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“Birthday treat!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Malmaison Oxford Castle

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Solihull, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Birthday treat!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

We stayed at the Malmaison oxford as a birthday treat for my wifes birthday. it was somewhere she had always wanted to stay, in one of the converted prison cells. We booked one night for the 7th October in a cell room (room 120).

From the moment we arrived the staff were friendly and attentive, presenting us with a handwritten card from the front office manager welcoming us to the hotel and offering us two free glasses of bubbly from the bar. the room wasnt ready and we had to wait for an hour but that was no problem as we were slightly earlier than advertised check in time anyway.

We had paid for car parking as an extra and when it came for the valet "Andy" to park the car it wouldnt start due to a flat battery. Andy was exceptional and pushed the car into a space at the front of the hotel before jump starting it and sitting in it with the engine running to try to get some life into the battery so that it would be ok in the morning for us.

The room itself was clean, spacious and to use my wifes terminology (over and over) was "awesome" if there was one critisicm of the room is that it was too warm and caused us some difficulty sleeping.

The hotel was excellent and all staff friendly and helpful. i would not hesitate in reccomending this hotel to others wishing to stay somewhere different. We will certainly be trying some of the other Malmaison hotels in the future.

Room Tip: Ask for a cell room in `A` Wing
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Stu2247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,790 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (643)
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English first
n.london,uk
Level Contributor
51 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

stayed with friends after a shopping day at bicester.amazing old building which was originaly oxford prison.
rooms lovely,thick stone walls.you can even sleep in a converted prison cell.
bar buzzy and nice,we ate in a private room,good wine list.food nice.excellent service
very nice breakfast,lovely place to stay.

Room Tip: if you want to splash out,book a prison cell
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jks24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

I was very concerned after reading some reviews, so all I can say is try it, every one has a different experience.
We stayed in C block, our original booked room had a bath & when we arrived they advised that the room had been double booked - so I was concerned immediately, but as a goodwill gesture, they gave us a reduction of 20% on the room price & free breakfast. We weren't disappointed with our room, it wasn't massive but I wasn't expecting anything large due to the building and we had a great view of the court yard and castle. The location was perfect as its so central, and we parked in the ncp carpark 2 minutes walk away which cost £10 for the night rather than pay £25. The room drinks & food were really reasonable for such a large hotel chain & we found all the staff were pleasant & most helpful. The only downside was the cold water shower - I couldn't brave it, so it let the hotel down slightly. But I would definitely return.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SammyJS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

My wife and I just spent two very pleasant nights in Room 112 at this hotel - a deluxe cell double, with full bath. We were very excited about our stay, having sent my parents here for a night as their Xmas pressie last year.

We took this trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and we wanted to stay somewhere 'special'. For scene and setting, this hotel does not disappoint. But it wasn't quite the 'amazing' experience we thought it might be. And here's why:

Pros
* WOW environment - where else can you stay in a prison (and a very comfortable one at that)
* Full of history - great to explore
* Centrally located in Oxford, so easy to get to the shops and local sights
* The brasserie downstairs served fantastic steak and frites (and lots of other things) - the ice cream is to die for too
* Very nice staff in the brasserie
* Very cool and trendy
* Great choice at breakfast
* Window shutters in the bedroom very neatly and cleverly engineered - keep all light out if you want to sleep-in
* Amazing showerhead - very powerful and large
* Free in-room wi-fi, for unlimited devices. Other hotels could learn a LOT from this. Nice touch.

Cons
The 'specials' board on the Friday and Saturday night in the brasserie was identical
* TV in the bedrooms is quite small, given it's quite a distance from the bed
* TV in our room made no sense - scrolling up from Channel 1, I finally found BBC1 on Channel 17 - but it had permanent subtitles which couldn't be switched off. I left a note for the maid asking for help turning them off - came back to the room, the note had gone, but the subtitles remained and there was no note of 'explanation' left. I asked for help at the frontdesk and they told me there was another BBC1 tuned in without subtitles and to try Channel 1 (!). Feeling a bit stupid, I went back to the room (fairly sure I must have tried Channel 1 originally) - I finally found BBC1 without subtitles on Channel 22. C'mon, sort this out, the tv tuning was a real mess and very confusing.
* Very little lighting in the bedrooms - at night, the room will feel dark (which I guess adds to the experience).
* No instructions for the heating in the bedrooms - try as we might, we could not switch off the cold air flow coming from the vents or get the radiator in the bedroom to come on. After being cold on the first night, I asked for help at reception, and the they told me to turn the dial on the wall towards to '-' sign (I'd been trying towards the '+' sign). Neither worked, so we asked for a heater and it was delivered to the room 10 mins later. That kept us toasty!
* Lovely toiletries left in the bathroom, but only one bar of soap - so had to keep moving it between the bath and the sink. A minor thing, but two bars of soap would be better.
* Parking is costly at £20 a night
* At check-in, no one explained where things were in the hotel. GIven the nature of the building, a bit of a 'guide' would have been useful - i.e. it would have been nice to have been told where dinner and breakfast is served, and that there was a Visitors Lounge bar which we only discovered by chance several floors up.
* Mattress wasn't the comfiest - nice and firm, but I didn't get the "luxury" feel from it - and the pillows were very flat and not the most supportive.
The bath was very small - ok, the cell is only so big, but positioned length ways they could have had a much larger tub. Being fairly tall @ 6ft 3", it wasn't ideal for a long comfy soak.
* And finally - the novelty of this hotel is the environment. Great for a night or two, but any longer, and for the money, I think I'd rather stay somewhere more luxurious and without the space restrictions of being in a prison cell!

If you have never been, then it is well worthwhile going. I will be telling all my friends to try this out, for the experience. Would we go back for another anniversary weekend – probably not – not now we’ve been once. We would rush back to Amberley Castle though, where we celebrated last year.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank James K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
601 reviews
115 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 753 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012

Our room, in the old part of the jail was really nice and quirky and all the staff at the hotel were great, however it was extremely expensive for what it was. That said we did really enjoy the breakfast which was top notch.

Room Tip: Worth paying to stay in the old part of the jail for a special occassion
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank bathpair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
72 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2012

We had stayed in House of Correction for 3 nights and we loved this hotel. The hotel staffs were very helpful , they helped us with the luggages because House of Correction is not in the main building and the weather was very cold. Location is Perfect. There are restaurants in front of hotel. Shopping center is just across the road. Hotel is in central and very convenient to go around the city. Lots of shops and restaurants. Breakfast is good , croissant with honey was delicious.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Suchada S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2012

I normally stay at the Buttery Hotel in Oxford. However, due to the interesting history of this hotel, I was very eager to try it out.

On arrival, I found the hotel to be very cold, unwelcoming and impersonal. The staff members gave off the impression of wannabe footballers’ wives and the atmosphere (to me) was one very much of unjustified pretentiousness; the type you would expect from a Z-list celebrity with delusions of grandeur.

Unfortunately, I spent the entire trip wishing I was instead in the Buttery Hotel where staff members are cheerful, the bedrooms are grand, yet cosy, and the entire atmosphere is one of warmth and welcome.

My stay at Malmaison regrettably got worse when I made the mistake of leaving my luggage in the Hotel’s left luggage facilities. On having my bag returned to me, decorative designer items on my handbag had been removed. When I brought this up with staff, then were very disinterested, unhelpful and far from apologetic.

I feel the service lets down what could be a beautiful hotel. I am now unfortunately reluctant to try Malmaison Hotels in other locations.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lucy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Malmaison Oxford Castle

Property: Malmaison Oxford Castle
Address: 3 Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Oxford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Oxford
#5 Luxury Hotel in Oxford
#9 Romantic Hotel in Oxford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Malmaison Oxford Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you're tired of doing hard time in run-of-the-mill hotels, it's a completely different story at our former gaol, Malmaison Oxford. Instead sip the coolest cocktails in the free world at MALBAR and enjoy an eclectic mix of classic dishes with a twist at the Brasserie, from freshly caught fish to the famous Mal Burger. Good behaviour will get you privileges like free Wi-Fi, drench showers, plasma TVs and and even toiletries that are just begging to be nabbed by light-fingered guests. This is one hotel in Oxford city centre where you'll be happy to get a long stretch. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Malmaison Oxford Castle Hotel Oxford
Malmaison Hotel Oxford

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