Serving your jail time would be a breeze if every prison were like Malmaison Oxford – This boutique hotel in the heart of Oxford used to be a Victorian jail and was in use as a prison all the way until 1996 when it closed down and the building got sold off to the Malmaison hotel chain.
If you’re planning a short getway from London to visit the famous town of Oxford (Oxford University!), I highly highly recommend staying in the trendy cell rooms of Malmaison Oxford, it was an experience like no other!
Getting to Oxford
The train journey from London Paddington and Oxford took just 1 hour 10 minutes, and in no time at all, we found ourselves at Oxford train station, ready to begin our short Oxford exploration!
From London to Oxford – Price per ticket: 25 pounds
Malmaison Oxford is just a short distance away from the station – We had a driver booked to bring us to the hotel, but it is most definitely within walking distance, especially in cool weather, as it was in September.
Our first look at Malmaison Oxford – Love the stone structures and crumbling old facade, a stark contrast to the hip and luxurious interiors the former prison has been refurbished with.
Inside Malmaison Oxford Old architectural elements like the original prison cells and ceilings have been preseved to date.
As a converted prison-into-boutique-hotel, I absolutely love how the cell structures, windows and doors of Malmaison Oxford have been kept intact but given the lux make-over into the coolest prison-themed hotel you might ever stay in!
We went on a tour of the building grounds, and I was intrigued to view the one and only prison cell inside Malmaison Oxford that has been preserved in its original form.
Three prisoners to one tiny prison cell, must have been rather miserable back in those days. I wonder what those inmates would think of Malmaison Oxford‘s new and improved rooms?
Gorgeous communal areas with the original prison stairs and landings that have been kept.
The standard rooms have been converted from three adjoining cells, each bedroom is made up of two cells while the bathroom takes up one cell – Good thing plumbing has been upgraded from its prison days to a very luxurious and posh bathroom with standing tub!
Love the attention to details, like the prison-themed carpet motifs!
The light and airy converted cell-to-bathroom definitely didn’t look the least bit like it belonged in a prison.
Original prison cell doors that have been preserved.
It’s easier to imagine Malmaison Oxford as a prison when wandering down its dimly lit corridors and stairwells that have been left in a semi-dilapidated looking state that I personally found very charming and full of character.
We were fortunate enough to stay in one of Malmaison Oxford’s Duplex Suites, this split-level room was super posh and luxurious, with a small balcony overlooking castle grounds and a superbly comfortable bed as well as huge bathroom with rain shower!
A pretty fabulous selection for the mini-bar, too!
I absolutely loved the huge standing tub that came with generous-sized amenities with tongue-in-cheek names, check them out below!
“Better Shower Gel Than You Have At Home” and “The Best Shampoo You Will Ever Steal“, love the quirky sense of humour!
Oh, and no better welcome than a pair of edible chocolate handcuffs.. Completely in theme and actually rather delicious too!
We took a walk and explored around the grounds before heading down to Chez Mal Brasserie for dinner!
We had a hearty dinner at Chez Mal Brasserie, their menu offers an impressive range of dishes that were delicious and decadent with the freshest seasonal ingredients. You can also hang around before/after dinner for drinks at Malbar, and just soak in the great ambience!
Breakfast is also available at the brasserie in the morning, and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast! Apart from ordering ala carte off the breakfast menu, you can also choose from a huge selection of pastries, yoghurts, fruits, freshly-squeezed juices, tea and coffee, and so much more that we completely stuffed ourselves to the brim!
Breakfast is most definitely one of my favourite meals of the day. Look how much food we overloaded our table with.
Eggs benedict, simple and yet so delicious!
Craving for something quintessentially British? Go for the smoked kipper that was surprisingly tasty and flavoursome. We enjoyed it so much we even ordered ourselves a second serving!
Don’t forget to explore the grounds as well as the neighbouring Oxford Castle where you can climb the Norman Castle Mound and check out the panoramic views from St George’s Tower!
(PS. Sign up for one of Oxford Castle’s Ghost Hunt tours for a spooktacular evening during your stay too, if you’re not afraid to be spooked out!)
There is plenty to explore in Oxford, from the historically famous Bodleian Library, University of Oxford to checking out the Harry Potter filming locations, so you gotta stay at least one night at Oxford!
Staying at Malmaison Oxford was truly a one-of-a-kind experience, and if you love a hotel stay that’s memorable, different and unique, you’ve got to book yourself into Malmaison Oxford! After all, how many people get to do jail time without actually being jailed? Heh.
About Malmaison Oxford
Oxford Castle, 3 New Rd, Oxford OX1 1AY, UK
Phone: +44 1865 689944
Malmaison Oxford is just one of many gorgeous properties managed by Frasers Hospitality. Thank you, Frasers Hospitality for putting me up! I’ll be sharing on more properties across UK/Europe, so stay tuned 🙂