The hotel is a relative newcomer to Oxford's accommodation and a very welcome one. Oxford's status as a tourist hot-spot and limited room supply keeps prices up and allows poor establishments to still earn a living. Happily, the Vanbrugh is well above average and better value for money than most. My room cost £95 per night (1 night stay) including full English breakfast, booked in advance. Not cheap, but pretty attractive compared to the £75-£85 requested even by ordinary B&Bs a couple of miles outside the city and requiring an expensive bus ride to & fro. No car parking is available as Oxford City Council hates cars, though some disabled spaces are available within yards.
The hotel is quirky in that it has no reception as such. You sign in/out in the small downstairs lounge which also offers complimentary coffee throughout the day. A nice touch. Rooms presumably vary, but mine was a rather small double at the rear of the hotel with an en suite bathroom. Actually small is inaccurate: tiny would be closer! You certainly wouldn't want to spend much time in it if the weather was poor. The room's window gave an unappealing view of adjacent, rather dilapidated buildings about 20 feet away (!), but it had all the required facilities including flat screen TV, internet access (free) and multiple sockets for computer connections & charging. A further nice touch is an in-room fridge with bottle water, some snacks and fresh milk for tea/coffee. OK, you're paying for all this, but it felt homely. The bathroom was spotless and the shower excellent.
The bottom line with all hotels is whether you can get a decent night's sleep. I did. The bed was comfortable and I experienced no sound intrusion from adjacent rooms or the buildings opposite my room.
Breakfast was in the downstairs restaurant. A little claustrophobic and service was a touch haphazard, but the food was beyond reproach. A wide selection of items and the cooked breakfast was first rate.
I'd stay again, though if I'm honest I'd have preferred the option of a room only at £80 rather than £95 with breakfast included.
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