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

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss