The Macdonald Randolph Hotel

, Oxford, United Kingdom
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The Macdonald Randolph Hotel

, Oxford
4 star

Rooms: 151

Beaumont Street - Oxford - England - OX1 2LN - United Kingdom Hotel Website | | 8704008200
653 Traveller

Reviews - The Macdonald Randolph Hotel

A chilly but efficient welcome
Submitted by: Lesley in 08/01/09
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From:
  • Traveller type: Luxury Traveller
We spent New Year's Eve here trying to get warm. The lobby bar was freezing, our room was freezing, radiators totally inadequate. After being talked into upgrading our room to spend 270 pounds a night, we were at the front of the hotel, one floor up from the street and looking at the cemetery and the bus stop which was very busy and very noisy all night long. The room & bathroom were spacious and well appointed but marble floor icy on the feet. Bartender and concierges especially helful and friendly. Breakfast staff pleasant but overburdened. Would not spend the money to stay there again, although we would pop in for a drink on a warmer evening.
1 out of 1 reader found this review helpful
Poor Room Allocation and Poor Breakfast
Submitted by: Philip in 14/04/06
  • Age Group: 60 +
  • From: Canada
  • Traveller type: Retired
On arrival, we were allocated rooms too far from the reception desk for comfort. Imagine, two 70+ holiday-makers trundling their carry-ons through numerous fire doors and up and down stairs.
However, we were allocated a decent 4* room close to reception/restaurant after complaining that various items didn't work in the distant room.
Breakfast service was poor at £14.50 a head. I ordered a lightly boiled egg and received two very hard-boiled eggs and three thin slices of toast on a dinner plate — no egg-cup, no egg-spoon! Having asked for a yoghurt, I was told, rather rudely, there was plain yoghurt on the buffet. Where has proper 4* service gone? "Yoghurt sir, what flavour would you like?" Summary: Unthinking receptionists and untrained breakfast staff.

Historical Traveller Reviews of The Macdonald Randolph Hotel


from bertiesos
We stayed at the Randolph in September. Despite bad reviews on tripadvisor we had little alternative as we had to take our dog and no other hotels in central Oxford could accomodate us.

What a surprise. The room was excellent, clean, well equipped and very comfortable. The dog and I had room service on both nights whilst my partner was out at dinners. The service was prompt and food quality excellent as were room service breakfasts on both days.

The staff courteous and helpful. We would definately recommend the Randolph but if travellng by car book the the valet parking in advance with the hotel - it's worth it.

The only reason this did not score an excellent was the distance from the reception to our room which was a very long way. The room was in the new executive block and was nearly 10 minutes walk. Be aware if you don't like to or can't walk that far!

We LOVED it! These other reviewers must be incredibly picky!

from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I and another couple stayed at the Randolph for three nights at the end of September. The husbands were attending a training, and our hotel was selected for us. I had read the reviews on this site and in travel guides, so I wasn't expecting much. Maybe that had something to do with my impression, because I was exceedingly impressed! First, the hotel lobby and drawing room are truly beautiful! The stairs winding up the the third floor are stunning. The lifts are tiny, but who cares! We had a corner room which was lovely! Our view was of a monument to martyrs - stunning! I loved that our windows actually opened, so we could let in the crisp fall air. The bed was comfortable, the bath charming, I couldn't have been more pleased! Drinks in the bar were divine, and the bartender was very helpful in assisting me with my drink order! The only complaint I have is the breakfast was NOT worth the expense. Otherwise, I highly recommend the hotel!

A very good experience.

from A TripAdvisor Member
We just spent a night at the Randolph while visiting friends in Oxford. Having read the reviews posted by former guests I was a little apprehensive about what we would find. However I was pleasantly surprised.

Our room was comfortable and well designed and the bathroom, with a seperate shower and bath a very good size. All facilities were clean and well maintained. The aircon worked perfectly too!

The staff were generally very attentive and helpful. We didn't eat at the Randolph but spent a pleasant couple of hours people watching in the Morse bar.

The room rate I found was also very competitive in comparison with other city centre hotels.

The Randolph is a beautiful building and the whole experience felt very 'Oxford'. I would certainly go back and hope that other Trip Advisor users have the same positive experience that we did.

ongoing air con problems

from A TripAdvisor Member
i was very interested to read a review on this site regarding a less than ideal stay at the randolph, particularly the fact that a month after my stay, the air-con was still not working. Whwn i checked into my room ( on a particularly hot day in June) i was not told that the air con was not working. However, when the maid delivered a fan, she seemed fully aware of the situation.

I was re-allocated a room in the new block eventually. i have never had to take such a convoluted route to a hotel room in england. all in all not worth the proce per room

asleep on its laurels

from A TripAdvisor Member
Just spent a rather dull Sunday night at the Randolf. I must say that my wife and I were rather dissappointed with the experience. On arrival, we were told that their reservation system was not communicating properly with expedia and that they did not have our reservation. Luckily they had room anyway and gave us the expedia rate for a exec. double.

Upon arrival in our pleasant looking room in the new wing, we noticed it had a stuffy, chemical smell. Further, the A/c was not working. as it was not particularly hot, that was okay and we opened the windows. Later, we called to complain about the a/c and were told by the man who eventually brought us a fan that the new a/c was not working well in any of the rooms and that he had given out many fans that night.

Food in the Restaurant was disappointing, both meat courses were overcooked.

No faults with the staff, especially the porters desk which was helpful with luggage and parking (btw, you apparently need to make a separate reservation for your car!!!)

Abandon hope all ye...

from A TripAdvisor Member
3 separate factions of my family came to stay here for a reunion this spring, and not one of them was remotely impressed with the service. Other than that it will provide some wacky stories to recount in future, I really can't recommend the Randolph.

I was staying in a 'superior twin' in the new block, which looks like an open prison, looks out onto some completely plain slabs and was incredibly dull, and took about 20 minutes to walk to from reception, and the signs give up on you about half way. There was only one robe, which struck me as weird given it was a twin. To be fair, they did offer to bring another one up to me when I rang down, but to be honest I couldn't justify that since I wasn't planning to use it anyway.

My aunt checked in and was shown into, and left in, a room that had someone's stuff in it. She thought this probably wasn't right, so she went back to reception, they told her they had no rooms spare, then after a few minutes' wrangling, she was shown into 3 or 4 more rooms (I don't really know how this tallies with what they'd told her, but never mind) before she got one that was even the same classification as the one she'd booked (a twin).

The food in the restaurant is fabulous, but when we got there (having booked well in advance) they said there was a backlog and, consequently, it was an hour and a half to two hours before even the starter came. No further apology, explanation or treat was forthcoming from the (admittedly very suave-looking) maitre d'. The restaurant was barely half full, and if they can't cope with that many people at one time, then they shouldn't have taken that many bookings, or they should have rung to amend our booking. The fact that they couldn't even come round the tables... I don't know. When the hotel was evacuated because of a fire alarm during the main course, half our group welcomed the opportunity to call an end to the whole thing. The wine list is punishingly expensive and there's no house.

The other thing have to report was a whole lot more disturbing. A stranger burst into my (locked) room at around 4am, completely off his skull, with a naughty little grin on his face, and proceeded to curl up in a little ball under the table. He was followed in hot pursuit by a security guard, who sternly told him to go away, made a quick apology and left. Now, I went down to reception early the next evening, fully expecting that some kind of report would have been filed by the night porter. It turns out that nothing of the sort had happened, though the girl I spoke to assured that "nothing like this has ever happened here before". Oh, good. I'm glad in that case that the night porter considered it de rigeur enough not even to mention. I asked them to look into it, I still haven't heard anything back.

I have worked the last six months as a hotel receptionist, where I am the only on duty staff member for the entire evening. There's ways and means to turn almost any situation around - a choice word, an apology, bribery obviously. A hotel with the resources (and the tariff) of the Randolph should have no problem dealing with the basics: providing you with vaguely the right kind of room, serving your supper the same night you ordered it, ensuring that, by and large, it's fairly hard for murderers to pop into your room of an evening, and so on. The weekend I stayed there, it struggled to do any.

The doormen are really good though, and the concierge. I think they're the same bunch.

overated poor value

from highlandspring
A really depressing hotel.The rooms are small and have seen better days.The room rates are a joke,if they were not so high.Service was bad at best.I ordered some water via room service and gave up waiting and went to get it myself.Breakfast-don't bother.A hotel relying on its name only.Go elsewhere.


from NRT
I wouldn't want to stay at this hotel again unless I had no other choices. It has a dank and depressing air about it - like it was a place that was quite grand once but is on the skids now. To make matters worse, this is not a cheap hotel (I think I paid over 200 GBP per night).

My room was ok - somewhat dark and faded, but at least better than the lobby and other common areas, which are a little nasty. It did have a newer TV with cable, etc. The bathroom was older, but at least very clean.

The service was indifferent at best. The front desk was not very helpful, and breakfast is an absolute fiasco. You're lucky to get any food or coffee at all (let alone what you might have ordered). If I'm ever back in Oxford, I'll definitely try another place.

Wonderful place to stay

from scaffsbabe
We stayed at The Randolph for a few days after Xmas and had a great tine. We had a beautiful suite at the front of the hotel. The position of the hotel is ideal for women who love to shop as Debenhams is only a minute away.

The Staff were very polite and helpful - especially in the Morse Bar! We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and cannot see what people are complaining about. We have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world and were not disappointed here.

The only grumble we had was that the breakfast was very basic.

We will definitely return.

An awful hotel

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Randolph Hotel is awful. Do not be lured into expecting otherwise because of its grand reputation. 3 months ago, my husband and I spent the night of our wedding there, and the experience turned out to be a depressing end to a wonderful day. We arrived at about midnight with me in my wedding dress expecting a great welcome (we paid over £200 for a room), possibly even a free bottle of champagne, but our arrival was memorable for all the wrong reasons. We were met by an empty front desk and a very odd doorman with whom we made polite conversation for what seemed like eternity before anyone came to greet us. We were made to feel extremely average and un-special, especially when we were informed that we were the fourth wedding couple to check in that night and led unceremoniously to our room.

Our room was nice enough but small and the place generally reeked of decayed grandeur. The ‘ballroom’ where we had breakfast resembled a vast, sterile canteen complete with staff members hollering out orders and terrible service. After queuing for 20 minutes to get a seat we waited another 40 minutes for a cup of tea which came without milk or sugar and after an exasperating hour long wait, the food was poor. Throughout our 12 hour stay at the Randolph, the staff were abrupt and rude making us feel like naughty school kids rather that a just-married couple. The only up-side to having stayed there is that now I can warn people like you against making the same mistake.

Other names for The Macdonald Randolph Hotel

  • randolph hotel oxford
  • macdonald randolph oxford
  • hotel macdonald randolph
  • Address: Beaumont Street - Oxford - England - OX1 2LN - United Kingdom
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