will we be recommending it to other friends or family!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, England
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

We chose the Four Pillars due to the free parking and its perfect location. It really is a short 15 mins walk into the centre of Oxford and for those that choose not too there is a bus stop right outside the hotel.
Our room was at the rear of the hotel and was very quiet. Bathroom functional and clean with good shower with detachable shower head. Plenty of instant hot water. The breakfast was expensive but it was excellent.
Staff friendly and willing to give you extra tea /coffee biscuits with no hassle.
We didnt have time to use the spa as we spent a lot of time actually in Oxford
We will certainly be using this hotel again

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the rear, it can be a trek but you have view of fields and none goes past your roo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank thriftycatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We regularly stay at the Four Spires as our daughter is at Oxford university. Initially we stayed there as it is an easy walk into the city centre and has plenty of parking ( a rarity in Oxford) We always receive a warm welcome from the friendly staff. Rooms are well equipped, warm, quiet and comfortable. Breakfast is particularly good as is their Sunday lunch carvery. From the back of the hotel there is easy access down to the river and then an enjoyable walk into Oxford. After several visits over the last 2 years it really does feel like coming home.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChrissieC62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

We booked a spa break as a group of five. We expected dinner, bed and breakfast, a twin room for two and a suite for three people, spa access and a massage or facial. The last item was the reason we picked this hotel. After booking but before arrival that the treatment would be unlikely to happen unless there were cancellations, as the spa, which is run separately from the hotel, was fully booked.
On arrival we were shown two twin rooms, on separate floors, with the third adult expected to sleep on the sofa bad. This looked very uncomfortable and was not made up, also there was only two of everything in the room. On enquiry the sofa bed was made up - it had a cheap thin mattress and none of us fancied sleeping on it. A bed on wheels was found, which was tiny (it was narrower than the door and shorter than normal - suitable for a child) and made up with thin bedding). We had to ask more than once for the full complement of mugs, glasses etc. We felt our anticipated spa break was not really living up to expectations but the only response from the desk was that there were no suites available nor triple rooms and that they were very busy due to a large wedding party. We were offered complimentary drinks and were not charged for the wine with our meal which was something. The staff were helpful but they did seem pretty clueless/ not very well trained. The waitress's wine recommendation came with a label saying 'Kung Fu Girl' and was almost undrinkable. The breakfast waitress was totally confused by an order for kippers from the menu. Should the man making up the room helpfully produce packets of biscuits from his trouser pocket?
The most galling things was that there were posters all over the hotel advertising dinner, bed and breakfast for less than half what we had paid for our non existent spa break.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bambelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxted, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

We stayed at the Spires for a conference and found it to be well equipped with a good standard of cleanliness. The two negatives were that on arrival the young man at Reception(possibly Gabriel) was not very welcoming.In fact if we were just asking for a room without a booking we would have been put off by his attitude and not stayed. Correcting my husband on his pronunciation of the Conference title was not a good idea especially as my husband is a member of the refereeing committee and probably knows how to pronounce it properly.We were told our room would be ready in 20 minutes and that he would come and find me in the Bar area. After 45 minutes I went to ask and sure enough the room was ready.We can only think that he is maybe from Paris as their attitude is well known.Eery other member of staff we encountered from cleaning staff upwards was very polite and helpful. My second negative was in the sauna area where I would prefer to see someone using a mop to clean the floor rather than scuffing a towel up and down with their feet.

Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Redgwing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Market Bosworth, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013

I stayed for a Saturday night with my Mum and this was a wonderful choice!
We had a twin Conisseur room which was fantastic- a balcony overlooking the meadows, 2 big sofas, complimentary drinks in the fridge and loads of space to relax.
We had dinner in the Deacon restaurent (friendly helpful waitress, a good choice of menu at £21.95 for 2 courses) and coffee in the lounge afterwards with a pianist playing. The hotel was hosting a Spring Ball and a wedding but there was no noise or overlap of guests so we didn't feel pushed out as can often happen,

The hotel has a lovely looking pool and spa but we didn't have time to use it so I can't comment.

Breakfast the next morning was a standard buffet but plenty of choice and very attentive service, particularly the "seater" who made great efforts to find us a good table.

No downsides apart from 1 teeny one - the checkout queue at 11am on the Sunday morning was huge, They need more staff here!

We left and went for a walk along the Thames towpath, watching the rowers, whcih was right beside the hotel

Great location, great service and very good value for money I think

Room Tip: Room 209 was the tops!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Babika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Oxford Spires Hotel

Property: Oxford Spires Hotel
Address: Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4PS, England (Formerly Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel)
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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Oxford
#7 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Oxford Spires Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 115
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Oxford Spires 4 Pillars Hotel

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