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Reviewed August 22, 2018

A strange review headline for a hotel, you might think, but this is the one thing I left this hotel talking about to others: the price of drinks. We'll come to that!

As always - I'll review the hotel with positives and negatives, so you can see the experience I had. For context, this was a last minute Rewards stay. I'm an IHG Gold member and had 32,000 points in my account, 20,000 of which I spent on this one-night stay.

Positives:

+ The hotel is in a lovely location. A long, winding drive through an estate to get to the grand building. First impressions were lovely. I felt like I was really having an experience arriving at the hotel, not just staying on a last minute one-night business trip.
+ The staff were very friendly on reception, in the bar, and at breakfast. Very courteous and welcoming.
+ The room was lovely. I was in Room 3025 - I *think* this was an Executive Room? If it was - thanks for the upgrade (but see a negative point below re: telling me!). Huge, comfortable bed, the fastest filling bath I've ever experienced (seriously - that water pressure was amazing), and a the usual fridge/safe/kettle etc.
+ The food was nice. Fish and chips with peas and tartare sauce. Not cheap at around £15, and the chips were a little on the sparse side, but it filled me up.
+ A nice, quiet hotel. Presumably no wedding on, but I hardly heard a peep from anyone.
+ Breakfast nice. Not massively cheap at £10 if paying in advance, but for the choice of food, probably worth it.

The criticisms:

- If I've been upgraded from a standard room to an executive, PLEASE tell me! It's a wonderful feeling knowing you've been upgraded. This happened at another IHG hotel too, where I simply knew I'd been upgraded by looking at the sign on the door. No such signs at this hotel, so I had to guess. From the facilities in the room, I think I had... but I'm still not 100% sure! Celebrate the fact!
- The price of soft drinks. £4.40 for a pint of diet coke is not just expensive, it's downright scandalous. If you go to any major supermarket, you could get a 2 litre bottle on offer for £1 on a good day. That means I could have bought almost 9,000ml of diet coke for the price of just over 500ml at this hotel. Yes, it's the convenience. Yes, hotels do charge a little more for drinks, but there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for charging £4.40 for a pint of diet coke. It's outrageous.
- The lamp near the bed in the bedroom was broken. The light worked, but the fitting was rotating freely and conked me on the head a couple of times. Didn't hurt, and I didn't realise until late at night. Forgot to mention it to reception, sorry.

Overall, an enjoyable stay, and I would definitely stay here again. Friendly staff, lovely room, nice enough food, and heavenly location. But please, please, please sort the price of your soft drinks out. I can cope with paying £5 for a pint of beer at a push, but for those who choose not to drink, or crucially who are driving, it is extortion to charge (for the last time) £4.40 for a pint of diet coke!

Stayed: August 2018
2  Thank DrMLawson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HPGuestRelations, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park - Oxford, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2018

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback from your recent stay.

As one of our valued gold members, thank you for choosing Heythrop Park Resort to use your points. I'm pleased to see that you enjoyed so many aspects of your stay and would look to return again in the future. Your feedback is extremely valuable to us and I have passed these on to the relevant managers to review. Since reading your comments regarding the upgrade, I have personally reiterated this to the Reception team so thank you again for taking the time to provide us with this feedback,

I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back to Heythrop Park Resort in the future.

Kind regards,

Claire Busby

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 21, 2018

We stayed here for 3 nights 17th-20th August.We were told on arrival that there was an Indian wedding the following day and there may be a bit of drumming, it was however fine and nice to see all the people in their finery.Our room 2052 was comfortable, very comfy bed and a great shower room/en suite with very nice toiletries.Tea/coffee making facilities excellent selection of teas. Breakfast in main dining room excellent plenty of choice also items made to order all included in price. We took dinner every night and every choice we made the food was excellent and beautifully presented.The staff in the dining room are re.lly helpful nothing too much trouble. We had two very enjoyable evenings in the dining room followed by a pleasant after dinner drink i the bar, however on our last evening , Sunday, there was a large party of golfers in the dining room the noise was awful just like being in a crowded pub. The men were worse than the ladies shouting with no regard for non golfing diners including a number of children. Ladies weren't as bad but one of them gave a speech and made a presentation to a couple of ladies again no regard for other diners. The manager in dining room did apologise and offered us a drink, which we took into the bar to drink to get away from the noise but after a little while the golfers turned up there too so we sat in the area outside of the main bar. Such a shame would have given 5 stars if not for our last evening spoiled by a group of men who were old enough to know their behaviour was out of order in the main dining room.

Stayed: August 2018
Thank patc9Solihull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HPGuestRelations, Front Office Manager at Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park - Oxford, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2018

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your lovely review from your recent stay with us.

I'm pleased to see that overall you had a lovely stay and enjoyed the hotels facilities. I'm sorry to hear that your stay was tainted due to another party. I have passed your feedback onto our Restaurant Manager as we usually allocate large groups of diners in a separate restaurant to enhance the dining experience for all parties, however I'm sorry that this was not the case on this occasion.

Thank you again for taking the time to provide us with your feedback and we hope to welcome you back to Heythrop Park again.

Kind regards,

Claire Busby

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 21, 2018

Two lovely rooms booked for one night for a family getaway. Lovely reception staff, great others that we encountered around the place, wonderful dinner (formal meal - 2 course £24, 3 courses £31) and lovely staff there. Good swimming pool facilities with the hottest steam room I've ever been in - but again, welcoming. Wonderful grounds.

Two things might have got this five stars.

Firstly, better pre-advertising about the facilities. Children aren't allowed in the pool after 6.30. We had promised daughter a swim - fortunately, we changed plans and got one in, but originally we might have missed that - that's not made clear in advance. Also, the grounds are great and there are walks and things - there was no information about the hotel or facilities (even the pool) or a map of the grounds in the room.

Secondly, breakfast was a bit of a let down. Chaos, staff confused about what was going on. Over-attentiveness (tea/coffee lady was leaning over my wife's shoulder even before she'd sat down - oh, and tea in a percolator pot was a bit naff), loud, confusing orders. Not the calm start to the day you might expect.

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank OckhamsRazor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HPGuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park - Oxford, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2018

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback.

I am pleased to see that you enjoyed your recent stay with us. It is very good to see that you found our reception staff to made a positive impact on your stay with us. I am pleased that you enjoyed the food we have to offer as well as the service you received when dining at our property.


Thank you for your comments with regards to pre-advertising our facilities, I will be sure to pass this onto management as this is definitely something we can work on. I will also pass on your comments about breakfast as this is also something that needs to be dealt with to allow guests a more pleasant experience in the restaurant whilst dining with us for breakfast.

I hope that you will consider staying with us again in the future.

Kindest Regards
Guest Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 17, 2018

I had booked a 3 night stay at this hotel as was attending a wedding over the weekend.

On arrival

Decent car park and not that far from the front of the hotel. On entering reception there were approximately 20 people waiting to check in as the hotel was busy with weddings this weekend. 4 receptionist stations available but only 2 manned. A member of staff came from behind reception and I enquired as to whether additional staff could help with check in...….the answer, not my department....shades of the Jasper Carrot Woolworths sketch!!

Once checked in

Having been given our room number we then went in search. The receptionist advised that there was a lift available to get to our room and told us where it was.....wrong, another member of staff then told us that there was no lift and we would have to use the stairs, luckily it was downstairs. We later found that there was a lift but not where the initial receptionist told us it would be.

The Room

Being on the lower ground floor you could best describe it as a large dungeon!! very little by way of useful lighting. the mirror over the dressing table had no light at all and was hung at a strange angle. My wife commented that the rooms had been designed by a man, furnished by a man and for men, I can see where she was coming from!. There were very few ceiling lights and only one bedside lamp.

There is a safe in the room however you have to get on your knees to use it. With regards to the hanging space, if you are over 5'8" then it is reachable. However if you are of a petite stature, you will need to use a chair to stand on in order to reach the hanging rail.

The Bed

A queen sized bed which at first glance looks very welcoming. However, the mattress was very soft, it also had a mattress topper on it, and with it being soft there was a lot of 'roll together' making it quite uncomfortable. I have a back problem and woke the first morning feeling very uncomfortable.

The bathroom

Surprisingly there was a bath and also a separate shower cubicle. However same problem in respect of lighting.....very poor! good range of toiletries though and towels changed each day.

Housekeeping

Although the bed was made each day, it looked as though a 3 year old had done it. Not very professional.

Food / Drink

We were booked in bed and breakfast if that's what you could call it. I have seen and tasted better at a greasy spoon! Sausages were (both traditional and Cumberland) were over cooked, and left to stand over a small spirit burner to keep warm,,,,needless to say they were cold. With regards the eggs, the fried eggs were small, and cold so the grease had congealed, the scrambled eggs apparently were from powdered eggs and not very appetising. You can imagine what the beans, tomatoes and mushrooms were like.

If you wanted cereal and toast this was fine but only 1 rotary toaster!

Staff

In the main front of house and bar staff were very friendly however, the housekeeping staff were difficult to communicate with as hardly any of them had any English to speak of.

Unfortunately we left an item in the room after we had checked out and did not notice until we arrived back home. We have now contacted the hotel 5 times to see if the item has been found by house keeping. They keep telling us they will look and call us back...…...still waiting....could be the language barrier I suppose.

Is this supposed to be a prestige hotel......you would think so with the level of wedding activity it hosts, 5 weddings over the weekend of our stay...….is it? No.

Value for money.....No.

Would we stay here again....no, would probably plump for a local B & B which is likely to be more comfortable and better value, even if they do not have a leisure centre which by the way takes about 15 - 20 minutes to walk to as it is at the other end of the complex. One way of keeping fit, just getting to it.

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank jagag0ld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HPGuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park - Oxford, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2018

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your detailed review of your recent stay at our property.

I am pleased to see that you enjoyed some aspects of your stay, to include our staff who you found to be helpful and friendly, it is also good to see that you enjoyed the complimentary toiletries and the layout of the bathroom within your room.

I am sorry to see that you encountered some issues during your stay and some things that did not make your stay as satisfactory as is could be. I am saddened to see that you found the breakfast to not be to your liking. I am also sorry to see that you have been struggling to retrieve a lost item. Please contact me on JMakai@heythroppark.co.uk with your check in date and the name your room was booked under and I will have a look into this for you.

Thank you again for your comments, we will use them to coach our team and to ensure we a providing the best possible service.

Kind Regards
Guest Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 16, 2018

Stayed for an event nearby
Beautiful drive in, although it feels like you drive for ages just to get to the hotel. But loved seeing the baby deer.

Staff friendly and helpful at check in
Didn't eat at the hotel as it was quite expensive. Did have a drink outside in the bar, which was lovely.

Room was lovely and very clean.
View was rubbish though, just looked at a wall which is a shame as the grounds are beautiful

Enjoyed the use of the leisure facilities, again very clean and modern

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank fairy-princess27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HPGuestRelations, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park - Oxford, responded to this reviewResponded August 19, 2018

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback.

I am delighted to see that you enjoyed your recent stay with us, rating us 5 out of 5 for your overall stay. It is great to see that our staff made a positive impact on your visit to our property. I am sorry to see that you didn't dine with us, but I am pleased that you enjoyed a drink in our Bar terrace. I am also very pleased to see that you found your allocated bedroom to be clean, as well as the leisure facilities. I have passed your kind comments onto our Housekeeping department.

We look forward to welcoming you to another stay in the near future.

Kind Regards
Guest Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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