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Reviews (1,789)
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Reviewed 14 April 2017

Obviously the location is fabulous and Woodstock is a charming, if very busy town.
We have known The Bear for many years and this was a bit of a trip down memory lane.
Plus points- the staff were very pleasant. Room fine/adequate but nice to get home to my own spacious bedroom. Cold breakfast was fine but don't try the pancakes with syrup! It's not hard to make a pancake guys- how about making your own? Same for the hollondaise sauce. It's much nicer when you make it yourself.
Dinner, I thought, was going to be good. The ham hock was good and beautifully presented but the pork that followed would have been easier to cut with an electric knife. My husband had rump steak and chips (supplement £2.00). Extraordinary to have a supplement on what was a very tough steak and oven chips. No veg other than ordered extra greens. I say oven chips, not sure, but definately frozen. I had seen triple cooked chips elsewhere on the menus so was very surprised. Desserts fine.
Main courses here were a real issue. Everything on the plate would have been better served in my own home! Not what you expect.
On paying the bill this morning, over £425 for two nights,I challenged only the chips! I was told that it could not be deducted from the bill as there was no one available from management to make the deduction.
The Bear hotel is a fine old building with a wonderful history and it deserves better. Once 'dining out' on its fine cuisine, I suspect that it is the fault of the Macdonalds chain that has caused the dumming down of this fine establishment. Is the chef working to a strict budget.
I have left feeling rather sad.

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Louise B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2017

Dear Guest

I was pleased to note that you enjoyed some aspects of your visit, however would like to sincerely apologise for your disappointing experiences in our food and beverage areas.

Our breakfast offering should include fresh made pancakes and hollandaise sauce, and I have spoken to our Head Chef about this who has asked to be associated with my apology.

The dinner menu changes, and the quality should always be of a high standard. This clearly has not met expectations, and I sincerely apologies for this.

I hope that we can welcome you back so you may have a better dining experience with us.

Best wishes

Chris Rafe
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2017 via mobile

I chose this hotel as it's a few minutes walk from Blenheim Palace. It's location is brilliant just a few minutes walk. I loved the olde worlde charm of the hotel. The hotel has ample parking and is in the middle of the village king walking everywhere very easy. The reception staff were very friendly and helpful. Our room was a twin-my daughter and I stayed- and overlooked a fab church garden area. The room had those lovely sloping ceilings. The bathroom was modern and light. We had a great nights sleep and the breakfast next morning was just delicious. Check out was easy and I would always chose this hotel for any return trip to Woodstock.

Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
Thank katrinal1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2017

Dear Guest

Thanks for taking the time to review the hotel following your recent visit. I was really pleased to learn that you enjoyed your stay with your daughter.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Warm regards

Chris Rafe
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2017 via mobile

Really lovely hotel full of Great British character. We booked for two nights whilst away for business in Coventry on a deal via secret escapes. I therefore expected to be given a basic room so was surprised at the beautiful room we got right up in the eves with lovely beamed ceilings. It had a sitting area and even a spare bedroom. Service was great in all areas from check in and during dining. Our deal included a three course dinner in the restaurant and a welcome drink. The restaurant however as mid week was quite quiet and therefore lacked atmosphere. The next night we ate in the star inn which is right opposite the hotel and was really busy and had great food. The village of Woodstock is charming too so worth going out and about. The only bad point I would make is the bar prices which is why we went over to the pub opposite. A large glass of wine is £12 which is a bit excessive. Don't let this put you off staying though, just drink in the pub!!!

Stayed: April 2017
Thank brightonbreezy007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2017

Dear Guest

Thank you for your review of the Macdonald Bear Hotel following your stay with us.

I was really pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay, especially your room.

I appreciate your constructive feedback and hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back in the future.

Best wishes

Chris Rafe
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2017 via mobile

A beautiful hotel, lovely rooms with everything you could want, wonderful, attentive staff and an amazing breakfast! We had a family get together there and all really enjoyed it! It is in a great location in the heart of Woodstock.

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
Thank janeyvera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2017

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to review the Macdonald Bear Hotel following your recent stay.

I was delighted to note that you had such an enjoyable stay and the team looked after you well. We look forward to welcoming you back!

Best wishes

Chris Rafe
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2017

Ideally located for Oxford city break and Blenheim Palace. Took advantage of the discounted Winter rates which made the Executive Double room affordable for restricted budgets. Also, booking your evening meal 24hrs in advance gets another discount (if I remember correctly, £25pp for 3 courses) - see my review of their restaurant.

The room was an interesting arrangement (doglegged), with plenty of space, a vaulted ceiling with original beams exposed and very nicely appointed with chairs, cupboards, tables, blackout blinds/curtains and a large (super king?) bed with great pillows and duvet. The room temperature was set too high but that was sorted by just adjusting the radiator thermostat. There was a plumbing noise but this was a minor disturbance in the morning. The ensuite bathroom was modern and very nicely decorated.

The bar is a modest size but cozy especially when the large fire is lit. The decor of the hotel is in keeping with the character of this historic building. The Churchill room upstairs is a wonderful reception room ideal for quiet reading during the day or gathering of large groups.

I know some people did have some grumbles about their stay (but I'm not sure if that was directly related to their room) but I can highly recommend this hotel which is steeped in history and character (esp if you enjoy food - see my separate review).

Room Tip: Some rooms are in the original building, where you'll get the full character of the hotel, and some in the building annexed to the rear.
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 870MartinC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris R, General Manager at Macdonald Bear Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2017

Dear Guest

Thanks for taking the time to review the hotel following your recent visit. I was really pleased to learn that the team looked after you well and you enjoyed your room.

I appreciate your helpful feedback and look forward to welcoming you back!

Warm regards

Chris Rafe
General Manager

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