We decided to visit Banbury as it was a place we had never been before and were delighted to find a clean very open town with a central shopping and business area together with an indoor market. The famous cross stands four square in the centre of a main crossroads and laying back from one of these is Whatley Hall, as we have been very pleased with 'Mercure' in the past we decided to stay if they could provide a ground floor room - if there was no lift - as my wife cannot manage stairs. We actually had the 'disabled room' which had all that was required for a comfortable two night stay, large TV , drink provisions and all the usual toiletries. The window looked onto the garden but was not overlooked. We were offered help with our cases and the staff at reception could not have been more helpful.
The hotel is old - very old so rather creaky, there is a newer part but it lacks atmosphere. Actually there is a story of a ghost haunting one room but we were in the wrong room! The dining room is large, but in two parts, the original room plus a new extension. The only slight drawback - as happens in all large hotels - there was a coach party of some 50 people in the dining room which made us feel rather overwhelmed. Not that this affected our extremely good dinner served to us by a charming lady who despite having to help serve the large group was able to give us her full attention which meant that we did not feel ignored.
Breakfast was the usual self service but as in other Mercure hotels there is a sizeable menu from which one can order more special dishes (eg. Eggs Benedict). One point to consider - don't drive through to the car park if you have been too liberal with the wine - it is very narrow about four inches clear each side! All in all, well done Mercure.
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Accor Whately Hall Hotel