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“Exceeded expectations”

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Exceeded expectations”
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We stayed at the hotel at the beginning of November. I had high expectations for this hotel and these were simply exceeded!
From the moment you walk in, there is something about the hotel which you cannot help but be impressed with. The ambience, the music in the lobby, the quirky little signs to the personal check in desks ... It makes for a great start to any stay.
Our room was great, a converted cell which was surprisingly spacious. Love the landing when you come out of the lift!
The cocktails at the bar are amazing and on Fridays they do Friday Bubbles which simply has to be participated.
We dined in the restaurant that evening. The food was out of this world and wine was a perfect accompaniment!
The hotel is very clean with quirky little touches everywhere. The staff are very friendly and the location is fantastic for all the tourist things and local shopping areas. All in all, the hotel was in my opinion faultless! I would not hesitate to recommend.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, 22 November 2013
Dear Jo B,

Thank you very much for writing with your feedback.

I am delighted we were able to exceed your expectations during your visit. Bubbletime on a Friday night is always a lot of fun - how can it not be with heavily discounted Champagne?!

We look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel very soon.

Warm Regards

Paul Watson
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (677)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2013

My wife treated us to this weekend as a birthday present. We had a taster a couple of months ago as we had to collect a client from the hotel and got to see how the prison had been turned into a hotel. This glimpse was very tempting.
We arrived on Friday evening and were greeted well at reception. Everyone was happy and friendly and we got to our comfortable room, with good views over the prison courtyard.
Breakfast the following morning was excellent, self service continental breakfast and well cooked to order English breakfast.
Two small points - not enough power sockets in the room, and the lift was sooo slow, but apart from that, an excellent stay!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Adrian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, 22 November 2013
Dear Adrian G,

Thank you so much for your feedback, I was delighted to read that you had a fantastic time with us and pleased that your wife chose to treat you here. Belated happy birthday by the way!

Your comments on board regarding the power sockets and lifts, we'll have a look at these and see if there is anything we can do to remedy!

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Warm Regards

Paul Watson
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Skipton
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2013 via mobile

This is one of the most expensive hotels I have stayed in, yet it was average in terms of service. A great idea & stunning conversion of this former prison (only closed in 1996). However not without its problems. The air con is on 24/7 as there's are no opening windows. If you like fresh air when you sleep then forget this hotel. Also our air con temperature control did not change anything! It was a continuous stream of cold air. The drench shower was more a trickle shower. The flow was pathetic. The lighting is all wrong in the rooms. The only place you could see your face properly was in the bathroom but the 2 lights either side of the mirror gave off too much glare so you could not see properly. We paid £430 for 2 nights room only! I have stayed in many hotels at half this price that were far better equipped and generally a nicer place to be. They did knock 10% off the bill when we mentioned the shower and air con which was a kind gesture.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank adpbuildSkipton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, 22 November 2013
Dear adpbuildSkipton,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your review.

I was pleased that you were able to enjoy the hotel despite the couple of points made where we could do better. I can assure you these points are duly noted and will form a part of any future works that take place in improving this fantastic hotel.

We hope to see you again soon.

Paul Watson
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Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2013

We recently stayed here for a one night mid week getaway. Firstly, it was a nightmare locating the hotel down various one way streets and bus lanes. My partner jumped out and went on foot to locate the hotel, the satnav postcode does not lead you to the hotel.

On arrival the receptionist was quick to take my card and charge me £50 for 'anything I use in the room' found this slightly odd but no real explanation given. Parking was pre booked and good to know the car was safe underground. The receptionist gave us a long list of directions to our room which turned out to be incorrect and we had to ask another member of staff for help. As previously mentioned by another reviewer, nobody offers to help with bags etc.

We had booked a house of correction double and the room was great, spacious and light. The room was very warm and we were unable to turn the heating down. Tea and coffee facilities, good mini bar selection, numerous towels etc.

We had booked to eat in the restaurant but cancelled having the seen the layout of the restaurant/bar, there was no separation between the two. After walking round the town we returned to the bar and had 2x coffees, we were surprised to get minimal change from ten pounds!!

Room was quiet, no neighbour noise or problems. The bed was slightly hard and lead to an uncomfortable night for me, my partner was fine. Breakfast was 'ok' a good selection of continental but the cooked options were not extensive or particularly hot.

On the whole a good stay, great for proximity to the town, great room and setting. Negatives; not worth £200 a night plus extra for parking, and then an extra put on the bill upon checkout for eating breakfast?! We had already paid for breakfast but then had to pay a surcharge? Another added extra we weren't aware of.

Would we return? Yes, but would wait for their to be a good deal on as cost does not equal what you get.

Room Tip: Don't pay over the odds for a cell room, the standard doubles in the house of correction are jus...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bournemouth88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, 22 November 2013
Dear Bournemouth88,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your very constructive review. I was very pleased to read that overall you enjoyed your stay and note some of the areas where we could do a little better.

We do have some incredible offers on the website so please ensure you keep an eye out here as we would love to welcome you back to the hotel in the future.

Warm Regards

Paul Watson
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 November 2013

I have stayed here a few times over the years and really love the place. They have used great imagination with its design and it is full of character. The restaurant is really nice too with a really tasty menu - I had a chicken dish which was lovely. The bar (recreation rooms) is also really nice and they serve great cocktails!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Harisa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, 22 November 2013
Dear Harisa T,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review of the hotel. I was delighted to read how much you enjoy this hotel, it is clear to me we have you #lockedupforMalLife already, and as such I sentence you to another term in the hotel very soon!

Paul Watson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2013

I stopped for lunch on a saturday and the location is really different but also convenient if you are visiting the centre of Oxford but want to avoid the other packed restaurants (we had tried 2 others but no tables available until 14:30). The restaurant was only about 1/2 full which sometimes is worrying but on this occasion I believe it is because not many people would consider a hotel for a lunch. I was glad we did - the servers were friendly and helpful, also knowledgeable about the menu which is not radical but jay has a few twists to make it more interesting than the usual run of the mill food. We shared starters and mains and they were very accommodating of all our requests. The food is not spectacular but well presented and for the price as expected. The place itself is the former gaol so whilst it's odd to think about the prisoners who were there before it was a hotel and restaurant.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank colebrooke1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, 22 November 2013
Dear colebrook1964,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our restaurant. I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed your experience and I hope that we see you again very soon. We do enjoy our guests who challenge us a little so Jay is more than welcome anytime with yourself!

Warm Regards

Paul Watson
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Caunton
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2013

Arriving at the Mal was seamless and pleasant with the staff taking care of the challenge of parking the car. Pre check ensured a speedy flow to the room but be warned - you need a map and good orienteering skills to return to your room.
The rooms are very good and should be at the price but I would recommend a cell room if you want to live the history of the place (ex prison). The design and ambiance of the hotel is outstanding and really cannot be appreciated unless you can coerse a knowledgible staff member to walk you through the place and highlight the history and memorabilia.
Cocktails are fantasic with a wide choice and the food is first class. Take the chefs recommendation for both food and wine and you will not be disappointed.
Sorry to go as it is the palce to stay when in Oxford and the staff, from General manager to Valet were courteous and professional - but so they should be at the price. Great value though.

Room Tip: The cell rooms are best.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WinkerCaunton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, 22 November 2013
Dear WinkerCaunton,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your review.

I was very pleased to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your experience at the hotel and I was delighted to meet you myself during your visit. Please pass on my sincere regards to your family and I hope we see you all again very soon.

Warmest Regards

Paul Watson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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