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“Beautiful quaint central stay”

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Holywell Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #15 of 85 Oxford B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 11, 2013

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.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank JoeFLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 - 116 of 135 reviews

Reviewed April 10, 2013

We've stayed there for the second time and enjoyed being in this B&B because it's the perfect location for Oxford. Everything is in walking distance. Of course the stairs are steep and not every room is really ensuite but never mind this ( if you aren't a senior) because there is so much atmosphere in the old house and Stuart and Carrie are really friendly and helpful people. Breakfast is very good and you can eat something different every day. We will be back!

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank Angela5812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

I stayed five nights at Holywell B&B while attending a course at the university and was very comfortable. A 10-minute walk from my college destination, the location is perfectly suited for a student visit. (Reading the two negative reviews, it seems some people are impossible to please!)

I took advantage of the free parking offer and left my car in their secure car park for the week, and on checkout day I was given a key so I could return to my car well after I had checked out of my room -- very convenient! If you can live without an en-suite bathroom, you'd be happy staying here.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Dave R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

I spent two lovely days at the Holywell B&B last week and found the place ever so charming and convenient for exploring Oxford. The owners are very friendly and helpful and serve an excellent breakfast. I was with a friend there and we visited my son who's studying in Oxford and we almost felt part of the university community right in between the colleges.
I can really recommend this place.

Catherine

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank catherine o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

We have made multiple visits to Oxford and have finally found a place worth staying at that is more affordable than a hotel. The innkeepers are very friendly and concerned about your welfare. The location is central to anything within downtown Oxford. The breakfast was plentiful. Our room was very comfortable and private but be prepared to share a large bath. We didn't see that on the description. All in all a great stay in a wonderful city. We will stay here again no doubt, if they have availability.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank 736JackC736
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carrie H, Owner at Holywell Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2012

Thank you very much for taking the time to share the experience of your stay with us. Stuart and I are very pleased that you enjoyed your stay in Oxford and it was a pleasure having you in our home. We hope to host you again very soon.

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Reviewed October 2, 2012

I've been staying at 14 Holywell Bed & Breakfast for over 20 years and it remains the finest B&B experience in England for me and my family and the many friends whom I've recommended staying here. This charming three-room B&B is presided over by most pleasant and helpful hosts Carrie and Stuart. The fully-cooked breakfasts are fantastic (including Carrie's special blueberry pancakes). The rooms are well furnished and the location is just steps away from the City Centre. And New College is just across the street; don't miss evensong and hearing the world-famous New College Choir during term time. C. S. Lewis's first rooms in a boarding house are just around the corner and J.R.R. Tolkien lived just a few doors away. For a true Oxford experience, this is heaven.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Steven B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carrie H, Owner at Holywell Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2012

Thank you so much for your very kind words. It has always been a pleasure welcoming you into our home and having a C.S.Lewis expert at breakfast is always a treat. Stuart, Max, and I hope to host you again very soon!

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Reviewed September 20, 2012

Location, location, location ! You really just can't get anywhere more convenient in Oxford than Holywell B&B. I am so glad that we stayed there. Stuart and Carrie make a great team and have done a fantastic job of decorating and creating the old, pretty, gentile atmosphere of the house. Stuart also does a great cooked English breakfast. My friend and I shared the twin room at the top of the stairs with the bathroom next door. One thing that did perplex me is that we were told that this bathroom was for our use only but on a few occasions someone else was in there. Perhaps a sign on the door would address this? Essentially it wasn't too much of a big deal as Carrie keeps the place very clean. Perhaps the two big bonuses of this B&B were the parking and also the wonderful free guided tour given by Stuart ( although Stuart still collected a few pounds from us to use as an entry fees to the Colleges ). Carrie was also very understanding when my friend lost her luggage and needed to use the phone to track things down. Thanks for a wonderful stay!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Anne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carrie H, Owner at Holywell Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded November 25, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on your stay with us. We appreciate and welcome your feedback, as it helps us continually improve our hospitality and the experience our guests have during their stay in Oxford.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holywell Bed and Breakfast

Address: 14 Holywell Street, Oxford OX1 3SA, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 85 B&Bs / Inns in Oxford
Price Range: $80 - $127 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2
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 

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