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“5 minutes to Christ College , 15 minutes to City centre on foot” 4 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
Weymouth In England
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“5 minutes to Christ College , 15 minutes to City centre on foot”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2013

We booked 2 rooms at The Head of The River Pub/Hotel middle of May 2013 as we were doing a tour for 6 days with relatives from Canada. The location at first is a little miss leading when getting driving directions as it seems as though you are quite a distance from the City , but you are actually just on the edge , and just a 5 minute walk to Christ College & Cathedral. The Pub is quite old , not sure when it was built but a long time ago , set right on the river with plenty of outside seating , and a cosy atmosphere inside. The staff were all very helpful & friendly. To get to your rooms you go up a tiny staircase ( No Lift ) the staff did offer to carry any cases but we managed ok ourselves. The rooms were clean & nicely presented , but being an old building the floors do slope in different directions , beds very comfortable & clean. Breakfast you had a small choice of cereals , juices , the Full English breakfast was cooked to order which was great plus you had some other choices as well. Being a Pub we thought it would be noisy but this wasn't the case. Parking is limited to a couple of spaces and has a tight access. We stayed 17th to 19th May 2013 , the only let down was we thought £153.00 per room per night was expensive , but I guess you way this up with limited Hotels in Oxford and it's location.

Room Tip: We had room 4 which is right at the top overlooking the bridge and part of the river , our friends s...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank eyelevel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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552 reviews from our community

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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
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2013

I stayed at the Head of the River for 4 days as I was in the area on business. I required somewhere close to the city centre with parking and this ticked both those boxes. From the moment I arrived, Stuart, the landlord and his assistant Martin did everything to make my stay as comfortable as possible. As the weather was fantastic, the bar and restaurant each day was very busy however the service was above and beyond what I expected. All the staff were friendly and very helpful and could not do enough to ensure my stay was a pleasurable one. My room had everything you would expect and I cannot fault the attention to detail and cleanliness of it. Although there are no tea or coffee making facilities in the room, you can call down at anytime and have proper tea or coffee delivered freshly to your room which in my opinion is far better than a kettle and a sachet of coffee as you normally get. In fact coffee/tea as with water is complimentary at all times even if you drink them in the bar area. As for breakfast, well this for me was the highlight of my day. You can have it served in your room if you choose or in the restaurant/bar area. There is a large selection to choose from and although it takes slightly longer than a conventional hotel buffet to prepare, it is prepared freshly to your liking and only the best quality ingredients are used. I also ate in the bar/restaurant and found the food was always cooked and presented nicely. I would certainly return to The Head or the River both on business and certainly on pleasure. Having stayed at other establishments in the area, I can say that for service, attention to detail and a warm friendly welcome, Stuart and his team cannot be beaten.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

The location seemed nice and the menu appeared to be okay. However I was expecting freshly cooked food but instead got a very poor 'quick pub meal'. Tasteless. Not impressed. Never seen 'straight' calamari like that.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Russiemagic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2013

We stayed here during a very busy May bank holiday. The bar and restaurant were bursting at the seams but that didn't stop the staff from being very helpful and friendly. I didn't know that you had to book the car park but they still took time to help me out with this. We had lunch and drinks at the bar upon arrival and were politely warned about a long wait for the food but they kept our drinks topped up and the lunch was well presented once it arrived. The rooms are all themed around notable Oxford scholars and the one we stayed in is named' Sir Christopher Wren'. It was fairly well appointed with lots of character, lacking only a tea making facility but some great views over the river.
If you want to take in the sights and sounds of Oxford this is a great location and good value. The shops are just a short walk away and a riverside stroll is right at your feet. If you don't fancy walking you can hire a punt or a motor boat from the hire company next door. Fortunately we were blessed with great weather and hired a motor boat for a spin down the Thames which was well worth it. Really enjoyed our stay here and may well return.

Room Tip: Ask for a river view and don't forget to book the car park.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Julian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
113 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2013

We decided to stay here because of the closeness to the city and it's river side location and despite some very variable reviews. We booked direct in order to guarantee one of the limited car parking spaces, which is a real boon so close to the city.
We stayed on a bank Holiday weekend for 1 night, so our impressions are reached when the hotel is well stretched / chaotic. We found that the staff were always welcoming and pleasant and were a credit to the establishment, always appearing to have time and a smile for the customer despite the surrounding activity.
However the catering provided let the side down. My wife was served under-cooked pastry, cold mashed potato and overcooked vegetables when we ate in the late afternoon and although the hotel offered to exchange the meal, the fact was that the food was allowed out of the kitchen in the first place was deplorable. At breakfast we were given a drink then waited 15 minutes to be given a menu followed by a further 30 minutes to be presented with our food and were not offered toast. When it arrived the poached eggs were over cooked and the rest on the cool side of warm. This lack of attention to detail with the food quality is a real shame because of the considerate staff and the thoughtful presentation on the plate. I can only assume that they simply either could not cope with the demands of a busy bank Holiday weekend or had staff issues or an inexperienced chef, but that is hardly the client's concern..
To move on to our accommodation, our bed room was small but well appointed, had a very comfortable bed and a lovely twin aspect view over the river. It had good quality toiletries in the large bathroom which had a powerful shower but again, strangely, no shower cap. The room didn't have tea / coffee making facilities, yet another odd omission which I would normally expect.
Would we return / recommend the Head of the River? Well for it's wonderful position with parking and acceptable bedroom standard, yes. But as a venue then to eat, well sadly, no. Depends what you are looking for in a venue.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hewhotravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2013

I spent an extremely pleasant night at this "inn" on the banks of the Thames and within walking distance of the City Centre (and pleasingly only 5 minutes from my meeting venue). While described as budget accommodation in other reviews, some people must have bigger budgets than others as I don't consider £100+ to be budget accommodation! However, that apart, the rooms in this establishment are excellent. As well as having their number, they are each themed with a famous person from different walks of life. I noticed the Roger Bannister room and the CArdinal Wolsey Room on the way to mine - the AA Milne room - particularly poignant as I staed on the day it was discovered hewas probably a spy for the english government in World war 1! The room was of a suitable size with ample storage space and space to work, including a writing desk seemingly form a Victorian schoolhouse. The pub and its accommodation has loads of character about it and the staff, particularly the guy who seemes to be in charge (I omitted to ask or observe his name) were extremely friendly and accommodating. The evening meals are a bit over-priced for "pub grub" but we are in Oxford! the beer is usual Southern England prices (ie expensive) and there is a suitable and pleasant choice. The breakfast, of which their website indicates their proudness, is cooked to order and was indeed delicious. The toast was made from well cut "proper" bread (rather than sliced) and I couldn't resist asking for more which was brought willingly and efficiently. Unusually, there are no coffee making facilities in the rooms but I was advised that coffee is always available by ringing reception and it would be brought! I didn't avail myself but quite unusual characteristic. Guests who stay out late to sample the delights of the City are able to access their rooms at any hour via a fire door for which a key is given and the staff are extremely accommodating about keeping bags on your day of departure. Overall, an extremely pleasant stay which I would heartily recommend even if a little overpriced.

Room Tip: River views are probably best. I didn't have one (which didn't bother me as I wasn't a...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

The hotel is in a wondeful location on the river and the pub very lively, but our room was at the back so it could have been anywhere. We had a twin room. For the price I would have expected two beds, rather than one bed and a chair-bed. The cooked part of breakfast was yummy, but the set up limited -- I would have appreciated some fresh fruit. It was very much a pub with rooms added on, rather than the other way around, so dont expect any type of personal service.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Catherine1976London
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
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Also Known As:
Head Of The River Hotel Oxford
Head River Oxford

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