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“A Bit of a disappointment”

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Holywell Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #13 of 82 Oxford B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A Bit of a disappointment”
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Perhaps it was because I was on my own for the first time, but I didnt feel very welcome here. I was bundled up to my room and it was all a bit of a hurry. I didnt want a cooked breakfast but I was not able to serve myself as I would have liked. I would have preferred a choice of fruits, yoghurts and cereals.
Another negative was that when leaving I dragged my suitcase down the narrow staircase by myself, Help was offered but it should have been insisted upon.
However the location was brilliant, very central and I did enjoy Oxford very much

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank KiwiAngie1811027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
York, England, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Holywell is a little oasis in the middle of Oxford. It is tucked out of the way yet has great access to all the colleges and sights. My daughter and I stayed there in order to go to one of the University open days. We stayed in the Merton Room which was at the back of the house, perfectly quiet, very clean and comfortable. The bathroom and toilet were adjacent, not en-suite, but that didn't matter to us. The breakfast was lovely and we were able to leave our bag in their safe locked up area all day before travelling home. Would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Gill P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JoeFLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela5812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgnorth, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dave R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dusseldorf, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank catherine o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alpharetta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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 #13 of 82 B&Bs / Inns in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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