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“Great location & breakfast outweigh signs of age”
Review of Tower House

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Tower House
Ranked #19 of 82 Oxford B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great location & breakfast outweigh signs of age”
Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

The Tower House has a great central location in Oxford between the Cornmarket and Radcliffe Camera. The room was small but not uncomfortably so. The room was clean but with signs of age with some rough edges on the walls. It was quiet overnight and the bed was comfy. Breakfast at Turl St Kitchen was very tasty and had a good range of options.

The small rooms and sloping floors won't be for everyone, but for this price and location they are acceptable issues.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank no_public_name
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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196 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 (50)
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London
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Some reviews of the Tower House seem to want it to be super modern as well as attractively old. It can't be done, but if you want somewhere with genuine old architectural features the Tower House is just the place. Yes, the stairs are steep, but not vertiginously so and it really isn't a long climb to the second floor. I had the Red Room, which wouldn't have suited a very tall person but was fine for me. The bed was very comfortable, the ensuite was perfectly clean, provided with a generous supply of shampoos and shower gels, the wifi worked and my view was over Ship Street. I was afraid it might be noisy and if you don't take care to close the windows and the sliding secondary glazing you can be disturbed at night, but with everything closed it was very quiet. My room was quite spacious and I had an attractive old escritoire for a desk. Breakfast is around the corner in Turl St Kitchen. This was fine- I prefer the usual B&B breakfast where things are set out and they trust you not to eat all the croissants yourself, but the food itself was very nice. My bacon roll was very good. I would have preferred a pot of tea to a mug, but again, what I had was quite acceptable. Service in Turl Street Kitchen was friendly and prompt,and Charis at the Tower House was most welcoming and pleasant. The situation of the Tower House can't be bettered, right in the heart of Oxford and a few steps to the Broad or to the Bodleian. My main criticism would be that the flex of the kettle was so short that one had to adopt a strange crouching position to pour hot water into one's cup of coffee. But this was little enough to put up with for a stay in such an interesting and charming building.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank chelseabunLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montecito, California
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

We have all seen or read about Fawlty Towers the hotel which just can't do anything right. Well that is what about 80% of The Tower House is. See the photos. I stayed in what was one of the better more expensive rooms. The room at the top of the stairs in the second of the two connected houses. The stairs are so steep that the manager said bad back can't carry them up it was OK though for me to carry them according to him. I am talking about sheer vertical up and grab onto anything you can to come down. So if you have a fear of heights very steep verticals or have the slightest issue with balance request another room. Regarding this room, there was not a single socket in the room available. I managed to find an extension chord which had 4 things plugged into an old single socket and used that. To use it you had to have 4 plugs in a thin extension chord and the only place it would all reach was placing it above you on the headboard while you slept. The idea of fire was in my dreams more than once. There is no place to place a computer or tablet and work and charge at the same time. The bathroom shower had a large more than one foot long piece of cracked glass at the bottom of the separator that was jagged on the shower side and quite dangerous for slashing your leg. The mold in the shower did not bother me or the fact that there was only room for one toothbrush in the bathroom forget shampoo or a brush. The room was drab and colorless and just 5 foot 10 inches in spots. The breakfast at the bar around the corner which owns the hotel was nice and simple, two eggs toast or lox and toast. This place has a fixed price year round. In the off season it is a bad deal since others lower their prices. In the high season it is an OK deal since others raise them. The problem is that the service is minimal or non existant and the room I stayed in substandard for a B&B at any time of the year.

Room Tip: See comment on the stairs
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank jimnick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2014

I stayed here for one night for a conference and liked it very much. I was in the Bastion room which is, they say, built of part of the old city walls and has an ensuite shower room. Some of the other comments below are strictly correct - it is very shabby (almost deliberately so!) and there's no view, but it is also full of character, warm, dry, comfortable, great value for money, very friendly staff (owners?) and brilliantly located. I loved having my own front door key so I could just step out into the centre of Oxford and walk to everywhere I needed to go - reliving my student days! Didn't use the wifi as I now take my own 4G everywhere. If you are at all squeamish about shabby carpet, mismatched furniture or mysterious marks on the wall, this is not the accommodation for you, but if you want a fun experience it's a good choice. We usually manage to stay in college accommodation when we return to Oxford but if that's not possible then this will now be our first choice.

Room Tip: The Bastion room is up a tricky, winding staircase that would be difficult for anyone with mobility...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WilliamsFamilyUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

An old fashioned B&B in the heart of Oxford, great location, reasonable prices, but oh so shabby and not very clean. The plumbing needs ripping out, the walls filling and the woodwork re-painting, and above all the carpet needs replacing, it was probably there at the time of the Norman Invasion. Breakfast is at the next door Turl cafe: bad music (too loud!), nasty orange juice and cheap bread. Oh Dear!

Room Tip: all rooms are small and somewhat cramped, but this place does have some elderly charm.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank flyingshuttlelondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2014

This is a lovely little B&B right in the heart of Oxford, just a few seconds' walk from Broad Street. It's a great base for exploring the city and you can come and go as you wish at any time of the day or night. The building itself is also charming, with low irregular ceilings, exposed beams and so on, typical of 17th Century houses in England.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 189TomU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 27 January 2014

Oxford is a hard place to find good value accommodation, but the Tower House fits the bill perfectly. It's an old building with a few quirks, and we had to share a bathroom, but the staff are friendly and the place is clean and well maintained. The restaurant next door (breakfast was included in our rate) is superb.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nathan Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tower House

Property: Tower House
Address: 15 Ship Street, Oxford OX1 3DA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 82 B&Bs / Inns in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Tower House 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Tower House Hotel is a Sixteenth Century Guest House, situated on a quiet street in the heart of Oxford city centre. Oxford is a delightful city, famous for its dreaming spires, ancient University colleges and beautiful architecture. The hotel is two minutes walk from all the major tourist attractions. The Hotel has eight unique rooms, each one is individually designed and furnished with period antiques. The hotel is steeped in history, the bastion of the medieval city walls form part of the dining room and the front of the hotel overlooks Jesus College. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tower House Hotel Oxford

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