An Inspector Calls… at Bicester Hotel Golf And Spa, which has a new huge gym, assault course and swimming lake – but the rooms could do with some ‘invigorating’
- Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa is a sprawling resort within earshot of the M40
- It has recently added a huge gym, assault course and 200-metre swimming lake
- The Inspector said his room was ‘drab’ and table service at dinner was slow
Some people have come out on top from the horrors of the past four months. With nothing much to buy (unless snared by online shopping) they have extra cash in their piggy banks — and many will be visiting Bicester Village in the coming weeks.
The discounted shopping street is back up and running — but without the hordes of tourists, who usually pour in by train from London’s Marylebone.
Dedicated bargain-hunters might be tempted to stay overnight at the Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa, a sprawling resort within earshot of the M40, which has just added a huge ‘Performance Centre’ (gym), assault course and 200-metre swimming lake to go with its 18-hole golf course and spa.
Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa is a sprawling resort within earshot of the M40
I get chatting to two couples from Birmingham. ‘The boys are going to play golf and we’re off shopping,’ says Diane, clutching an Yves St Laurent handbag. ‘Then, the next day, we’re going to hang out in the spa and treat ourselves.’
That will mean swimming in the indoor pool and marinating in the Jacuzzi — although the saunas and steam rooms remain closed. Plenty of treatments are going ahead and the new gym will help with toning.
There are 52 rooms in the complex, which looks as if bits have been added over time (the hotel opened 18 years ago), but wherever you go it feels like a golf club house (understandable given that it was once the Chesterton Golf Club), albeit one with a fancy restaurant, which is currently closed.
My room has been bashed about and could do with some invigorating of the kind Diane is looking for. The decor is drab, the mood soulless and the Covid-19 information sheet is out of date.
The hotel has just added a huge ‘Performance Centre’ (gym), assault course and 200-metre swimming lake to go with its 18-hole golf course and spa
Food is served in the bar, which overlooks the golf course. Table service is slow, especially if you sit outside and can’t catch the eye of the harried staff. They will need to bring back some extra bodies when numbers increase.
I go for the scampi (lots of batter, not much shrimp) and chips. Condiments all come in depressing plastic sachets, but we can blame that on you-know-what.
In the lobby there’s a portrait of Prince Charles in full military regalia — and he looks wonderfully at home. It’s a mystery what he’s doing there. He’s no golfer, and not a natural fit with Bicester Village.
Bicester Hotel Golf And Spa, Chesterton, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX26 1TH. Doubles from £99 b&b. For more information call 01869 241204 or visit bicesterhotelgolfandspa.com