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“fabulous hotel, but unfortunately lousy beds”

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 August 2014

The hotel has a great location and a great atmosphere. It has been decorated extremely tasteful. The only thing that was really bed were the beds: the matrasses were so hard that we figured they wanted to give us real prisonfeeling with a wooden bed. However since the beds are very lare part of why you are in a hotel we didn't feel that was a good idea!!
Therefor overal rating less than our first impression.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Stephanie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 August 2014

My husband and I had a great one night stay at the Malmaison. The location couldn't be better, and the service at the hotel was great. There is very limited parking on site, and it's pricey (call ahead if you want to park on site). You can save a bit by parking at at a long term parking garage about 2 blocks away. I loved the decor, and the candles, and uniqueness of it all. We would stay here again!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Nikki724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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
Reviewed 9 August 2014

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
Reviewed 9 August 2014

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
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Additional Information about Malmaison Oxford Castle

Address: 3 Oxford Castle New Road, 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 Business Hotel in Oxford
#6 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
#9 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
Price Range: £114 - £287 (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 
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Also Known As:
Malmaison Oxford Castle Hotel Oxford
Malmaison Hotel Oxford

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