24-Hour Room Service: The Old Parsonage Hotel, Oxford

Forget the rambling Randolph. If you're staying in Oxford, the Old Parsonage is the place to book. Michael Caine and Judi Dench haveboth been recent guests and the ancient creeper-covered building is not so much full of character as a character in itself. Lying behind St Gileschurch and between Keble and Somerville Colleges, it exudes the kind of amiable arrogance that comes with having been around for years.

Forget the rambling Randolph. If you're staying in Oxford, the Old Parsonage is the place to book. Michael Caine and Judi Dench haveboth been recent guests and the ancient creeper-covered building is not so much full of character as a character in itself. Lying behind St Gileschurch and between Keble and Somerville Colleges, it exudes the kind of amiable arrogance that comes with having been around for years.

In fact everything about the hotel is reassuring. The atmosphere is homely but not stuffy, the decor modern but not too trendy and the roomscomfortable but not fussy. Everything has been well thought out, from the gentle jazz and the whiff of fresh flowers in the lobby to the individualhand towels in the toilets.

The Parsonage Bar doubles as the hotel restaurant, where smart and discreet staff serve baked trout and pan-fried venison to guests who loll backon squishy cushions or perch on elegant wood and leather chairs. The dark red walls are crammed with prints and paintings and the whole effectis rather like walking in on an enormous, if rather sedate, house party.

Non-guests are welcome and visitors to the city (as well as residents) often pop in, mid walking tour, for afternoon tea on the terrace or, in theevenings, for cocktails on the roof garden. If it all gets too much in the bar, take refuge in the Pike Room - a smaller lounge - for dinner, drinks ora fireside game of chess.

Location, location, location

The Old Parsonage Hotel is at 1 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6NN (tel 01865 310210, fax 01865 311262, e-mail: oldparsonage@dial.pipex.com)

Perfectly placed to stroll around colleges, museums and parks, the Old Parsonage also has the shops and cafes of Little Clarendon Street closeby. Romantic souls should book in at Gee's Restaurant (same owner as the hotel) just down Banbury Road.

Transport

The hotel is right in the centre of the city, about an hour's drive - or train ride - away from Birmingham and Heathrow airports. Oxfordis also on several intercity train routes and, from London, there is a round-the-clock bus link and four trains an hour from Paddington.

Are you lying comfortably?

The 30 rooms are all individually decorated (in soothing shades of pink and green and beige) and all en suite. Ask for room 26, where OscarWilde once bedded down or room 16 for the honeymoon suite.

For a more traditional touch, the oldest part of the building offers deluxe rooms - room 25 has a magnificent stone fireplace - and some seriouslycreaky timbers.

Freebies: apart from Molton Brown toiletries (what more would you want?) in the bathrooms, the hotel is not big on gimmicks and is all thebetter for it.

Keeping in touch: all rooms have satellite TVs, phones and radios. Fax and Internet services are available at reception.

The bottom line

Single rooms cost £125, double rooms £145-£170 and suites £195, including full English breakfast and VAT.

I'm not paying that

clean and friendly, The Chestnuts Guesthouse is at 45 Davenant Road, Oxford, OX2 8BU (01865 553375) on the corner of Woodstock Road. Doubles cost £64, including breakfast, and if you don't feel like walking into town, there's a bus stop almost rightoutside.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Front of House Receptionist / Receptionist

    £21K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Front of House Receptionist to provide th...

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders