On the southern edge of Summertown the major suburban shopping suburb of north Oxford. Not only does it have M&S, the Co-op and a Tesco but a host of coffee shops and some very good restaurants and drinking places. There’s even an art gallery nearby. Though solidly built in the early years of the 20th century, Summertown contains nothing of architectural interest but the facilities are excellent. The centre of Oxford is a mile away, south down the Banbury Road.
All 32 rooms have been given a thorough refurbishment since Gwyn took over the family business. Expect fitted cupboards of an excellent standard and wall-mounted TVs with surround sound. Mr Jones has also thickened the walls, built up the floors and sound-proofed the ceilings to turn what were once family rooms into hotel bedrooms. Décor is bold with bedspreads in pink or lime. Glass headboards are something new and carpets have been replaced by dark wood effect flooring. If the corridors are still a touch b&b, the rooms are boutique. There is free WiFi throughout.
The breakfast room is spacious, stylish and sunny and lets on to a garden with sculptures, seating areas and very large koi carp in a pond five inches deep. The guest lounge is part of the breakfast conservatory.
Eating and drinking
Full English or Continental Breakfast is provided in the conservatory. For all other meals it’s assumed you’ll want to go into Oxford or enjoy the delights of Summertown. The choice is wide – the Summertown Wine Café, Mama Mia, Hong Kong, Cibo, Xi’an...
Nothing is too much trouble for Gwyn or his mother. There are some canny regular staff too although some of the English spoken is less than ideal.
Who stays there
Business during the week and families of students all year round. Some tourists as well as wedding guests (Oxford hosts a lot of weddings).
Double room rates vary according to size. Room rates include buffet breakfast.
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- No fuss
Pros & Cons
- Conservatory and garden are great places to sit and work
- Reasonably priced
- More stylish than you’d expect
- Summertown looks too much like home
- A mile out of Oxford