Vanbrugh House




Hotels in Oxford are full of history, and none more so than Vanbrugh House Hotel. Our building has many secrets and stories to tell, and is inspired by the culture of our ancient city. In this blog, our luxury hotel in Oxford explains what makes us so unique.

We share an architect with Blenheim Palace

One of the most famous and grand buildings in Oxfordshire, Blenheim Palace is a World Heritage Site. The architect, Sir John Vanbrugh, designed a number of other buildings in Oxford, including our very own Vanbrugh House Hotel. Known for his boldly abstracted classical style influenced by European Baroque architecture, his other great works include Castle Howard, a phenomenal country house in York.

Hotel in Oxford

We were home to three generations of famous stonemasons

The Peisleys were the leading stonemasons in Oxford at the time, and were proud to call our building home. Our connection with Blenheim Palace continues, as Bartholomew Peisley created the Palace’s magnificent bridge in the early 18th century. 

Our 22 rooms are influenced by Oxford’s people and places

We are so inspired by the fascinating history of our city, that we had to dedicate each of our uniquely-designed rooms to a specific element. All are named after a historical character or significant location related to Oxford’s past, and you can find the backstory displayed on the bedroom wall. You can read about some of our rooms by clicking on them here, but you’ll have to come and visit us to find out about Bartholemew, Trellis, or St Michael’s Room.

Vanbrugh House Hotel

We have original features, which are over 300 years old

Designed and built in the 17th and 18th centuries, Vanbrugh House Hotel is a Grade II listed building of historical significance, which still retains much of its old-world character. The ground floor holds beautifully panelled rooms, and behind the cellar walls lie vestiges of the original fortifications to protect from the Vikings. Our boutique Oxford hotel also features original delft tiling, acknowledged by the Ashmolean Museum, and a painted alcove which is of special interest to the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments. 

Our accessible room is housed in an old safe

Fittingly titled ‘The Safe Room’, this room was historically used as a safe for Marshall & Galpin Solicitors. Created by famous inventors The Chubb Brothers, the burglar resistant safe housed all their confidential business documents. If you ever stay here, take a peek at the sink and mirror; this was where the door to the safe once stood.

Our luxury Oxford hotel is teeming with intriguing facts and features which make us truly unique. For more insider secrets about the best places to go in Oxford, visit There’s No Place Like Oxford.

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