Macdonald Bear Hotel in Woodstock, Oxfordshire - Perfect for a Countryside Getaway

On a recent weekend in Oxfordshire, we stayed at the Bear Hotel in Woodstock. Part of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, the Bear Hotel is a 4-star hotel that offers a slice of luxury in the heart of the countryside. The hotel has 54 individually-styled bedrooms and is set in a period building that was once a 13th-century coaching inn. The facade of the hotel with ivy crawling over the brickwork adds to the charm and character of the old building.

The ivy clad exterior of Macdonald Bear Hotel
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The Room

We stayed in one of the Feature rooms - No. 33, the Sir William Chambers room. Chambers was a Scottish-Swedish architect, based in London. Some of his works include Somerset House, the ten-storey pagoda at Kew Gardens, the north front and gallery at Osterley Park, the internal decorations and some other sections in Blenheim Palace, the Chinese temple in Amesbury Hall and the internal decorations at St James's Palace. Chambers was also the architect of the Town Hall of Woodstock (built in 1766), a very nice view of which was afforded from our room.

The room had a living area with sofas, a writing desk, TV, Nespresso machines and tea making facilities. The focal point of the bedroom was a Pencil Post bed. The bed along with the wooden period furniture added to the overall charm of the room. I loved the beautiful free-standing dressing mirror in the room. It was the first thing I noticed as I walked into the bedroom. Chocolates and a bottle of wine had also been presented in our room which was a really nice touch. The only minor gripe was the location of the television in the bedroom. It was on the wrong wall. But since there was another television in the sitting area, it really did not bother us. Overall, the room and the sitting area both were spacious and well furnished. The bed was comfortable and we slept really well on both the nights.

Four poster bed in our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

The writing desk in the living area of our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

The very comfortable bed in our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Orchid flower in our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Magazines in our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Coffee machine and writing desk in our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

One of the views of our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Writing desk in our bedroom the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Information about William Chambers in our bedroom the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Wooden four poster bed in our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Complimentary welcome tray in our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Chocolates in our room at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

The bathroom was compact but clean and well ventilated. Luxurious bathrobes, slippers and toiletries from Arran Apothecary were provided.

Bathroom stocked with luxury bathrobes and toiletries at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Style and Character

One of the key aspects of the Bear Hotel is its country house charm. As mentioned earlier, the hotel is housed in a building that was a coaching inn in the 13th century. The stone walls, open fireplaces in the public areas, exposed oak beams and collection of antique furniture and artifacts add to the alluring character of the building.

Traditional fireplace in one of the lounges at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Artefacts and furniture at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Bear statue at the Macdonald Bear Hotel


The restaurant at Bear Hotel is a double AA rosette award winner and serves contemporary yet classic British cuisine. While we did not eat dinner at the hotel, we did enjoy breakfast on both the mornings. It was a standard buffet spread of fresh fruit, pastries, yoghurts etc. with cooked options to order. Breakfast was wholesome and flavourful.

Breakfast buffet at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Hearty Breakfast at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

The hotel has a lounge called the Churchill Lounge which is ideal for enjoying morning coffee or afternoon tea. Spotted sitting at one of the tables in the bar was 'Winston', the bear. He seemed quite popular with the guests especially the younger ones.

Winston the Bear at the Macdonald Bear Hotel

Winston the Bear relaxing in the bar at the Macdonald Bear Hotel


The staff at the hotel was wonderful. Everyone that we dealt with, right from the check-in team to the waiting staff in the restaurant and the housekeeping staff - all were friendly and polite.

Good to Know

Located just a short walk away from Blenheim Palace and with easy access to the historic city of Oxford (around 20 minutes away) and Cotswolds AONB, the Bear Hotel is a popular choice for leisure breaks as well as business travel. In Woodstock, you have a number of independent shops as well as two museums including the Oxfordshire Museum. There is always a lot to explore in Oxfordshire and Cotswolds so you won’t be short of things to see and do. You can enquire at the reception about bus services to Oxford or use the Park and Ride services which add a little more flexibility to your travel plans.

Blenheim palace and the bridge on the grounds

Views of Oxford City from top of St Mary Church

The check-in time is 3 pm and the check-out time is 11 am.
40 complimentary parking spaces are available on the premises.
Room service is available 24 hours a day.


The hotel has 54 bedrooms and suites. The rooms are categorised into different categories - Classic, Deluxe, Family and Feature. As no two rooms are same, there is a variation in the prices.

Macdonald Bear Hotel | Park Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire - OX20 ISZ
Phone | 0344 879 9143

Welcome board at the entrance of the Macdonald Bear Hotel

*We were hosted by The Bear Hotel during our visit to Oxfordshire. All views expressed in the article are, as always, our own.


  1. This looks like my kind of place to stay! I adore the bed!!

  2. Great review. I would definitely be interested in staying here. Just my kind of hotel.

  3. Oh looks so inviting
    PERFECT indulgence
    Thanks for the review

  4. Looks great. Chocolates look amazing and I love the bear

  5. Just a word of warning, parking can be an issue both in Woodstock and Oxford. Be prepared to pay more than most places if you can find a space in a car park, or in the on-street parking (i.e. St Giles). We're just back from Los Angeles and parking in Hollywood was cheaper than the central car-parks in Oxford .

  6. Wow, what a lovely room! Exactly the kind of place I'd love to stay

  7. Absolutely brilliant post I love the look of everything and would love to pop this on my list of places to visit! It looks warm and friendly.

  8. This looks like a wonderful place to stay and i would love to go their

  9. I'd love to stay there for a long weekend.

  10. Looks and sounds really charming, thanks for all the information.

  11. It looks very elegant with great surroundings and gardens

  12. now that looks like a nice place for a romantic weekend away

  13. This looks stunning, would be happy to stay there!

  14. Wow, this hotel looks amazing. I really should try to get away more in this country to discover places like this.

  15. I spent my wedding night here and it added to a very special day.

  16. What a great review, I would definitely consider staying here. I love how much character the hotel has and what a great setting it is in.

  17. this sounds like a lovely place to stay. I always prefer a characterful hotel rather than a bland corporate type hotel.

  18. It is a lovely hotels . When I have friends visit me (I live in Oxford) I often recommend it , it is so much nicer than those in town , more personable and far better value, two things that make up for being slightly further out . It is still however really accessible by car and public transport .

  19. Great review, And hotel looks great.

  20. wow looks lovely , great review xx

  21. the fireplace is gorgeous

  22. Great review & looks amazing x


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