The grande dame of Oxford establishments, the Macdonald Randolph Hotel is full of history and character and offers old world charm, a range of dining options, spa facilities and a central location with easy access to the city’s museums and colleges.
The Tower House
This modest 17th-century townhouse has just eight rooms, all unique in size, layout and decor. Original features including cast iron fireplaces and exposed beams are found alongside large mirrors, quirky artwork and antique, reclaimed or painted furniture.
Views from rooms at the front overlook Jesus College while rooms at the back are built into part of Oxford's original medieval city wall. Breakfast is served at the Turl Street Kitchen next door.
Although facilities at The Tower House are simple, its central location and delightful staff more than make up for this. All profits go to a charity called Oxford Hub — a student-led group that enables Oxford students to support disadvantaged individuals in the local community.
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Built across a building that’s between 400 and 600 years old, rooms are quirky and characterful with original features such as fireplaces and exposed wooden beams. Some are even built into the original 13th-century city walls. Contemporary elements include large beds, flat screen TVs as well as tea- and coffee-making facilities. Views to the front overlook the master’s private garden at Jesus College, while rooms at the back have limited views but are still light and airy and are quieter than those at the front, which can experience some noise from the street. Most rooms have en suite shower rooms, with the Deluxe Double rooms offering either a walk-in shower or a roll-top bathtub.
The Tower House is located in the heart of the city, surrounded by many of the Oxford colleges. The main city sights, shopping streets and parks are all just a short walk away.
Food and drink
Breakfast is served next door at the affiliated restaurant, Turl Street Kitchen. Hot cooked options are available alongside continental choices of pastries and toast. Lunch and dinner can also be served here, or there are a large number of good dining options nearby.
The Tower House isn’t really suitable for wheelchair users as, although there’s one ground-floor room, the building is listed, so corridors and entrances are narrow, floors are uneven and there’s a small step to enter the property.
A simple but characterful option in the heart of the city, The Tower House offers a charming home-away-from-home experience. It’s worth noting that part of its character comes from its narrow staircases, uneven floors, and low ceilings in some rooms.
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
A modern, boutique hotel set in a converted prison building and located in the shadow of a Norman castle, Malmaison is set in Oxford’s most historic area yet within an easy walk of the city's colleges and museums.
Originally a coaching inn, the conveniently located Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel combines period charm with modern facilities and is home to a well-regarded Italian restaurant owned by a celebrity chef.
A historic building with a contemporary, modern style and a full range of facilities, the Old Bank Hotel has a wonderful, central location offering easy access to the city’s main sights, colleges and museums.
This small, 17th-century hotel is a tranquil retreat in the heart of Oxford. The charming building retains many original features which are combined with rich, contemporary decor to excellent effect.
Experiences while staying here
The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.
Uncover the fascinating history, frayed relationships and royal connections of Blenheim Palace on a private half-day tour of this monumental country mansion. A Baroque masterpiece home to the Duke of Marlborough, its lavish rooms and elaborate gardens are fabulously impressive.
Discover Oxford's tranquil meandering waterways, glorious architecture and beautiful gardens on a chauffeured punt ride along the River Cherwell. Without the hassle of steering these temperamental vessels you can sit back and soak up the scenery.
Walk through the medieval streets of Oxford guided by a university graduate to seek out some of the city's more interesting colleges, chapels and laneways as you follow in the footsteps of famous writers, politicians or philosophers.