Sign in

Forgotten your password

Sign up for free Smith membership

×
Show
Hide

iFrame []

URL:

Hotel Highlights

  • History-steeped house with huge bedrooms and intriguing artefacts from around the world
  • Close to the Cotswolds, London and Blenheim Palace
  • A short drive to dinner at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons

Overview

Historic Hope House hotel in Oxfordshire has been in the family for over 300 years, and its three refined rooms are now open to the public. Luxury in this classical British home comes with just-ask service, silky linen and a whole lot of heritage.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Hope House with us:

A bottle of champagne

Facilities

View Gallery
Hope House Hotel - Oxfordshire - UK

Need To Know

Rooms

Three suites (two of which are available to book with either one or two bedrooms) and a self-catering apartment.

Check–out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $274.77 (£163), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include full English breakfast (excluding the Six Bells Suite, where a Continental breakfast is provided) and tax.

Also

The house is filled with history: look out for the hand-carved teak panels brought back by the owner’s grandfather on one of his grand voyages as an admiral, and try to guess what the two small doors mounted on the wall in the Churchill Suite’s main bedroom are for (answer: storing hats behind).

At the hotel

Library of DVDs and books, parking and free WiFi throughout. In rooms, flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, minibar and Bulgari and Cotswold Caress bath products.

Our favourite rooms

There are only three and each, naturally, has its charms. The Marlborough Suite is in the eaves, with a carved wooden bedhead and lots of cream, beige and gilt. For space, pick the Churchill Suite for its high ceilings and vast bay windows. Both of these have two bedrooms, but the spare room can be closed off if there's just two of you. The Blenheim Suite is the most traditional, with lots of wooden antique furniture and berry-hued fabrics.

Packing tips

A book on 18th-century British architecture, such as Colen Campbell’s famous Vitruvius Britannicus, to help admire Hope House and its similarities with nearby Blenheim Palace.

Also

In-room beauty treatments can be arranged on request. NB Between September 2012 and April 2013, only the Six Bells Suite will be available to book, on a self-catering basis.

Children

This hotel is better suited to couples - leave the children at home!

Food & Drink

View Gallery
Hope House Hotel - Oxfordshire - UK

Hotel Restaurant

The Vanbrugh restaurant is where breakfast is served: a generous spread all sourced from local suppliers and dished up on Royal Doulton china. If there’s a group of you (between six and 10), book the place out exclusively two weeks beforehand for a seven-course tasting menu with six wines from the cellar and a brandy for £195 a head.

Hotel Bar

None, but the in-room mini Smeg fridges are well stocked. Guests can order drinks in the restaurant.

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 6.30am and 10.30am.

Room service

None.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Prim and proper like lord and lady of the manor.

Top table

Close to the bay window to watch the world go by.

Local Guide

View Gallery
Hope House Hotel - Oxfordshire - UK
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Don’t go home without visiting Blenheim Palace (www.blenheimpalace.com), the stateliest Georgian home around and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. For his burial place, head to Bladon. Down in Oxford, take a tour of the many grand quads at the country’s oldest university, followed by a gondola out on the Thames. Woodstock is also close to the Cotwolds and their gold-stoned buildings, and Shakespeare’s home town, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Local restaurants

The Swan Inn Swinbrook (+44 (0)1993 823339; www.theswaninnswinbrook.co.uk) in a postcard-perfect village near Burford is a great gastropub where you’ll get dishes such as locally reared Aberdeen Angus steak and monkfish tail wrapped in aged ham. At The Feathers (+44 (0)1993 812291; www.feathers.co.uk), settle in for some modern British fare, along the lines of sea-bass with a broth and shellfish risotto, and a pork-based feast of trotter, cheek and belly with butternut squash and caramelised apple. Raymond Blanc’s celebrated Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons (+44 (0)1844 278881) is also within a short drive, as is Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck (+44 (0)1628 580333; www.thefatduck.co.uk) in Bray.

+ Enlarge
Well-heeled Woodstock

Hope House

14 Oxford Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1TS, United Kingdom

Hope House is on the cusp of the Cotswolds in Woodstock, an elegant Oxfordshire town near the golden Blenheim Palace.

Planes

The small-scale Oxford Airport is just a couple of miles away, roughly five minutes by car, serving a handful of destinations, including Jersey and Guernsey. For international arrivals, London Heathrow is an hour away.

Trains

The nearest train station is in Oxford, eight miles away, served by First Great Western (www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk), which runs regular trains from London Paddington.

Automobiles

The drive from Oxford’s city centre shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, taking the A34 and then picking up Woodstock Road. There’s free standard parking, and a secure option for £25 a night if your motor’s extra fancy.

Reviews

View Gallery
Hope House Hotel - Oxfordshire - UK

Anonymous review

by Michael Hogan , Columnist chap

When Mrs Smith and I excitedly wheel our suitcases into Hope House in Woodstock and get shown to our suite, exchanging secret ‘result!’ faces while trying in vain to appear cool, there’s a jug of Pimm’s waiting. As we pour ourselves two generous glasses (rude not to) and chink ‘Happy weekend!’, our host Paul Hageman warns us with a twinkle that it’s decept…
Read more

Hope House

Anonymous review by Michael Hogan, Columnist chap

When Mrs Smith and I excitedly wheel our suitcases into Hope House in Woodstock and get shown to our suite, exchanging secret ‘result!’ faces while trying in vain to appear cool, there’s a jug of Pimm’s waiting. As we pour ourselves two generous glasses (rude not to) and chink ‘Happy weekend!’, our host Paul Hageman warns us with a twinkle that it’s deceptively strong: ‘We had a lovely old Canadian lady stay recently and she didn’t realise it was alcoholic, thought it was just fruit punch. She drank the lot and didn’t make it to dinner. We had to rescue her from a bench on the high street and help her back here. She thought she was dying.’ We chink glasses again, this time raising a respectful toast to the lovely old Canadian lady.

Stealth-lethal booze aside, the reason we exchanged ‘result!’ faces behind owner Paul’s back was the size and sheer swishyness of our temporary home. The Churchill Suite (named after the wartime PM, not the nodding insurance dog) is decorated in chichi monochrome and deliciously scented with vanilla oil sticks. The bed’s a handsome sleigh-style beast with Beltrami linen, Mulberry silk duvets and three choices of pillow. J-Lo or Mariah-type divas would find little to stamp their tiny feet about in here.

The lounge? Squishy French sofas, flock wallpaper, stone fireplace and goody-stuffed Smeg fridge. The bathroom boasts a heated marble floor, roll-top bath and monsoon shower. We primped and pampered ourselves with Bulgari potions and aromatherapy unguents while watching the LCD bathroom TV with Sky and Netflix, generally being smug.

Think Woodstock and you think peace, love and flower power. But swap Sly Stone for limestone, the Catskills for the Cotswolds and muddy hippies for muddy wellies and you’ve got the tiny market town that shares its name with the legendary 1969 festival. Perched between Oxford and the rolling hills, it’s handy for Henley Regatta or Silverstone (should you enjoy watching modes of transports masquerading as sport) and Bicester Village (should you enjoy designer clothes masquerading as not-that-expensive-honest). Woodstock is all almshouses, cobbles, postcard Englishness and ooh Mr Darcy, the perfect place to film period dramas.

Slap bang in the centre sits Hope House: a listed 300-year-old ancestral home, lovingly restored, with original oak panelling and three capacious suites taking up an entire floor apiece. We had the first-floor Churchill but honeymooners (plus the two Bills, Clinton and Nighy) tend to go for the ground-floor Blenheim Suite, with its four-poster bed and double bath. The second-floor Marlborough is all oak beams, green silks and gilt furnishings. Hope House is the little sister of Blenheim Palace next door, built with the same stone. Paul can tell you the story of every brick, which should be boring but isn’t – he’s infectiously passionate and proudly shows us quirky carvings left behind by his ancestors. (Note for anti-social Londoners: he’s equally happy to leave you well alone.)

Breakfast is served in a dinky dining room with bay windows overlooking Woodstock High Street, where frightfully nice residents go about their business in Barbours and Boden. Me and Mrs S got our days off to a belt-straining start with one of the finest breakfasts since fasts were first broken. All locally sourced organic fare, naturellement: two sorts of bacon from nearby oinkers, sausages hand-made to the family’s own recipe, home-baked breads and pastries, locally churned butter and eggs laid by Hope House’s four free-range Lavender Blue hens (Lily, Clementine, Sarah and Henrietta, since you ask – they sound like a Sloaney girlband). The chronically indecisive could have a ‘nervo’ here, because the choice is dizzying: 12 teas, three coffees, seven juices, six sorts of honey, countless jams made by an eccentric ex-ballerina who forages fruit from the village hedgerows.

Breakfast is the only meal served here, although for groups of six or more, Hope House does offer a bespoke seven-course tasting menu, cooked by Raymond Blanc protégé Stephen Bulmer, with wines and brandy, at £195 a head. Couples without fat wallets and four hungry chums in tow, though, have to explore dining options nearby. Luckily, there are loads. Woodstock village is more foodie than Nigella Lawson with salted caramel crumbs down her cleavage.

There are five restaurants within 100 yards’ staggering distance and another 10 within 500 yards. Our favourite was Brothertons Brasserie, an old-school Italian with a buzzy-but-laid-back vibe. It has a schmancy standalone Birra Moretti pump, and maître d’ Dimitri spent a minute explaining the mechanics of it to me, before dismissing it as ‘probably bullsheet’ with a giggle and handing me a frosty, frothy glassful.

Daylesford Organics and Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons are but half an hour away. You can also venture back into Oxford or out into the proper countryside, which is dotted with inviting pubs. No American Werewolf In London scenes round here. We rambled round the country lanes and antique shops a bit – mainly, it must be said, to fill time and ease guilt before the next meal.

Blenheim Palace is a stone’s throw away. Or more pertinently, a scone’s throw. We did one of those ‘visitor experience’ virtual tours with moving waxworks and thesps’ voices, which some Americans adored but we couldn’t help sniggering like naughty schoolkids. We pulled ourselves together with afternoon tea on the terrace, overlooking Capability Brown’s manicured gardens and Local Waterboard’s gushing fountains.

Our undoubted gastro highlight was Sunday lunch at the Nut Tree in Murcott – a 15th-century thatched-roof inn with a Michelin-starred restaurant tucked inside. It’s a tad tricky to find but came strongly recommended by Paul and not for the first time, we were grateful to him. The mere thought of the roast Charolais-Angus beef sirloin, Yorkshire puds and roast potatoes is making me drool. We had to return to the Churchill Suite for a post-prandial lie-down, making V-for-victory signs at each other like Winston himself. Never in the field of human conflict was so much scoffed by so few. How long until the next meal again?
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Hope House's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is a lovely hotel. The owner, Paul, was extremely friendly and very keen to ensure that we enjoyed our stay. The decor in the suite was very tasteful and the attention to detail was excellent for a small boutique hotel. It was very apparent that Paul had many years experience of working for a luxury hotel group prior to opening Hope House. There was a full selection of wine, champagne and standard glasses in the room and a champagne bottle stopper which was a nice touch. Great choice at breakfast and predominantly locally sourced organic produce – the cooked breakfast was delicious! The proximity to Blenheim Palace couldn't be better – in fact, Paul helped to organise a package including a guided tour of the palace as a Christmas gift for my parents.

Rating: 10/10 stars