“ Address: Grenoble Rd / Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 / England / United Kingdom „
Holiday Inn Express, Kassam Stadium Oxford
My two very clever nieces graduated this year and start their medical careers one in Oxford and one in London. My sister , their mother turned fifty too and so she had a celebration at a local restaurant to them in Oxford. In order to celebrate properly and not feel we had to rush back we booked a night in this hotel. I booked two rooms, one for us and one for my daughter and her partner who live in London.
I looked at the Holiday Inn on the Pear tree roundabout as this was closer to where they live but it was a lot more expensive. I paid around £80 per room including breakfast and free wifi as I am a Priority Club member. The Pear tree one wanted around £120 a night and no breakfast or wifi so no contest we thought. This is a little further our from the city centre but they offer a service to book a taxi £10 each way and the hotel on the Pear tree roundabout said that taxis would be £8 each way so that made little difference. The Pear tree one is just beside the Park & ride but we felt that £10 each way for a taxi for four was pretty good value.
As you might have surmised this hotel is right beside the Oxford football stadium, the Kassam Stadium and had there been a match we would have been able to watch from our bedroom window!
We arrived a bit early as the event began at 1pm and we were not sure whether they would let us check in. There is a large free car park so no worries there and no hidden parking costs like we have found at some.
The Reception desk was straight in front of the main entrance . Over to the right were te lifts and conference rooms as well as computer for guests and a stand with brochure of things to do. Strangely the brochures were all for things far beyond Oxford and there was nothing about Oxford at all! To the left of the Receotion desk is the bar and plenty of seating with tables that then becomes the restaurant and the smaller separate area where the breakfast buffet food was served from.
Anyway the young girl on Reception was delightful and managed to find a room for us as we were Priority club members even thought it was only 11.30 am. She was trying to get us rooms together but I said we were not that botered , any two rooms would be great. She managed to get us on the same floor and gave us our key cards, pointed out the lift and gave me a wifi code as well.
WE collected our bag from the car and made our way up in the lift. Unusually the lift was actually quite large so plenty of room for people and bags. It wasn't that speedy but we were only going up one floor so it didn't matter.
As I said we had a view of the stadium across a piece of un - mown grass. I really do think they should have made a bit of an effort to create a garden and keep the grass neat but I suppose the room and service is more important.
The room was pretty standard, very clean and modern with a double bed, TV, unit for a desk and shelves, an open hanging space and not much else really. There was no air conditioning but fortunately the window opened otherwise we might have boiled.
We had bedside reading lights and all the lights could be controlled from one side of the bed. The key card had to be in a slot by the door for the electricity to work which I don't mind if it saves wastage.
The room was decorated in plainish colours and not garish at all, they were pretty standard Holiday Inn Express colours with a muted inoffensive carpet too. We popped the kettle on and made a cup of coffee but there was also tea but no biscuits which was probably a good thing!
The bathroom was pretty small with a shower unit and the toilet sort of tucked in beside the shower but behind the door. At first I wasn't sure where the toilet was and got a little concerned! I liked the fact that they had the hand wash and shower gel/ shampoo in the bottles fixed to the wall near the basin and in the shower. There must be so much waste from those little bottles as they provide more than you would use in one night. I always take my left overs home and use them when in the Uk but leave them in poor countries as I hope the cleaners get to have them.
The towels were large, soft and white, the linen was fresh white and cotton with a light duvet on the bed. We had a choice of soft or firm pillows but have to say the soft were rather firm for my own preference but as we were only there a night I could be bothered to make a fuss. We didn't even have time to make use of the free wifi as we came back late at night and left by 9.30 in the morning after breakfast.
When we came back in the evening my husband and my daughter's partner fancied a drink. They had two but my daughter and I felt tired after being entertained in the sun drinking and eating since around 1 pm and it was now around 10pm. We took ourselves off to bed and left them to it. The barman was efficient and pleasant and drinks a fair price. We all paid cash so we didn't add anything to the room bill.
This was a buffet as it often is but rather than polystyrene plates like they have in the USA this hotel had proper china and metal cutlery. The food was okay, not the best but it did the job. The fruit was grapefruit slices which none of of care for but we had fruit juice and then I found yogurts and a sort of muesli which I was happy with. The others went for the cooked breakfast with scrambled eggs, toast, bacon and sausages which te men enjoyed but my daughter said was not great and left hers . The choice was average, not the best breakfast we have enjoyed in a hotel but a long way from being the worst. My husband was happy and he is the one keen on his breakfasts; I am not that bothered.
Check out was very simple as we had not added anything to the bill and I had booked on the Priority points website and already paid for my daughter's room, ours was a freebie as a reward night which made it doubly good value.
WE packed out stuff into the cars and headed back into Oxford for a walk into the city before joining my sister and family for a lunch at their home.
This was a lovely week end and the stay in the hotel made it so much nicer as we could relax on Saturday and see my sister again for lunch on Sunday without all the other guest taking their attention.
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