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“Nice” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Old Parsonage Hotel

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Old Parsonage Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN, England   |  
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Hotel amenities
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Ranked #2 of 43 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Nice”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2008

Nice hotel. We stayed for one night - room was on the 1st floor (no 12). The room was small, but nice and clean. Room would have been too small if we were staying longer . Lovely comfortable bed !

Reception staff were very nice when we checked in.

Bar area very small but nice and cozy with log fire. Cocktails not good.

Great location for Oxford.

We paid £120 for room only. Would return to this hotel but would not pay the advertised rates of £17O.

Overall - nice, cozy in the winter and good location.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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434 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (82)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
169 helpful votes 169 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2008

We stayed for two nights between Christmas and New Year on a bit of a whim and got a very good rate by telephoning the hotel directly on the day we arrived.
Our room was extremely comfortable, a good size and had french doors leading on to a small terrace. Service was laid back, yet prompt and polite.
We ate in the restaurant on one evening with a roaring log fire and jazz band playing throughout. The atmosphere was excellent and the food good.
I really don't understand the number of very negative reviews about this hotel. We really enjoyed our stay. Those who have complained about the prices are being naive - this is Oxford with year round tourists and the Old Parsonage is one of the best hotels (it's not going to be cheap).
The only problem we had during our stay was with the very limited parking at the hotel but I suppose this is inevitable, given the city centre location. In any event, the staff went to some effort to obtain a parking permit allowing us to park very nearby.
I would certainly return to the Old Parsonage and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

Stayed December 2007
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New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2008

There's no denying that the Old Parsonage has an excellent location, and an incredibly quaint/charming aesthetic appeal (historical building, big open fireplace in reception area, etc.) but on a practical level, especially for a hotel charging prices verging on the luxury level ($350+ per night at current FX rates) the standard of the facilities just doesn't stand up to inspection.
Our room was understandably 'bijou' given the age of the building, but it was also incredibly poorly lit, giving it a cave-like feel, lacked an alarm clock, and the bathroom was disappointingly run-down. That too was on the very small side, once more prompting the question: why do UK hotels insist on providing combination bathtubs and showers which both fail to perform, when the choice of the singularly more practical and popular shower alone (along with appropriate water pressure and waterproofing,,,) would be far more sensible?
Amazingly, there was no trouser press in evidence.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Chicago
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2007

I just adore this hotel, I have stayed there twice, and It feels like returning to visit friends. The staff are so friendly and helpful, I really appreciated the the complimentary walking tour of the beautiful city of Oxford. The food at the Old Parsonage is delicious, especially the "high tea" they bake all their own cakes, cookies, and scones, the breakfast is about the best I have had anywhere. I was treated to a complimentary glass of "bubbly"!! before my dinner.
The location of the hotel is conveniently only 5 min. walk to the city center. The bedrooms are a bit small but beautifully decorated and quite comfortable and quiet....I had a great nights sleep. If you like smaller boutique hotels that have beautiful old world charm and give personalized care and service I recommend The Old Parsonage.

  • Liked — Great food, good location, friendly and attentive staff
  • Disliked — Rooms are on the small side
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Derby, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2007

I've stayed at the Old Parsonage twice now, many years apart, and am pleasantly surprised to see that standards have not dropped in the intervening years. The hotel is a beautiful old building with a country house feel yet situated in the ideal location for exploring Oxford. Our room was beautiful and extremely comfortable. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly without being intrusive. The restaurant/bar areas are nicely decorated, the food superb and the wine list very good. The only draw back is the lack of parking - there are only a few spaces on site but the hotel provides details of alternatives and the staff are very helpful in assisting guests in finding parking places. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and it was good value for money - expensive but well worth it.

  • Liked — Ambience
  • Disliked — lack of parking
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2007

I have just returned from a weekend break with my girlfriend at The Old Parsonage in Oxford. The hotel is situated about 10 minutes stroll from the city centre and on a major road making it easy access. The car park is small but we managed to park and were helped with our luggage by an eager concierge! We were greeted by a roaring fire which was certainly welcoming on cold evening. The room was smaller than we are used to but cosy and decorated in a classic style. We ate at the hotel that evening and enjoyed calamari followed by one of the best steaks I have ever had in the quirky restaurant’s warm atmosphere. Check out was quick and easy with helpful friendly reception staff. All in all we both had a great stay and are planning another visit before Christmas to this unique little place.

  • Liked — Friendly service
  • Disliked — Small car park
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Manchester, UK
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2007

If you were in the street and someone offered to charge you £200 for being hit on your funny bone, you'd probably decline. This would be a mistake, as it would be infinitely more enjoyable and less tedious than a stay at the Old Parsonage.

Myself and my girlfriend were attending a wedding in Oxford and so decided to splash out and enjoy a bit of luxury. We phoned the hotel to check that we could check in at midnight and were told this wouldn't be a problem at all, as there was someone there all the time. We arrived to find it lashing down with rain and the gates locked, with no signs letting us know how to get in. After 10 minutes trying to peer in windows, we eventually saw another guest in the bar who let us in through the fire exit. He explained that he had been waiting at the bar while both members of staff walked around the hotel doing a security check - whether they noticed the irony of leaving hundreds of pounds worth of alcohol to walk around empty hotel corridors I don't know.

Eventually a member of staff arrived to check us in, although he appeared to barely speak English. He asked for my card, then, upon putting it in the machine, told me that my card didn't work and that I needed to give him another one. I explained that this was the card I used and that I didn't want to give him my joint account card as the room was meant to be a present for my (now rather embarrassed) girlfriend. Eventually he called over a rather fierce Irish lady who glared at me and said, "Of course this card won't work, it's a debit card. We need a credit card.". I told her that I didn't have a credit card, to which she replied "No credit card? But all hotels need credit cards... it's standard procedure.".

Eventually we agreed that standard procedure should have perhaps been explained in the email I got when I booked the room and that it was somewhat reasonable of me to expect to be able to use a normal debit card to pay for my room. After a suspicious look over, it was deemed that I would be able to check into my room. At this stage I mentioned the gates being locked at which stage I was marched out to the gates to see that there was indeed a doorbell - just inside the gates and unlit. Suitably admonished, I returned to my room.

Unfortunately the room was no better than the service we had received. The hotel's website would have you believe that it's set in a tranquil part of Oxford, however, it's actually on a main road directly opposite an incredibly ugly concrete building. For the extra money we paid, we got front row seats on the drunken antics of students as they walked home - and thanks to the single glazing, we also got to hear the shouts and screams and the buses braking and accelerating from the bus stop directly in front of the hotel.

The rooms itself was tiny - think what it would be like if you tried to squeeze a double bed into a prison cell and you'd get the idea. Perhaps they could have made some space by removing some of the other things from the room, as neither the internet, TV or bathroom heater was working. As their was no minibar in the room we had to go to the bar, where we paid over £10 for a warm beer (the barman explained that the fridge didn't work very well) and a Margarita - such a complicated cocktail that the barman had to refer to a book of cocktails to find the ingredients. We even had to point out the Margarita glasses for him.

As people have said, the bed is very comfy - which makes the intolerable shouting outside all the more annoying. After a couple of hours sleep, we tried to have a shower, but discovered that the water pressure was so poor the shower only produced a trickle of water.

We decided to have breakfast on what is laughably called the terrace - basically, a narrow strip of tables between the hotel and the road. For £28, we received a dried up piece of bacon, sausage and tomato, and some rubbery scrambled eggs, accompanied by a monumentally ugly teapot and milk jug. We went to find the breakfast table but found this consisted of some squashed summer fruits, cold, hard croissants and some cereal - which if anything made us feel even more sick.

When we checkout out we asked to speak to the manager, but was told that she wasn't available as she had worked last night. The restaurant manager met us, and rather curtly told us that there wasn't anything he could do as he only managed the restaurant but he would pass our details onto the general manager who would give us a call back. We're still waiting, although as this appears to be the only hotel where the general manager works nights, perhaps this is to be expected. After all, you wouldn't want them working when guests might be able to meet them.

In all, I couldn't believe how embarrasingly bad this hotel was - and how they can get away with charging such extortionate rates for horrible food, noisy rooms and absolutely useless staff. This is by far the worst, and most expensive, hotel I have ever stayed in. I'd honestly prefer spending the night on a park bench, it will be a lot more enjoyable and cheaper than this hotel.

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — Everything!
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Parsonage Hotel

Address: 1 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Oxford
#2 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
#3 Family Hotel in Oxford
#4 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Old Parsonage Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ranked as the best hotel in Oxford, the 17th century Old Parsonage is situated in the heart of this historic city at the end of the beautiful boulevard St Giles. The recently completed restoration combines the original charm and character of the building with the very latest comfort, amenity and technology available today. The Old Parsonage restaurant and bar, famous for its intimate, bohemian, clubby atmosphere, serves classic British food with a modern, light touch. Open every day of the year, breakfast, lunch, dinner and our famous afternoon teas can be enjoyed in the company of Oxford's academic and literary elite. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Old Parsonage

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