Old Parsonage Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel
- Cosy 17th-century hotel in the city centre, 5 minutes' walk from 3 top museums
- There are free city walking tours & bikes to borrow
- You can relax in the secluded resident's library & terrace
- Rooms had a makeover in 2014 & have free Wi-Fi
The Old Parsonage Hotel is a charming boutique hotel in Oxford's city centre, surrounded by a number of colleges and St Giles' Church. Behind its wisteria-clad façade of honeyed stone lie panelled walls and, in winter, a roaring fire. The 17th-century property was fully renovated in 2014, but public rooms retain a "club-like atmosphere" (The Good Hotel Guide) and the walls are hung with portraits from the owner's private collection.
Take advantage of the hotel's free walking tours or simply wander from college to college -- many admit visitors for free. From the hotel, it's a 5-minute stroll down St Giles to the Ashmolean Museum's "vast and far-reaching collection" of art, artefacts and oddities (The Rough Guide to The Cotswolds). The Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum of anthropology and archaeology, also five minutes' walk away, are worth a visit as well. Guests also get free use of the hotel's bikes.
Dine on "very good" traditional club food at the hotel's restaurant, where the atmosphere is "buzzy but relaxing" says The Financial Times. To the rear there's a quiet paved garden for drinks and meals among the box hedges and shady pergolas. Afternoon tea can be taken here or by the fireside, and is very popular (book in advance). On the first floor there's a resident's library, with a curated selection of books and a small terrace. The hotel doesn't have a spa, but in-room treatments can be booked in advance.
The 35 rooms are "slick and stylish", according to The Daily Telegraph, and have free Wi-Fi, linen dressing gowns and underfloor heating in the marble bathrooms. Some are on the small side, but the recent refurb has made good use of the space. Those in the historic building have period features, while the five new additions have private terraces. Take note: on Sunday mornings, you may awake to the sound of church bells (St Giles' Church is next door).