Oxford, England


Oxford’s onetime prison and castle has been tastefully revamped into a major new attraction: a vibrant, happening mix of restaurants, bistros, bars and art gallery with more than a dash of historic Oxford surrounding the visitor to provide a real sense of times past.

Malmaison is situated within the old Oxford prison, so if your thing is to do time in a prison cell (albeit now three cells converted into one en suite luxury room), complete with original iron door and barred windows, then book into ‘A Wing’ for a unique and memorable experience. There are also suites named after former prison governors and adjoining modern accommodation.

Glass fronted walkways, spiral stairwells, mood lighting and atmospheric public spaces, lots of black leather and tartan, all beautifully realised, subtly reflect the building’s intriguing past.  Superb cocktails are available in the neon lit bar, or you can dine in the Brassiere. In summer, the former exercise yard serves as an additional dining area.

It’s central location means that colleges, shops and city attractions are a few minutes walk away.

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Photos from Malmaison