Hotel of the Week: Old Bank Hotel, Oxford

Where is it?: Enviably located, in hotel terms, on one of Oxford's oldest and most famous streets, the High. It's easily reached via the M40 or the M4, and it's only an hour or so from London. Address: Old Bank Hotel, 92-94 High Street, Oxford OX1 4BN (tel: 01865 799599; fax: 01865 799598).

What's it like?

The Old Bank sits proudly among some fine university and private architecture, but the building's own history is fascinating. Past incarnations include an apothecary and Oxford's first bank. For years it was a Barclays, but now it has been transformed into a refreshingly masculine hotel, complete with an impressive modern art collection.

Ambience

Has the feel of a tidy don's study - quiet, refined and contemplative. But for an instant change of pace, pop downstairs to the hotel's Quad Bar & Grill and you'll find a bustling bistro atmosphere.

Service

Staff are pleased to assist with requests as diverse as weather forecasts, shoe-cleaning, medical assistance or babysitting. You will, however, be left to your own devices if required.

Rooms

The 44 rooms are filled with elegant fabrics, fumed oak and leather desks. Well-chosen freebies include Belgian chocolates and a "booty bag" of toiletries and accessories. Prices start at £135 (single) and £155 (double) per night.

Food

High-quality, Mediterranean-influenced food served in a dramatic atmosphere - beneath large modern oil paintings and over cool stone floors.

Clientele

Sophisticated businessmen and women - and anyone who fancies a stylish, contemporary weekend amid the antique architecture of Oxford.

Things to do

If you're stuck for things to do in Oxford, you're really not trying. Shopping, historical tours and cafés for the daytime; recitals, theatres and restaurants for evening. Or, if you'd prefer a romantic evening in, the hotel has a private rooftop viewing-platform with splendid views of floodlit spires and colleges.

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