We booked last minute on Saturday during half term and choice was limited as we needed a location very central and close to Oxford train station. The website was interesting and I liked the look of the bar so booked a standard double room in the new part of the building called the House of Correction for £205.00.
Well the whole building is amazing and it has won a recent interior design award. The location is great and we were able to dump our bags and head straight into the centre of Oxford to find a restaurant without much trouble. Next day we found the Ashmolean Museum to be under ten minutes walk away. So far so good.
The service and room were both under-whelming and I would be reluctant to pay this price again for the standard achieved in these areas. The service was modern in as much that no-one offered to carry our bags. Instead we were given our keys and a set of long instructions to find our room. This involved going through a couple of heavy doors, three flights of stairs and an outside public courtyard. It was dark and raining so it would have helped to have a member of staff lead the way.
The room itself was furnished in a modern, dark boutique style, but nothing spectacular. There was a gap under the door which let the light and breeze in. The lighting was quite dim. The bathroom was ok but it had an overhead shower head which was slightly awkward to use in terms of its positioning and the bath was grubby. There wasn't really enough space around the sink for toilet bags and toothbrushes. It did get a bit cold in the room later and it wasn't clear how the the air con and heating worked. If someone had offered to show us to our room then we could have asked about these things.
The handles to the wardrobe were made of leather effect and had probably looked lovely when new but were now crumbling and worn. The bed was very comfortable but was dressed with some very large woolen cushions that we both found quite itchy. We had to throw them off the bed after a short while when we realised they were causing us to scratch! Looking at them in the morning it wasn't clear how they could be cleaned which was slightly worrying. The room had a good flat-screen tv, a well stocked mini bar and an inviting light menu for the room service.
We had drinks at the bar later in the evening. It's a very lovely design and the music was great but again the service was quite patchy and disorganised. Tables weren't cleaned, glasses not collected, service slow though there were plenty of staff behind the bar. I had an earl grey style cocktail which was nice but small for the price and the bartender missed out an ingredient that was listed on the menu.
Earlier in the evening we approached one of the reception staff to ask about a good chinese restaurant but she wasn't able to help stating that she didn't eat 'chinese' herself. She did give us a map eventually and we figured things out for ourselves but we were left feeling slightly bemused. The impression was that the staff were quite young and friendly but not really trained in good hotel service. The company seems to be trading on the cool aspects related to the design of the building but not on the details that make guests feel really welcome and ultimately want to return. The next day we met up with my brother and children and we took them back to the hotel and took photos with them in the central part. They got the fun of the design for free whereas we paid for the privilege to stay in a room out the back. We won't be doing it again.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Malmaison & Hotel du Vin Hotels, Booking.com, Cheap Tickets, Expedia, Agoda, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your Malmaison Oxford Castle reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Malmaison Oxford Castle Hotel Oxford
- Malmaison Hotel Oxford