To say a stay at Malmaison Oxford, is like no hotel stay I’ve ever experienced before, would be quite an understatement. This unique hotel located in the idyllic town of Oxford, England, is actually a former Victorian prison, which has been seamlessly transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel. I know you’re probably already jumping to the conclusion that this is just another gimmicky hotel that’s all flash and no function, however, you would be gravely wrong in that assumption. On the contrary, this hotels oozes with originality and practicality along with a good dose of humor.
Upon arrival at the majestic “prison” gates of Malmaison Oxford, a valet quickly whisked my car off to car park land, whilst a porter immediately relieved me of the burden of my heavy luggage. As I was led to my hotel room I was in awe of the hotel corridor, which appeared before me as endless levels upon levels and rows upon rows of “cells” as far as the eye could see. Although from the outside the rooms bore an uncanny resemblance to the original prison cells, in reality they were modern, spacious and grand inside, as each room was made up of 3 original jail cells melded together. I was ecstatic to see the huge en-suite bathroom with a freestanding bathtub, as well as an equally ample rainforest glass-walled shower. The bath products were full sized and made their way into my travel case upon departure, (although from what I understand this is highly encouraged). The high-end bath oil, body lotion, and shampoo amongst others toiletries, are still being used in my bathroom at home, long after my stay.
But enough about the bathroom and onto more pressing matters, such as a stopover at the hotel bar known as the “Visitors Room”. The drinks had cheeky names such as ‘Locked Up’, ‘Lights out’, ‘The Usual Suspects’ etc… I could go on, but I imagine you get the picture. The bar atmosphere was decidedly moody and sexy, while at the same time being incredibly cozy, decked out with high backed banquette chairs and cathedral height ceilings. After indulging in perhaps one too many of these delicious libations it was time to retreat back to my room.
The room itself had dim yet ambient lighting, which was further emphasized by the heavy wood shutters on the windows, these features amazingly led to one of the best nights’ sleep I’ve ever had, bar none. I’m generally an early riser but I slept so soundly and so late, that I felt as though I were an inmate in solitary confinement, and someone had locked me up and thrown away the keys. I awoke the next day, luggage packed and ready to plan my “Great Escape”, with visions of my next “booking” at Malmaison Oxford dancing in my head.
3 Oxford Castle, Oxford, OX1 1AY
01865 268 400