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“Cantebury tales comes to life” 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
Tampa, Florida, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Cantebury tales comes to life”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

The Malmaison is inspirational for those who appreciate old world culture and mistique. If you have found yourself ever entertaining the notion of going to a Ren fair, this is your Mecca. The hotel bills itself as luxury, well that is not quite accurate for someone expecting all the comforts of the Ritz, it is not for you. This being said it is more like a real life walk through the shire or hogwarts! Real history and culture make up for minor defects that occure with the age and dimensions of the building. I am an American and fully acknowledge that there is nothing I have encountered that could compare to staying in a castle/ prison that is thousands of years old! But I do appreciated luxurious spaces with more than ample accommodations. I truely enjoyed my stay at the Mal, and would definitely do it again, but this is not a Five star luxury hotel, more like a four star hotel in a great location in one of the greatest towns on the planet!

Stayed April 2013
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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
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

I stayed here overnight with my partner and we had a brilliant night. The rooms were lovely and clean, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the location of the hotel is perfect! I would stay here again without a doubt!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Oxford Malmaison is in a fantastic location and the building itself is beautiful, however we were left disappointed at the service compared to other Malmaisons that we have stayed at. We have always been blown away by the quality and service at Malmaisons but it felt a little under par at Oxford. We looked on tripadvisor during our stay and saw that this is a common theme.
My issues started before we'd actually arrived at the hotel, I spent 3 days trying to phone to get through to the hotel to book our evening meal and every number that I phoned from the website was just ringing through. I ended up having to go through the main Malmaison booking line. I also had the same problem when calling to book in at the car park and the phones were just ringing through with no answer.
We arrived to check in and there was a queue however we did not mind waiting as bookings seemed to be being dealt with swiftly. The next issue came when they had messed up our dinner reservations. They had the wrong time and then the wrong number of guests. Considering how long it had taken to get through hotel to book the meal, I was not happy that this had been messed up. However the issue was sorted swiftly. We had also booked in at the car park. The website states that the charge is £25 for overnight parking in a secured underground car park and this was reiterated at check in. I was assured that the car would be parked underground and there may be a short wait in the morning to retrieve the car as they needed to get it from under the hotel. However when we left the hotel half and hour later, we saw that the car had only been moved 4 foot and was parked outside. The car was left parked outside all night. On check out, I complained and was told that they can not guarantee underground car parking and when that is full, they park the cars outside the hotel. This was not told to me at check in and does not say this on the website. It clearly says that the £25 charge is for the underground car park so I was not inclined to pay this charge. This should be made clearer at check in and on the website.
Our dinner was delicious however my partner found his portion to be on the small side but for the same price we have paid before. I ordered one of the specials but the waitress came back shortly after taking our order to say that they had run out. I then made another choice which was no problem however two other couples sat down after us and both of them were still offered the special by a different waitress. There seemed to be a lack of communication between kitchen and serving staff. We had a drink in the bar before and after the meal and didn't find it to be as personal or cosy as other Malmaison bars.
Despite its long lists of faults in service, the hotel itself is beautiful. It is fairly easy to find in Oxford and the hotel looks stunning on approach. We left the car at hotel and walked everyone as all major sights were within walking distance. Inside, the hotel is decorated beautifully and rich in history. We stayed in the governors house and it was a nice touch that the rooms were named after governors of the ex-prison. Our room itself was spacious, comfy and clean.
On the whole, what Malmaison Oxford lacks for in service, it makes up for in location but we still left on a sour note and probably won't be returning.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Booked the Easter Break to celebrate my partner's birthday and we were delighted with whole experience. Our room in the Correction Wing was warm, quiet, smart and spacious, with mood lighting and a well stocked welcome tray to make us feel instantly relaxed. The cocktails before dinner were second to none, the two course meal lovely and the service very attentive - the hotel staff were aware it was my friend's birthday and went out of their way to make our stay a special one. A memorable stay and for all the right reasons.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Stayed for one night in one of the rooms in the side wing. We found the room to be rather chilly even after setting the thermostat to maximum. We asked the housekeeper for help but she was unable to do anything about it. Nice hotel but not for stays in the winter.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Salisbury, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Spent 2 nights at the malmaison and I would say we experienced a mixed bag. On arrival the receptionist was not very welcoming or informative about our stay. She asked if we had a car, we did, and then almost tutted that we hadn't booked it in. I explained that I had a rung a few hours earlier to do this and was told to do it on arrival. The receptionist was keen to get a credit card for all the extras we would be charged during our stay and explained that an extra £100 would be taken immediately and on checkout we would be refunded although this would take 10 days to be put back into my account. Wonder how they would feel if it took me 10 days to pay after checkout? We were sent on our way to find our room.

Our room was lovely, executive suite (Thomas Lawton Robins) with the roll top bath and cinema room being my personal favourites. The room is quite dark and the temperature is hard to control. Unsurprisingly, we were unable to open a window and so couldn't get any fresh air in the room. For the price we paid £688 you would expect maybe a few more treats? The toiletries are nice and there is a kettle with tea bags and a couple of packets of biscuits but anything else you pay for.

Our package included 3 course dinner on both nights. On the first night we went down and it was a truly awful experience...the waitress was sweet but didn't really seem to know what she was doing. The table across from us were in the process of complaining about their food! The 3 courses included is from a limited set menu and neither of us liked what was on offer so we were able to choose from the main menu and pay for anything over £17.95. With most main courses on the main menu nearer to £20 we ended up with a bill for 62.59 for 2 starters and 2mains and 2soft drinks so had to pay £26 this included a service charge of over £5 which we asked to be removed.
I then understood why they took the extra £100 at check in!

We spoke to the receptionist about the lack of wifi in our room (which he helped sort) and if there were any more dvds for the cinema room as it is a very limited choice. There aren't so if you choose this room bring your own DVDs (not blu ray!).

We had a good nights sleep and headed to breakfast the next morning somewhat uncertainly so we were pleasantly surprised with the continental and cooked breakfast we received although our table wasn't cleared so cereal bowls, cooked breakfast plates and fruit said bowls piled up!!

The next evening we considered eating out but decided to give the brasserie one last try (we had paid for it!). What a difference a wonderful waiter makes! I think his name is Ulian? He single handedly served all the tables to a very high standard for what I could see whilst other waiting staff hung around the bar. He was knowledgable, likeable, friendly, efficient and attentive. An altogether more pleasant evening was had!!

In conclusion I would say give this hotel a chance as the rooms and setting are interesting but some of the staff need to work on their customer service skills (maybe get Ulian the waiter to give them some tips) and it needs a few more finishing touches for the price you pay!

Room Tip: Check what your 'package' includes as you may end up paying extra. Bring own DVDs if in cin...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glasgow
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Stayed here for one night on the way to Gatwick Airport to “do” Oxford en route. Check in very smooth - staff helpful and courteous – concierge / bell boy offered to assist with luggage but we declined the kind offer. We had a room in the “House of Correction” (cue spurious photo opportunities) located in a smaller building in the grounds of the Hotel. We exited our cell block into Castle Square with various eateries and bars. Excellent room - could not fault it. Proper coffee (filter), oodles of towels and toiletries, safe, mini bar & TV with DVD player. The main building is literally out of a film set – you try to resist but you can’t help taking photos. Some of the doors were open in the main block and the rooms looked slightly smaller than the room we were in – so not disappointed in being our in the yard! Bar prices are city centre – we did not eat in the restaurant for Dinner as it seemed a bit pricey. Breakfast was plentiful and freshly cooked to order which is a welcome relief from chain hotel “buffet” breakfasts. Parking is at a premium so opted to park in the Westgate Shopping Centre Car Park located behind the Hotel & Castle. There are plenty of eateries within 2 minutes of the Hotel if you choose not to eat in the Mal – we ate in La Tasca and finished off the evening with a couple of pints in the Castle Tavern. During our stay we found all the staff to be friendly & obliging and did not experience any problems at all. I have stayed in strange and quirky hotels around the world and can whole heartedly recommend this hotel as an “experience”!! Take time to explore the grounds of the Hotel and find the “naughty room” for those prisoners in solitary confinement – they aren’t en suite!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
#8 Business 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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