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“Cool hotel in Oxford, England”

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Silver Spring, MD
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
“Cool hotel in Oxford, England”
Reviewed 12 August 2009

We had to pick up our daughter who had taken a class at Oxford and stayed at the Malmaison. Hats off to the designer. The hotel had been an actual jail but was now an incredibly chic upscale modern hotel. We were also treated to a wonderful concert in the courtyard that night. The nearby restaurants were excellent and Oxford is fascinating. Two minor things - it is not the easiest hotel to find from the street and we arrived after a long transatlantic flight but our rooms weren't ready till nearly 4pm and there is no real place to wait for the exhausted. Check in service took quite awhile as well. After we got to the room, we really enjoyed the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank mdmom4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New Forest
1 review
Reviewed 11 August 2009

Having taken up an offer (Porridge for £1 when £75 spent in restaurant) thought there might be a catch - it was probably too good to be true. We were pleasantly surprised to find what this unique hotel had was a complete style of its own and such a high standard, not only in the hotel fittings & furnishings but the service as well. Our room, previously 3 prison cells, was tastefully converted and retained much character from its previous use. The evening meal was way above our expectations, the brasserie offering a very good menu and excellent food - still can't believe what a bargain we had!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Glen58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
here there and everywhere
1 review
Reviewed 10 August 2009

Very bad experience, and please do not allow the "modern design" to divert your attention from the "real deal", I arrived at 5am after a long drive and requested a room, all I wanted was to have a shower, sleep and use the internet. I was charged full price until 12pm and then the trouble started, i have requested not to be disturbed and also displayed a sign on the door, I was woken up by a false fire alarm and by a maid (oh sorry sir) 9am and then again at 9:30...no sleep there.., the internet did not work and when did the signal was so week it was not working anyway (direct or wireless) and to top it all there was no hot water and when I could not find any soap or shampoo i have decided to have shower at home (i was told that standard rooms does not come with soap or shampoo…!? I travel as part of my work and has never been in a hotel or B&B or even cheap guest houses or a motel that did not supply soap with the room) all together I was expected to pay more then most Oxford hotels for getting nothing but an uncomfortable bad. when I complained they tried blaming it on a power cut "sorry sir, nothing we can do.." very unprofessional management and therefore all personal, they thinks that if they apologize it is all good, reading other reviews and talking to friends in Oxford it seems that this hotel main business is definitely not returning guests, I will never be a guest again.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Theoldandrestless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2009

We stayed at the Malmaison Oxford for one night. The environment - a converted jail - is of course very unconventional. We had a room in the prison itself. The room is two cells knocked together, with half of a third cell as the bathroom. The room is furnished in the usual Mal style - perfectly comfortable, dark furnishings, LCD TV and DVD player. They do try to sell you something at every turn (wine, CD, breakfast( but they do invite you to take the toiletries, which are very nice. You get 30 minutes free internet access (which is generous for chains in the UK), then you have to pay.

The restaurant is OK (neither of us is veggie) but not cheap, especially if you want a bottle of wine. The bar is similarly pricey, hence my value rating.

The location is pretty central but just the 'wrong' side of Carfax - the interesting sights of Oxford are within a short walk.

Be warned, parking is a nightmare. Reserve it when you book. We ended up in a public car park a couple of hundred yards away (half-a-mile driving!) and I wasn't happy about leaving a valuable motor there overnight, nor getting soaked by rain when I had to retrieve it.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AmbroseB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
north yorkshire, england
Level 6 Contributor
336 reviews
135 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 243 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2009

Enjoyed our stay in the House of Correction - you can't tell from inside the rooms that they used to be prison cells. The corridors, balconies and metal staircases are still there on the outside, so maybe this hotel isn't for the sensitive soul. Rates are for room only, breakfast is not included.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fairtrader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upminster, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
287 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2009

I stayed at this hotel for one night in July 2009. We stayed in a queen size room with a deluxe bathroom and roll top bath. I was very excited about staying in an old prision, however apart from the structure of the hotel there was nothing prison like about it.

I exspect tales from the prision, membrolia or just something more. However the rest of the castle was good, the hotel itself just laked the soul it needed.

The rooms are an ok size, but the bed is terrible. Its like sleeping on the floor!!! The bath took ages to fill but is quite large. However once the bath was full and i stepped into it, the bath creaked and scared me of it falling through to downstairs!

The doors are nice and give the room a better feel, however ours didn't close properly without your full weight against it.

There are lots of restaurants inside the castle itself and many in the city centre, which is 2 mins away. We found some difficulties find the hotel and it is not well sign posted once inside Oxford City Centre. However we did ask for advice and finally got there! We reserved parking and the car was moved into a basement car park and returned to us at our reconmended time, however we did have to pay £20.00 for this!

Overall a good hotel, but could do better!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Michelle F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2009

We stayed as part of the pay £75 for the meal/stay over for £25 deal (which incidentally is £15 more than all the other Malmaisons bar London, and if you want to stay in the actual prison £45). This is very good value and certainly worth booking a half day off work on the Monday to take advantage of the offer. However I probably wouldn't have paid the £75 for the meal if it hadn't been getting us a cheap hote room! The vegetarian options were limited to say the least, and not particularly appealing either (if you're advertising a burger why not create a veggie one as well for crying out loud). It also suffered that irritating habit of not listing which were vegetarian - is it that difficult to put a little "v" next to them so we don't have to go crawling through the entire menu?

Thankfully the service and staff were top notch. All very friendly and helpful, better than the slightly brisk service at the Liverpool branch of Mal. Although be warned, on the way in reception is nothing more than a few tables in a hallway - I nearly walked past without checking in! As others have commented the setting is spectacular, although as mentioned above you may get put in "The House of Correction" across the courtyard if you don't pay a premium (which is still prison-esque and a good experience).

As with the Liverpool branch I found the bed to be very hard, although apparently this is intentional and some people like that, so maybe it's just me! Room very nice although it's a shame they have to try and flog you something at every turn (wine here, CD there, mini bar there, breakfast tomorrow etc) when most of the time you're already paying a lot to stay there in the first place. The bar was reasonably priced, however if you fancy stretching your legs there is a great tapas/cocktail style bar a couple of minutes away that is better value. Do give yourself time to explore Oxford if you haven't been before, and if you're arriving by train don't bother with a taxi - barely 10 minutes to reach the hotel by foot.

Overall a good visit and given the offer I can hardly complain, but it's a shame the meal was such a disappointment given the price they're charging for it.

Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank JB1601
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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