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“Return visit not so good” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Head of the River

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The Head of the River
Ranked #16 of 84 Oxford B&B and Inns
London
Level Contributor
60 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Return visit not so good”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2012

Based on a previous OK visit had requested a room on the top floor with a view of the river - got a room on the first floor looking onto the main road. Was told there were renovations going on hence non-availability of my choice. As I had booked directly with the hotel there was no excuse not to be told beforehand that my choice was not available; management compounded their mistake by sending me an email informing me of the problem the day AFTER I had checked in!

Traffic very noisy and as the room was at the top of the stairs, the fire door was often slamming shut as noisy guests walked past to their rooms. Curtains in the bedroom do not fit the window properly so light on wall of the pub/hotel shone in as does the corridor light through the ill fitting door.

Service at breakfast on the first day was both bad and slow and on the second day my request for soft poached eggs was presumably not heard as they were as hard as rocks.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PietreLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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552 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (100)
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English first
Farnham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
196 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2012

We were staying in a B&B about 10 minutes down the road from the Head of the River, and when we walked past it seemed like an ideal place to have dinner - it looked like it might get busy, so we decided to book a table.
When we arrived, we were shown to a table immediately (there was no need to book - there was quite a lot of space!) and our orders were taken very quickly. I had the Cajun Chicken Burger with extra mushrooms, and my girlfriend had the Beef Burger, and when the food arrived we were amazed at how good it was. We both agreed that we had never had such good food in a pub - and the chips were the best we'd ever eaten.
The price was good - we paid about £25 for the meal with drinks - and the atmosphere was really nice. Next time we're in Oxford we'll definitely eat here again.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CJM88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
73 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2012

We stayed at the Head of the River pub in Oxford for 4 days, we had a delux room on the top flor with great views of the river. The food was great and not that expensive. The breakfast was included in our room rate of £130. The pub was 4 minutes walking from the center of town and there are plenty of walking or bus tours to see all the sites. The staff were excellant and provided great service. The patio was very busy during the evening and at dinner time. There are numerous little English style (real ones)pubs dotted all around town and it is great fun to visit them and have a pint.

Room Tip: book the upper floor delux rooms, it is worth the extra money not to have someone above you as the f...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lesyoung2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
144 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 404 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2012

Stayed here recently for 2 nights to attend wedding in Oxford. This is essential a pub with accomodation. Great location, right on the river & with easy walking access to all that Oxford has to offer. I booked a superior room at the front overlooking the river. We had a corner sopt so double aspect windows. Very quiet at night, all you could hear were the geese in the mornings. Room was average for this type of accomodation, slightly larger with 2 chairs for sitting. Large bathroom with shower which we both found incredibly difficult to operate but once you got it going it gave a good shower. The lighting in the bathroom is very poor for doing make up etc, they really need a light over the mirror. A few nice little touches provided like good quality toiletries, box of tissues etc. Tea/coffe making facility.
We booked a parking place when we made our reservation, a great bonus for Oxford, no charge & ours for the duration of our stay.
Tip top service. Nothing too much trouble. There is no proper reception, you check in/out at the bar. We were told if we wanted anything to ring 0 on the phone. As it was a very sunny busy weeked I did wonder but each time we had need to ring, whatever we wanted was provided immediately, despite the pub downstairs being incredibly busy. They even provided an ice bucket & flutes for a bottle of Prosecco we'd taken with us. Wide choice of cooked items at Breakfast to order from the menu & cooked fresh for you. We had the full English, yummy.
We ate lunch in the pub the last day with friends who joined us there & the food was first class, some of the best we've had in Oxford & great value too. I would recommend the Head of the River for a meal, even if you're not staying. We had unseasonably warm sunny weather when we were there & the large terrace is perfect for that, as lovely spot.
We would stay again.

Room Tip: Go for a superior room overlooking the river, well worth the small supplement.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TabbyWabby1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2012

We stayed here recently as a group of mates. I didn't book it but I would say at £120 a night, it is pretty expensive for an average room. When we arrived early, the staff were really helpful, although the young guy was pretty irritating (doing everything in slow motion and making us all wait to go to our rooms as he had a big speech to give about the hotel - this in fact consisted of your room is upstairs and press that button to leave the building).

The room was fine, although the bathroom could do with a serious clean. Plenty of mould/mildew on the grouting and around the shower screen.

It's probably an £80 a night place but the Oxford premium seems heavy here.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2012

Was moved to this hotel by another in the chain, due to a reservation problem. Staff extremely friendly and helpful. Bar staff were aware of the choice of wine they had (not just "red" or "white". Breakfast, for this size of hotel was fine, with plenty of choice. Room was OK, but with an extremely comfortable bed. View across river. A small car park, but I managed to park, with the help of a member of staff.

Coud imagine that in the summer, the outside seating would be great.

Am not aware of the cost, as bill was picked up by the hotel I had planned to stay in.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank guf-uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2012

On a businness trip, I cam back to Oxford after a looong absence. I was last there when I was a teen-ager! I found this pub with accomodation through Tripadvisor and I am writing to confirm that it is really a GOOD choice! The location is a dream for a rowing 'fan' like me: right on the river, with a fantastic patio with well looked-after flowers. The room was very clean, ssentially comfortable – maybe something could be done about renovating the washbasins, still with hot and cold water taps separated. The food I had at dinner (they serve until 9 pm, then the pub takes over) was really really delicious: a smooth soup with potatoes and leeks, and a gorgeus plate of cheeses, among which a fantastic Oxford blue, accompanied by a chilli preserve that deserved a top vote! The atmosphere is casual, old-fashioned in the English pub style, but I just loved it and felt cocooned! Last but not least: as I was on my own and paying for a double room, they offered a discount of 30 GBP for every night of my stay!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Francesca D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Head of the River

Property: The Head of the River
Address: Folly Bridge | St. Aldates, Oxford OX1 4LB, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 84 B&Bs / Inns in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Head of the River 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Head Of The River Hotel Oxford
Head River Oxford

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