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I love staying in unique places and this time it is the Prison. But as there are so many places I would love to visit, I am making sure I do a unique stay once a year. This year was the converted castle to prison to luxurious hotel.
So after work on a Friday night, we drove over two hours to try out Malmaison’s prison cell. When we arrived and were checked in, I was surprised to find myself in a suite over two floors with a free-standing bath and disco light shower. This was not what I had booked or was after and the room itself was freezing cold.
So as I had my heart set on the prison cell, I went back to the reception, and after some time, they found me one. The staff was probably surprised to have some refuse an upgraded suite but I requested what I had originally booked. So we were eventually moved to the prison cell
The floor was uneven, we had no view, the room was freezing again but this was just what I had wanted to experience – mind you what is it about air conditioning in UK hotels – we are not even a hot country and sometimes especially at night, there is no need for it !
There are only 38 rooms in A-wing. Each is converted from three adjoining cells, two for the room and one for the bathroom. The thick walls, low ceilings, original iron cell doors and high, barred windows – which do not open. And you can not hear anything in these rooms, it makes a nice change. But if you are next to the nearby Prezzo , you can hear that and on a Friday night after an eight hour work day and two hour drive, its not what you really want. You can also see an original cell which has been preserved. This is found on the lower ground floor on the cell block. And can be acessed by a staircase on the ground floor or the lift.
Or you can choose one of the lighter, airier rooms in the additional buildings or one of seven suites named after former governors, which feature roll-top baths and espresso machines. After seeing one of the suites, I can confirm they are very nice. I was called five days before arrival confirming my room, and parking details. I would also comment, that this is a very expensive hotel, especially if you want to park your car there aswell. And to be honest, I would not return. As quirky as this was, for us it was not worth the price we paid. And if I was staying in Oxford in the summer, I would stay at Christchurch college as that is unique and a fraction of the cost of this place.