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“Absolutely fantastic!”

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely fantastic!”
Reviewed 15 August 2014 via mobile

Me and my mother decided to take a trip around the UK, and Malmaison was the last one of the hotels we stayed in.
We were in awe at the first sight of the hotel, I was shocked to see that we were, in fact, staying in a castle! How often can you say that? The decor was lovely and modern, the staff was polite and greeted us warmly. Our twin room was fantastic and the bathroom was gorgeous.
The only complaint I can find about the bathroom is that the shower is a little bit difficult to manoeuvre and that when we arrived the hot water wasn't working- but they fixed it within 2 hours and apologised.
We had the breakfast and dinner package and both were delicious. I have had many awful experiences with cardboard bacon, runny eggs and buffets set out with a I-don't-really-care attitude, but I'm glad to say the continental breakfast was lovely and had a good selection, and the food on the breakfast menu sounded delicious.
I was sad to leave Malmaison- and their amazing pillows- and hope to return in the near future.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
1 Thank Katie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,943 reviews from our community

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Vancouver, BC, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2014

On our recent family vacation to England and Wales, this hotel was our biggest "splurge" of the trip. Very expensive, but we wanted to treat ourselves by staying here. As a couple with two teen children, we had to book two rooms, substantially increasing the cost. (As a North American traveler, I love traveling in Europe, and visiting different cultures, and seriously, "vive la différence" - but it sure does get expensive having to book two rooms in every location!)

The hotel is an amazing building, and is set in an incredible location. We were very satisfied with these aspects!

Shortly after checking in, there was a fire alarm, and the hotel had to be evacuated. When we returned, our dinner reservations had to be delayed due to the evacuation, and the kitchen was late opening. That was fine - no problem, these things happen. While preparing for dinner, we found our room incredibly hot and stuffy. Checking the ventilation system, there was no air coming out whatsoever, despite hearing a fan noise.

On our way past the front desk, we commented on this and were told that the systems all had to be reset, and we should have cooling within about an hour. When we returned to our room (after a lovely dinner), it was still hot. The fan still made a sound, and there was a little bit of air coming out, but it didn't feel very cool... I was tired, and we simply went to bed. My wife awoke at 4AM and the room felt like a sauna. She went to the front desk and they offered fans and such - but she declined as I was still asleep.

In the morning, while we went out for the day, they sent maintenance to the room - and when we returned the room was a cool oasis on a stiflingly hot day. A vast improvement.

The balance of the stay was wonderful.

Upon checking out, my wife talked to a manager at the front desk, and expressed her disappointment, and asked what could be done about it. She was offered a partial refund that definitely satisfied us.

So all in all, it had its ups and downs, but we left happy - the customer service aspect definitely shone at that point, and while we have a little story to tell, overall, we are happy with our stay.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1 Thank Cirrus2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rye, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2014

This is a proper marmite review......the good points...the restaurant food was delicious and service excellent, great cocktails, the visitors bar staff fab too and of course overall the building is amazing.
BUT ........like many others have mentioned the lack of air con (never did establish if our room even had any) is dreadful and we had a terrible nights sleep as we had to have a fan on at all times (no opening windows either).
Our room had access to a patio....lovely we thought....but there was a dead plant pot, some old soggy napkins, cigarette ends and weeds. Our welcome fruit was one bruised apple.
The roof bar experience was real let down. We walked past staff to get out there and were then just ignored for about 15 minutes. I went to get a menu and it then took at least 10 minutes till one waiter came over....most annoyingly we could see 3 staff messing around in the kitchen during this time. Really poor.
A lot of the fixtures and fittings look a bit scuffed and tired.....wonder if it's due for refurb soon? Our table in the bar had massive chunks missing out the base for example...lots of floor spotlights in residential areas seemed not to be working.
I was so excited to be staying here. My wife had booked it as a treat as she knew it was something I'd always wanted to do. She's really upset as it just wasn't the quality we expected and for the price was a real disappointment. Seems to trade on location and history. Sadly, never again.

Room Tip: Not 105 as it's too hot
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5 Thank Steve T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, NC
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

Was speaking at a summer class at Oxford and the program recommended the Malmaison. What a treat. This is a converted prison yet it has all the comforts of a modern hotel. We had a room in the back section (the Correctional facility) and the room was great. We did take the comforter and double it for my wife to sleep on since the bed was a little too hard for her back but that worked just fine. The hotel gave us another one for covers. Breakfast each morning was very good and the location was excellent. A short walk from the center of Oxford.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
1 Thank GlenW57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014 via mobile

We decided at the last minute to come to Oxford for a night out, I used Tripadvosr to book the room as the Mal's website was not responding very well to my iPad. This is our first stay here and it's not to badly priced considering its location. The room was a decent size, clean and very comfortable bed, in fact I'm laid in it now writing my review, off for breakfast in a minute and I've read good things about the food, but then considering who owns the place, the food should be top nosh!

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
2 Thank Rbrownsle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Brilliant location for a hotel. Very convenient to walk everywhere so taxis, cars and buses not needed. Clean and modern, yet you can experience the real McCoy of a jail if you ask in advance. Im claustrophobic so wasn't that brave, but loved my room. ( number 411) with balcony overlooking the front entrance.
Finding hotel even with sat nav lady was a bit difficult so remember to turn right at the Slug and Lettuce eaterie once on New Road as hotel entrance hidden and out of sight. Multi Storey car park just a few minutes walk away, at £28.50 a day so same as hotel charges. Hence Don't panic if no room for parking available at hotel.
Great to see the prison's main hall. Straight out of TV's Porridge! Thank heavens rooms are now luxurious, clean and quiet. Brilliant big comfy bed ( our room was a "Superior" one).

Food good but possibly a bit pricy, as are the drinks.

Oxford Castle next door is well worth a Tour. Lots of interesting historical stories to be heard. Show your room key to get 10% discount on entry. Punt ride from Magdalen Bridge is to be recommended too ( £25 with a chap doing all the work). Pitts Rivers Museum a must. ( free entry). Was disappointed by the witch in the bottle but the genuine shrunken heads are well worth seeing! The adjacent Natural History Museum is good too, if you want to see dinosaurs, an Albatross, and many other exciting exhibits. I felt like a kid in a proverbial candy shop with both of these museums. Bit like Horniman's Museum ( Forest Hill) meets south Kensington's Natural History Museum.

Hotel certainly to be recommended.

Room Tip: Pay extra if you want the jail room experience, but not if you are a bit claustrophobic. The newer...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Paula V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rugby, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

I have stayed at Malmaison in Oxford at least 6 times over the years and really love the hotel.    

My husband and I decided to squeeze in a 1 night stay to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We booked one of the dinner, bed and breakfast packages in a superior cell room and were given room 137.   my first impression was that the room was smaller than any of the others I've stayed in before; but never the less was comfortably appointment with large bed, walk in shower and a bath.  However, I did notice straight away some economies that have obviously been made by the hotel...

1. Gone are the beautiful soaps / creams and massage oils you used to get in the rooms. Replaced with just a soap bar, shower gel and shampoo.  The soaps were really drying to the skin (could have done with the fab smelling body cream they used to give you)

2. The CD player and / or Ipod docking stations had gone.

Husband and I changed for dinner and headed for a quick drink on the roof terrace (a new edition since last at the hotel)  was a lovely evening so enjoyed some jam - jar cocktails (bit passé I know !!) but great views and some very nice nibbles were enjoyed.  We then went down to the brasserie for dinner; I really enjoyed my starter and main course:

Fritto Misto - tempura battered squid and prawn with chilli and sweet chilli sauce ( could have eaten twice)

Pan fried sea bass - again really excellent.

Dessert and in particular the liqueur coffee were bland and unimpressive.

Sleepwise i really struggled this stay.   The room was far too hot and the noise from the air con was really loud.  I live next to a farm and I would liken the noise to a grain dryer !!

Breakfast was good, a great selection of continental and cooked breakfasts on offer. I opted for eggs benedict, which was very nice.

All in all a good stay despite the room temp / noise and lack of my favourite bathroom products . Helpful and friendly staff, still really love Malmaison Oxford!

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
2 Thank saffysmall
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
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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