The main point about Holywell is that it is an incredible, in my experience of B&Bs unique, quaint old building- it sags towards the middle, the floors slope a bit, the stairs are steep (although handrails are plentiful), original beams are everywhere- you really are staying in a historic building. It is just beautiful. It also happens to be on a very quiet side road (closed off at one end), so we all got a great sleep.
The rooms and bathrooms are very large and comfortable- and very clean- one of our sons is pretty allergic and more often than not has reactions when staying away from home but was fine here. It is also very central, really within 15 minutes walk to pretty much everything in central Oxford and has plenty of parking, perfect for a City stay. It has 2 bathrooms for the 3 bedrooms, which was not a problem whilst we stayed, but do bear in mind it is not en suite. Breakfast is excellent, but remember to ask for what you want- the standard if full English and orange juice (the wholewheat toast is amazing), but they will do pretty much anything if you ask day before.
The owners are very friendly and an excellent source of local knowledge. Indeed they offer free places on Stuart's Oxford Walking Tours- which we took up and is an excellent introduction to the City for those unfamiliar with it, giving a good overview and detailed tours of a few colleges too. Check where Stuart will take you to avoid duplication if you are doing some sightseeing before the tour as we did (or indeed tell him where you are going separately and he can adjust his tour a bit).
We went to the Turf Tavern nearby (it is well hidden, ask for directions), the oldest pub in Oxford- amazing place, great range of beers, very worthwhile for a drink, but would not recommend it to eat- between 4 of us, 2 of the meals were good but 2 were forgettable.
We also went to the Pierre Victoire restaurant, which was excellent, although other side of center (15 mins walk). They do an early dinner deal deal from 6 to 7pm, which all 4 of us had (2 courses)- every dish was good and the prosecco was the best of its type we have tried.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A small, quiet, and traditional bed and breakfast located in the very heart of Oxford. The only traditional B&B in the city centre, Holywell B&B is a Grade II listed building and our home. Located opposite New College, with ample private parking, we are an excellent location for exploring the dreaming spires of Oxford. Ensuite and private baths, WiFi, and full breakfast. ... more less