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“overall disappointed with The Bear”

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Macdonald Bear Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Woodstock
Certificate of Excellence
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“overall disappointed with The Bear”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Just returned from a couple of days in Woodstock. What a fabulous town and Blenheim Palace is stunning!
But I wouldn't recommend The Bear. We paid for upgraded rooms and were in the courtyard. Dark, poor lighting, cold creaky floors and terrible bedding.......lumpy pillows and blankets! Who on earth uses blankets thesedays? Staff were polite but there was no personal service. Breakfast was nothing to write home about. I was disappointed that in cold snowy pretty Woodstock, our hotel did not provide a comfortable residents lounge with a glorious log fire. The two louges available were not at all inviting. Available space on the ground floor is used for expensive empty restaurant space.I would suggest a open area with comfy chairs, log fires, serving cafe type food and beverages. We went elsewhere for that and experienced great food and service at the Woodstock Arms.I don't understand how this hotel has 4*????

Room Tip: Creaky floors make upstairs a better choice courtyard rooms are quiet
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ances2rsearch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, February 16, 2013
Dear ancestorsearch

Thank you for your review of the Macdonald Bear Hotel following your stay with us.

It was with concern that I read your review and I was sorry to learn of your disappointment.

Your feedback is in no way reflective of our usual high standards and I would like to assure you that your comments have been the subject of a team management review, to ensure that any similar lapses couldn't be repeated.

I would appreciate the opportunity of restoring your confidence in the hotel. Please can I ask you to contact me on gm.bear@macdonald-hotels.co.uk so that I may reassure you personally.

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (280)
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English first
Harrow, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 3, 2013

I last came to woodstock 20 years ago and made the trip up in the winter for a peaceful 2 day break. I ate in the restaurant with my wife and it was not what I was expecting - I was very very impressed! When we were unsure what to eat, the restaurant manager Mathew told us he was deciding for us and said we would go with what he said! My wife had the butternut soup starter and a fantastic pork belly and rhubarb main, he chose the woodpigeon and ox cheek for me - neither of which I have had for many years but I'm very glad I did because they were all delicous! The ox cheek just melted in your mouth, and a very fun marshmallow mushroom for dessert. I have a couple of restaurants in north london and will be suggesting some new menu ideas to them after taking a menu home with us, and I will be sending my front of house teams to eat there. The atmosphere of the bar and restaurant is welcoming and friendly and Mathew knew his stuff on food and wine but was warm, funny and attentive and made every person in the room feel special.
The Bear is well worth the hour drive from London, and we will definately be returning soon, when the palace opens again.

Room Tip: The main building rooms are 700years old - plenty of character!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank JP M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear JP M

Thank you for submitting your review of the Silk Glove restaurant following your stay at the Macdonald Bear Hotel.

It is lovely to receive feedback of this nature and the team are always encouraged by it.

We look forward to welcoming you back - and welcoming your front of house teams! Do contact me directly in order that I may take care of the arrangements for you.

Paola Cassotti
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013 via mobile

Stayed for dinner, bed and breakfast with four friends one of whom was vegetarian. She requested something other than single choice on menu in advance and was told no problem, just speak to chef in evening. Taken to table nearly one hour late. Veggie meal was take it or leave it or duplicate starter. Butter on rissotto was burnt making it bitter and inedible. Given few plain vegetables as substitute. No apology, full price still charged. Other meals looked good, but nothing special. Roast potatoes hollow, beef wagu miniscule and all fat. Heard other diners complaining as served even later. Delays apparently due to fine dining discount evening. We paid more but felt we were treated as second best.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank krax50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear krax50

It was with concern that I read your review of the Silk Glove restaurant following your stay and I was sorry to learn of your disappointment.

Your feedback is in no way reflective of our usual high standards and I would like to assure you that I have discussed your comments with both the Restaurant Manager and Head Chef, who have asked especially to be associated with my apology. A programme of remedial training is underway to ensure that any similar lapses couldn't be repeated.

I do hope you decide to return to the hotel and do contact me direct should you be planning a visit so that I can take care of the arrangements for you personally.

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed February 3, 2013

I stayed @ the bear hotel on Saturday the 2nd of Febuary.
The welcome was lovely & we were escorted your room swiftly. The room was good & clean with all the usual amenities you would expect from a 4 star hotel. It is in a very good location for the village, there are plenty of pubs & done lovely restraunts. The little Italian we found was fantastic.
We returned to the bear for a evening drink before bed & I found the drinks very overpriced and a limited drinks range.
So after1 swift drink we decided to call it a night.
In a hotel you do expect a bit of notice as people walk pastin corridors etc but with walls that I can only describe as paper you could hear everything from a door shutting down the hall to every detail of there conversation in the room 2 doors down. I can honestly say its the worst nights sleep I have ever had in a hotel. The noise coupled with pillows that are transparent are a bad combination.
The breakfast next morning was very nice & great service from the staff. We went to check out and as our room was per paid I expected to just return the key & be on my way. The abrupt lady behind the desk was very quick to inform me I had to pay 50p as I had taken up her offer the previous day for a newspaper, in evey hotel I have ever stayed in newspapers are a complimentary gesture & I was amazed @ how I was not informed I had to pay when she asked me if I wanted one @ check in. Are the macdonald chain in such a bad way financially that they are so different.
Nice hotel in a lovely village but not the place for a decent sleep @ all!!!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JamesWinslow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, February 12, 2013
Dear JamesWinslow

Thank you for your review of the Macdonald Bear Hotel following your stay with us.

It was with concern that I read your review and I was sorry to learn of your disappointment.

Your feedback is in no way reflective of our usual high standards and I would like to assure you that your comments have been the subject of a team management review, to ensure that any similar lapses couldn't be repeated.

I would appreciate the opportunity of restoring your confidence in the hotel. Please can I ask you to contact me on gm.bear@macdonald-hotels.co.uk so that I may reassure you personally.

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

My wife and I have just had the most enjoyable overnight stay at The Bear Hotel in Woodstock.
I must say all the staff, including reception , bar and restaurant staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
The restaurant manager, Matt, was particularly helpful, offering advice and recommendations which we gladly followed.
Our meal was exceptional,I can highly recommend the starter of Salmon marinaded in Vodka!
We stayed in the Godolphin Room, which was warm and tastefully furnished. The floor was a bit squeaky but added to the charm!
I would have no hesitation in returning to this great hotel and lovely part of the world.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Donh1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear Donh1955

Thank you for submitting your review of your experience following your stay at the Macdonald Bear Hotel.

I enjoyed reading your review and appreciate the helpful details you provided. It is lovely to receive feedback of this nature and the team are always encouraged by it.

We look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in the Oxfordshire!

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

One of the highlights of the autumn for me is a stay at The Bear and a day spent in the grounds of Blenheim Palace. An escape from the manic life we all lead and the chance to unwind in a romantic hotel, four poster beds, luxury shower products, friendly staff and excellent food.

Room Tip: Courtyard rooms seem to be colder.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank leisurelover777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear leisurelover777

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to submit such a glowing review following your recent stay at the Macdonald Bear Hotel.

I was pleased to note that you enjoy your visits, in particular the the friendliness of the team and food you experienced. We appreciate such a helpful review.

I will be delighted to share your feedback with the team as I know they will be encouraged by it.

We look forward to welcoming you back very soon!

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2013

1: We paid £173 for a double room.
It was minus 2 degrees when we arrived in the early evening on the 19th Jan. 2013
When we expressed our concern there was no heating on in the room, we were told we would have needed to pay £200 per night to have the Turndown Service! This icluded having the heating on when we checked in!
Surely given the temp. It wasn't unreasonable to have the heaters on!
2: The room above was occupied by two elephants and as it was at best an unstable floor.
Every foot step felt as if they were on top of us. There was a lot of movement all evening!
3: The bathroom was adequate at best with a malfunctioning shower and a loo which was more like a bilge pump to flush.
4: our friends next door were worse off as they had no heating! Check before taking the room!
5: The staff in the dining room were extremely helpful and that was definitely the best of it.
6:The female receptionist needs retraining in customer service and the bar staff need to know what they are doing

Room Tip: Once I rated the fitness centre by mistake, I couldn't amend it!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mandab84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General_Manager_Bear, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear mandab84

Thank you for your review of the Macdonald Bear Hotel following your stay with us.

It was with concern that I read your review and I was sorry to learn of your disappointment.

Your feedback is in no way reflective of our usual high standards and I would like to assure you that your comments have been the subject of a team management review to ensure that any similar lapses couldn't be repeated.

I would appreciate the opportunity of restoring your confidence in the hotel. Please can I ask you to contact me on gm.bear@macdonald-hotels.co.uk so that I may reassure you personally.

Best wishes

Paola Cassotti
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Macdonald Bear Hotel

Property: Macdonald Bear Hotel
Address: Park Street, Woodstock OX20 1SZ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Woodstock
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Woodstock
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Bear Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Bear Hotel is one of the finest 4-star hotels in Oxfordshire and part of The Macdonald Hotels' Signature Collection. Set in Woodstock, in what was once a 13th century coaching inn, our hotel combines history and culture with exceptional facilities. With direct access to the historic city of Oxford, our hotel is a popular choice for leisure breaks, business and weddings.Our hotel is a perfect venue for celebrations, events and conferences; we boast superb hotel accommodation, stylish meeting and function rooms, peaceful views over the courtyard and stunning period features.Our hotel in Oxfordshire is perfect for a relaxing retreat. Roam the historic city of Oxford and marvel in the dreaming spires or linger in the city's many shops and museums. Once you've finished exploring - we recommend a visit to our award-winning restaurant and bar for the finest of fares and a well deserved nightcap. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Macdonald Bear
Macdonald Bear Woodstock
Bear Hotel Uk Woodstock
Bear Hotel Woodstock

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