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“The only place I will stay in Oxford”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Tower House

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Tower House
Ranked #20 of 83 Oxford B&B and Inns
Silver Spring, MD
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The only place I will stay in Oxford”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2009

Tower House could not be more central - we only had a short time in Oxford and didn't want to spend much time getting into town from the outskirts. The cost was reasonable for a 3-star hotel and our room was small but all we needed, and nicely appointed (we even had a nice flat screen TV). The bed was comfortable and the sink area was new and clean. The facilities are quite modern for a lovely 17th c. building. What really put it over the top for us was the service from the hotel manager, Renell, who helped us locate lodging for the next leg of our trip in York. She even phoned her own family to get the name of the hotel they liked when they were there! My husband and I loved our stay at Tower House!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JudeZip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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193 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2009

We used this hotel for a one night stay as we had tickets for a gig at the O2 Academy (Ben Taylor) in Cowley Road a good 20mins away, but its not a bad walk over the river, past the punts with plenty of restaurants between the hotel and the gig venue.
The Tower House is tiny and hidden away in Ship Street, right in the centre of Oxford – a brilliant location for visiting all the local attractions. However, if you come by car (which we did) you have to unload on double yellow lines keeping a watchful eye out for the vigilant traffic wardens! Parking in Broad Street around the corner is free after 6pm but charges start again at 8am so you have to be up early to get your 1 hour ticket on before the traffic warden gets you –and they will! The proprietor suggested a street 5 mins walk away that gives you 3 hours for £3 from 8am (Mansfield Road) Best idea is to use Park & Rides (surveyed overnight I believe) where parking is free and its just £2 return on the bus.
For a Central Oxford Hotel the £110 was reasonable and our room, the ‘Yellow Room’ was small, old fashioned, slopey & creaky in a characterful way. The bed was comfortable and there was ample hot water. No views of the ‘dreaming spires’ but interesting roofs, nooks & crannies nevertheless. The only downside was that the excellent television had been placed right in front of the wall mirror which made hair drying awkward. (It would only have taken an hour or so to move the mirror 2 feet to the right and slap a coat of paint on the wall to cover the mark it would leave behind and it would have made such a difference!)
The breakfast was continental - but there was plenty of it. Hot toast of your choice, warm croissants, Danish pastries, fruit, yogurts, cheese, ham etc. The proprietor was friendly and helpful (particularly with parking and left luggage next day)
Overall The Tower House is a great little hotel/guesthouse full of old world character, would definitely stay there there again.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sally065
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madrid
Level Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2009

The building is old but charming, the room little but comfortable. When I went downstairs to ask the receptionist for some directions I was sent to the tourism office, where they will charge you for a map of Oxford. This diappointed me.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Antoñito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Suborno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PhilosopherLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank hushed_presence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
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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 #20 of 83 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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