Expert Interview with The Oxfordshire Hotel
Are you looking for a spa day, overnight break, golf or clay pigeon experience, but unsure which one to go for? Well, The Oxfordshire Hotel offers an amazing range of packages, from a romantic couples overnight stay, exciting clay pigeon shooting experience, famous 18 hole golf course, sparkling afternoon tea, pamper days or spa days with lunch – now how are you supposed to pick just one? To help you decide we have interviewed Jack from The Oxfordshire to find out a lot more behind the history of the hotel, experiences that they offer, and the famous celebrities that have previously stayed over.
Q1: For anyone who is looking to visit the Chilterns before or after their stay, what would you recommend they do?
A: With so many fantastic attractions within a twenty-mile radius I have decided to focus on three main ones; The Waterside Theatre, Waddesdon Manor and Bicester Village.
If Shopping is your guilty pleasure then Bicester Village is your paradise, home to over one-hundred and thirty designer outlets it is not to be missed during your stay here at The Oxfordshire. Approximately fifteen minutes away from us down the M40 Bicester Village is the United Kingdom’s leading designer outlet village and can easily provide a whole day of entertainment.
Waddesdon Manor is located fourteen miles away from us here at The Oxfordshire and is about a twenty-minute drive away. The house was built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French château between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild as a weekend residence for grand entertaining and as a setting for his exquisite art collection. The last member of the Rothschild family to own the manor was James De Rothschild in 1957 who donated the house and its contents to the National Trust. With beautiful grounds upheld to the highest of standards, as well as a fascinating art collection, Waddesdon Manor has three-hundred and ninety thousand visitors annually and in twenty-seventeen won Visit England’s Large visitor attraction of the year.
The Waterside Theatre can be found in the vibrant town of Aylesbury, twelve miles and approximately a twenty-five-minute drive away from us here. At the theatre, you can expect West End Musicals, Touring Musicals, Plays, Opera, Ballet, Dance, Comedy, Children’s Shows and Pantomimes. You shall be guaranteed a fantastic night’s entertainment no matter what show you may choose to attend.
Q2: What would you say differentiates yourself to other spas?
A: The unique selling point of our Tempus Spa is most certainly our exclusive relationship with Pinks Boutique. Here in the Tempus Spa our ethos is that there is nothing more beautiful than nature, so paired with Pinks Boutique we can offer high end, natural and luxurious skin and body care at very affordable prices. All Pinks Boutique products and treatments are made in England from natural and organic ingredients accredited by the Soil Association guaranteeing they are free from chemicals and toxins, leaving clients of our spa feeling at their very best. Accompanied with every treatment we offer comes access to our Pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna and Steam Room to help you remain relaxed long after your treatment and to ensure our clients feel pampered and spoilt.
We are also well known for the quality of our service and our availability. We are one of very few spas that are open seven days a week and with four beauty therapists we can always find time to make our clients feel at their absolute best. The huge amount of package deals we offer at a very reasonable prices are also an attractive prospect to anyone considering indulging themselves or a loved one to a treatment here in our Tempus Spa.
Q3: Out of all your treatments, which one is the most popular and recommended?
A: Without doubt our massages. Having a massage for most people is not a regular experience, and a massage here in the Tempus Spa is not a massage that would be soon forgotten. Working with our naturally heated Lava Shells as opposed to your standard, electrically heated, Hot Shells our highly-trained masseuses can create a tailor-made tension reliving treatment to ensure you feel at your absolute best. Here in the Tempus Spa we use naturally self-heating Tiger Clam shells imported from the shores of the Philippines, these marine polished shells are used as revolutionary massage tools to remove tension and blocked energy flow. Providing a sense of balance to the entire body and mind.
Q4: The food is always a very important factor during an overnight stay, could you tell us more about what food to expect and the Sakura Restaurant?
A: In the Sakura Restaurant we specialise in Modern European cooking and Head Chef Craig Heasley and his team won the AA award for Culinary Excellence in 2016-17. In the restaurant, we offer a fantastic selection across all three courses, ranging from a 10oz sirloin steak to Risotto. However, we pride ourselves on our ability to cater to individuals needs and taste buds so there will always be something for everyone on our menu. Accompanying our vast range of food is an even larger selection of wines, with over sixty-five to choose from. But it is not just the food which is delightful, the view and ambience within the restaurant is simply fanciful. Our Sakura restaurant is situated in a peaceful annex of The Oxfordshire and features and outstanding full length picture window running the length of the room, giving you a phenomenal view of the golf course and surrounding countryside. All of this supported by our friendly, attentive service blends together to make your meal a truly unforgettable event.
Q5: Have you ever had anyone famous stay at The Oxfordshire?
A: The most recent A-List Celebrity to have stayed at The Oxfordshire is Jackie Chan who stayed for approximately a week in one of our Penthouse Suites during the filming of The Foreigner. He was a lovely man and an absolute pleasure to have stayed here with us. In our recent history, we have also had Sir Steve Redgrave stay with us and again was a pleasure to have, taking photos with the members and who was happy to speak to anyone and everyone. But without wishing to name drop it’s not unusual to spot a famous face, especially from the golfing world, here at The Oxfordshire.
Q6: Is there anything interesting people wouldn’t know about The Oxfordshire?
A: It’s surprising how many people are unaware of the heritage and pedigree behind our Championship golf course. It never fails to surprise people that Seve Ballesteros competed here in the mid ninety’s and that we have hosted an official European Tour event, in which Colin Montgomery and Darren Clarke have won here respectively. I’d also say that the scenery surrounding the golf course is almost underestimated, and with pathways throughout the course it poses the perfect opportunity for a lovely walk. Our exclusive relationship with the revolutionary Pinks Boutique is always an extremely pleasant surprise for anyone undertaking a spa treatment.
Q7: Could you please tell us about the history behind The Oxfordshire?
A: Originally owned by the Nitto Kogyo group based in Japan, the clubhouse here at The Oxfordshire was designed and built in 1992, combining both Japanese and British design Ideas to create a truly breath-taking venue. Based in the heart of the gorgeous Chilterns the then Chairman of the Nitto Kogyo group, Hitoshi Matsuura saw the huge potential the land possessed and contacted World renowned golf course architect Rees Jones. Jones has played roles in the designing of courses such as Torrey Pines and Pinehurst and is one of Americas most respected and admired course designers. The construction of the clubhouse and the seeding of the course took place simultaneously and in the Spring of 1993 The Oxfordshire golf club was officially opened.
The course here at The Oxfordshire was always designed with championship golf in mind. Jones included four lakes, one-hundred and thirty-five bunkers and blended the natural countryside into his inland links design. With fantastic vantage points the course is perfect for spectator golf and between 1996-1999 The Benson & Hedgers Open (an official European Tour event) was held here at The Oxfordshire, with winners including Ames, Langer, Clarke and Montgomery respectively. During this period, Laura Davies won the 1996 Ladies English Open and other notable competitors of tournament golf here at The Oxfordshire during this period include Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood and Ian Woosnam. The Oxfordshire also became well known for its fantastic venue hire during this period and has been host to high class meetings and corporate events since the early 2000’s.
In 2002 The Oxfordshire was purchased by Leaderboard Golf, a corporation founded by Paul Gibbons in 1998 and after lengthy negotiations is now one of three golf courses owned by the corporation. Under new ownership The Oxfordshire continued to host top end golf tournaments, welcoming the BB&O PGA annually for a pro-am and was host to the 2017 Club Professionals Championship. In 2005, we were also host to The Brabazon Trophy, the Men’s English Amateur event as overseen by England Golf. Here at The Oxfordshire we have also been host to the Ladies English Open three times, competed here at The Oxfordshire most recently in 2008.
At the start of the decade Leaderboard Golf invested hugely in The Oxfordshire and opened a new high end, luxury hotel and spa here on site. The hotel styling is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional English Country House and each room offers one of four different tastefully designed fabric themes. We are a four-star complex comprising of fifty rooms; forty-six of which are Executive rooms with high-quality pocket sprung king sized beds, private balconies, on-suite bathrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi access, individual climate controlled air conditioning and all rooms come completed with a flat screen TV. Penthouse Suites make up the remaining four rooms and offer the same as an Executive room but include an additional flat screen TV in a relaxation lounge, larger bathrooms and a double sized private balcony.
Alongside the hotel, our serene Tempus Spa was opened. The spa includes three treatment rooms, a fully equipped gym and studio housing state of the art equipment, a fifteen-meter indoor swimming pool, all supported by the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room to help you remain relaxed long after your treatment has finished. The spa is open seven days a week and we have four professionally trained spa-beauty therapists who offer over twenty-five different treatments and four different package deals.
Now in 2017 celebrities The Oxfordshire is a striving Hotel, Spa and Golf facility that offers a wide range of attractions for anybody. Whether you want to play golf on our award-winning Championship course or wish to indulge yourself in our spa, with over one-hundred dedicated and friendly members of staff we can cater to any requirements here at The Oxfordshire.
Thank you very much to Jack Kennedy for answering our questions about The Oxfordshire. It is always great to hear that although a traditional building is being developed, the main focus is to ensure that its fantastic heritage is maintained throughout the design.