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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
England
Level Contributor
116 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“We loved it”
Reviewed 15 September 2011

OK so when you pay £150 a night for a hotel room you expect a certain level of comfort and attention to detail with the service, and overall we got just that. It's certainly a distinctive setting, with the main prison hall the most impressive. We didn't actually stay in this part (tooo expensive!) but in the "House of Corrections". Our room was great, with an interesting "prison style" shower, where the floor was the shower, if that makes sense. I would echo what others have said though about there being little or no wardrobe space, about enough for one night's stay, but not much else. We loved the little touches and the quirky stuff like the Do Not Disturb sign which says "I Want to Be Alone" and all that. I would say that the room was on the cool side (for my wife anyway, in September) and there's a little portable electric heater in the room, methinks that in the winter the room might be on the cold side. Breakfast is top quality, I had the full English and my wife tried the eggs Benedict which was highly recommended. We never ate in the restaurant as there is such a big choice in Oxford itself, however we did sample the cocktail bar, which is very plush but expensive. But hey we were away for a few days of R&R.... Service throughout the hotel was excellent, with no cause for complaint from us, though. I would recommend paying for parking at the hotel, there's very little of it (it is an old prison right in the middle of Oxford, after all) and you have to book in advance, but it is better than walking all the way from the nearest public car park and leaving your car there overnight. So overall, we felt it was worth the cost for an indulgent few days away. It seems quite popular as a business hotel too, but I just wish I worked for a company whose expense policy would stand it!!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cozzyLeicester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (668)
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Birmingham
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2011

The hotel was in a good location, just a short walk from the train station but we got a taxi which cost just under £5 and was minutes from the main shopping centres. We arrived at the hotel early so went to leave our luggage at Reception. The Reception desks were the worst things I have ever seen; there were 3 separate tables with 2 chairs at each so you had to sit down to register. I was then told the room would be ready at 3pm so we went to look around. Next to the hotel were several restaurants and bars such as Living Room, Krispy Kreme, Weatherspoons and La Tasca along with Oxford Castle so plenty to keep us entertained. We returned to the hotel at 2.30pm on the off chance our room would be ready, reception checked but told us they had some late check outs so the room would be ready at 3pm. We sat in the Reception in front of a telly that was playing re-runs of Porridge. Just After 3pm we tried to check in only to be told our room still wasn’t ready we finally were allowed to check in at 3.30pm. When we got to our Superior Cell the room was spotlessly clean and quite large, the room was made up of 2 cells and the bathroom was an extra cell with a roll top bath and separate shower. The room itself was poorly lit and as our large window overlooked the court yard we had to close the shutter. When trying to apply my make up all the mirrors were either over a table or not near a light so it made it quite difficult.
We chose to eat in the restaurant which was very dark and it was in the basement with poor lighting. The menu was a very basic 1 page menu with about 5-7 choices per course where as the wine menu was a book. With each main course we had to order side dishes as they didn’t come with any vegetables or potatoes.
At night the feather pillows were useless and we both awoke with bad necks, there was a light in the bathroom under the sink which could not be turned off and the massive gap under the bedroom/bathroom door meant it illuminated the bedroom, there was a flat screen TV in the room which could of done with being upgraded to a bigger size but all the channels were mixed up and a couple were duplicated which meant we lost some other better channels.
Overall the room was ok but I expected a lot more from the Mal Life.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank princesspnk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 September 2011

My partner and I stayed here for a night & I have to say the whole experience was fantastic. From the time we arrived at reception until the time we left the staff were brilliant. I booked a Superior Double room & it was very spacious & well equipped, the bathroom was huge & had all the little extra's. The restaurant & the food were lovely & I would definately go back again.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joanne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
75 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2011

My wife and I stayed here for three nights while we were attending a conference at a nearby College. It was a very positive experience. We booked a superior cell double, which was both quirky and well equipped. It was also very spacious. The bed was extremely comfortable (firm), the standard of equipment in the room was very good (iron and ironing board included), and the bathroom was marvellous - large and with both a roll top bath and a separate shower. The shower was powerful, and one of the best I have ever experienced. The room was, as others have commented, a little on the gloomy side and it was not possible to open a window, but this I guess comes with the territory of a converted prison!

We did not have a lot of interaction with the staff. The guy that checked us in was new and a little inexperienced, but helpful. There was no green tea in the selection in the room and he arranged to have some bags brought to our room from the brasserie.

The chairs at check in are ridiculously low, supposed to make you feel comfortable but in fact ensuring that the check in person towers above you!

We did not really use any of the hotel facilities. We did not eat there, partly because of the function we were attending but also because of the profusion of eateries in the near vicinity (generally, much cheaper). We used the bar a little - predictably expensive.

Overall, our experience was very positive. That said, it is not exactly cheap. By careful research and timing we got our room for £635 for three nights. If you're asked to pay much more than that, it's hard to see how it can be so good that you get value for money in my opinion.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LardB0y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New London, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 September 2011

I have never left a review before but felt compelled to do so after our stay. I want to start by saying that the hotel location, setting and quality of rooms and decor was very good. We found the room to be of a very high quality with everything we could ask for. We parked in a car park 2 minutes walk away and paid slightly less than what the hotel was asking but only slightly so my advice would be to book the hotel car park.
We had amazing cocktails in the bar which were a little pricey at around £8 each but really good. My main issue was the restaurant..... The food was of a very poor standard. I didn't eat my starter and looked forward to my steak and chips as I thought how could they get that wrong. The steak was just OK but the chips were undercooked and tasted really bad. I looked around and everyone else had chips that looked the same.
My advice would be to definitely stay in the hotel as it was amazing but stay clear of the restaurant.......

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BonitaUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 September 2011

unfortunately we had planned one night stay (after checking in and seeing the hotel we immediately decided to cancell one day of our hotel in london ,alas we couldnt:)
A very good example of transforming and preserving and old building(prison)
The room was very clean and stylishly furnished.Stuff nice and helpfull.

Room Tip: İf u stay in the main building you can feel the essence of a prison
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank whitestgandalf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2011

This hotel looked great. The old jail niche was interesting and the hotel's lounges restaurants and lobby's were all inviting and beautiful. The front of the building and the little walk way with the fairy lights in the trees was very pretty at night. Quite romantic.

However our romantic blissed out evening ended not long after night fall when our grand roll top bath flooded. I called reception for assistance who simply didn't answer our repeated calls. I then had to clean up the water in the (albeit gorgeous) bathroom with our lovely fluffy white towels.

When I approached the reception staff the next day expecting them to be apologetic and keen to resolve the issue, they were actually very dismissive. The only reaction I got was for the unfriendly staff member to inform me that there were people on duty the night before and that my call should have been answered.

Yes it should have.

With that I was handed my bill, which with breakfast, was close to £300 ( for one night). Money can't buy everything but I would expect far better customer service.

Shame because the other features of the hotel are striking.

We enjoyed lovely cocktails in the guest lounge which was so private it felt like we had the place to ourself. Great central location in Oxford also. Breakfast was also fantastic.

I must say that following my stay I did complain and I was offered a small discount off my next stay at the Oxford Malmaison. Its just such a shame that this gesture or at least a little understanding could have been offered when I brought my concern up with the staff in the first place. The poor service and disinterested staff sadly overshaddowed what was supposed to be a relaxing and potenitally fantastic stay which I had arranged for a special occasion.

Thanks for the offer but I wont be back.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jennieafero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Malmaison Oxford Castle

Property: Malmaison Oxford Castle
Address: 3 Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
#5 Business Hotel in Oxford
#9 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Malmaison Oxford Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you're tired of doing hard time in run-of-the-mill hotels, it's a completely different story at our former gaol, Malmaison Oxford. Instead sip the coolest cocktails in the free world at MALBAR and enjoy an eclectic mix of classic dishes with a twist at the Brasserie, from freshly caught fish to the famous Mal Burger. Good behaviour will get you privileges like free Wi-Fi, drench showers, plasma TVs and and even toiletries that are just begging to be nabbed by light-fingered guests. This is one hotel in Oxford city centre where you'll be happy to get a long stretch. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Malmaison Oxford Castle Hotel Oxford
Malmaison Hotel Oxford

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