At the top of the Woodstock Road and opposite one of the busiest BP garages in the area. The A40 from London to Gloucester runs right past the Barcelo and the A34 link to the M40 isn't far away. The village of Godstow sits just down the hill towards the Isis with the Plough Inn, an enjoyably authentic Oxford pub, lying undiscovered by visitors on Wolvercote Green.
The 168 rooms lie off labyrinthine corridors behind the lobby. There are 112 basic doubles, 21 premium rooms, a few family and twin rooms and one suite. The premiums get king-size beds and a sofa bed. Decor is predominantly cream and terracotta, and headboards are leather. There is reasonably credible artwork in all rooms as well as the usual tea and coffee facilities.
The lobby is the best part of the hotel, wide and spacious with business people perched on the red or white armchairs that line the wall, crouched over their laptops. At the back the Medio espresso bar keeps people hyped up. Up a staircase to the right lies the Medio bar with its large TV showing Sky Sports and beyond that the dining room and the spa.
Eating and drinking
All Day Dining in the lobby (10am - 10pm) offers sandwiches and soup, jacket potatoes, pizza, meatballs, salad and chicken tikka masala. The wine list is limited to four white, four red, one rose and two sparkling wines. The cheapest bottle is £17.50. Breakfast is in a canteen-like room with views of the BP filling station and the car park. Dinner is a la carte in an annex of the breakfast room, decorated predominantly in blue and with better views. The choice is limited but imaginative - tart of warm black pudding with bacon and goats' cheese, herb-crusted hake, Oxford blue cheese with homemade fig chutney comes to £23.50 without wine.
There is a gym, two squash courts, a small kidney-shaped pool, steam room and sauna.
The suited staff are young and amiable. Queues are inevitable at check-out and check-in with such a rapid turnover of guests.
Who stays there
Business in the week, weekend conferences too. Also tour groups and coach parties at the weekend.
Add £12 to the room rate for breakfast. For the half-board meal plan add a further £23pp. Car parking is £3 per night but £2 per night if booked in advance. WiFi is complimentary for the first half hour and thereafter £12 per 24 hours in basic rooms and £15 in premium.
- Business travellers
- Mature travellers
- Escaping the crowds
Pros & Cons
- Inexpensive parking (no small asset in Oxford)
- Stylish public areas
- Convenient if just passing through
- Taxi ride in to see the attractions
- If you're not on business you may feel an outsider