Holiday Inn Oxford review

A comfy stay at an affordable price and close to the city.

Holiday Inn Oxford

by Bryony Firth-bernard |

If you’re looking for an affordable, cosy base to explore Oxford from, then look no further than the city’s Holiday Inn, just off the A34. The hotel offers free parking for guests, comfy rooms and a newly refurbished open lobby, which offers a stylish area to eat, drink and relax. Here’s how we got on when we paid a visit…

Where is Holiday Inn Oxford?

Located just off the A34, three miles from Oxford town centre, puts this Holiday Inn in an ideal location for those wishing to explore the city. But you don’t even have to use your car to venture into Oxford, as a three minute walk away from the hotel is the Pear Tree Park and Ride, which takes 10 minutes to take you into the city. Next door to the Holiday Inn is also a Welcome Break service station, with a Waitrose, KFC and a petrol station, for those who do do want to use their car and grab some supplies along the way.

Where will I sleep?

I stayed in an executive room, which came with all the essentials I needed for a pleasant stay, including tea and coffee making facilities, a large comfy bed and a well sized bathroom with a bath and overhead shower. Extra features I particularly liked included the wooden window shutters, preventing any sunlight from poking through in the morning, bathroom robes, a mini fridge and an ironing board and iron. The Bluetooth speaker was also a nice touch, as someone who enjoys listening to some music when getting ready for the day. In the bathroom, plenty of towels had been provided on the heated rail, as well as showergel and shampoo, which smelt lovely.

Holiday Inn executive room

While I was very satisfied with my room, I was told by the manager next month they’ll all be getting refurbished, along with 65 new rooms being added to the hotel, so it seems things are only getting better.

Holiday Inn Oxford bathroom

What is there to do?

As mentioned previously, the location of this Holiday Inn really is fantastic as it’s close to so many must-see attractions. Just a seven minute drive away from the hotel you have the beautiful Blenheim Palace, home to the Duke of Marlborough and a perfect spot for those who enjoy a little history, culture and grand gardens. If you like a good shop while away, Bicester Village is only a 20 minute car journey , which homes more than 160 designer outlet shops for you to grab yourself a bargain.

For those happy to venture out a little further, the iconic Silverstone Race Track is only half an hour a way. I paid a visit to its interactive museum, which is just next door to the race track, which lets you get up close to a Forumla 1 car and discover the history behind the race track, as well as the opportunity for a picture on a podium (which I had to take advantage of). Tickets to the museum can also let you get access to part of the track too, but sadly this was closed on the day I went. Warwick Castle is a little further out (40 minutes to an hour away).

Oxford Natural History Museum and Silverstone

If you decide to venture into Oxford itself there’s plenty to see too. I used the Pear Tree Park and Ride, which really is just three minutes away from the hotel and cost me £2.50 for a return ticket, which saved my precious petrol. The award-winning Oxford University Museum of Natural History is an old fashioned type of museum (think lots of glass cases with objects inside) in a beautiful gothic building. It’s free to get in and highlights include the world famous Oxford Dodo and large dinosaur displays. Sadly due to time, there were attractions I didn’t have time to visit, including Oxford Castle and Prison and the Bodlein Library (where bits of Harry Potter were filmed).

Silverstone podium

There really is so much to see in Oxford that’s accessible from this Holiday Inn and I wouldn’t have never have even discovered how close Silverstone was without its useful attractions guide page here, which has a fantastic list of everything close by to do. {#h-there-really-is-so-much-to-see-in-oxford-that-s-accessible-from-this-holiday-inn-and-i-wouldn-t-have-never-have-even-discovered-how-close-silverstone-was-without-its-useful-attractions-guide-page-here-which-has-a-fantastic-list-of-everything-close-by-to-do}

What is there to eat?

While there’s plenty of places to grab some nosh in Oxford, if you’re tired after a long day and want access to your bed straight after food I definitely recommend eating at the hotel itself, which is what I did.

The menu (which gets changed seasonally) has plenty of choice on offer, from your classic fish and chips (£15.50), to burgers (from £14.95), salads (from £10.50), pizza and pasta (from £14). There is also a smaller menu where two people have the option to dine for £39.99.

To start, we had the harissa hummus, which was a very generous portion which came with grilled flat bread and grilled courgettes and the buffalo chicken wings. The waitress was very accommodating for my partner, who is dairy free, swapping the blue cheese dip for a BBQ sauce. For main, we both had a burger, which I can safely say, as someone who has tried and tasted quite a few, was a decent burger, which came with chips and rainbow coleslaw. My only critique would be that the coleslaw wasn’t really a coleslaw, and just some red cabbage in a pot, but it was nice all the same. Dessert was definitely a hit and we both had a dairy free chocolate torte with raspberry coulis, which you wouldn’t even be able to tell contained no dairy, it was that creamy and chocolatey.

Food at Holiday Inn Oxford

In the morning there was a buffet-style breakfast laid out in the newly refurbished lobby. To me, it was the perfect spread, as it offered everything you could want, from cooked breakfast meats with all the trimmings, such as hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, black pudding and different styles of eggs. There was a pastry corner, a drink making station, a cold counter (with fruits and yoghurt) and an area with items for those with dietary requirements. Even though it was busy, the chefs were very much on top of topping up the food to make sure there was plenty for everyone. I had absolutely no qualms with breakfast, apart from stopping myself continuously going up for more (always the struggle with a good buffet breakfast).

Holiday Inn Oxford breakfast menu

Final thoughts

For those looking to explore Oxford and its nearby attractions, I would 100 per cent recommend this Holiday Inn. It’s in an ideal location at a much lower price than you’d pay to stay in the centre, so it really is a win-win. To be honest, with the park and ride so close to the hotel, it’s almost in a better location than staying in the city, because it allows you to be closer to the other nearby by, but not so close to attractions such as Silverstone. The newly refurbished lobby has a really polished but relaxed feel and Gavin the manager and his staff are extremely friendly and attentive. A comfy bed to rest your head, good food and easy access to exciting sites, what more could you want from a hotel?

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