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Malmaison Oxford

Malmaison Oxford

Originally a prison and used as a filming location for The Italian Job, Malmaison is a contemporary boutique hotel that proudly makes use of its unusual heritage and history in its stylish, themed decor. Many of the hotel’s rooms are converted from two or three cells which have been combined to create luxurious, en suite quarters, and include playful elements such as converted prison lockers as minibars and tally mark motifs on the carpets and pillows. The former visitors' room makes a stylish bar, while the basement has a well-regarded brasserie. The hotel is located in an 18th-century building in the much older Oxford Castle Quarter, home to the remains of Oxford’s Norman castle which can be seen next to the hotel. 

Our rating: First Class

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Most of the rooms are located in the main building, A Wing, and surround a bright internal courtyard typical of traditional prison buildings. These rooms are set in the former cells and are rich in style and character with en suite bathrooms with shower over bath or separate shower and roll-top bathtub. Each room features complimentary Wi-Fi and plasma TV, as well as minibars disguised as prison lockers. Views are either over the former exercise yard, now a tranquil garden area, or to the front of the hotel. The remaining rooms are set in the former Governor’s House or C Wing, and although similar in decor, they have less of a prison theme.


Malmaison is located next to Oxford’s medieval castle ruins and the adjacent modern quarter where there are a number of bars and restaurants to choose from. Alternatively, the heart of the city is just a five-minute walk away and the train station is a ten-minute walk or short taxi ride from the hotel. 

Food and drink

The stylish hotel brasserie restaurant and bar is located in the basement. The design is sleek and contemporary with a neon-lit bar, a lively atmosphere and extensive cocktail menu. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the focus is on classic dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. There are a number of relaxed lounge areas for bar meals or afternoon tea.

Our opinion

Fun and contemporary, while embracing its jailhouse past, this is a great choice for guests looking for a modern hotel with a historic twist.

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