Sleepover: Crazy Bear Hotel

A bed for the night in Oxfordshire

Where is it?

Where is it?

In Stadhampton. Just off the M40 and a stone's throw from Oxford.

What's it like?

Crazy, of course. At first glance it's an old country pub. But look again. That's champagne on tap in the bar and a bathtub at the bottom of your bed.

What's its USP?

It's a splendid contradiction. Enjoy dinner and a pint (there's beer, too) in the cosy ancient inn and then retire with your lover to a fantasy world of zebra-print carpets, phallic headboards and widescreen TVs. The perfect venue for a Valentine's treat.

Ambience?

Seriously relaxed. Even the middle-aged couples leave their suits and ties at home.

Service?

Friendly and helpful. It may look like a fancy pub but the service confirms it's a hotel.

Rooms?

As well as five art deco rooms above the bar (one with a Japanese bath inside a cupboard), and two cottages for larger parties, the hotel has four suites in an extension. We stayed in one of these, the Striped room, dominated by a bed on a plinth with a double bath at its foot. Pleasure is the order of the day: the open-plan design mixes the minimalist with the kitsch, with light stone, glass and beech offset by Louis XIV-style gold furniture, a tiger-skin rug (with head) and Venetian mirrors. You'd better be an intimate couple – just a half wall separates off the loo and the open shower. Doubles from £80-£190 per room per night for a couple.

Food and drink?

English à la carte upstairs, Thai brasserie downstairs. Or you can avoid starting the night off with a row about where to eat by booking a table in the bar, where both menus are available. I tried the English menu: rock oysters with spicy chorizo in a light batter (£8.50), grilled lemon sole with a potato purée that melted in the mouth (£16.50). My partner went Thai: marinated king prawns in rice paper with plum sauce (£5.95), roast duckling breast with tamarind sauce, (£11.95). A taste sensation, he said – high praise, indeed.

Clientele?

Business travellers in the week, couples at the weekend. We visited on a Friday night and were probably the oldest guests at breakfast – at 35 and 37 years old. Ages and social class are refreshingly mixed in the bar and restaurants.

Things to do?

Thai massage is available – if you can be bothered to get out of bed.

Address?

Crazy Bear Hotel, Bear Lane, Stadhampton, Oxfordshire OX44 7UR (01865 890714; www.crazybearhotel.co.uk).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Product Development

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future