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“Nice Room, Poor Service”

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Duns, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Nice Room, Poor Service”
Reviewed 7 May 2014 via mobile

My wife and I stayed in this hotel on bank holiday Friday night. Perhaps understandably, the rate was very expensive at over £300 room only. At that sort of price, I expect everything to be right; it wasn't. We had to queue at check-in while one staff member spent at least 5 minutes trying to get her computer to work. After a long walk to the room carrying our own luggage, the electronic key wouldn't open the room door and, back at reception, I had to queue for service again. The room was very pleasant, once we got in. The continental breakfast (at extra cost) had limited selection. At check-out, I asked to see the duty manager. She turned out to be a woman who was present during the check-in debacle. It's a shame that she didn't solve the problem or compensate us at the time; a glass of wine in the bar during the wait would have changed our mood and shown a commitment to service. The rate reduction seemed too little, too late.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank DWMcC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,879 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (663)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
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English first
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 7 May 2014

We spent one night in the "House of Correction"... (the name given to that particular building when it was a prison". The room itself was light, roomy, very comfortable and spotlessly clean. The staff were friendly and efficient. I would recommend having a cocktail (or two) in the cocktail bar. Breakfast was first rate, with a choice of anything you could possibly want. Again, the staff here were attentive, friendly and efficient. I couldn't fault our stay in any way.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Cartraker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emma D, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, 14 June 2015
Dear NicolaSarahHennessy

Thank you for taking the time to write your review for our Roof Top Terrace at Malmaison Oxford. I do hope your parents had a fantastic anniversary in Oxford!

We are currently very excited about our roof terrace and thank you for your feedback, this is very important to us as we are evolving, as we want to ensure that all of our guests (hotel residents, visitors & locals) have a fantastic time up there on our sunnier days in Oxford. I have also passed on your personal thanks to Phil!

We look foward to welcoming you back on your next visit to Oxford.

Kind Regards

Emma Doré
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2014

The Malmaison is a stunning 5 star Hotel rebuilt in the old prison. Its a bit pricey but great for a special occasion. The food was excellent and staff very helpful. Every part of the Hotel is decorated to an outstanding level. Our room was very comfortable and we had a small terrace. It was convenient for the Coach Station.

Room Tip: If you want to get "The Prison" effect ask for a room in A Wing 1st Floor.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 356Scottie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

I had really looked forward to staying at this hotel and given the cost per night, I had high expectations. Unfortunately they were not really matched.

The check-in was a disaster as the first set of keys did not work, then they replaced the keys but the room turned out to be already occupied, until finally we were finally given the right keys to the right room. All of this was played next to an angry Russian guy trying to pay a huge bill in cash and arguing with the staff.

The room itself was incredibly stuffy with windows that did not open (I guess for security reasons as it was on the ground floor) and smelt of sick. The bed, bathroom and fittings were all of a very high standard, although the room itself was pretty small (although this may be normal for Oxford).

On the positive side, I have to say that ambiance of the hotel with the original prison features was really well done - even if a little scary, and the bar was terrific with a sublime dry martini mixed by a very talented bartender. The location in the heart of Oxford is also very good, although the downside is that parking at the hotel is extremely limited and the cost in the local NCP was £35 per night.

The final nonsense was on check-out when I tried to bring the car round to the hotel entrance to pick up the bags and got abuse from the doormen/security guys.

All in all it was disappointing and frankly some of the original inmates probably had a better stay here than I did.

Room Tip: Don't stay in "C wing".
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julian_Tanner
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, 7 May 2014
Dear Julian_Tanner,

I am very sorry that we failed to meet with your expectations during your visit. Please be assured that I have shared your feedback with my Front Office Manager and team detailing your front office experience at the hotel. It really is unacceptable on many levels and I sympathise with the obvious frustration this must have caused.

I was however very pleased to read about your bar experience, as a general rule I am lucky to have a very talented and professional team throughout the hotel which only heightens the disappointment you must have felt at the reception.

I do hope that you choose to come back again in the future where I hope that you will experience a much improved service affected in part by your feedback shared with us.

Warm Regards

Paul
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bedford
Level Contributor
43 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

What an unusual place! Wake up and think you are in a posh episode of Porridge! Service was good strong management, food good, meeting room was great for what we needed. Would use again for business meeting.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank bedbrad
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, 7 May 2014
Dear bedbrad,

Thank you for taking the time to write with your feedback. I was delighted to read that we can expect to see you back in the future.

Warm Regards

Paul
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2014

We booked an overnight at the Malmaison Oxford enroute to picking up a new puppy! We got a brilliant online deal and were really amazed at the level of service and attention to detail in the hotel itself. We reserved parking space for our car in advance and advised that we simply arrive and the car would be valet parked. This worked really smoothly. We were told 'just give us 10 minutes advance warning when you want your car and it will be sitting outside'. And it was! The reception check in was friendly and warm. The hotel is the usual Malmaison quirky and amazing. The room itself was again up to the Malmaison high standards; plush plus with every single element in the room - furnishing, soft furnishing, mini bar, nibbles, tea, coffee, cookies, excellent quality toiletries. Our car was returned complete with a Malmaison car freshner. Outstanding! Recommended and will definitely seek out Malmaison properties for future getaways!

Room Tip: Fantastic location - everything within walking distance! We were in C block with a view over the cou...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank AnnR1955
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 AnnR1955,

Thank you so much for your review, I was delighted to read you were so pleased with the hotel. Hopefully we will see you again soon!

Paul
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgnorth, shropshire
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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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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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