WHEN Philip Lewis, general manager of the Randolph Hotel, invited Oxford Mail's business reporter Andy Ffrench for a look round, he was delighted to accept his offer.

Since October, construction work has been taking place at the ‘grand old lady’ in Beaumont Street, after it was taken over by American chain Graduate Hotels n 2019.

For months, builders inside have been working on the chain’s new designs, and a complete revamp of the bedrooms, the ballroom, the bars and dining areas is well under way.

There is still a lot of work to be done – the global pandemic and hold-ups to deliveries in the Suez Canal have slowed progress.

Oxford’s most famous hotel is now once again taking bookings and is aiming to open in August.

However, all of its 151 rooms, which have undergone an extensive makeover, now boast eye-catching floral blue wallpaper design, which even Mr Lewis has admitted that it has majorly divided public opinion.

Here is what Oxford Mail readers thought of it:

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Kimberley Herman: "Whoever thought that the carpet and this wallpaper matches needs firing! Clash a bit much? I love the old fireplace and features but who designed the wallpapers etc? Wow and not in a good way. It is very ‘busy’ and ‘dark’ something that a Great Great Grandmother would have. I would love to know what prices Graduate Hotels are planning to charge to stay in something like that. I am pretty sure that bed and breakfasts in Blackpool have better taste."

Helen Morgan: "Looks great with the carpet. Not""

Marion Walmsley: "How on Earth could someone sleep in there, it is awful and I bet they charge an arm and a leg to stay there."

Maggie Goss: "Hideous. Who on earth would choose that wallpaper to go with the equally ghastly carpet? The room needs a makeover!"

Sue Lewis: "All of it looks a tad busy for my taste, a bit old fashioned not very tasteful."

Nathan Shelton: "That is awful – I am a graphic designer with an open mind – but this really is hideous."

Olly Hutson: "Those walls look like a Wetherspoons dinner plate."

Margaret Watts: "This is obviously not aimed for the British public."

Steven Mercer: "From the Carrie Symonds collection."

Aneta Dziok: "As I said before, this is tacky."

Ros Kelly Allen: "This is enough to give you nightmares."

Emma Field: "Oh hell no. It looks like the broken bits of pottery I use to find digging in the garden as a kid."

Steve Gare: "This is vile darling."

Sam Curran: "The whole room is just too busy."

Andrew Willoughby: "How relaxing."

Jan Doherty: "This really is hideous."

Cassi Perry: "It looks like my nan's old house."

Pat Boyden: "Is it the PM’s flat in Downing Street?"

Luke Patrick Boyce: "It reminds me of Coronation Street in the he 1980s. It is just missing three ducks on the wall."

Leighton Jones: "I thought it was a borrower on a Wetherspoons plate."

Steve Hill: "It is ghastly. It looks like a two-star guest house in Blackpool which last saw a decorator or a pot of paint in 1983."

Tom Clark: "It looks like one of the corridors from the Overlook hotel."

Kerry China-Lee: "It looks hideous."

Arielle Aros: "The floor is beautiful."

Steve Hill: "Here: ten litres for £13 at B&Q. It needs a few coats, probably."

Wendy Ann Santos: "I love it."

Carol Morrison: "Yuck!"

Patrick Murphy: "Is this Boris' Johnson's flat? Surely, no one would pay for this."

Linda Brady: "It really looks like the house I moved into in 1986."

Sue Trafford: "Horrible."

Andrew: "What is even worse, it is not even awful wallpaper or carpet that was crafted in the UK or USA. It is all faux stuff manufactured in Chinese sweatshops – hence 'stuck in the Suez Canal'. So pay £500 a night to stay in a grand old Oxford hotel with fake Dorothy Draper style wallpaper, fake Axminster style carpets, commercial catering furniture all made in China. Or stay in the Premier Inn and sleep on a bed manufactured locally in Princes Risborough and relax with neutral walls and floors."