The Bear Hotel

, Woodstock, United Kingdom
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The Bear Hotel

, Woodstock
3 star

Rooms: 54

Park Street - Woodstock - England - OX20 1SZ - United Kingdom Hotel Website | | 44 08704008202
271 Traveller

Reviews - The Bear Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of The Bear Hotel

decent enough but some faults

from SherlockT
We stayed for two nights at the Bear in June 2005

We upgraded to a four poster room which was large with a very comfortable feature four poster bed, sofa, chairs , coffee table, large wardrobes and and a decent enough bathroom with a smallish narrow bath and over the bath shower. Despite being advertised as having had a complete refurbishment there were obvious signs of wear and tear - handles missing, tiles coming loose in the bathroom and so on but all in all it was a really nice room.

Having planned to have a shower and laze around in bathrobes for a while we queried the obvious lack of bathrobes. We were amazed to be told that the hotel only had five bathrobes for use by guests and that all of these were being laundered.

We ate in Woodstock that evening - if you do, try the Brasserie diagonally opposite from the Bear - food, service and atmosphere were all excellent and good value.

We did call in at the hotel bar for a nightcap and were heavily overcharged for our drinks. Despite raising the issue three times with the barman we made no progress at all and felt the issue was particularly badly handled.

The following morning we met several friends at the hotel before getting taxis to an event. Coffee and biscuits had been previously arranged to allow us 30 minutes before the taxis arrived but despite chasing the coffees were 25 minutes late.

Seven of us dined at the hotel that night and whilst the service was reasonably efficient and good humoured the food was generally considered to be of average quality and not regarded as living up to the descritions of the menus and not worth the much hyped two rosettes. It would also be hard to describe the a la carte menu as good value. Some of our party had also eaten in the hotel the previous evening and had similar comments about that meal too. With so many dining options vying for business in Woodstock there are probably better paces to eat.

So to the bar (again) where a different bar person served us the same drinks as the night before but at a much lower cost. When this was pointed out we were assured that the issue would be taken up with the bar manager and would be sorted. It wasn't and we had to raise it again when we checked out when it was eventually confirmed that we had indeed been overcharged by the first barman - the explanation being that he was new and was Australian ( as were most of the staff we encountered ). Although the difference was refunded it was done so grudgingly and with nothing in the way of a proper apology.

Breakfast the followng morning was perfectly competent but no more.

At checkout we heard other couples comments on the hotel - when asked whether they had enjoyed their stay we heard two other couples say, with little enthusiam, that it "had been OK" and that just about summed it up for us - nice but lacking attention to detail and that certain spark that sets somewhere apart.

Would we go back - to Woodstock yes to the Bear probably not

A great find

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed here because we couldn't find anywhere affordable and nice to stay in Oxford. The location is great = easy access to Oxford and Woodstock itself is a really nice town. I don't think I've ever come across so many nice pubs in such a small place!

The quality of the room was well above what I'd expected - large, nicely styled and relatively secluded. The bed and shower were both good. There are also quite a few outside tables for residents to sit at.

The staff were very helpful. There is a lot of competition for dinner in Woodstock - with so many places to eat - many of which looked great. But lazily we chose to eat at the Bear and it was super, again - great staff - happy to engage in a bit of banter, the food and wine were also great. The only downside was breakfast - where the staff were a little unhappy to see us 10 mins before breakfast closed, the toast was delivered burnt, they had run out of haddock and kippers and the waitress was a little surly - but warmed up by the end of the meal.

Despite this minor mishap, we didn't want to leave and will come back again!

Very Pleasant Stay at The Bear Hotel

from time4travl
My husband and I greatly enjoyed our one-night stay at The Bear Hotel. The double room was quite spacious and decorated in an attractive style. Our room faced the street outside of the front of the hotel but noise was a minimal issue, even with the windows open at night. The bed was very comfortable and we slept soundly.

The staff were all courteous and helpful. There was a problem with our television-- the manager came to look at it and could not immediately rectify the problem. When I explained that I only wanted to watch for the weather forecast, he phoned the room a few minutes later and gave me details of the next day's weather.

Breakfast was appealing and tasty. Dinner prices seemed a bit high so we ate at the Woodstock Arms down the street (very enjoyable).

The ambience and charm of the hotel were very pleasant. I would definitely stay at The Bear again.

A Pleasant Quaint and Cozy Surprise

from KR-ORD
We booked this hotel at the last minute on the Internet without checking any reviews and were pleasantly surprised. Woodstock itself is a charming town with a good selection of places to eat all within three blocks of the hotel. We ate at the Woodstock Arms and thought the food and the service was terrific. Check in was slow but at least the clerk was honest telling us that he was new to the hotel and the UK having just arrived three days earlier from Australia. Our room was a twin in the stables out back overlooking the churchyard. The beds were very comfortable and the entire room finished to a very high standard while retaining its charm. The bathroom looked brand new - the water temperature/pressure gave us some problems but it was a minor annoyance. The small pub is quite busy yet cozy. The breakfast selection was impressive with service ranging from excellent to passable depending on the person. There can be a wait for a table at times. Parking is limited but was not a problem for our Saturday night stay as there were no street parking restrictions after 6p Saturday. Overall, an excellent place to stay in a very nice town. If it were not for the fact that some of the service was a little off and the water pressure/temperature issues, I may have rated this hotel at five. That is something in that, of 25+ reviews, I have only rated one hotel at five.

Great Hotel Pity About The Service

from Paul09084
We had a great three days, super room though thin walls allowed unacceptable noise levels to penetrate our room. The food was excellent yet very slow service ie one hour ten minute wait betwenn first and second course. then they brought the desert in error so a further twenty mins. wait before a cool pheasant arrived. Sticky toffe pudding was cold, though everyone was apologetic the hotel guests deserve better. Many guests had problems with mystery add ons to their bills and so did we. This hotel is well placed and does have a lot going for it. We would certainly stay again in the hope of better service though I have to say that in contrast to dinner the breakfast was inpeccable in every way.

What a wonderful place to stay

from DanStgt
We stayed there November 12-14. The building was lovely from the outside, the interior very cosy (especially the fireplace) and the rooms were great (we had a four poster), spacious, nice bathroom, and a cuddly teddy bear was sitting on the bed.

Food was a special delight. Breakfast whether cooked or continental was varied, delicious and came in appropriate portions. Dinner was spectacular and very delicious (I can only say 'yummy')...

As regards service and staff. We could not find a fault with them. Service and attention was impeccable and we found it especially pleasant that there were so many young people. how else should they get proper training if not on the job?

In all, we can recommend The Bear without reserve, especially for a romantic weekend break. Do not miss a visit to Blenheim Palace 'just around the corner'...

Lovely stay at the Bear!

from A TripAdvisor Member
This place is top notch. Upon walking in, you feel at home. The fire
in the pub to your right. The lovely restraunt beckons you to make
reservations. The decor in this place is perfectly done. The rooms are a
great size (we had a double) and the fabrics all compliment each other.
Pure Ralph Lauren.

The only reason this didn't get 5 stars in my book was due to the paint
in the bathroom chipping-and the fact that the fan takes 15 min to go
off after you've turned it off in the bathroom. Also it *can* get nosiy
if you're in a room by the stairs like we were (room 37) but not
unbearable.

The food in the restraunt for dinner was absolutely amazing. A great
bargain, with 2 3 course dinners and a ?26 pound bottle of wine, we paid
about ?75 total. The breakfast was good too-the hot food was good and
the continental breakfast is well done. Fully stocked.

I suggest doing the B&B deal if that suits you.

From a discriminate American Wife and a picky English husband, this
made top marks for us.

nice place shame about the people

from A TripAdvisor Member
I've stayed at the Bear twice, both times invited, most recently in March 2003. Overall, I liked it but I find the place overpriced and the staff inexperienced & unprofessional, which unfortunately remove a lot of the atmosphere this sort of place should have. The rooms, are nicely decorated in a country style, with plush fittings such as luxury bathrooms and CD player, trouser press etc. but the place is really let down in the way it is managed. I didn't feel as if there were any adults around, the restaurant staff was inept to the point of comical, but not unfriendly at least, and the same goes for the reception staff, especially out of hours. It is not the top luxury place the websites would have you believe, it's an old creaky inn of refurbished pub standard, not a mansion. There are some nice touches but it's definitely too expensive.

Romantic and Charming

from A TripAdvisor Member
Being able to walk to Blenhiem Palace and being in the heart of the charming town of Woodstock is enough to make this hotel a winner.

We were told that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton stayed here many times as a get-away. I can understand it now that we have been there.

We we given an upgrade at no extra charge since the hotel was not filled and our room (suite) was very nice.

The restaurant was excellent (don't miss the Scottish beef filet) and truly romantic.

Warm and Charming

from A TripAdvisor Member
One feels most comfortable simply upon entering this charming, cosy inn. The tea room is inviting, with a teddy bear as your dining companion at many tables (too adorable for words) and the wait staff are pleasant and happy to accomodate. The rooms themselves are decorated with stylish modern influences, a lovely contrast to the old-world look of the building. Some rooms are a little cramped, though not to the point of detracting from the experience.

Top Local Tips for Woodstock

Great Pub in Woodstock For a good rustic, hearty meal, the Woodstock Arms was great!!! Nice friendly staff, very reasonable price, good atmosphere. Try the Hereford Fillet steak. Best steak I've had outside Canada!

Blenheim Palace Book ahead on the internet site for entrance tickets and get a discount. You can enter through the 'town gate entrance' at the end of the village of Woodstock and it's a shorter walk than through the 'usual' entrance, also takes you past the pretty lake. Afternoon tea in the 'Indian Room' is charming but a bit dark -- they could do with adding a bit of music and a bit more light, but the huge scones and all the trimmings were delicious!

Blenheim Palace The town of Woodstock basically extends between the two entrances of Blenheim Palace. It is a small town, so walking is really not a problem even for the older traveler. Allow for at least a whole day to really see everything at Blenheim. The grounds are very large with several scenic walks and gardens, and the tours of the Palace are insightful. You want to be sure to schedule enough time to take your time and really enjoy it. It is a spectacular place which should be savored. Bring a camera! I saw various tours which included Blenheim as part of a several stop day-trip, and thought what a waste. If you are going to take the time to travel to such a lovely place be sure to really allow yourself to enjoy it.

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Other names for The Bear Hotel

  • macdonald bear woodstock
  • hotel macdonald bear
  • bear hotel woodstock
  • bear hotel uk woodstock
  • Address: Park Street - Woodstock - England - OX20 1SZ - United Kingdom
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