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BETWEEN THE SHEETS; We check 'em out before you check in.

Byline: DEIRDRE O'BRIEN

The MacDonald Randolph, Oxford

WHAT TO EXPECT Oxford's oldest hotel which, surprisingly, was built as recently as 1864, has just had a complete revamp. And it simply oozes class and history.

Liveried doormen usher you in as you are left transfixed by both the sweeping staircase and stunning stained glass windows.

In the rooms, comfy beds with luxurious linen come with en-suite bathrooms fully stocked with Molton Brown toiletries.

If you really want to splash out, two of the bedrooms even have four posters.

And in the basement, there's a brand new spa which comes complete with gym, steam room and a thermal suite.

ON THE MENU The full English breakfast is superb, but if you have room after that you can come over all Brideshead and have afternoon tea.

There's also fine dining available - an a la carte menu with local produce. And the Morse bar is a great place to stop for a gin and tonic and a spot of discreet people watching.

IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD Oxford is beautiful all year round but comes into its own in the summer, when sunlight flatters the honey-coloured stone of the ancient buildings.

The Randolph is opposite the famous Ashmolean Museum and two minutes walk from Oxford's thriving shopping centre. Close to the city is Blenheim Palace with its stunning grounds where Sir Winston Churchill is buried.

HOW MUCH? Prices start at pounds 80pp including breakfast. Call 0870 400 8200 or visit www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/randolph
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 30, 2006
Words:249
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