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.

“Disappointing with sloppy housekeeping and reception”

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 9 more sites!
Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 February 2014

We had previously stayed at the Malmaison and thoroughly enjoyed it and so it was disappointing to return and find that standards had slipped. Initially we were delighted to arrive and find that we had been upgraded to "The Clink", a superior room, however this delight did not last long. "The Clink" is largely below ground with some signs of damp around the window - unappealing. Perhaps because of it's location some distance from the reception area, wifi did not work, although the receptionist, who did not bother to come to send someone to investigate, insisted that it did, and the problem was our devices. Since there were 4 of these, none of which worked in the room, but did work in the lobby, this was not a convincing argument. In addition, it was clear that things like the room service card had not been checked, as it was covered in ring marks, and contained other people's bills. The bathroom was really high quality, with a beautiful tub and the toiletries are nice as well, but the water ran cold both in the evening and the following morning, and again, Reception insisted that this was our problem for not running the water for a sufficient period - clearly not the case, as it initially ran hot, before becoming cold. On the plus side the bed was comfortable.

On the evening we were staying there was a party taking place in the restaurant, which meant that the small bar was crowded and service slow. Eventually we got our drinks and took them to the lobby (so we could use the wifi and sit), only to find that others had had the same idea and the area was full of dirty glasses and snack plates - none of which were cleared away during the three quarters of an hour we sat there, despite being clearly visible to the receptionists, who were too busy gossiping to each other about their holiday plans to be bothered about the state of the lobby area.

Breakfast was expensive, but delicious - worth the money for the homemade granola alone.

We won't be rushing back. The attitude of the staff to guests - particularly the receptionists, the cost (including a fairly whopping parking charge) and the failures in things like hot water and wifi, which should be a given at this price made the whole experience a disappointing one.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank steppeagle
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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear steppeagle,

Thank you for taking the time to write following your stay at the hotel. I am sorry that we did not meet with your expectations with regard to housekeeping. I have reviewed the room in question and instructed the team to make the necessary alterations to the room and to ensure we pick up the standards in housekeeping. I am sorry that it took for your visit and review to resolve this.

Please be assured that your feedback has been taken in the serious nature it is intended with remedial action taken throughout.

We do hope that you will return to see the effect of your feedback.

Warm Regards

Paul Watson

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (3,012)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

1,619 - 1,625 of 3,013 reviews

Reviewed 24 February 2014

My husband and I made a last-minute booking (thanks to a friend's recommendation) to celebrate our wedding anniversary and I'm so glad we stayed! We were given a warm welcome and stayed in one of the new rooms which was very clean and spacious - there was even champagne waiting for us, which was a lovely touch. All mod-cons and a huge comfy queen-sized bed. Jonathan looked after us very well, sharing a map of the area and giving us hints and tips for our couple of days in Oxford. While there, we enjoyed a drink (table service) in the 'Visitors Room' bar which has a very exclusive feel. I felt very pampered, it was a great venue for a special treat. I'll be recommending this hotel to my colleagues, family & friends.

Room Tip: Ask to stay in the old/main wing if you can - great atmosphere - original staircases still there and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Claire161616
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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear Claire161616,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review following your stay at the hotel. I was delighted to read your comments and that you had such a good time with us. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Paul Watson

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

Had a very enjoyable stay in what is a very different modern hotel-the place is very atmospheric and the rooms converted from cells to a high standard. As with most Malmaison Hotels I have been in they are dark which is fine unless you lose something which I did !!
The staff were all very friendly and helpful, we ate in the restaurant where the food was good with a limited wine range. The room was good as was the service. After the meal we "retired" to the cocktail bar for a nightcap, again good ambience and wide range of drinks.
Breakfast the next morning was a real highlight !!

Room Tip: The rooms all look good, take an early morning or late evening stroll along the floors leading to th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank David 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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear David G,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. I was delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and in particular that you found the team to be friendly and helpful.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Paul Watson

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

We managed to take a room in the main building - much better. Staying in a cell to celebrate 5 years of a life sentence (wedding anniversary) was super. Rooms are extremely comfortable (a little dark) and great for a photo shoot for the memories bank. We we were disappointed that the visitors bar was closed for a private function which inadvertently gate crashed - spotted due to our dress code and age apparently. The hotel location is perfect for a short walk into the centre (we ate a nice Indian at Chutneys) and a 15min drive to Bicester Retail Village (don't forget your 10% discount card from reception). Malmaison is a lovely hotel, a little expensive and the communications with staff always a little challenged.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank MrPaul007
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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear MrPaul007,

Thank you for taking the time to review your experience at the Mal. I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay here at the hotel, I am sorry that you found the communications a little challenging at times, all of our staff are well trained and speak good english though i will speak with the team to ensure we are recruiting persons with the appropriate level of english.

We do 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
Reviewed 21 February 2014

We stayed here a while back with the 'love suite love' package.

The room consisted of a duplex - split level suite with walk in rain shower and bath with room for 2.

Upstairs there was a sofa area with a bottle of champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries awaiting us - perfect for romance. Downstairs is the bedroom area with a huge and comfortable bed, a balcony with French doors and a large bathroom topped up with sensual oils and luxury body lotions and potions.

We ate at the restaurant which had a good selection of food and drink and the food was delicious and reasonably priced. Our favourite area was the cocktail bar at the top of the hotel. This is a large table service bar area with large comfy chairs in which you can easily relax and unwind.

If you are looking for a perfect romantic getaway then this is an excellent place to stay in the heart of a very beautiful city!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank nursess79
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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear nursess79,

Thank you for your review. I was delighted to read you enjoyed your experience at the hotel, it is clear we have you locked up for Mal Life, we cant wait to see you again soon!

Warm Regards

Paul Watson

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2014

I had wanted to stay here for a long time and plumped to stay here for our wedding anniversary, I had potentially built it up, whilst you cannot deny the Mal offers a unique experience staying in 3 cells converted into a room for me it still has the travel lodge feel with very dimly lit rooms which are not well cleaned which appears to be an ongoing issue with housekeeping for the Mal chain. Our bed was comfortable but despite adjusting the air con the room was extremely hot. The carpet in our room was stained and the previous occupants hairs were in the bathroom. At £229 per night I would rather stay at the Crowne Plaza in Kensington. Mal have pulled their old toiletry range which leaves the beautiful roll top tub with no bubbles, pointless! They used to provide hot chocolate but the refreshments tray was distinctly lacking in biscuits and hot choc, for this price I expect more. It was only when we went to reception that Nora helped us and provided the old style bath oil and hot choc. She apologised and advised the range had changed and dug these old products out for us. Continental breakfast was included and was varied enough but the waiting staff were horrendous, grumpy, un attentive and looked like they would rather be anywhere but working here, this was evidenced as our plates built up on the table and were not removed until we asked, they were then slung onto to tray by the door very noisily, this was at 8am when the brasserie was less than half full. At no point were we approached about what we wanted or if we needed anything else, we had to approach them. A self service canteen, very porridge! We will not be returning thats for sure but cannot deny the novelty of staying in an old prison was fun but cannot be described as luxurious. The yo side to this hotel is that it is extremely central but parking comes at a cost, would recommend using Parkatmyhouse.com to get good value parking around the corner from the hotel half the price the hotel charge.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Judgys
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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear Judgys,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a construtive review of the hotel. I am sorry that your positive experience was tarnished by one or two points. As you will note from our other reviews, housekeeping really has not been an issue in the hotel and with a very strong Housekeeper that has been in this hotel for 8 years now, there is very little that passes her by. I am sorry that on this occassion we let you down.

I will also pass your comments to the breakfast team, delivering tea, coffee, toast and all hot items to order is certainly not the experience of a self service cafe, they will be embarrassed to note that you felt this way.

I do hope that you will choose to visit us again, as can be noted from the majority of the reviews this is unusal feedback for us and it might be worth giving us another chance.

Warm Regards

Paul Watson

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

Our stay at Malmaison Oxford was a luxurious experience. The team was extremely helpful, very professional and Matthew, Amy, Sebastian, Nora and the rest of the reception team gave us an exceptional welcome. The hotel environment was truly unique and everything was spotless. The room, the bar and the brasserie were equally stunning. The whole stay was a relaxing and one-of-a-kind experience, and we will definitely return again.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank AnitaAlexCambridge
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 reviewResponded 12 March 2014

Dear AnitaAlexCambridge,

Thank you for taking the time to write following your experience with us. I was pleased that you enjoyed your stay and we hope that this wont be the last time you come along.

Paul

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
0.2 mi away
Vanbrugh House Hotel
Vanbrugh House Hotel
#4 of 44 in Oxford
715 reviews
0.4 mi away
Old Bank Hotel
Old Bank Hotel
#1 of 44 in Oxford
1,202 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.6 mi away
Old Parsonage Hotel
Old Parsonage Hotel
#2 of 44 in Oxford
720 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

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: £146 - £341 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Ebookers, Agoda, HotelsClick, Cancelon, Evoline ltd and 5viajes2012 S.L. 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