Sometimes even the best laid plans do not come to fruition.  Literally 5 minutes walk from my girlfriends house are not one, but 2 coach services that would take us all the way to oxford and back within a day for roughly £20 each.  That’s not half bad and for ages we’ve been saying ‘one day’.  Well cometh last Friday and incidentally the 28th anniversary of by birth we finally made it to Oxford … we drove.

To ignore sure an amazing coach service seems a little dumb, and whilst neither Esther nor I can claim to be the very sharpest tools in the shed, we drove with just reason.   We didn’t just go to Oxford for the day, oh no, we went and stayed the night.  Oh the adventure!

Our decision to make a weekend of our trip was helped courtesy of a company called Roomorama who approached me with an offer of sponsorship for a review of their services.  This post is that review, but it is 100% honest I will 100% guarantee you that.  I found a nice looking apartment on the Roomorama site and a deal was struck.  Here’s the lowdown …

Booking:

The Roomorama booking process is a 3 step process.  Enquire – response from host – book if available.  This is all done through the website.  Automated emails will alert you to any booking enquires that you have made.  If your enquiry is successful, your booking will be confirmed once full payment is made.  Upon payment you’ll be asked to electronically sign an agreement basically stating you won’t smoke or trash the place.  You’ll also be given a 6 digit payment code which you should pass onto your host once you have successfully checked in.

Dealing with the hosts:

Our host James was very good to us.  There was a slight hitch with payment (always up front) at one point but James was very patient.  Once payment was confirmed James made himself available on email and was quick in responding to a few small questions I had.  Very professional and very prompt, especially considering this was the first time he’d let one of his apartments through Roomorama.

Even before the booking was confirmed and I spoke to James on email, the Roomorama website has an instant messaging service that lets bookers and hosts communicate.  James and I exchanged a few message even before the booking was confirmed.  A solid feature.

The apartment:

See for youself below, it was amazing!  Totally above anything we expected.  Obviously we looked at the pics on the roomorama website before booking, but it wasnt until we arrived that we realised just how nice the apartment was.  Each section of the apartment had 5 (yes 5) diferent lighting settings for crying out loud.  A far cry from a hostel dorm and our usual budget options, but we reveled in the luxury!

**Click on the images to see larger versions.

roomorama didcot, oxford

roomorama didcot, oxford

roomorama didcot, oxford

roomorama didcot, oxford

roomorama didcot, oxford

roomorama didcot, oxford

Whilst the apartment was listed as Oxford, it was actually located nearer to Didcot which was roughly 30 mins drive away from Oxford town centre.  Trains and buses were also an option, we used both. Upon arrival we found a welcome booklet on the coffee table that was very useful, it included things like the wifi password and local transport links.

Checking in:

Our apartment was ‘swank’ for lack of a better word.  So much so that we didn’t even need keys.  Upon confirmation of our booking our host James both emailed and text me the door codes that we’d need to get into our apartment.  No problems what so ever.

Cost:

The cost of a night at the various apartments is obviously decided by the host, this is the cost you will see against the apartments when search on the website.  Roomorama wil then add a 12% cost for their services to the apartment cost.

Payment options:

Personally I used paypal for my booking, but all types of visa’s and credit cards are accepted.  Pieces of eight sadly not.

 

And the ultimate (yet unbias) question …

Would I use Roomorama again if they weren’t sponsoring me?

Honestly … I would.  I guess it would depend on the apartments available, but I must admit I’ve already eyed up a nice looking apartment in Ibiza that is a very very reasonable price.  I’ll be pitching that idea to some mates in the near future.

In terms of options on the roomorama site for backpackers, this would definitely fall under flashpacking.  There are some very grand places listed on Roomorama, castles even, but I suppose everyone needs to treat themselves every once in a while, don’t they?