The Holiday Inn Oxford, three miles from the city centre, recently underwent a million pound refurbishment and is now one of the nicest Holiday Inns I have seen. They redid the lobby and reception to be open plan and sociable and it was really nicely decorated.
There were bright colors and interesting lights with bookcases and crops creating interesting features throughout the space. The renovation also encourages working with super fast WiFi and power outlets so you can work from the comfort of the living room.
We were given an executive room which had everything you would need, and for a budget hotel I was impressed with the room, it in no way felt inferior to some more expensive hotels, even if you could maybe notice a few things like like the size of the bed and the location of the hotel itself which was at Peartree roundabout so not in the town center or on a river but easily accessible to area attractions.
Read more: “I tried the Sunday roast at one of Oxford’s most expensive hotels, The Randolph, and it was unforgettable”
Once settled in, we went to dine in their new dining room, which was the focal point of the whole hotel. The staff was very nice and the waiter even gave us a great wine recommendation which really impressed us.
The dinner menu was relatively simple, with the British classics you would expect from a hotel chain like the Holiday Inn. The menu items included burgers, club sandwiches, steak and fish and chips. I was very happy to see that there were also vegan and vegetarian options.
We shared a harissa hummus starter which was very nice, it was served with roasted peppers and my guest loved them, although she’s usually not a big fan of peppers. For main, we both opted for a trusty burger. My guest went for the vegan burger and was impressed with the variety of dishes that came with it, including the guacamole.
Mine was a standard beef burger with all the trimmings from onion rings to cheese and bacon. It wasn’t the best burger I’ve ever had but it was good and it really filled me up. The fries were very good though, maybe even better than the burger itself.
Then for dessert, at this point I was very full, so I opted for the lightest dessert on the menu, a few small scoops of ice cream. The mango sorbet is one of my favorites so I was very excited when I noticed it on the menu. It was pretty good, and I should have had two scoops of it because the other flavor I had, the honeycomb, was slightly too sweet for me.
Along with the desserts there were also plenty of vegan options which was great. All in all an ok meal, nothing spectacular, but I wasn’t expecting a Michelin star dinner at a Holiday Inn, so for where we were staying it was great.
The new Open Lobby space that the hotel spent £1m to create really elevated the hotel for me and made it more interesting and unique, rather than being part of a national chain. I sometimes find that hotels like these can lack personality, but this Holiday Inn has managed to retain a characterful feel with its colorful new open lobby.
The bedroom was perfect for the belle, although we were quite warm as we tried to sleep, so we tried turning the heating down and found the thermometer a bit difficult to manage but eventually got through it.
Breakfast was as you would expect, a classic buffet which I always look forward to when staying at a hotel and the Holiday Inn did not disappoint, there was full English (with vegan sausages on request), pastries and toast as well as some cold options like yoghurt and fruit.
This branch also had Starbucks at the bar so we could order Starbucks coffees to go with our breakfasts which was a nice touch. Overall this was one of the nicest Holiday Inns I have stayed in, the executive rooms felt above what I would expect from a more budget hotel chain and the dining room had plenty fun personality.
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