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“A little bit different from the usual...”

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Malmaison Oxford Castle
Ranked #6 of 44 Hotels in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A little bit different from the usual...”
Reviewed March 15, 2014

Fabulous & unusual hotel in a brilliant location.

Unfortunately we had the rock-hard mattress and flat pillows, which didn't make for a hugely comfortable nights sleep. Maybe they were going for authenticity, but the previous inmates didn't have to pay the sort of price that we did for the privilege! If padding was available for our cell, they could have let us know.

And they missed some really small touches that would have made our stay so much better - a foot towel to stand on when getting out of the bath or shower, conditioner in addition to the shampoo, a hotel directory giving basic information on available facilities & times and maybe a little of the history of the building. And serving spoons for side dishes in the restaurant! Very small quibbles, but sometimes little things make a big difference.

Minor irritations aside, it is a great conversion of a historic building and the food in the restaurant was excellent. I would love to stay there again (but would ask for the padding to soften-up that bed!)

Take a tour of the castle and D-wing next door - hotel guests get a discount.

Room Tip: Ask for a cell room for the authentic stay.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CherryRipe4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (677)
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Nefyn, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014

Norman Stanley fletcher you have been found guilty ............. Seriously what a wonderful use of an existing building. The Malmaison group have tastefully converted the old prison in to a very nice boutique hotel.

Now staying in a prison may not be everyone's cup of tea but they have tried very hard to make this as stylish and comfortable as possible with out losing the authentic prison architecture.

The staff are very helpful and friendly. They go the extra mile to provide top notch service.

The bar and restaurant are very nicely done and the food is excellent and not overly expensive. Though the bar area need more seating as there are only bar stools. I did not try the bar on the 3 rd floor.

free high speed wifi - fast enough to stream films and TV a real bonus. Great snacks in the room, try the Yorkshire chips they are wonderful , and mini bar is well stocked.

Bathrooms are nice and well appointed , great shower gel and shampoo way above the normal hotel fair.

The one thing I would say is that they charge through the nose for car parking, yes it's a valet service and it's secure underground parking but £28 a night is a little over the top.

Over all a great hotel and the rooms in the original prison are very nice, if you can cope with it being an old prison make sure you stay in one of these rooms.

Made parole today ... Not sure I am happy with my release ... Oh and I love the invoice only because it's called The Damage !

Room Tip: Stay in the original prison block .. You can play at being In Porridge as Norman Stanley Fletcher an...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Leecop67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2014

The staff is great, the service terrific, the food very good (in fact, they went the extra mile in catering to my dietary request of which I had alerted them) and the rooms are good. It is just the feel of the place - from the decor to the little details that are just not quite right. I can only liken it to a suburban person trying to be urban and chic but just not getting the ensemble quite right despite it having cost quite a bit. Gave it 4 stars overall because the fault seems quibbling. Still, it is charging as a luxe hotel yet the details are just not there to warrant that.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank emiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stotfold, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

Stayed here a couple of weekends ago and thought it was great and a really quirky place to stay or even just visit.

A couple of things to note though. I booked via the Malmaison website and made sure not to book a room in the new annex, as I specifically wanted to stay in a cell room. A few days before my stay, I rang to enquire about parking (which is £28 for an overnight stay and has to be booked in advance). Anyway, I had not booked a cell and had been allocated a room in the Governor's house. Luckily they were able to change my booking. I am sure the rooms in the Governor's house are equally nice, but if it is a prison cell experience you are after beware! On arrival we were shown to room 123, which is a lovely room on the 3rd floor, overlooking the gardens at the back of the hotel. Unfortunately in the evening when we wanted to get ready to go out, the bathroom lights did not work, so we rang reception, within about 2 mins a manager was at the door to see if he could fix the problem, but sadly he couldn't. He arranged for us to be moved to another room, which again was done incredibly promptly. We were moved to room 107, which is apparently categorised the same as room 123, but is smaller (2.5 cells, not 3 cells), it is at the front of the hotel and on the ground floor. Unfortunately it was noisy as you are close to the bars and restaurants and after a few drinks people aren't quiet late at night when heading home.

We had a lovely meal in the restaurant, we couldn't fault the food or service, but it is pricey. We then went for a cocktail in the Visitors room, where the service was quite slow and not particularly friendly.

When we checked out, I mentioned the fact that we had to change rooms and were disappointed that the room was smaller, when usually you would expect to be upgraded as it was not our fault we had to move. We were informed that all the more superior rooms were booked, but after a quick chat with the Manager, we had some money taken off our bill.

One last tip, if you are driving to the hotel make sure you use the post code they list under the directions. If you use the main postcode, you will end up in a road that is restricted to buses only and you then end up at the back of the hotel.

It is definitely worth staying here, but check you get the room you want, don't forget to book parking if you need it and use the right postcode in your satnav :) enjoy!

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Jo F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Dear Jo F,

Thank you for the very positive and very constructive review of your experience at the hotel. It gave me great pleasure to read your review and i sincerely hope you come back to visit us again soon.

Warmest Regards

Paul Watson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

A hotel I often use due to great location, good food food, decent bar(s) and service is generally good. If I had one issue, it's that they've taken Cadburys chocolate out of the minibar (wait for it...) however a colleague had spotted this, and knew about my penchant for that chocolate, and Amy on reception went to a local shop and bought me a bar to hand over when I checked in... Pretty impressive - and thanks Amy. I live in hotels, and for once I did feel particularly special...

Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Zycek66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Dear Zycek66,

Thanks for taking the time to write your review. I was delighted to read that you have had, and continue to have a great time at the hotel. I was very pleased to read that the team recognise our regular guests andhope that this will make you want to come along more and more.

Warmest Regards

Paul Watson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2014 via mobile

Been there for just a coffee and I loved everything in there… the interior, the service, the atmosphere. I rely on the name of the business for a memorable stay there. The place was very cleaned and very peaceful, ideal for business meetings.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank ChristianaV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Dear ChristianaV,

Thanks for popping in for a coffee and for telling us all about it, its great to know the reasons people come here and i hope that we'll see you more and more!

Warm Regards

Paul Watson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whippany, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2014

Spent 3 nights on business in a Superior King room in late February. Property is located a 5-10 minute walk from the train station and was a former castle / prison. Bus stop located right out front. Rate included breakfast which was delicious with a choice of continental options and made to order hot options (waffles with bacon). Did not sample the restaurant or lounge at the property. Located within walking distance of many of the universities and main shopping and restaurants in Oxford.

Rooms were situated like a maze but plenty of signs to guide you. Room was large with an adequate kind bed. Bathroom included a separate shower and tub although the shower was extremely small and tight (and I am not a large person) so difficult to manage inside. Definitely not a shower for two! No issues with the wi-fi.

Would recommend to anyone staying in Oxford.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank michekara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul W, General Manager at Malmaison Oxford Castle, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Dear michekara,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. I was very pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us, We look forward to sseeing you again.

Paul Watson
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 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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