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“Please hand over your wallet at reception...”

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Old Parsonage Hotel
Ranked #1 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Please hand over your wallet at reception...”
Reviewed August 9, 2007

This should be a lovely hotel, set in central Oxford in a beautiful old building - albeit with tiny rooms. However, the hotel is totally spoilt by the fact they seem to want to have their hand in your wallet at every opportunity - as my wife remarked, "We might as well have left our money at the reception desk to save time".

When you walk into the room you are greeted with lots of little snide cards... want to have a robe? That'll be £50. Want to smoke in your non-smoking room? That'll be £75. Want to have breakfast? That's an extra £14. It all adds to the cost of rooms that are already very expensive to American visitors and amounts to stealth charges.

The staff seem only interested in how much you'll tip them, and frequently discuss these loudly in front of guests at the bar, comparing what each table has given these. I would be annoyed but the barman explained to me that they're on minimum wage anyway, and it's only through grats that they can afford to live in Oxford. Pretty shoddy for a supposed 4 star hotel, no doubt so that the owner can grab even more cash from the "guests".

Even simple things like milk for coffee in the room involved calling the bar to ask for it to be bought to your room - with the implicit suggestion of tips. And when you check out, you're invited to add a gratuity onto the whole stay, giving tips on tips on high prices anyway.

The hotel is perfectly nice if you have a huge bank balance that needs to be spent - however, for us travelling on a budget it was less than relaxing to have a "pay as you go" hotel - after splashing out for a "deluxe" room for the last part of our tour of Europe we really expected miles better - the budget hotels we had stayed in beforehand offered far better service and value for money.

  • Liked — Nice building and location
  • Disliked — Money grabbing and guests subsidising the staff wages
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank MarieJack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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English first
Coral Gables, FL
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2007

This is a glorious little gem in Oxford. Our 2nd floor room windows were covered with Wisteria vines, our bed was sumptuous and the bath was newly renovated. Loved the uneven floors (this a was an old parsonage.) The church bells next door chimed on Sunday. The food was world class. Free internet! Also, loved the free bikes for guests.

  • Liked — The charm, the artwork is the owner's collection
  • Disliked — The price of breakfast (overpriced but lovely.)
  • Stayed July 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Jackthedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
414 reviews
207 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 248 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2007

The hotel was smaller than I was expecting tucked away in the centre of Oxford - but a real little gem. The rooms are pricey but perfect, with good quality sitting areas, desk, lovely frabrics and linen. A notable feature is the the experience of breakfast in the little restaurant area with the log fire and candles buring (summer and winter I presume) with walls adorned with oil portraits. A special experience for the deeper pockets. I liked it!

  • Liked — The nice paintings!
  • Disliked — Struggling through the restaurant to get to my room with my bags
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TechnoProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston/ Macau
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2007

The Old Parsonage is, as the name suggests, a small country hotel in the outskirt of historic Oxford.
It is cozy and well decorated. Excellent English restaurant (yes, the English food is actually excellent!!!) , extremelly caring and well informed staff, and very civilized atmosphere.
But the best thing about the hotel are the actual room accomodations. Although not big, the rooms are very comfortable with a magnificently plush bed. The bathrooms are well-appointed and the Molton Brown products excellent.
Also, the location is great for sightseeing in Oxford. The Parsonage is a 15 min walk from High Street and the tourist info center, and there is a bus stop at the door.
Great stay, would certainly go stay there again.

  • Liked — quality and cleanliness of rooms
  • Disliked — size (a bit crampe)
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank AJ38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cheshire uk
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2007

On the upside.

Excellent loaction. Parking extremely limited but the hotel very happy for us to leave our car on the carpark after we checked out providing it was moved by 3pm. Reception staff very welcoming. Room small but everything we required and in working order, the bed was very comfortable, shower was also excellent. Staff very friendly. Breakfast charged seperately but this is not hidden and the breakfast menu clearly lists the prices for everything. Breakfast was very good.

On the downside.

Everything appears to be managed via the resturant/breakfast room i.e.laundry delivery/despatch and guests walking through to gain access to rooms, staff congregate in the kitchen which is accessed via the breakfast room. We found this to be intrusive whilst eating breakfast. No idea who the hotel manager was or indeed if there was one.

The weekend we stayed there was a bizarre incident with a guest whereupon the police were involved and said guest carted away- accepted out of the hands of the hotel but much disruption caused (we were awoken at 6.30 to shouting and hoo haa and had to ring down to reception to alert the hotel staff as it did sound like a woman was being attacked). Many apologies at reception when paying the bill,

  • Liked — quality of the bedromm
  • Disliked — the dining area
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank millicent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
76 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2007

This is a cosy hotel, well located for seeing Oxford (or for business), just north of the city centre in a fairly busy but not noisy location. Our room was comfortable - small, but well thought out. The service was generally very good; a couple of members of staff were simply excellent, and a couple were less helpful than they should have been, but overall we were impressed. The cream tea is quite expensive, but it's probably worth it, and the bar cocktails are very good. Breakfast was delicioud. The atmosphere of the hotel is charming, fairly relaxed and warm. Overall, it makes a very good place for a one-night or two-night trip to Oxford, and would be suitable for couples looking for a weekend break, for tourists or for business people.

  • Stayed December 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank smoothtalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancashire, UK
Level Contributor
108 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2006

I really liked the hotel when I arrived and totally disliked it when I left. So here is the sublime: the parking at the hotel is very limited. When I arrived there was no free parking available but a narrow space became available and the concierge helped me for 15 minutes to squeeze my car in there. The hotel is also very central. The bar/lobby has a nice fire and my room, though small, was cosy and comfortable. The internet connection cable was broken but I did not complain to the reception as I decided to have an internet-free evening. But I would have expected that for the price they charge for the room someone should be checking whether things work.

Now the ridiculous: I was leaving on Saturday and had a full day meeting. When I was checking out at about 8:45 (for a meeting at 9:00) the hotel staff completely refused to let me leave my car parked at the hotel. I totally understand that parking is limited at the hotel but this to me is bad customer service, keeping in mind that I booked the hotel for its proximity to the meeting venue in the first place. I was definitely planning to stay at this hotel again and also recommend it to my friends and colleagues but not any more. The manner of the hotel staff was totally "we don't care whether you have to be at a meeting in 15 minutes but you must move your car". A little bit of good customer service would have gone a long way to making me a loyal guest on my visits to Oxford.

In a nutshell, nice hotel but expect the cold shoulder treatment the moment you have paid up.

  • Liked — Its location
  • Disliked — Total disregard for customer's needs
  • Tips/Secrets — If you are without a car you are ok.
  • Stayed November 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Bob_The_Traveller
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

Property: Old Parsonage Hotel
Address: 1 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6NN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
#1 Business Hotel in Oxford
#3 Family Hotel in Oxford
#5 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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