Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

The Old Bank

Rates per night from$182.15

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP141.67), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Smart money

Setting

Town and gown

Old Bank Hotel, or some incarnation of the institution, has occupied an enviable site on Oxford’s charming high street for centuries. Where lenders once counted coins, guests can now settle in and make a savvy investment in relaxation. The rooms of this art-filled hotel are sleek and modern – many look out over the University’s library and well-known colleges – and the adjoining mod-Mediterranean restaurant is a local favourite. Step up, check in, deposit your luggage in your pretty city stay and start raking in the relaxation dividends of a boutique city break.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A collection of locally sourced gins in your room on arrival, and a cocktail of your choice

Facilities

Photos The Old Bank facilities

Need to know

Rooms

43, including one junior suite and two suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $182.15 (£142), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates generally exclude breakfast (£15.95 for a Full English, £13.95 for a vegetarian breakfast, or à la carte options from £5.50).

Also

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson – more famously known as Lewis Carroll – banked on these premises in the early 1800s.

At the hotel

WiFi, a library and Velorbis bicycles to borrow. In rooms: a flatscreen TV, tea- and coffee-making kit, Noble Isle bath products and a minibar stocked with local goodies and free bottled water; suites also have a Nespresso machine.

Our favourite rooms

No need to climb St Mary’s tower if you stay in the Room with the View – you’ll get sweeping views of the Oxford High Street, libraries and spired colleges from your private terrace.

Spa

In-room treatments can be arranged on request.

Packing tips

Stylishly scholarly tweeds and your best straw boating hat.

Also

There’s a fully accessible Deluxe Double room – with soaring ceilings and views of the inner courtyard – on the ground floor.

Children

Cots can be arranged on request, there’s a children’s menu in Quod and babysitting is available for £15 an hour, with a week’s notice.

Food and Drink

Photos The Old Bank food and drink

Top Table

Snag a seat by the window for a view of the pretty high street, or an alfresco table in the courtyard if the weather suits.

Dress Code

Kit yourself out like a roving art historian or resident novelist – a dash of artistic flair works well here.

Hotel restaurant

Quod restaurant serves up Mediterranean-inspired seasonal fare to guests and locals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start your day with eggy favourites, fluffy buttermilk pancakes or a hearty Full English. Later in the day, snack on roasted beetroot and goat’s cheese tarts or handpicked potted crab on sourdough toast; for the main event, order colourful pizzas, expertly grilled steaks or fish flanked by seasonal veggies. Afternoon tea – dainty sandwiches, homemade scones and all – is available every day; take it in the library or on the Italian-style garden terrace. Something to celebrate? Tea time’s as good as any to pop the champagne…

Hotel bar

The bar is part of Quod restaurant; pull up a stool and order classic cocktails, velvety wines and local lagers. Try a few modern twists – a salted caramel macchiato cocktail or a Seedlip-based ginger pear punch; there’s an oyster bar too, if you’re feeling particularly decadent.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am to 11am; order from the all-day menu between 11.30am and 11pm. Sunday roast is available from noon to 3.30pm and afternoon tea is available each day from 3pm to 5pm.

Room service

Order from the dedicated room service menu any time of the day or night. Your minibar is stocked with drinks and goodies of both the sweet and savoury varieties.

Location

Photos The Old Bank location
Address
The Old Bank
92-94 High St.
Oxford
OX1 4BJ
United Kingdom

Old Bank Hotel is on Oxford’s historic High Street, opposite the University Church of St Mary.

Planes

London’s Heathrow International Airport is about an hour away by car; hotel transfers can be arranged on request.

Trains

Trains from London, Birmingham and Manchester regularly pull into Oxford Station, which is five minutes by car from the hotel.

Automobiles

The car park is at the rear of the hotel, off Magpie Lane, and has a slightly different postcode to the hotel – use OX1 4ES as your destination. Guests park for free, but you’ll need to reserve a space. If you’re arriving via St Aldates, you’ll need to call the hotel to have the traffic bollard in Oriel Square lowered.

Worth getting out of bed for

Take to the windy River Thames on a student-propelled boat for a leisurely float through Christ Church grounds; extra points for remembering your straw boating hat. Get a mini-history-degree (and visit some famous literary and film sites) with a walking tour of central Oxford. Art history buffs – fans of the Pre-Raphaelites, especially – can make their way through the many levels of the Ashmolean Museum. Bibliophiles, architecture enthusiasts and film buffs alike will find something that fascinates them on a quick tour of the Bodleian Library – home to the university’s impressive archive.

Local restaurants

Swing by Society Café to fuel up for your rowing excursion with rich coffees and trendy pastries. Homey Hamblin Bread serves breakfast, lunch and, on Saturdays, pizzas – all carb-laden goodies are made in house, of course; the café is closed on Monday and Tuesday. For locally inspired dinners, book a table at the hotel’s sister restaurant The Parsonage Grill, on the north end of the city centre. On cooler nights, select a snug table in the portrait-lined restaurant, or head out to the courtyard for leisurely summer evening meals.

Local bars

Wander under the Bridge of Sighs, which connects two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane, down a narrow alleyway (now marked for your drinking convenience) to historic pub-meets-beer-garden the Turf Tavern, where former President Clinton allegedly ‘did not inhale’. Pass on the grass and opt for ales and pitchers of fruit-logged Pimm’s. Chilly out? Head to the Bear Inn – a classic, cosy Oxford pub lined wall-to-wall-to-ceiling with the clippings of ties (the former barter-price of a drink).

Reviews

Photos The Old Bank reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this art-filled hotel in the land of academia and unpacked their college scarves and newly acquired knowledge, a full account of their boutique city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Old Bank Hotel in Oxford…

You know the old story about the draper, the banker, the art collector and the boutique hotel lover… No? Perhaps not quite as famous as Alice in Wonderland – written by one of the former bank’s clients – but this is the story of Old Bank Hotel in Oxford. The current establishment sits on the site of a drape-making outfit turned lending institution that was reimagined into a modern art–filled stay, just beyond the impressive dome of the university’s Radcliffe Camera.

Treat the hotel like part mod museum, part novelists’ hideaway and part restaurant with (many) sleek, bright rooms. It’s all smack in the centre of the spired city’s high street – you’ll feel smarter just wandering past the impressive college gates. Smarter still? Leisurely dinners in the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant after a row down the Thames or walk through nearby Christ Church college’s rolling grounds. Double firsts all around.

The Guestbook

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