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“Unbeatable”
Review of Tower House

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Tower House
Ranked #21 of 85 Oxford B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 May 2009

The hotel business is not inexpensive in the UK, and Tower House is not dirt cheap either, but considering the market, it's the best you can get. The location is phenomenal: Ship Street is a tiny lane off Cornmarket St., with all major colleges in short walking distance, the Bodleian library and the Ashmolean (now regrettably closed) around the corner. On the corner of Ship St. is the oldest Oxford residence (now a Pret a Manger restaurant).

The hotel's building is an old house that lives and acts like one. It's a delight to sleep in a house like that, as opposed to faceless impersonality of a hotel. Ronel, the one-person management, was helpful and kind; the breakfasts were excellent (no cooked English breakfast, though, which you might only regret during your first days in England). The room was big enough for a small English hotel; I don't remember whether there was a phone, but who needs hotel phones these days anyway?

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and probably the best option for downtown Oxford.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Suborno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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180 - 186 of 208 reviews

Reviewed 25 April 2009

I stayed at the Tower House for two nights 15-16 April 2009 while attending a conference in Oxford. The location is very central - close to all the attractions of Oxford and to several Colleges. The hotel is tiny, a real character place to stay, with clean and comfortable individual rooms. Facilities are fine, breakfast of good B&B standard and the service (from a very hardworking woman who seemed to do everything) excellent. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a central, reasonably-priced, secure place to stay in generally very expensive Oxford.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled on business
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1  Thank PhilosopherLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2009

Having an afternoon and evening to spare before continuing onto business in Cardiff, I decided to spend it in Oxford (easy to get to on public transportation from Heathrow Terminal 5). Having read the reviews for Tower House Hotel and noting that it was fairly central, I made a reservation. The welcome was warm, and provision of directions to various places was good. The Tower House being fairly central, everything that I wished to see was within walking distance. The Red Room (on the third floor) had a lovely view of the garden of Jesus College. The room was immaculate and the double bed extremely comfortable with the room having space to move around and not bump into cases.

The ability to use wifi was greatly appreciated as I made final arrangements for my business meetings and finalised transportation arrangements later in the week. Breakfast had a good selection of cereals, juices, tea, coffee, etc. Not being a big eater, cereal sufficed for me together juice and tea, although toast/croissant was offered.

When I return to Oxford with my spouse in the future, I would have no hesitation to book here again.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled solo
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2  Thank hushed_presence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2009

We stayed for 3 nights in the Jade room. This "hotel" has no reception, no foyer in fact no facilities whatsoever. You ring a door bell and arrive into a very narrow hallway. Yes, I agree with other reviewers that the property is old and quirky but it is also very shabby in parts. The stair carpet needs replacing, plaster is peeling from walls and the ensuite certainly needs a revamp. We had the smallest shower possible and while the new floor tiles were good quality the rest of the tiling needs a serious overhall.
I am annoyed that we were charged hotel prices for what is a basic B&B in an old property.
The location was central but on each night we stayed there we were awoken by groups of students heading home from the pubs. Tuesday night in particvular was very noisy and anti social.
There was no telephone in the room and as far as we could see no-one on the premises in the evening.
The breakfast was barely adequate, toast toast or toast with boxed cereal and a fruit bowl. Cold meat was put out every morning but no-one touched it and I was not surprised. I have never seen a more unappetising display. This was served in the smallest dining room and I agree with the lack lustre comment of another reviewer.
It is difficult to be critical when you are dealing with just 1 person as we were. She was very pleasant etc but I really feel this is a rip off.
If you were told you were merely renting a room in an old house on a side street in Oxford and charged accordingly then well and good but to advertise this property as an hotel and charge hotel prices is just not on.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank pgb2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OHIML, General Manager at Tower House, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2009

Thank you for taking the time to offer your comments regarding your stay with us. We review all our comments on Trip Advisor and take guests’ opinions very seriously. We review our rates on a very regular basis to ensure that we are competitive within the local market place and so I was disappointed to read your comments. Following your comments we are reviewing the naming of the property with the appropriate tourist recognition boards. We have raised the issue of breakfast standards with the General Manager of the Tower House and believe that if you choose to stay with us again, you will notice a marked improvement. Thank you for your constructive opinions.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2008

Very easy walking distance to everything I wanted to do in Oxford. The Saxon Tower (dating back to the year 1040) is only 120 steps from the Tower House Hotel. The Sheldonian Theatre (where Handel and Hayden both performed) is only a block away. It's just a 5 minute walk to the C.S. Lewis Tour point. Shopping on High Street is close by. The quality and quaint setting of the Tower House Hotel made this trip exceptionally wonderful. If I'm in Oxford, the Tower House Hotel is the place I'll go.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled solo
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2  Thank ricer3dad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2008

We've just got back from a nights stay at the Tower House hotel. From reading others reviews we thought it was worth a visit and we weren't disappointed. We were looking for a central hotel that had a bit of character and this hotel delivered 100% on both fronts.

We stayed in the Jade room which overlooked one of the university colleges. The bed was comfortable, the room had lots of character with period touches and the bathroom was tastefully decorated with slate tiles and a good power shower.

The hotel offers a continental breakie and we were expecting some croissants but we got toast, a good choice of cereals and yogurts, cheeses and hams so we were happy with the choice.

The hotel is literally a few hundred yards from the high st but on a quiet road so you have the best of both worlds. There were some nice looking cafes a few doors from the hotel which if we'd have had more time world definitely have tried.

Would highly recommend a stay at this hotel, you really feel part of the historic city and staff were very welcoming. Enjoy! and thanks to everyone who reviewed the hotel and tempted us to visit.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank RachelAllen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2008

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank PellegrinaIsrael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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 #21 of 85 B&Bs / Inns in Oxford
Price Range: £104 - £165 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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