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Hotel Review: The Buttery, Oxford

Saturday 25 August 2012

The last time I was in Oxford, I didn't see much of the city. I was there for my friend Naomi's wedding, and most of my time was spent pretending to be of help, which in reality meant pretending to be Meryl Streep in Mama Mia.

So on this trip, I was looking forward to exploring Oxford a little more. And the bonus was, Naomi could join me for a lot of it, without me following her around saying "We have time!" every ten minutes.

I was staying in The Buttery Hotel on Broad Street, a busy little street in the middle of Oxford, overlooking Balliol College.

The hotel itself is a rambling little affair, located above a little cafe. It would be hard to beat the location - I was a few minutes walk from most of the major sites I wanted to see, and was pleasantly surprised by how short most of my walks were. Aside from Balliol over the road, St John's College is just around the corner, and the Bodleian Library is seconds away.
The downside to being on a busy street, of course, is the noise. It was unseasonably warm when I stayed, and I tend to sleep with the window open anyway, so it was a little loud. On my second night, I noticed a fan had been put in my room without me asking, which was a nice touch.
My room was a double deluxe, and was incredibly spacious with a huge double bed and plenty of floor space. The sofa can be converted into a bed too, and the room could comfortably fit at least 3 people. There was a gorgeous fireplace filled with pine cones, which had a little light inside creating a gorgeous warming effect in the evening.
As I wrote the other day, breakfast is only served until 9am, as the dining area then turns into a cafe. If you're as lazy as I, this could be a little too early to face the world. But you can get breakfast delivered to your room for just £2, which is the cheapest room service fee I've come across. This made the world of difference to my stay.
It's a pretty big breakfast, too. You can have cereal, pastries, yogurt and a full English if you're feeling up to it. There's also apple and orange juice, as well as tea and coffee, which includes a latte (more often than not, it's a filter coffee or nothing).
There are people at reception all day and night, who you see pretty regularly, as you pass your key in when you leave and collect it on return (something to do with fire regulations, I think). Everyone I met was lovely, especially the poor souls who had to climb three flights of stairs just to bring a breakfast tray to a dishevelled bleary eyed mess each morning.
Speaking of the stairs - as this is an old, pretty small building, there are no lifts, which means the hotel is not wheelchair accessible. When I checked in, the guy on reception offered to carry my suitcase up for me, but I hate having to ask someone to do that for me. But I'm sure it's not a problem.
Oxford is an expensive city. It's expensive to stay there, eat there, drink there. Everyone says it's comparable to London, but honestly, I found it to be a little more expensive, if anything. London has more free sights, and the size of the city means it's easier to find something  a little more suited to a low budget.
The Buttery has rooms starting from £100, and the double deluxe starts from £120 with breakfast. For what you're getting, I think that's a pretty good deal.

The Buttery
11-12 Broad Street

1 comment

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