Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Relais & Chateaux Hotel

, Oxford, United Kingdom
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Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Relais & Chateaux Hotel

, Oxford

Rooms: 32

Church Road - Oxford - England - OX44 7PD - United Kingdom Hotel Website | | 44 01844278881
341 Traveller

Reviews - Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Relais & Chateaux Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Relais & Chateaux Hotel

Fantastic stay

from wendyLondon
I booked myself onto one of the residential cookery course at the last minute knowing nothing about Le Manoir, RB or the cooking school. It was absolutely fantastic. The service in the hotel was perfection from start to finish and the food totally divine. The cooking school was amazing. I had a really fantastic stay and will definitely be returning.

Disappointing

from Hertshopeful
It is with sadness that I write this review. I had been looking forward to staying here and sampling the food. My first impression was very favourable - the staff in the car park and in reception were wonderful. Our suite was lovely (my husband reports that the shower was the best he has ever had). There was an attention to detail that was outstanding - for example a typed up list of our other party members' room names with their phone numbers, all presented in a bound document.

We had decided that we would sample the gastronomique menu. We had drinks in the bar whilst the sommelier came to see us about the wines we required. We bowed to his judgement and within reason gave him a free hand to chose the correct wine to accommpany the food, particularly as he was more familiar with his cellar and the menu than we were.

We were summoned through to the conservatory to be seated, which was slightly inconvenient as we still had some canapes and champagne left ... but when in Rome.. we arrived in the empty conservatory to find our table ready for us - but obviously not the kitchen!

We were offered their delicious bread basket 3 times over the next 1/2 hour. We were hungry and the bread filled us up - not a great idea just before a 7 course meal. Finally the first course arrived - beautifully presented fois grasse. Sadly it had only just left the coldest part of the fridge 5 minutes previously - it was hard and therefore tasteless - we might as well have been sampling Tesco's Value Pate!!

The wine waiter arrived with two open bottles of white wine, Poligny Montrachet and a Premier Cru Chablis. We were then asked which we would prefer - we had asked that the wines be chosen to accompany the food. Obviously not all the wine from each bottle was poured but that was the last time we saw those bottles!!

The risotto was wonderful, the fish was pleasant, the venison was cold, the tapioca with mango came as tapioca with passion fruit (not a problem, but sloppy to have given a menu that wasn't available) then the trio of desserts, which were wonderful.

We then sampled the cheese trolley (beware £18 per head) The cheese was great but the girl who served was surly.

The handmade chocs at the end of the meal were delicious.

We slept very well. Breakfast was incredibly disappointing (£16.50 extra for hot food). My haddock on spinach with poached egg was pleasant, but my husband reported that he had had better full english breakfasts in 3star hotels.

We left that morning feeling let down. We are glad we went, but will not be returning.

I can only surmise that maybe the big man was not in the kitchen the evening/morning that we visited, but on the basis that this establishment is all about the food ... then he should have underchefs and restaurant staff capable of continuing his ethos in his absence.
Management Response from A TripAdvisor Member
I was very disappointed to read the review of your stay at Le Manoir. You may rest assured that we will investigate all of the matters that you raise.

With regard to the foie gras, I agree that it is a shame that it was obviously served so cold, but would like to assure you that only the best quality of ingredients are used and that perhaps it is a little cruel to compare this to 'Tesco value pate'.

I am at a loss to understand why you were offered alternative wines by the sommelier, this is not our usual policy and I will be discussing this with our Head Sommelier.

Concerning the English breakfast, we use Oxfordshire sausages, air cured bacon, fresh Italian plum tomatoes, homemade black pudding and free range eggs. Therefore I am at a loss to understand why, on this occasion, it was so disappointing.

Absolutely fantastic

from DebnNick
Stayed here for one night for my husbands fortieth birthday on 23rd Dec a couple of years ago and it was fantastic! We arrived by helicopter (total wow factor) and the staff were amazing, so helpful, caring and really eager to make sure that you have a lovely stay. The meal was out of this world as were the surroundings, the restaurant, the room (we stayed in the superior room silk which was gorgeous and opened out onto a small private courtyard) the meal is truly the best I have ever had in my life. Yes it is expensive but for special occasions if you save up it isn't, you shouldn't go there and look at the prices, just save up, take your money and enjoy every minute and morsel. We will definitely go back, we had the english breakfast in our room the morning after which was also superb and champagne in the bath (yes its big enough for two!) all in all a truly wonderful stay and memory.

Greed gone mad!

from A TripAdvisor Member
Having thought it would be great to get away for a mid-week break before Christmas, I phoned to make a reservation. I was told that due to a carol concert package, I would be forced to buy a £155 ticket for a 'black tie event' carol concert I did not wish to attend. Hence I arranged to go for 2 nights commencing the day after the carol concert. I have just been telephoned and informed that these carol concert evenings are actually running almost permanently between now and Christmas (their mistake) and that as I did not wish to attend I could not stay. As most of these events begin roughly a week and a half away and nearly every room is available I would think that turning away paying customers was ludicrous and even if I was prepared to attend a carol concert on one of the evenings, carol concerts on 2 consecutive nights would probably be a little much! And this is meant to be one of the top hotels in the country! It certainly is price wise - time I think to wake up and smell the roses!
Management Response from A TripAdvisor Member
The carol concerts have occurred this year on only seven nights between 5th and 15th December. Unfortunately it would not be possible for us to serve both the full menus and the carol concert menus on these evenings.

These events remain extremely popular and whilst I understand your disappointment I am sorry that this will deter you from visiting us in the future.

Fantastic experience-at a price

from A TripAdvisor Member
I have now stayed twice at Le Manoir, both times as a gift and have attended the Cookery course.

My trips have been wonderful with fantastic service and beautiful rooms. Our first room The Mon Plaisir had a beautiful open fireplace and a private terrace which we ate breakfast on. The second room was the stunning rouge et noir with an original Vetriano on the wall. Another room has more Vetriano's displayed and the lovely receptionist arranged for a viewing when the room was unoccupied.

Stephen, the cookery tutor was great and we enjoyed the formal tasting menu in the evenings. The most memorable thing was the spectacular grounds which are a pleasure to wander. Raymond Blanc grows most of the rstaurant produce on site and the gardeners are delighted to show you around.

We were lucky with the weather and enjoyed afternoon tea and champagne on the lawn.

I was very lucky to be treated not once but twice to the sublime experience that is Le Manoir and doubt I will ever get the chance again but if I win the lottery I will definately go back.

Massive Disappointment

from Voyager21
This hotel disappointed on two fronts - the room and the service!! (not much left really). We were kept waiting two hours for our main course at dinner while other tables swept through their entire meal. The dining room was packed, the waiting staff were rushed and we were repeatedly 'forgotten'. When the food came, sacrilige as it might be to say it, it was completely indifferent. Not bad, but certainly nothing that lived up to the massive hype about this hotel. Our Suite, with its 'interesting' design scheme, was occupied by a number of flies, which we spent an entertaining hour chasing and swatting. Booked the manoir as a much-awaited birthday present: it was a terrible let-down.

t come any better.

from ilpostino
So why is Le Manoir not the Number 1 Hotel in Oxford? What is it that makes The Burlington House Hotel, a bed and breakfast establishment on a main road next to a bus stop, more popular overall than an hotel situated in the countryside with fabulous gardens, exquisite rooms, mouth-wateringly good food, amazingly attentive service, an ambience to die for and an experience as close to sheer luxury as it must be possible to find? Could it be anything to do with the fact that the average room rate at the Burlington is £85 per night and at Le Manoir it is £381 per night? Both establishments clearly do what they do exceptionally well but it seems from reading some of the slightly less enthusiastic reviews of Le Manoir that occasionally guests expectations simply do not match up to the price that has to be paid for the pursuit and achievement of such excellence.

My wife and I were fortunate that somebody else had paid for us to stay at Le Manoir and I have to say that as a result my judgement is probably slightly clouded on the issue of “value for money” – and that is probably the only issue that anyone could seriously take exception to because everything else about Raymond Blanc’s ‘vision’ is total perfection. If you look upon a car as simply a means of getting from A to B then you would never buy an Aston Martin and if you look upon an hotel simply as board and lodging then you would never spend your money on staying at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saison. To the folk arriving by helicopter the cost is probably irrelevant but then they may be more inclined to pick fault; to those who are paying for perhaps a ‘once in a lifetime’ treat for themselves then anything less than perfection at these prices would be unacceptable and I guess that is why The Burlington is able to scrape in with the Trip Advisor top spot.

All the superlatives that you have read in other reviews are true and there is no point in repeating them all again. What I would say is that Le Manoir is primarily about food and that if you are not interested in the gastronomy which goes on there then the experience may be wasted on you. We enjoyed the menu gourmand which provided an extraordinary journey through up to nine separate courses but this is all about taste, not quantity, and if you sit down in the restaurant expecting a ‘bean feast’ you will be disappointed. The hotel concentrates on what it does best and so there are no spas, or swimming pools or games rooms to distract. You simply relax in the immense comfort of the hotel or by strolling around the garden and then you enjoy the best food in the world.

Value for money? The answer has to be ‘absolutely’. It is outrageously expensive but then it is also outrageously good and, yes, if I had the money I would buy an Aston Martin and, yes, I would certainly return to Le Manoir and love very minute of it.

Cannot fault a thing!

from livery
We stayed here for our first married night together in the suite Gallica Rose. This suite is the first floor at the centre of the main house that you look directly at as you walk from the car park to the entrance.
We were greeted by name, shown around the main areas and then to our room, I was speechless. Nothing less than absolutely beautiful. The staff made us feel comfortable (some places they seem to look down their noses at you I find) and welcome in every sence. There was no awkward 'checking in' or 'checking out' the next day, all very discrete.
The gardens are worth a walk around,we're not even keen gardeners but it was truly beautiful. Dinner, well what can I say! We went for the a la carte rather than the menu gastronomic and both had delicious starters and mains followed by some well reccommended cheeses from the trolley. We had asked for the wine list well before dinner as it is so long it deserves a good look and when my husband choose steak for his main course, an appropriate glass of red wine was suggested.
Breakfast the next morning in our lounge together with the papers was delicious too.
We couldn't fault a thing. I have a little idea of the cost involved (v v v expensive) but I have to say it would be worth saving for 6 months to go here rather than anywhere else.

beware the suites

from A TripAdvisor Member
great food (tho VERY expensive) but we were shocked to find that our "suite " was a room with bathroom.. they called it a suite because it was a circular bedroom apparently.. tho the room was very small!! not what we'd call a suite!

The pinacle of service

from A TripAdvisor Member
We have stayed at Le Manior twice now, and every time we have been blown away. The service is amazing - from the cleaning staff right up to the hotel manager, the food is the best we have ever had, the suite (lace) we have is stunning, set over two floors you feel like a millionaire (it helps if you are one because this ain't cheap)

I suggest before you visit, go on a diet and have quite a bit of room left on your credit card.

Top Local Tips for Oxford

Village shopping Take plenty of money!there are many many little villages around the area with fabulous little boutiques and shops selling yummy goodies, exclusive fashions, etc... My credit card is still recovering months later!

Le Manoir - but more affordable Raymond Blanc's bistro in Jericho, Le Petit Blanc, is a good alternative if Le Manoir prices are a bit steep.

Order a picnic and drive to Blenheim Palace Le Manoir will sort out a picnic for you and I would thoroughly recommend ordering one and driving over to Belheim Palace for a relaxed and lovely afternoon. Whether or not you're interested in seeing the Palace itself, the Park is stunning and you're bound to find a nice spot to lay down a rug and relax with a scrummy selection of sandwiches, cakes and lovely fruit from the Le Manoir orchards :-)

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Other names for Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons Relais & Chateaux Hotel

  • manor quatre saisons
  • manoir quatre saisons
  • manoir aux quatre saisons
  • le manoir quatre saisons
  • le manoir aux quatre saisons
  • Address: Church Road - Oxford - England - OX44 7PD - United Kingdom
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