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“Wow!!!!”

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Bridgnorth, shropshire
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wow!!!!”
Reviewed 30 April 2014

We stayed at the MAlmaison to celebrate my sister's 50th birthday and what a weekend it was. The 5 star treatment we got from the whole staff have made sure that I will visit it again soon. The way the hotel has been transformed from a prison is absolutely fantastic and they have managed to keep so many of the features to expose its past use. The food was fantastic, the shower was fab and I slept like a baby in the wonderfully comfortable bed.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank brosternicki
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, 3 May 2014
Dear brosternicki,

Wow to you too! Thanks for the great review, it is always a great pleasure for myself and the team to read what a great time our guests have whilst staying.

Hopefully we'll see you again soon.

Paul
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

My husband and I stayed here for my birthday. We had a superior cell room which cost £335. The room was small and we had problems with the shower. There was no power to the shower and we could not adjust the temperature setting. When the water was finally to an adequate temperature, the wet room flooded as, after a shower each the drain did not work. We informed the reception and they gave us a business card with the managers contact details, and that was it! Very disappointed considering the price paid.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CharlotteBagley
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, 3 May 2014
Dear Charlotte B,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. As per my response to your complaint letter, it is a great shame that you experienced these problems with the cell room.

As per my letter, I am sorry the cell room was not to your satisfaction. The hotel is converted from a Victorian prison with the rooms themselves a very sensitive renovation of the original cells in the A-Wing of the property. Unfortunately we are limited to the size of the rooms for this reason though hope that by joining two cells you might experience what it was once like to be locked up in these cell rooms.

The bathroom itself is one cell and was a major triumph, recognised with many national and international awards to for the redesign. With this, there were some major challenges, particularly with the plumbing. You might note that the vast majority of our guests thoroughly enjoy these rooms and bathrooms and that we avoid any issues with a full preventative maintenance plan, however on occasion these things, as with all things mechanical especially when adapted to fit the purpose of a very unique property will fail. On this occasion, found when the housekeeper visited the room to clean the shower that the water following your departure, a pump had fused, and therefore affected the pressure and temperature mix of some of the rooms. The housekeeper called the duty manager who flicked the fuse causing the water pressure to improve and temperature mix to resolve properly. I have not had a report on the shower drainage, I have personally checked this and it seems to have been resolved - no doubt by that housekeeper in the morning - since the shower is below ground level, it may also be the case that a sub pump had fused as a part of the same problem though this is only theory as stated, it was not reported by the housekeeper or on maintenance records.

It is very challenging for us to resolve issues for our guests unless we are informed at the time. We have extensive maintenance cover, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week with 24-hour duty management cover as we do understand our rates are very high and that our guests should rightly expect a seamless experience. If we had been informed at the time, we could have resolved both of these issues with minimum fuss in no time at all, giving you no further cause for complaint and a warm and enjoyable shower. I have spoken with the team member who checked you out myself, since I note on Tripadvisor that you mentioned this at reception. Once again, I must reiterate that after an issue has occurred, if we are not given the opportunity to resolve this at the time there is very little we can do to recover the situation - thus the receptionist gave you the contact details of a manager should you have wished to follow up - she does understand that the duty manager should have been called for you at that time to run through any cause for complaint.

I am sure you will understand that Tripadvisor is very damaging for us when we get negative reviews and it is a shame you felt it necessary to share this with them prior to writing me nor without giving us opportunity to set right whilst staying. As a hotel we aim to deliver exceptional service making the most of the very unique product that we have, which, as a converted Victorian prison has its own exciting challenges.

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

Warm Regards

Paul
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Redbourn, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

Great location and lovely design. Nothing wrong with our superior rooms at all. The car parking was full so we had to park round the corner (once we navigated the one way system and sat nav!)

But......bar service was painfully slow - bar staff busy but waitress smiling nicely staring into space. Post dinner nothing improved and our liqueur coffees and latte were returned as cold and bitter tasting. We were not the only ones with issues on their drinks. All the hen parties made it feel like a large student lounge rather than a private residents bar.

Check out systems down when we left and our fears that the bills would be incorrect were fulfilled - despite leaving written instructions these were ignored. Staff are nice just not got that sparkle of efficiency and understands that you'd expect from a hotel of this level.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa D
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, 3 May 2014
Dear Lisa D,

Than k you for taking the time to write us. I am sorry that we let you down with our service on this occasion. There is no excuse for poor service in the bar and I have spoken to the bar team to understand and remedy the issues you experienced on that night. It is unusual for us to have large parties in the bar and this seemingly was the challenge for our other patrons that evening.

The issue with the computer system was a global issue that affected many hundreds of hotels in Europe that utilise the system to manage the room aspect of the hotel. They are the largest provider in the world. Unfortunately this was out of our control and I am sure you can understand, when out for over 16 hours is exceptionally challenging for every hotel team. Most businesses, when faced with such a large issue would cease to run until the issue was resolved. I am very proud of my team for the way in which they handled this time, though understand completely that we failed to deliver on our promise to you. If there are still any issues outstanding please don't hesitate to contact me directly at the hotel and I will personally resolve this for you.

I do hope you choose to return in the future.

Paul
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

Poor accommodation - mould in room - loose bathroom fittings,dangerous electrical appliances in room .
Brasserie food very poor - over priced rubbish - and then to cap it all they try to overcharge and refuse to refund - disgusting service from a chain that thinks it has arrived ..... Avoid at all costs

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Graham H
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, 3 May 2014
Dear Graham H,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review, I understand that you have already had a follow up from my Operations Manager following your stay at the hotel.

It is unacceptable that there might be mould in the room for a hotel of any quality, let alone our own. I can assure you that the bathroom fittings are safe however I have directed your concerns to our Health and Safety Director and Head of Maintenance for the group for their feedback also.

Our Brasserie food normally receives rave reviews - as can be seen from the many other pieces of feedback on this site alone, I am sorry it was not to your taste and there was seemingly confusion with the bill.

It really is a great shame that you were not pleased with the hotel and I truly hope that you one day choose to return. When this time comes, please don't hesitate to contact me directly so that I can input your reservation personally to ensure you have a great time with us at the hotel.

Warm Regards

Paul
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UK
Level Contributor
116 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

Located right in the centre of Oxford, this unusual hotel certainly gives you a few stories to tell when you return home!

The former HMP (prison) only closed it's doors to its last inmate in 1996. The prison was then purchased (for a minimal sum!) by the hotel group who have now resurrected it into a multi-million pound designer hotel.

All the rooms are in the main, former cells. The room within main block we stayed in was three cells knocked into one modern hotel room now with all the trimmings expected. Only one whinge....the room was far too warm as the aircon (if any!) didn't work very well and for some reason they didn't fit opening windows in its previous life!

Restaurant is good and breakfast was very good.

Lots of history linked to all the rooms within the hotel. Read up on it before you go!...... And recommended you take advantage of the prison tour next door if you have time (discounted to hotel residents)......but beware, there are plenty of steps to climb!

Room Tip: Valet parking worth booking in advance if you stay for the weekend. Check internet for offers...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank _forevergreen_Uk
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, 3 May 2014
Dear _forevergreen_Uk

Thank you for your great review of the hotel, I was delighted to read that you had a good time with us.

We hope to see you again soon.

Paul
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bracknell, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014

I have stayed a number of times at the Malmaison in Reading and it was my first visit to the Oxford for my wedding anniversary and i was not disappointed
the reception staff were very good and we could check in straight away.
We had booked a Sunday stopover which is great value and we had a standard room.
This was a nice room but unfortunately you cannot open any windows and the air conditioning did not work but they would very good and moved us to a room which used to be one of the old cells in the main block which i would recommend although you still cannot open the windows so did get stuffy.
Another thing i noticed is that the toiletries was not replaced on a daily basis
The restaurant overall was very good and the food was of good quality but the first night we were there the service was slow but being Easter Sunday i think they were struggling with staff but the next night was better.
The hotel is in a ideal location and there is a Prezzo just outside and a fab little cocktail bar just outside and also just round the corner to a square which has quite a few restaurants around it and near the shops.
ideal to go by train as the parking is about £25.00 per night and it is only about a 10 mins walk away.
I would recommend and will be back

Room Tip: if you want to be able to open the windows then i found out they are in the main hotel on the ground...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sharon s
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, 3 May 2014
Dear Sharon S,

Thanks for taking the time to review the hotel. I am pleased that overall you enjoyed your stay though apologise that the service you experienced was slow.

We hope to see you again soon, we always have great promotions direct on our website so please look out for these.

Warm Regards

Paul
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014

We stayed here on Easter Sunday. The hotel is visually very very impressive & a real treat awaits but there were a few things which individually are trivial but when you add them up on one visit made quite a difference and unfortunately disappointed us. We stayed in an impressive 5th floor 3 cell room, lovely appearance & a great bathroom, however the bed was so hard we hardly slept and there was a continuous noise which we assumed was from some form of air conditioning which we were unable to identify & therefore couldn't control. We booked to eat in the Brasserie, the staff were friendly & we were seated quickly. The staff were all busy and rushed around non stop taking away a relaxed atmosphere you would expect when eating out. Both our starters were expensive for what arrived, small portions minimal additions such as bread & salad. Our main course took forever to be served with the staff eventually apologising for the delay explaining that the kitchen was very busy. We were served standard frozen chips with our steak although we'd ordered hand cut chips & got charged £8 for two portions - mega mark-up, we didn't complain as we were too hungry to wait for anything to be changed. On checking out we were asked if we had enjoyed our stay, we confirmed the hotel was impressive but that we hadn't slept well, we received an apology but no acknowledgement that our comments would be looked in to. Should the management team of Malmaison Oxford take the opportunity to consider some of these comments I would suggest that with a little focus and greater attention to detail and importantly their customers, the first impressions given on entering this wonderful building could so easily make a good experience an exceptional one.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BACNAC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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