We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Quirky and recommend a Sunday stay, but not sure we'll be back..”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Quirky and recommend a Sunday stay, but not sure we'll be back..”
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Bit tricky to locate and if you don't take the valet parking (£20) that maybe an inconvenience, especially if you have a lot of luggage and / or kids. However, lack of conventional parking is understandable given location and nature of the building.

I've been to this Malmaison twice, both for the Sunday evening deal. It is definitely worth a visit and at face value, quite a good deal. However, my fiance and I weren't drinking much or over indulging and the dinner bill was still +£100 - which I don't care how you dress up, is expensive and to be honest - the food was average. We live in London these days and used to eating out / being ripped off, but this was 35% over priced in our view.

The staff were very helpful and most obliging, no problems there. We did have a problem with our room however... Now problem happen, that's life - its how you deal with them that is testament to the organisation, so how did Mal Oxford do...... you decide...

In the morning we had to leave early, the lights were broken in the room and staff were made aware of the issue and booked trains needed to be caught / meetings to attend etc etc. They offered to change rooms (impossible) or to find a light for the plug sockets that we could take to and from bathroom - took 20 mins to sort this out. Not bad in my view, not brilliant but as bad as it could have been. We had to ask for some money back, we got the parking fee back and 25% off the over priced bar bill. Upon writing to the management retrospectively we got the money for the room back (£25) and a free upgrade if we return. I don't think this truly made up for the stress my fiancee (therefore me) suffered, the night still cost us c£60 and I hit the M40 traffic as a result.

Like I say, worth a visit, but I think there is some work to be done and bar / restaurants rates are simply too high - unless you're doing the Sunday deal, eat out would be my advice. Our room was also small, unsure if this was related to our booking, don't think so, as when I stayed the time before - it was fine, I'd ask the question.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank yoghurtman
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 review, 30 March 2012
Dear yoghurtman, thank you for taking the time to write such an in depth review, the price of our menus in the Brasserie and Bar are very competitive with the local competition and depending on what you order of course the charge will reflect this. All our prices are of course advertised on our menus so if you wanted to order something of a less value then this option is there for you to choose from. We are very proud of our Brasserie and the quality that is delivered in there so I am disappointed that you felt the standard was not up to your expectation. I am very sorry that you had an issue with the lights in the morning, unfortunately on the odd occasion in hotels these issues can occur and of course always at the wrong time. It is unfortunate that the 20 minutes meant you were delayed for your booked train and hitting traffic on the M40. I do feel that due to this technical fault my team did fairly compensate you however if you would like to discuss this further please feel free to contact me directly on mmcsorley@malmaison.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

2,918 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    1,253
    906
    448
    204
    107
See reviews for
261
1,743
80
360
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (668)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Farnham
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

This hotel is special! It is so well done in terms of comfort and style. I love it and definately come back :-)

Room Tip: Look for the deals on the malmaison website...they are so worth it!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ronpurple
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 review, 30 March 2012
Dear ronpurple, thank you for your short and simple review, our promotions are ever changing and the website is a good place to browse through our offers. I look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2012

Nice location, wifi didn't work, breakfast shocking how can a hotel run a breakfast shift without eggs?

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kewboy
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 review, 22 March 2012
Dear kewboy, it is very rare that we encounter issues with Wi-Fi connectivity especially as we have only as recent as 6 months installed all new software into the building, I shall be monitoring this area to see if is a reoccurring problem. Regarding the eggs I sincerely apologise for this inconvenience, this the first time this has occurred with us and it was due to our supplier letting us down and not delivering that morning. As soon as the local shop opened at 8am we had the problem rectified within 20minutes however once again apologies that this affected your breakfast.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Olney, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Myhusband has wanted to stay here for ages, so we booked last minute for a dinner b n b deal in a cell room for £350. A little bit to pricey I think. Especially as car parking was on top of this and the meal options from the set menu were so limited we ended up purchasing off the main menu. (they took a token amount off the bill as we did t have the set me u). The food was good though, I can highly recommend the French onion soup.

The is no other way to describe the castle from the outside, anything other than awesome, the front reception was incredibly cold though and when we got to our 'cell' room this was also freezing. We left the heating on for a couple of hours before it made any impact. Being an old building this is probably expected but as they knew we were coming you would have thought they could have preheated the rooms.

The cell rooms are obviously three old cells knocked into one, the doors are still the old cell doors which is quite impressive with the hallways still with the galley landing and stairs like a prison. The rooms are beautifully decorated, the highlight being the bathroom. With the free standing bath and beautiful shower. The lighting in both rooms was pretty poor so for a girl trying to do make up is a little challenging.

I found it a little strange sleeping in what is basically a prison and it was a little creepy. My husband however, thought it was great and loved every bit of it. The rooms were excellent et if not quirky. The location was brilliant slap bang in the centre of Oxford so great for seeing sights and shopping. It is certainly an acquired taste but worth a one off visit for the kookiness of it.

Room Tip: Choose cell rooms if you going to stay here may as well go fr the whole experience
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank victoria t
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 review, 22 March 2012
Dear Victoria t, thank you for your review. I am very pleased that you thought so highly of our building, I believe the architects performed an amazing conversion from what was the former prison to its current status. With regards to your evening meal, we have now in fact further enhanced the dinner inclusive packages since your stay as we acknowledged from other guest feedback that this was not perfect. It is as always the Cell Doubles and Superior Cells that are the most popular room types, however rest assured we do have various other room types such as Superior Doubles or Duplex Suites that are renovated in such a way that they bear little or no resemblance of its former prison architecture. I do hope that you stay again in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sutton Coldfield
Level Contributor
165 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Great location: 10 mins walk from train station & the same again to the University colleges we were visiting. Easy 4 minute stroll to main shopping area. Efficient & welcoming reception staff who wished me a happy birthday & upgraded our room - nice touch :) As the escalator door opened onto our floor we were greeted by the internal walkways of a prison with visability over 4 floors - authentic & quirky! Our room had a heavy metal cell door which sent a shiver through my spine as it 'clinked' shut behind us! The room consisted of 3 original cells, the bedroom area taking 2, with the hallway & ensuite filling the 3rd. Decor was well done & very atmospheric. Lighting was dull, which my daughter found difficult for make-up but totally in keeping with the atmosphere. The major benefit of these rooms is that they are so quiet. With the opposite rooms being some distance away due to the internal walkways. One of the best 'city centre' sleeps I've experienced. We ate in the Brasserie, using my Gourmet Card, which was excellent value & very good food. Excellent service & again, very atmospheric setting. We visited the original cell & exercise yard, which helped give us perspective & appreciation of our stay. Yes, I've stayed in more 'luxurious' 4* hotels but few have been so much fun or so memorable - not many people can say they drank champagne in their prison cell on their birthday! If you like to escape from the norm this is definately worth a visit :)

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Zymotic
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 review, 22 March 2012
Dear Zymotic, thank you very much for your review, I agree with you that our hotel is ideally located in the city centre which means that all local attractions are walking distance. The train station is also very close by for guests who wish to travel by train. I am happy that the Brasserie team provided the excellent service that they are renowned for. Lastly delighted to hear that you appreciated the quirkiness and atmosphere of the hotel to the full by even having Champagne in your cell!! Happy birthday once again and I look forward to another enjoyable stay in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northants, UK
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

What a unique & not too be missed experience. We stayed in the A wing which is a converted cell ( sorry the other reviewer is incorrect...) & thought the atmosphere & decor were superb. Having read other reviews I was also pleasently surprised by the size of the room (many had complained they were a little small).

The staff were warm, welcoming and friendly, we also had free cocktails included which unlike a previous reviewer was not an issue at all. The additional (free) glasses of bubbly were a lovely touch for our anniversary.

I thought the whole experience was excellent & would love to stay again and I would certainly recommend it. I look forward to staying in another Mal in the future.

Thank you for making our anniversary special.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Racmar
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 review, 7 March 2012
Dear Racmar, thank you very much for your review, I am delighted that my team at Malmaison Oxford has made your anniversary a special occasion which of course it should be and that you felt that our hotel was unique and team warm, welcoming and friendly. Customer service is key to us here at Mal Oxford and it is very nice to see it being noticed and appreciated. Happy anniversary and I look forward to your next stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
86 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

How disappointing. We have been Mal fans for years but this was our worst stay ever. The Mal is being out Mal-ed by its competitors.

This imaginative conversion of the former Oxford jail has been around for some time now and has been well used, but some aspects of our recent stay made one think they were trying to return the establishment to its former incarnation.

A Malmaison cornerstone has always been service - bright and informal. Here it wore a veneer of quality, but behind that veneer virtually all the staff we encountered seemed bored and disinterested. Two cocktails were included in our booking, we found this out because the fact was scribbled on a card when we booked in. But what constitutes a cocktail, where can you drink it and when? Trying to sort this enabled us to run the gamut of Mal staff indifference. Only when we made our exit from the bar did the service become animated as we were chased into the lift to sign and pay for a cocktail which was on the house. And don't ask them what constitutes a cocktail! If they can't be bothered to do it well, don't do it at all.

If Malmaison is being left behind in the service stakes the same applies to the rooms. The lighting is appallingly dim. Maybe this is to hide the various signs of wear and tear including peeling veneers, chipped furniture, stained flooring, malfunctioning showers, taps and pop up waste, limescale deposits around the shower and poor standard electrical wiring to the radiator in the bathroom.

On the AV stakes there are now so many hotels doing it better. Our TV was a tiny £50 item stuck on the wall somewhere in the middle distance and there is no iPod dock.

The wifi was very poor and wouldn't connect with my iPhone for the entire duration of my stay. An enquiry about this to the desk was met with incredulity and a patronising explanation about how to connect. I might be over 40 but I am not a cretin and have struggled to grasp the basics of the modern world with some success. Look, I can even type this!

And if the furniture in the rooms is a little tired then some of that in the public areas needs scrapping. Our breakfast table top portrayed a disgusting pattern of stains and scorch marks. We had plenty of time to study this because we waited 50 minutes for an appallingly cooked breakfast which was again accompanied by patronising surliness and indifference.

This is one of the longest reviews I have ever written on Trip, and re-reading it I realise it comes over as a whinge. That's because it is. Mal sets such high standards that it is our defualt choice normally, but we were so disappointed, and had we used Trip Advisor properly could have stayed somewhere much better and less expensive.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nutmeister123
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 review, 7 March 2012
Dear simonpennysmith, thank you for your in depth review. There seems to a lot of issues that you have raised, you will be pleased to know that we are moving into a refurbishment this year where the AV equipment will be modernised and all the furniture replaced. We do have an in-depth Preventative maintenance program in place so I am very surprised and disappointed to read that you had furniture and fixtures not in a high quality condition. Regarding the WiFi this again is recently installed in all rooms and due to the thickness of our walls we infact have placed a WiFi point in every room so the signal is usually stronger than most hotels, I do apologise that this was not the case in your room. Without knowing the room you stayed in I am unfortunately unable to investigate your issues further however if you wish to discuss this any further please do not hesitate to contact me directly on mmcsorley@malmaison.com
Thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Oxford hotels
0.3 mi away
Macdonald Randolph Hotel
0.4 mi away
Old Bank Hotel
Old Bank Hotel
#2 of 44 in Oxford
1,163 reviews
0.2 mi away
Vanbrugh House Hotel
Vanbrugh House Hotel
#4 of 44 in Oxford
673 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.5 mi away
Old Parsonage Hotel
Old Parsonage Hotel
#1 of 44 in Oxford
683 reviews
3.0 mi away
De Vere Oxford Thames
0.6 mi away
Mercure Eastgate Oxford
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Malmaison Oxford Castle? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Business Hotel in Oxford
#5 Luxury 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Ebookers, Agoda, Priceline, Lastminute, Odigeo, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Evoline ltd, HRS and Cancelon so you can book your Malmaison Oxford Castle reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Malmaison Oxford Castle Hotel Oxford
Malmaison Hotel Oxford

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing