The Randolph hotel in Oxford has celebrated its reopening with a party in its renovated ballroom.

American chain Graduate Hotels bought the world-famous hotel from the Macdonald group and it was refurbished before its reopening in the autumn last year.

About 150 guests from groups and organisations across the city visited the Beaumont Street hotel on Friday for cocktails and a disco in the renovated ballroom.

Oxford Mail:

It was first time the ballroom had been used for a major public event since reopening in September.

The 151-room hotel underwent a complete renovation including the lobby and guest rooms, and there is a spa featuring treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.

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The Alice is a new all-day dining restaurant and bar, serving classic British dishes created by executive chef Chris Emery, while The Morse Bar has been restored, featuring photos of Morse actor John Thaw.

Oxford Mail:  Randolph hotel chef Chris Emery Randolph hotel chef Chris Emery

Oxford Mail:

The Randolph by Graduate Hotels general manager Philip Lewis said: "After months of preparation it was such a thrill to officially celebrate the opening of The Randolph on Friday night.

"Seeing the hotel come alive was very special and speaking with guests, they seemed to share our enthusiasm for being under one roof again - they were certainly excited to be reintroduced to this hotel after time apart.

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"Chris Emery, executive chef of The Alice pulled out all the stops with a selection of amazing canapés, the macarons went down especially well, whilst our bar team made sure drinks were flowing well into the night.

Oxford Mail:

"Later in the evening, we unveiled our crown jewel: the ballroom where the party continued under our beautiful mirrored ceiling. The space really is breathtaking and to see it used as we intended was a joy."

Guests on Friday were given a brief tour of the hotel, including The Alice restaurant and private dining rooms, before enjoying drinks and canapés in the ballroom.

Graduate bought the iconic hotel from the Macdonald Hotels chain in December 2019.

Oxford Mail:

At first it was thought the hotel’s name would become the Graduate Oxford but the new owners then confirmed the Randolph’s name would be allowed to remain.

The hotel is hoping the ballroom will now be used on many occasions by different groups and organisations across the city for events and celebrations.

Oxford Mail:

It can also be used to host weddings and graduation celebrations.

Chris Emery joined the hotel with extensive experience in some of the world's most renowned hospitality venues, having worked as Executive Sous Chef at Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social, and as Head Chef in Atherton’s The Clocktower in New York.

Graham Jones, of traders' group ROX (Backing Oxford Business), said: "I'm delighted the Randolph reopened last year and has kept its world-famous name.

Read again: Covid wipes £1.5bn off tourism trade

"The new ballroom sounds like an ideal space for hosting these kind of events.

"We need a good range of hotels in Oxford - both top quality hotels like the Randolph, and budget hotels like the new Premier Inn in the city centre, and easyHotel in Summertown."

Oxford Mail:

Tourism organisation Experience Oxfordshire has revealed that the pandemic in 2020 wiped £1.5bn off the value of the county's tourism trade.

There was a 59% decline in the value of tourism - from £2.5bn to £1bn - and a substantial decline of 39% in jobs supported by the sector - from 42,000 to 25,000.

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