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“Wow, but it stops there.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Malmaison Oxford Castle

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3 Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 43 Hotels in Oxford
Brighton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Wow, but it stops there.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Unbelievable wow factor upon arrival.
Choose your room carefully and you'll be rewarded with a unique experience, however prepare for tiny windows that don't open in some cells (obviously).
Check in staff friendly but inefficient. All very nice but took ages to check in (and 3 staff members contributing to the process). Check out even worse, taking 40 minutes to work out what had and hadn't been paid in advance.
Breakfast was literally the worst we've had in any hotel. Inedible cooked breakfast with greasy pink bacon and equally pink unappetising sausages -all very cheap and nasty. I complained to the manager as we didn't eat anything but toast and tea but were still charged about £14 each. Not a good reflection on the Malmaison chain.
Despite this, we would return due to the standard of accommodation, but would obviously eat elsewhere (and be prepared for a long check -out!)

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a bath if this is important to you-many have showers only. Some have tiny window...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 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 (415)
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English first
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012 via mobile

We stayed in a cell room and were really impressed with the unique surroundings and experience.

The room was plush, good quality, my only minor gripes are that there was not enough tea/coffee (2 tea bags) and the cold water pressure in the bathroom was not great.

The visitors bar was great to chill in and the cocktails lush (but pricey!). We had breakfast included in our package and it was good quality.

The location is great too, close to shops, bars and restaurants.

Only downside to our stay was the fire alarm going off at 11pm, and no sign of any hotel staff to help/assist. It was a false alarm luckily.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Staying at the Malmaison made me want to stay in Oxford even longer. The room was well appointed and comfortable. The staff was so friendly, helpful and provided excellent service. Plus the quirkiness of staying in a former prison made the entire experience fun. I wish we had Malmaison hotels in the U.S.

Room Tip: I stayed in the Hall of Corrections, which requires a walk across the exercise yard. It's less...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, England
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

After years of saying we wanted to stay here and never really doing U.K. city breaks I'm so pleased that we decided to bite the bullet and book a nights stay. ...A Norman castle, that became a Victorian prison that metamorphised into a hotel was always going to be good - and Malmaison Oxford lived up to all our expectations.

We booked a cell room and I'm really glad that we upgraded; we stayed because we wanted the 'full' experience and I don't think we'd have gotten it had we stayed in the annexe.

Our room was superb. Made up of two cells (with the third for the bathroom) it was as you'd expect from a Mal - comfortable, clean and stylish. I loved that you could see where the cells would have been and the prison theme was so prevalent.

The hotel bar was amazing; atmospheric with excellent cocktails we could've stayed there all night.

When staying in city centres we try not to eat in hotel restaurants. ...But because we were so utterly enamoured with our room and the bar, so much we decided to break with tradition and dine in - and I really wish we hadn't because this is where our spell was broken. ...Slow and inattentive (they got my husbands order wrong) service coupled with average food and an expensive bill, we felt that the brasserie let the rest of the hotel down.

...This was a pity as the location (right in the heart of the city) was perfect and the hotel was just stunning.

The quirkiness more than made up for the poor evening meal and I'd definitely recommend this hotel to friends - if you upgrade to a cell, have drinks in the bar and dine out, you'll have an amazing and completely memorable experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Plymouth
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

The hotel is a beautifully refurbished prison (your room is a cell) with good service and an excellent restaurant. We had a very enjoyable evening there and the two rooms we booked were of a good standard and pleasantly quirky. Car parking is a bit pricey but probably worth it.

We found Oxford very hard work; very difficult to drive around with horrendously slow traffic and a very complex road system riddled with pedestrian areas and one way streets. We'd love to stay at the Malmaison again but you'd have to drop us in by helicopter.

Room Tip: Stay in the main cell block.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Harrow, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Loved this hotel and plan to return. The main cell block is incredible, rooms are tastefully decorated, attention to detail with sky sports and free wifi. The location is so central, it's perfect. The brasserie is ok, food is good, nothing special. The only negative is the cost of parking which is far too high.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxted, Surrey
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Stayed here on a night away wih girlfriends - enjoyed the history of the building having watched Porridge (which was partly filmed here) on the telly way back when. Feel that the hotel is more of a winter hotel as it is a bit dark - but the bar was atmospheric. We were in an annex room rather than in the main body of the hotel - so if you particularly want to stay in a prison cell (?) it's probably best to request one on booking. Car parking is expensive (£25 for 24 hours if prebooked) so I parked overnight at the Thornhill Park and Ride for a bargain £2.40. Breakfast was very tasty. Downside was the check in/out side of things which was rather vague and slow.

Room Tip: If you want a room in the original part of the building you need to request one when booking.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Malmaison Oxford Castle

Address: 3 Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
#8 Business Hotel in Oxford
#8 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Malmaison Oxford Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Malmaison Oxford Castle Hotel Oxford
Malmaison Hotel Oxford

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