The Bottom Line
- Full of quirky character. First a fortified castle, then a Victorian Prison - the history shows.
- Huge bathrooms feature all glass, walk in showers, full baths, full sized toileteries, slate floors.
- Flat screen plasma TV, iPOD dock and free broadband internet.
- Central Oxford location near shops, restaurants, Oxford University and the River Isis.
- Pet-friendly. They supply fresh bedding, cute porcelain bowls and treats for Fido.
- Parking onsite is limited and expensive though offsite valet parking is available.
- The hotel has no swimming pool and minimal gym facilities.
- Breakfast, not included, is a bit pricey.
- 3 Oxford Castle, Oxford, OX1 1AY, England
- 94 guest rooms, (88 doubles and six suites of various sizes).
- Book online, by Email or telephone 011 44 1865 268 400 (USA)or 01865 268 400(UK). Major credit and debit cards accepted.
- The hotel is a five to 10 minute walk from Oxford Rail Station, off New Road.
- Surrounded by ten centuries of history including a defensive Mound and St. George's Tower, dating from 1071.
- The hotel anchors a redevelopment with art galleries, shops, market stalls, cafes, ice skating and historic exhibitions.
- Price Band: $$
- Visit their website.
Guide Review - Malmaison Oxford Castle - Lock Me Up and Throw Away The Key!
Today, the splendid décor manages to be modern, plush and Medieval (in spirit at any rate) at the same time, It evokes an even earlier period when this was a thousand year old castle. Frette linens spread across dark wooden beds dressed with plump feather pillows and deep russet, black and wine velvet coverings. Votive candles flicker in the guest rooms and the dramatically lit public areas. Deeply upholstered, high backed chairs, tartan carpets and the crests and banners of the Oxford colleges add to the baronial ambiance.
The Brasserie, lodged in the former solitary confinement wing, serves modern English and European food (using slabs of black slate for plates). The menu changes regularly but you might find seared Scottish West Coast scallops or breast of chicken with barley, chestnut and sage risotto. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch -- the restaurant has good value, two or three course Prix Fixe menus and a well chosen wine list.
The bar is open from 11a.m. to 11p.m. and in the Visitor's Room (formerly the prison visits room, with a gallery for the guards)you can take afternoon tea, a beer or a game of billiards.
Only two quibbles:
- At £12.95, the full English breakfast costs as much as the early, two-course, Prix Fixe dinner menu.
- There is no pool and the gym rooms are small and gloomy. We wondered why they didn't cover the prison exercise yard to create better facilities.