The hotel is old and has character. The beds are comfortable and the showers work. Perfect. The staff here are excellent, if a little over enthusiastic ("Is everything OK?" - 7 times during the meal). Despite this they were genuinely interested, not just going through the motions. They were extremely helpful both on the phone when booking and when we were at the hotel. We wanted a refurbished room and that was guaranteed before we arrived. The dinner was superbly presented, with the exception of the watercress dressing on the starter which I think was well on its way to watercress heaven. Although I was a little disappointed with the choice of dishes and also the Beef and Ale pie (it looked commercially produced), my wife's fish dish was excellent. Both were very tasty, and the starters and deserts were very enjoyable. Unlike a previous reviewer, we found the breakfast to be very good (including the black pudding) and it was all being refreshed on a regular basis. The coffee was the typical Accor hotel group mud, though.
Downsides - Our room was too dim to read in, even with all the lights on, and there was no room to put our cases away. The secondary security lock on the door didn't work, although there was a small chain.
Value - This was a Travelzoo mid-week deal and overall worth the £99 per night for a double room, dinner with wine and breakfast for two. On closer inspection you might query some aspects of the value. The dinner was offered as "worth £25 per person" or "a £25 allowance per person" depending on who you spoke to. None of the menus showed any prices (other than the £6 supplement for steak), so you couldn't really use the £25 as an allowance. The free bottle of wine was "worth £17". Sorry, it's not even close to that, even at restaurant prices. Your only choice is red or white. It was Italian and as far as I can see unlisted with any wine company in Europe. Generic,re-labelled? (D'Vigne) 12% Italian Cabinet Sauvignon which tasted more like a Chianti/Valpolicella blend. The red was light and drinkable, nothing more. According to the next table, the white wasn't drinkable and they left their bottle. As far as I could see, neither wine was listed on the hotel wine list or any other published wine list the hotel group has. I would rather have a lower real allowance than be fobbed off with low grade wine as it doesn't do the food justice.
The main thing is that we enjoyed our stay but I wouldn't want to do this deal for more than one night. The staff and food presentation get it the 4 stars.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 3 star hotel offering 69 ensuite rooms in an idyllic 17th Century setting where Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels in 1723. Ideal as a base for exploring the Cotswolds region, Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford, Woodstcock & Warwick. 10 minutes from Banbury railway and coach stations, 30 miles (50 km)from Birmingham Airport and easily accessible via Junction 11 of the M40. Features 7 meeting rooms accommodating up to 120 delegates, Swifts & Berkeley Restaurants and Hornton Bar. 24hrs room service and free car parking. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Accor Whately Hall Hotel