Photo of Oxford

About Oxford

Which of us with vaguely academic interests hasn’t imagined ourselves strolling, begowned, the hallowed halls, and cobbled lanes, of Oxford? Dreaming amongst the ‘dreaming spires’, and Gothic architecture rendered in stone the colour of biscuits. But don't just's far better in person! The majority our recommendations for the best places to stay in Oxford are centrally located, so very convenient for seeing the sights, but there’s a good variation between luxury stays; romantic, boutique boltholes; great value options; and family friendly properties. We have also recently discovered a couple of excellent pubs-with-rooms, an option that’s very much keeping with the atmosphere of Oxford.

If you’re looking for artsy haunts, you might head to the Jericho area, with its art house cinema, fringe style theatres and plenty of hipster bars and restaurants. Or, if you're after something more upmarket try Summertown to the north. Many of the sites you’re probably here to see are Oxford’s colleges. Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and the architecture of its colleges and buildings straddles all periods from the late Anglo Saxon period, when the university was founded. The university’s buildings are scattered around the city — which is why Oxford is best explored on foot, or by bike. Some colleges are open to the public during term time, but more are open in the vacations.

Oxford also has a number of impressive museums, the Ashmolean being the best known, followed closely by The Bodleian Library and Radcliff Camera. Other notables are the Museum of Oxford, which tells the tale of the city; the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, home to the Oxford Dodo; and the Pitt Rivers Museum, an ethnology museum still arranged in the Victorian style. If the weather allows, we also can’t recommend punting enough!

With its easy access from London, the city is an extremely popular year-round destination. So if you're planning a visit and want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Oxford, get organised and book well ahead.

The Best Places to Stay in Oxford

For a City Break

  • Malmaison Oxford, a quirky and contemporary hotel, was once a castle and a prison and still has the heavy doors, with their telltale dents, and barred windows to prove it. It's surprisingly light and airy — the vast, three storey central atrium is spectacular and you can sit outside in the Exercise Yard or sip cocktails in the Visitor's Room.
  • If you're happy with a traditional exterior, but prefer something a bit more contemporary inside, book a room at the Old Bank Hotel. This old bank has Georgian and Elizabethan heritage with some spectacular exposed beams and latticed windows. But even the most traditional features are finished with a stylish, contemporary edge. There's modern art on the walls and the brasserie is always packed.
  • The Randolph Hotel by Graduate is an Oxford landmark transformed into a chic, boutique-style hotel. It’s still elegant and grand on the outside, with 150+ rooms and suites, but now its interiors have had a glossy and glamorous makeover. There’s also an upgraded spa and wellness menu, two restaurants and two rather grand hotel bars: The Snug, which reimagines a university library, and The Morse Bar.

Best Pubs-with-Rooms

  • The Porterhouse is a restaurant-with-rooms rather than a pub, but it still has a bar, so you could argue either way! What you can’t argue with it that this is a restaurant for carnivores and their friends — you will see meat on display, with cuts to choose from, and there’s a lot of meat on the menu! There are just seven rooms, upstairs, painted in dark, moody colours, with velvet accents, sultry lighting, and black and white photographs on the walls. Adults only, and ideal for a mini-break.

For Romantics

  • The Old Parsonage Hotel is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Oxford for couples. They have a wedding license, so are well geared up for special occasions with their super-comfy beds, excellent brasserie, romantic log fires and pretty roof terrace. They can also provide you with the perfect transport for hopping between Oxford's most romantic spots with bikes and punts for the River Cherwell.
  • The Vanbrugh House Hotel is another property that effortlessly merges the old and new. Behind the Georgian facade in the heart of Oxford are 22 rooms and suites, which riff on the building’s original features. Expect contemporary style fireplaces, plenty of wood panelling, and luxurious fabrics in plain neutrals. The bar and restaurant follow a similar theme.

Prefer a Private Apartment or Cottage?

  • If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner,

Travel Information

  • Oxford’s closest airport is Heathrow, from where you’re about an hour away by car, or an hour and a half by bus or train. If you’re coming via London, the easiest way to travel is by train from Paddington — the journey takes about an hour.
  • If you want to hire a car we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • Summer is probably the busiest time to visit Oxford, that’s partly due to summer being the most popular time for visiting the UK, and because Oxford is on many people’s bucket list. June, July and August are obviously ideal for going punting, but they're not the best months for seeing Oxford’s student community in action — it is a good time for touring the colleges, though. Autumn is perfect for exploring the surrounding countryside on foot, and spring is the time for wildflowers, and for jaunts into the Cotswolds. Winter is lovely, with the Christmas market lights twinkling off the cobblestoned streets, and everyone wrapped up warmly.

Still not sure where to stay?


Monthly Weather in Oxford

Best Hotels in Oxford

  • The Tower House Oxford 8 rooms from £120

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly located in the heart of the city.
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance from the Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll through the pretty Christ Church Meadows.
    Disabled accessNo pets

    A charming boutique hotel and social enterprise in the heart of the historic city. Light and airy individually styled rooms feature reclaimed or antique furniture and a fresh palette. The best has a roll top bath. An indulgent breakfast is included in the cost in neighbouring Turl Street Kitchen. See More

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  • Malmaison Oxford Oxford (3 New Road) 95 rooms from £179

    City Style  -  Modern hotel in the heart of historic Oxford
    Local markets  -  Oxford Covered Market
    Sights nearby  -  Bridge of Sighs
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    RestaurantPet friendlyParking
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection

    Fantastically modern interiors and stunning atrium in this atmospheric castle and former prison. Sleep in converted cells with original fittings and Gothic colours. New, airier rooms are also available in the additional buildings. Good brasserie food and a smart neon-lit cocktail bar. See More

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  • The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Oxford 151 rooms from £180

    Bar  -  Both bars are statement spaces; The Snug reimagines a traditional English library while The Morse Bar channels times of yore
    City Style  -  With nods to the past but firmly in the present, this sassy remodelled grand dame is the ultimate 21st century pied-a-terre
    Spa  -  The spa boasts 5 treatment rooms and a thermal suite; complete with a sauna, steam room, ice fountain & experience shower
    Wellbeing  -  Impressive range of wellness treatments include facials, massages, tea & therapy sessions & cancer touch treatments
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    Classic Oxford building transformed into cool & contemporary boutique-style hotel. Glossy & glam, traditional wood panelling, floral wallpapers & nods to Oxford Alumni have been made cool again across chic dining spaces & atmospheric bars. The super location makes this a hit with all. See More

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  • The Porterhouse Oxford 7 rooms from £180

    Foodies  -  If you are a meat lover, this could be the perfect place to stay.
    Local exploring  -  A great base from which to explore Oxford.
    Sights nearby  -  With around forty colleges to choose from, it would be hard to come to Oxford without visiting at least one or two.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.

    Just a short walk from Oxford city centre, The Porterhouse is a superb restaurant with excellent rooms. The seven stylishly decorated rooms are pretty, comfortable and spacious. A superb quality grill restaurant is a haven for meat lovers. Perfect for a weekend among the spires. See More

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  • Old Parsonage Hotel Oxford 35 rooms from £195

    Writing a novel  -  This recently refurbished masterpiece was once home to Oscar Wilde, sit in the luxurious library and draw inspiration.
    Great walks  -  Book a guided walking tours of the city and University Colleges.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit any one of the 38 University Colleges.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    A luxury boutique hotel in a wonderfully old building. The rooms have simple contemporary design. Bathrooms are pleasingly indulgent. A small but well stocked library is awaiting academics. The restaurant is excellent. Highly recommended. See More

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  • Old Bank Hotel Oxford 42 rooms from £195

    Local exploring  -  Neighbouring some of the oldest Oxford colleges and within walking distance of shops, theatre and the city’s Botanical Gardens.
    City Style  -  Georgian alcoves, wood-paneled walls and large sash windows meet bold modern art and understated elegant interiors.
    Sights nearby  -  Plenty of sights to see nearby, the hotel is opposite St Mary’s Church, and neighbouring University and Merton.
    Great walks  -  Riverside and meadow walks from the hotel or walking tours with a guide.
    RestaurantDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide

    Sophisticated hotel with buzzing restaurant and bar. Tudor interiors updated with chic styling and large beds. Discreet and laid back luxury and perfectly positioned for sights. Contemporary art on the walls. An ideal city stay. See More

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  • Vanbrugh House Hotel Oxford 22 rooms from £199

    City Style  -  A chic boutique property in the heart of the city.
    Sailing  -  Hire a punt and float down the river in true Oxbridge style.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    RestaurantParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    A chic boutique property in the heart of the city. Beautifully styled rooms perfectly merge the old and the new, with bold printed fabrics standing out against creamy walls, and ornate fireplaces contrasting with simple contemporary furniture. Comfortable and convenient, ideal for city breaks. See More

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