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“I can say ive stayed in a prison (voluntarily) & liked it but overpriced.”

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 February 2012

The prison / castle itself is a great place, but little aspects let it down.
When first arriving at 3pm it was abit of a task to park in the little car lot outside the hotel with it being busy and busy inside. After a 3 hour drive from sheffield to oxford, we was told our room wasnt ready.(check out 12 & check in 3) The staff could see I was unhappy so offered us a drink each from the bar.
1/2 hour later it was ready, left my keys with reception and paid £20 for secure parking, they told me it would be put in under ground car parking.
The room was on cell block wing a, nice decent size room, 2 prison style windows with original door.
When originally booking room i added a code for valentines which was not acted upon. I can not be sure if this is because it was the weekend after valentines but was not told anyway.
We went out in the evening to a chinese on site called 'real china'. was a little expensive for a buffet and the workers was too busy talking to each other to get us drinks, we also asked to be sat in a certain place, we was told 6 people or more had to be sat there yet 2 chinese friends of his came in and was sat in the place in question! wouldnt return there.
When out i saws my car hadnt been moved to the underground car park and in the morning, it had been moved to the other side but never moved to the underground car park. There are shops on site when people can park so I could have parked there for free, yet i was still charged!!!
A friend stayed here and paid for the standard room and decribed the room which was exactly the same as the one we stayed in. not far away from where we stayed and it was £40 difference.

All in all, a nice place, can say ive been. but we paid £265 for 1 night room only and 'secure' parking (this didnt include breakfast) so a little let down and i feel majorly overpriced.
It was an experience but wouldnt return for this price.

TIP- Go down stairs on wing and far corner is a original cell as was in 1850s!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dee069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerMalOxford, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2012

Dear Dee069, thank you for your review, I would like to just clarify that all parking on site is for hotel guests only and all cars are charged at £20. In total we have 30 spaces which 20 are located downstairs and 10 upstairs. £20 for parking in Oxford is very reasonable as the nearby NCP is £27 for 24 hours. The Cell Doubles and Superior Cells are an extremely popular choice amongst our guests and I am sure that if you had the opportunity to see the standard rooms, you would see why there is a difference in price. Our prices are reflected and compare to the other luxury hotels in Oxford and I am sorry that you feel this was overpriced and that you will not be returning, We do have some fantastic offers available on Sundays called Sunmal promotion where you can get a room for as little as £25 with a guaranteed spend of £75 in the Brasserie. Thank you again for your review and appreciate your custom.

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2,289 - 2,295 of 2,995 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2012

A nice architectural experiment which works excellent when spending a few nights there.

The location is probably one of the best in town and the staff is always happy to help you out

  • Stayed: March 2011
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Thank Mixalis0026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerMalOxford, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2012

Dear Mixslid0026, thank you for your review, we have improved much since your stay last year. I hope you choose to stay with us again and I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

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Reviewed 17 February 2012

Booked it late for one night between Xmas and new year. Checked in, went to our room and immediately called reception to add another night. Very atmospheric, the double height bar is fantastic - like an old country club. Excellent base for exploring the wonderful city of Oxford. I've stayed at Malmaison in Leeds, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Newcastle and it's a great brand, this hotel exceeded the high expectations I had. Only minor point is no bath, just a (awesome) shower in some rooms.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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Thank mark c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerMalOxford, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2012

Dear mark c, thank you for your review, I am very happy that you chose to stay at the Mal Oxford for your festive holiday and great to see that you have visited so many other Mals across the country. We have many room types within the hotel, our Cell type rooms have the option to either have just a shower, a shower over a bath or a bath and shower that is separate, these options give greater variety in choice and a tariff that reflects each option. May I suggest that the next time you stay with us, you book a Superior Cell? The roll top bath plus exclusive Mal toiletries combine to make one excellent way to relax! I look forward to welcoming back to the Mal Oxford soon.

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Reviewed 17 February 2012

Spent an afternoon/evening here and the experience was really good. We have been here before, but never reviewed it, so maybe we were a little more critical this time around.

The check in was OK, but not hugely efficient, we were early and the room was not ready, but procedings seemed pedestrian at least. But this was not a great issue to us. We wandered off and spent some time in Oxford and came back at 3 for the room. Our bags followed 20 minutes later.

Room was good, a suite, but a few signs of aging here and there. Nothing huge but noticable, holes in net curatins and failing sealant in the wet room.

Enjoyed the bar, mini bar and the room. All good and a great experience.

Check out was good until we tried to leave with our car but our route was blocked by a delivery truck and other alsorted vehicles. This didnt seem to bother the staff, so we had no choice but to lock the car and wander off for a breakfast in town. Good job we were not in a hurry.

All in all a great hotel, awesome atmosphere (if you like dark confinement....it is an ex prison after all!) but just a slight lift in customer service would give it 5 stars.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank mgrt09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerMalOxford, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2012

Dear mgrt09, thank you for your review. I am sorry that your room was not available on your arrival we always do try to accommodate if we can before the 3pm check in time. I am happy to see we stored your luggage so you were able to get out and explore our beautiful city. Thank you for highlighting the points in our suite, we have 7 beautiful feature suites and do regular preventative maintenance work on them so I can assure you this will be looked into.
I look forward to your next visit, where we can show you the excellent customer service our hotel is renowned for!

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Reviewed 17 February 2012

This is a beautiful hotel which exudes character and charm. A converted castle prison, the hotel is situated within the recently developed grounds of Oxford Castle. Also within the grounds are a small number of smart restaurants and the Oxford Castle - Unlocked tour centre.

We stayed in the Solomon Wisden room and it was delightful. Both the room and the bathroom were a good size (the bathroom housed a chaise-longue and was still spacious) and exquisitely decorated. The hotel is great at providing the little extras and things that are just that bit different, which is great when, generally, every other hotel is much like the next.

We arrived very early but the reception staff were great - they stored our luggage until we checked-in - allowing us to explore Oxford unencumbered. The lady on reception also offered us advise on what to do in Oxford.

I have just two areas where I think service can be improved: I had intended to book a room for my daughter and I for a night during half-term. However, I had inadvertently booked (via an internet agent) the wrong week. Getting this sorted out between the agent and Malmaison took over six hours - during which time, I had to make numerous reminder calls and emails (to agent and Malmaison). At one point, a message that I had left over an hour earlier for the Events Manager hadn't even reached her - though when she did get on the case, she was very efficient. The reservation was for the next day and I needed to ensure we had a room to stay in! It left a very worrying impression on me.

I think the hotel would also be wise to review its policy on breakfast charging. Other 4-star hotels (with arguably better - or at least comparable breakfasts) do not charge for children under 12. Malmaison does and this meant paying £14.50 for my 11 year old daughter to have a boiled egg and a pain au chocolat. I would stay at Malmaison again but would eat elsewhere for breakfast - thus, the hotel would lose my custom for the sake of a very small sacrifice.

Overall, a great experience - so much so I am thinking of dragging my husband down to experience it for himself!

Room Tip: Whilst we didn't stay in an A-Wing 'cell', our Superior Double in the Correction Wing wa...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank TheHustlers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerMalOxford, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2012

Dear TheHustlers, thank you for your in-depth review, it not only allows future guests to get a feel of what our hotel offers, but it also provides feedback for us to see where we excel and sometimes where we can improve. Furthermore my team here at the Oxford Mal follows Tripadvisor closely and get very motivated when they read positive reviews. As I have mentioned previously the reception team are very much accustomed to Oxford life and collectively hold a vast array of local knowledge so please do not hesitate to ask them for directions or advice. I have noted your feedback regarding breakfast for children, furthermore it is always easier to book directly with the hotel on reservations.oxford@malmaison.com rather than with a 3rd party website as we can respond and deal with requests without the middleman.

Regarding your room tip TheHustlers, just to clarify that the area that you were in was not the Correction Wing, it was the Governors Wing. I look forward to welcoming your husband, daughter and yourself to the hotel in the near future.

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Reviewed 17 February 2012

A comfortable, beautifully appointed hotel in an excellent location, near restaurants, shops and visitor attractions. The staff without exception were friendly, helpful and efficient. The unique aspect of this hotel is that it was once a prison. The staff were always happy to chat and tell stories about this, which added to the the interest and fun of our visit. I shared a spacious twin room with a large bathroom containing both bath and separate shower cubicle. Others in our party were in a 'cell' which was compact but equally comfortable. My only criticism is the low level of lighting throughout the building. Our bathroom, it is true, was brightly lit but the bedroom seemed gloomy and i could not see to read by the heavily shaded bedside light.

Room Tip: If the room seems dark ask for another lamp.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Carlos G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerMalOxford, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2012

Dear Carlos G, thank you for your review. Our guests are not the only people who are happy to stay in the hotel, myself and the team find it extremely motivating and fulfilling to work in such an amazing building. We also have printouts of the history of the building so please do not hesitate to ask for one if you wish to read it during your spare time. Thank you for your comments regarding the level of lighting in the bedroom, we are scheduled for a soft refurbishment this year and the lighting is on the list of areas that will be addressed. I do hope you remain a fan of Malmaison and I look forward to your next visit.

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Reviewed 16 February 2012

One of the best hotels I've ever stayed in! Its tucked away from the main road so you may miss it if driving. The service was fine; we ordered room service on the first night, was really nice and generous portions. We stayed in the correction block, the room was modern and finished to a high spec.
Lots of places to eat out nearby!
If you fancy a bit of luxury and a hotel that offers character and that special something, this is the place to book!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BeachBlondie23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerMalOxford, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2012

Dear BeachBlondie23, thank you for your review. I must agree with you that guests coming to stay with us may have difficulties finding us as we are not on the main road, though Oxford Castle has now provided extra signage to indicate where we are.
As we are situated within the castle Complex, there are a wide variety of eateries surrounding us, not to mention our very own Brasserie in the hotel. I thank you again for your comments, the hotel does indeed offer plenty of character and it is difficult to find a more unique and special venue than staying in a former prison!

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Additional Information about 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 Business Hotel in Oxford
#6 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
#9 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
Price Range: £147 - £385 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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