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“No prisoners in cell block C” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Malmaison Oxford Castle

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Acton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
557 reviews
130 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 206 helpful votes
“No prisoners in cell block C”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2013

Stayed here on business for one night and a business dinner. I cannot speak to the price of the room as am not aware of that.

I did not know it was a prison before arriving, I suppose hence the name "bad house"! Was a bit concerned what it would be like but they have done a lovely job in converting to a comfortable hotel. My room was a good size and nice amenities. It is starting to look a little worn. Biggest issue - bedroom was DARK even with all the lights on. Free and effective internet access.

Had dinner in the basement restaurant and was pleasantly surprised at the food which was delightful, well presented and nicely cooked. There was a group of us in a private room and the service was definitely slow on a Monday night. A couple of times one of us had to go find waitstaff. The continental breakfast buffet had a good selection and the cooked breakfast looked lovely but did not try that.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MikeBirdman
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, 27 November 2013
Dear MikeBirdman,

Thank you for your feedback, I was pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, in particular that you found the food delightful.

I have taken in to account the areas that we could do better, please be assured that these will be shared with the team for direct action.

Warm 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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2,790 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2013

We stayed here for two nights recently having found a cheapish deal with booking.com, I'm so glad we didn't pay top whack for our stay as this place is extremely overpriced.

The exterior and majority of the interior is very impressive, but sadly our room was nothing special, uncomfortable bed, broken curtain rail and there was only one plug socket!? Which was located by the front door at the bottom of the wall - it was a bit strange having to boil the kettle down there!

Breakfast is extremely overpriced, we paid extra to include the continental both mornings, we regretted this straight away as hot drinks and toast wasn't included in this price. The 2nd night we ordered breakfast to our room for the following morning, this didn't arrive until I chased 45minutes later. There's restaurants selling hot breakfasts only 2minutes from this hotel so I would advise you get out for breakfast. The waitresses were particularly rude during the breakfast service and slow.

There is a small bar in the brasserie that we spent an hour or so in both nights - good choice of cocktails but we had one really good bar maid serve us and the other wasn't so good. Eg wrong fruit in some of the cocktails - the living room bar two doors along made a better version of our cocktails and they weren't even on their menu (and cheaper).

Don't pay to park here it's £28 per day - absolutely ridiculous! You can pay £9 a day at the station car park that is only a 5/10 min walk away.

Enough moaning - good points;
The location is excellent you can walk into Oxford town centre. The square of restaurants and bars surrounding malmaison is fab. With a better room and better service I think we would have enjoyed our stay a lot more, but compared to hotels like the crazy bear - malmaison is extremely overpriced.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Beach261211
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 Beach261211,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review following your stay at the Malmaison Oxford. I am sorry that you found a couple of maintenance issues in your room and the position of the spare plug socket inconvenient. I will certainly review this with my team and look for solutions to this.

I was a little confused with your comments regarding breakfast, as with both continental and full breakfast unlimited tea, coffee and toast is included. I will also follow up with the Bar team regarding their standards, we have just launched a new cocktail menu which may have been the cause of this. We usually get incredible feedback regarding our cocktails and are very highly regarded in Oxford and the surrounding area for these.

We do hope that you choose to visit us again in the future.

Warm Regards

Paul Watson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
54 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

This hotel conforms to the Malmaison trend of opening hotels in quirky locations - this one a former prison. They have done a great job of adapting it and it retains features but with comfort.

What was good:
- breakfast was excellent
- bar was well stocked and bar staff friendly
- location is very convenient
- room was clean and comfortable

What was bad:
- the rooms are very dimly lit and, for the most part, this is fine. However, a decent reading light is sometimes required
- the bathroom (room 130 for anyone from MM reading this) needed some serious maintenance: no hot water in the sink for most of the week, broken pop-up waste, broken toilet flush and dodgy shower (despite an advert saying "some like it hot, some hotter", generally struggled to get it above warm.

Would I stay here again? Possibly, but it wasn't the best place I've ever stayed.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Stevo789
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 Stevo789,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review, I was delighted to read you enjoyed breakfast and the bar in particular.

Thank you for your feedback regarding your bedroom, I can assure you we have revisited the room and audited it to bring it up to its best quality once again.

We do hope you choose to visit us again.

Warm Regards

Paul Watson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

Personally I was not as excited about our hotel stay here as my husband was. An old prison? My first reaction was ghosts! BUT, I was pleasantly surprised. It was GORGEOUS. Warm, inviting, quirky - yes, but absolutely stunning. Comfortable beds, great quality refreshments, amazing toiletries, all in all FANTASTIC.

It was a little bit pricey, but worth the money. Such a unique environment.

One bad thing - the receptionist we dealt with was a bit grumpy, but I've been there too.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CanadianAbroad2013
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 CanadianAbroad2...

Thank you for taking the time to write with your feedback.

I was absolutely delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. The hotel is truly unique and it is great that you found it cozy and comfy also.

I will liaise with the reception team with regard to their giving a grumpy impression, hopefully the next time you visit you will realise the benefit of your feedback!

Paul Watson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Skipton
Level Contributor
42 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Report response as inappropriate
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 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 
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Also Known As:
Malmaison Oxford Castle Hotel Oxford
Malmaison Hotel Oxford

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