Oxford is a tourist mecca, yet until recently been almost forgotten about by the Hilton portfolio, and now has three locations in its postcode. I’ve reviewed the Hampton by Hilton on the outskirts of the city before but this time we are about 20minutes outside in a small town called Abingdon for the latest addition to the Garden Inn portfolio.
Let’s just get this out here, with this and the other Hampton you can forget about seeing the rolling hills of Oxfordshire or the spires of the university from your bedroom. You can also forget about any historical figures staying in the room before you, or Inspector Morse popping into the hotel bar.
What you get with the Garden Inn in Abingdon is a well connected new build hotel, sandwiched between a Tesco Extra (ideal for filling the car up) and a retail park (ideal for ahem screws?). It’s right on the A34, has a direct bus link to Oxford from outside the hotel and within walking distance of the town centre where you’ll find shops, bars and pubs. Keen cyclists will be glad of the secure bike rack and those less green will revel in the plentiful free car parking.
The reception area is actually rather impressive, really nicely laid out with high ceilings and pleasant decor. The reception leads into the shop which then leads into the bar area flowing into the restaurant right at the back. Hilton has tried to make it as local as possible with the art, contents of the shop and snug areas all hailing back to Oxford or Abingdon. Reception were friendly, welcoming and did all the usual Diamond brand standards.
There is nothing to upgrade you to in a Garden Inn, but they made a point of saying I had a high floor room which would be quiet. In the pack are also two drinks vouchers and two breakfast vouchers.
The hotel is brand-spanking new and as expected everything works and is in great condition. The room was a good size, nicely laid out and very clean. The king bed was very comfortable, with excellent linen. A large flat screen TV with a really fast interface and good quality picture adorns the wall. There is also a table which converts into a work desk, a long console table and a chair. As you enter the room a big wardrobe with iron, safe and a refreshment centre is next in line. A good selection of tea/coffee and underneath a fridge. The fridge was empty apart from the complimentary Diamond water. Each side of the bed is a socket complete with USB charging port. A large picture window with blackout curtains completes the bedroom area.
In the white and fresh bathroom there is a large shower with good pressure and temperature. The usual Hilton Crabtree & Evelyn bottles are on the sink. A large bright mirror will be perfect for any beauty regime.
After an excellent, and very quiet, sleep. I went to hunt down a well needed breakfast. The vouchers grant you access to a well stocked buffet restaurant, with a good range of seating – including outdoor tables as it was beautifully warm on my visit.
The buffet had a good range of hot and cold items, a bean to cup coffee machine. The Hilton waffle machine was also in operation and very popular. The friendly chef was more than happy to make me a couple of poached eggs amongst making a range of omelettes for other guests. An enjoyable sunny breakfast; rounding off a pretty perfect stay.
I didn’t get chance to spend my Diamond drinks vouchers, so asked if I could grab some diet cokes from the shop. The receptionist granted this with another smile and a quick checkout.