Known for its world-famous prestigious university, its beautiful historic architecture, its incredible collections of books, the iconic “Dreaming Spires”, centuries-old markets, cycle-friendly streets and for providing a backdrop for mesmerising scenes from Harry Potter, Oxford is one of the most-loved – and elegant – cities in England.
To make your city break even more magical find somewhere extra-special to stay. From chic boutiques and historic accommodations to modern riverside establishments and luxury B&Bs, here are our favourite cool and unusual hotels in Oxford, England (in no particular order)…
1. Malmaison Oxford – a stunning, unique and very Instagrammable boutique hotel that was once a Victorian prison
The Malmaison invents a unique, one-of-its-kind staycation setting with a former prison renovated into elegantly appointed luxury accommodations.
This upscale Oxford hotel was once a prison, and now the jail cells have been converted into spacious guest rooms decked with indulgently comfortable beds, finely crafted furniture and spa-like bathrooms.
Guests can explore 95 beautifully designed bedrooms and suites, depending on their housing needs and budget. The Malmaison delights its guests with opulent dining at the onsite modern restaurant, specializing in contemporary and classic British cuisine served in generous portions.
The onsite neon bar is the perfect place to sample rare wines and inventive cocktails in a high-spirited environment.
- To book, check prices or availability for Malmaison Oxford
2. Artist Residence Oxfordshire – a hip, trendy and creative boutique residence where pets are also welcome
Artists and creatives eager to lose themselves in the countryside charm of the Cotswold will find the Artist Residence a delightfully lavish abode to revel in the splendours of Oxfordshire.
Remodelled in a 16th-Century inn, the Artist Residence offers five tastefully furnished guest rooms and three sprawling suites located in the outbuildings.
The Residence is also home to an eclectic Shepherd’s Hut, extensively renovated with modern upgrades. The accommodations have a unique bohemian flair characterized by rustic farmhouse-style décor, rich textures, fine linens and antique furniture.
The onsite Clubhouse is one of the most popular country pubs to mingle with the locals and enjoy hearty specialities inspired by traditional Oxfordshire cuisine.
- To book, check prices or availability for Artist Residence Oxfordshire
3. Museum Hotel Oxford – a unique and stylish hotel housed in a historic 16th-century hotel set in the heart of historic Oxford
An intimate getaway nestled in the heart of Oxford’s charming historic quarters, the Museum Hotel Oxford is housed in a breathtaking 1594 heritage site. The property has a distinct architectural significance with its rich Gothic structure and Baroque-style European accents.
The interiors have been extensively renovated to make meaningful upgrades, pouring new life into the opulently designed living spaces. The tastefully furnished 10 bedrooms feature tech-savvy amenities, imaginative vintage themes, and antiquated fireplaces.
The hotel has embraced state-of-the-art technologies without losing touch with the architectural soul, retaining characterful elements like the spiral staircase, ambient salons and hidden fireplaces.
The Museum Hotel is the first UK accommodation to offer a fully automated check-in service without compromising on traditional hospitality and warm welcomes.
- To book, check prices or availability for Museum Hotel Oxford
4. The Randolph Hotel, by Graduate Hotels – a chic upscale boutique hotel housed in a centrally located landmark building
The Randolph Hotel beckons travellers to enjoy the old-world charm of Oxford from its lavishly opulent setting overlooking the Ashmolean Museum. Situated in the heart of the historic town, the Randolph is a beautiful establishment with elegantly appointed guest rooms.
The finely crafted furniture and rich palette of deep wine-toned burgundies set against cool-toned creams pay homage to the natural splendours, and scenic expanse of Oxford.
This 5-star boutique hotel combines a tranquil atmosphere with round-the-clock service and state-of-the-art amenities.
The in-house spa is situated in the atmosphere cellars, and guests walk through a romantic candlelit corridor to explore the aroma rooms, bio sauna, hydrotherapy Jacuzzi and ice fountain.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Randolph Hotel, by Graduate Hotels
5. Old Bank Hotel – a unique upscale boutique hotel located in the heart of historic Oxford
The Old Bank Hotel is a magnificent Georgian remnant with a centrally located address and swoon-worthy views of Oxford’s unique cityscape featuring Baroque, Gothic and classic European design accents.
This award-winning establishment has been listed as one of the finest places to stay in Oxford by the Sunday Times, amongst multiple other accolades.
This 5-star accommodation is home to 43 luxury rooms and suites, including an opulent rooftop guest room with a private terrace. The bedrooms feature air conditioning, smart appliances, spa-like marble bathrooms and captivating 20th Century artworks.
Guests enjoy easy access to multiple popular attractions, including the University of Oxford, the Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera. The onsite Quod Restaurant is an ambient fine dining spot with a laid-back Italian terrace and head-turning onyx bar.
- To book, check prices or availability for Old Bank Hotel
6. Vanbrugh House Hotel – an elegant and romantic boutique hotel surrounded by historical buildings
The Vanbrugh House is a historic landmark with a rich and poignant legacy dating back to the 18th Century. This architectural masterpiece was designed by John Vanbrugh as the primary residence for the Peisley Family.
Today, this Grade-II landmark is one of the most elegant historic hotels to enjoy the scenic charm of Oxford.
The Hotel is a visual feast of classic European and Baroque-style architecture, and despite extensive modernization, the building has retained its antiquated cosmetic elements.
The 22 guest rooms and suites are an oasis of vintage beauty with their finely crafted wooden beams, ornate fireplaces and panelled walls.
The Vanbrugh House provides an intimate and secluded setting to unwind and rejuvenate with home-like comforts.
- To book, check prices or availability for Vanbrugh House Hotel
7. Head of the River – a cool and cute inn to stay in Oxford perfect for fun-loving Millennials and Gen Zs
Nestled against the picturesque River Thames, the Head of the River offers a splendidly scenic location to enjoy the countryside beauty of Oxford, with easy access to the city centre and historic quarters. This one-of-its-kind accommodation offers elegantly appointed guest rooms, sumptuous onsite dining, inventive cocktails and a breathtaking setting to revel in rural charm.
Guests can find their match from the Hotel’s selection of 20 beautifully decorated rooms featuring delightful views of the riverside and Folly Bridge. Travellers who want to wake up to stunning water views and freshly-cooked breakfast spreads will find this luxury accommodation well-endowed with impressive service standards.
- To book, check prices or availability for Head of the River
8. Old Parsonage Hotel – a stylish, chic and cozy hotel housed in a 1660 building
A charming 17th Century venue nestled on the historic St. Giles Boulevard, the Old Parsonage Hotel is a characterful accommodation popular for its antiquated interiors and luxurious amenities.
The Old Parsonage has masterfully retained breathtaking elements of its traditional Gothic architecture while infusing the interiors with tech-savvy upgrades.
Guests can choose from 35 elegantly furnished rooms, including the Churchill suites, the Winston and Randolph. Many of the luxury suites have glorious marble bathrooms, handcrafted furniture and private terraces overlooking the whimsical garden.
The onsite Parsonage Grill has a chic bohemian decor, a hip club-like ambience, and an extensive menu of traditional British cuisine.
- To book, check prices or availability for Old Parsonage Hotel
9. The Galaxie – a family-friendly hotel that blends luxury and simple convenience
The epitome of quirkiness and eccentricity, the Galaxie curates a unique blend of opulence and simplicity. Nestled in the scenic expanse of Summertown, this upscale hotel is housed in a beautifully preserved Victorian manor. The interiors feature traditional British design elements combined with contemporary upgrades and unconventional artwork.
There’s a variety of accommodations suited to every traveller. For instance, Single Rooms are ideal for solo travellers seeking comfortable sleep stations, while the Standard Double serves as a spacious two-person accommodation.
The Superior Double is the biggest of all suites, decked with regal comforts and luxurious amenities.
Guests staying at the Galaxie Hotel enjoy close proximity to the Oxford Castle & Prison, Bodleian Library, the Museum of Oxford and the Bridge of Sighs.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Galaxie
10. Tower House Guest House – a historic 17th-century guest house where guests will have a home away from home
The proud recipient of the prestigious Gold Award and 5-star ratings 17 years in a row, the Tower Guest House has a treasure trove of awards and accolades for its unparalleled service standards and full English breakfast spread.
The Tower House is a rich and poignant base to unravel the historic mysteries of Oxford while revelling in the contemporary splendours of retail and fine dining.
The building housing the hotel is a 400-year-old heritage site, masterfully preserved with thoughtful renovations and luxury upgrades.
The 8 beautifully designed deluxe rooms and suites feature a stunning amalgamation of antiques, handcrafted furniture, recycled pieces and modern amenities. Guests can enjoy Oxford’s most indulgent breakfast spread at the Turl Street Kitchen, tucked a stone’s throw away from the Tower House.
- To book, check prices or availability for Tower House Guest House
11. The Chequers at Burcot – a cozy multi-award-winning gastropub that offers beautifully designed rooms with quirky/country chic decor
This 400-year-old pub is embedded deep within the heart of Burcot, hailed as one of the oldest historic inns with a rich legacy of serving travellers and merchants trading along the River Thames.
Today, the historic pub is home to nine finely appointed guest rooms decked with modern comforts and contemporary amenities.
Travellers with a keen appreciation for historical heritage will find this accommodation an endless source of intrigue and captivation. Every nook and cranny of this inn-like pub tells a thousand tales of eras gone by.
Famous for its award-winning chef Steven Sanderson, the onsite restaurant specializes in 100% grass-fed British beef steaks, served with an assortment of 22 delectable sides.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Chequers at Burcot
12. Ethos Hotel – a stylish hotel located in a quiet neighborhood but close to the city center
The Ethos Hotel is the perfect base for travellers seeking a tranquil ambience without distancing themselves from the hustle and bustle of the Oxford city centre.
Ethos is home to the most luxurious and spacious guest rooms in the historic town, offering sweeping views of the dreaming spires and architectural landscape.
Vacationers can explore an extensive range of standard, mid-ranged and spacious suites, designed with comfort-accentuating accents like super-plush 3000-pocket-sprung beds, soft pillows and state-of-the-art appliances.
The onsite restaurant, Caffe Ethos, is the go-to spot for a traditional English breakfast and colourful spreads of baked goodies served at the classic British high-tea.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ethos Hotel
13. Voco – Oxford Spires, an IHG Hotel – a charming and romantic place to stay in Oxford
A trendy and upscale accommodation situated a stone’s throw away from the vibrant city centre and its popular attractions, Voco – Oxford Spires is a chic address to enjoy a lavish Oxford staycation. The dreamy setting, surrounded by Oxford’s majestic architecture and historic quarters, makes this elegant boutique hotel ideal for honeymoons and romantic getaways.
Voco offers a relaxing abode to escape the humdrum of the busy city centre and unwind in the luxurious comforts of contemporary bedrooms and suites.
Guests enjoy spending time on the scenic river banks of Thames or having picnics in the beautiful apple orchards maintained by the hotel.
This sanctuary of serenity impresses discerning travellers with its diligent housekeeping team, 24/7 service and extravagant indulgences.
- To book, check prices or availability for Voco – Oxford Spires, an IHG Hotel
14. Sabine Barn B&B – a rustic and charming barn perfect if you want to experience a peaceful time
A quaint and charming B&B nestled near the Bridge of Sighs, The Sabine Barn offers a rustic farmhouse-style ambience to indulge in the simplicity and scenery of the English countryside.
Guests can explore sprawling guest rooms equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including high-speed WiFi, smart appliances and en-suite bathrooms.
The rustic chic interiors are vibrant and brightly lit, with the sun-soaked wooden textures that brim up the B&B with inviting warmth and homeliness. Guests can begin their mornings with a full-English breakfast and head out to explore nearby attractions, including the Christ Church, Eynsham Park, and Oxford Castle & Prison.
- To book, check prices or availability for Sabine Barn B&B
15. Burlington House – a quirky-chic Victorian house close to major points of interest
Situated in a verdant section of the historic town of Oxford, Burlington House is a quintessentially English bed & breakfast that combines homely warmth with contemporary comforts.
This 1889 Victorian home was the primary residence of a prominent merchant, repurposed into a lavish B&B with beautifully landscaped gardens.
Voted as one of the 50 Best B&Bs by The Independent, the Burlington House overshadows popular corporate hotels with personal touches, such as the aroma of freshly baked goodies, impressive attention to detail, and indulgent breakfast spreads.
Travellers can explore 12 gracefully appointed bedrooms equipped with modern appliances and amenities to rival high-end boutique hotels. The delightful Japanese courtyard offers an ambient setting to unwind after an exhausting day of sightseeing.
- To book, check prices or availability for Burlington House
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.