We were in Banbury for a small surprise 50th birthday celebration for my husband which our daughter and I had planned together. We had planned our arrival by coach in Banbury to allow us time to check in to the hotel, unpack, settle in and generally unwind a bit before our daughter arrived to meet us in the foyer.
We arrived just after 2-00pm to find that our room was not ready. We were invited to sit in in the foyer/coffee bar/lounge area until it wa ready. We decided against having a coffee there as we anticipated being given the keys to our room very soon and sat down to read the papers.
After half an hour of waiting I asked what was happening with our room? I was told that there were two parties the night before so this had meant that the housekeeping team had a lot to do in a short space of time.
I was not entirely happy with this reason however we sat for a while longer. Eventually after nearly an hour had elapsed and I had spoken to my daughter to tell her about the delay I told the receptionist that we needed to be somewhere else by 4-00pm and that our daughter was meeting us at the hotel at 3-30pm to take us there as we didn't know where it was.
The female receptionist said that she could keep our luggage in a safe place for us however when I explained that we would not be back until much later that evening and needed to unpack before then she offered to check the room herself, explaining that it would not then however have been cecked by the Housekeeper. She returned very soon to say that the room was ready and gave us our keys.
I would have preferred, had a delay been a likelihood as in this case to be given a later check-in time than to have waited in the lounge for nearly an hour. We were not able to give a check-in time as we were travelling by public transport which is not always reliable.
We liked the way that the older part of the hotel had not been updated or modernised. The dark wooden staircase for instance and the wooden pannelling were a very welcome change from the uniformity of modern hotels.
We liked the creaking floorboards too which didn't disturb our sleep as one of us sleeps very soundly and the other wears earplugs!
Our room was delightful with a good sized and comfortable bed, a modern tv which my husband liked very much, an ensuite shower, built-in wardrobe with everything we could possibly need for our visit (ironing board, iron, electric fan, suitcase stand) in it and plenty of hangers. Although we were only staying for one night I always unpack thoroughly as I dislike living out of a suitcase.
We didn't immediately locate the kettle etc however these were cleverly kept in the cupboard which the tv was set up on which was actually a small fridge. We liked this addition to the room enormously as it made it clear that the hotel knew that guests might be bringing their own provisions into their rooms and that this is not a problem. We were also able to put our snacks away out of sight.
We also liked the complimentary Independent newspapers in the foyer/lounge.
We will definitely be staying again either together or individually when we visit our daughter again.
When we had a problem the staff were courteous, helpful and dealt with it very efficiently. I could tell that they were under considerable pressure due to the number of people arriving when we were however their professional, polite and unruffled manner was very impressive.