The cheapest accommodations around the United Kingdom usually are bed and breakfasts, but even in cities as small as Oxford, standards are highly variable and a change in fortunes can turn last year's charming guesthouse into this year's "Fawlty Towers." Oxford is an expensive place for city center accommodations, so choosing a well-known, budget-brand hotel a few miles out of the center is the most reliable option for visitors.
Days Inn Oxford M40
The Days Inn near Oxford is clean, modern and basic. Unusually for a budget-priced hotel, wireless Internet is free in all rooms and flat-screen digital televisions receive 60 channels. The hotel is 6 miles from Oxford center in the Welcome Break service area on the main London-to-West Midlands motorway. The service area has several fast food restaurants and shops as well as a 24-hour arcade. With easy-on, easy-off motorway access to both London and Birmingham, this hotel is useful for short stopovers or to break a long journey.
Premier Inn Oxford
Oxford's Premier Inn is beside Oxford Business Park, about 3 miles from the city center. Premier Inn is the biggest hotel brand in the UK and rooms throughout the chain are pretty much identical: simple, clean and practical with comfortable beds and modern en suite shower rooms. The hotel has ample free parking and an on-site budget restaurant. This is a hotel for sleeping and freshening up rather than lingering. But, in its class, it is well run and a good value.
Holiday Inn Express Oxford Kassam Stadium
Kassam Stadium, home of the Oxford United Football Club, also is the location of The Quadrangle, Oxfordshire's largest meeting and event venue, with free parking for 2,000 cars. Visitors staying at the adjacent Holiday Inn Express can zip into the center of Oxford 5 miles away. The hotel, opened in 2002, has 162 contemporary rooms, a breakfast room for continental breakfast and a bar. A leisure center, with gym and swimming pool open to non-members, is within a five- to ten-minute walk.
Travelodge Oxford Peartree
This hotel, at the Peartree Roundabout, is right beside a convenient and frequent park-and-ride service into Oxford city center, 3 miles away. Despite being close to several busy highways, rooms are quiet. Beds and bathrooms are clean and well maintained but tired looking and well used -- possibly a trade-off for the very low price. Other trade-offs include pay parking, no toiletries and "breakfast in a bag" available to purchase but probably best left behind. The key draw of this Travelodge is the very low price of an adequate family room so close to Oxford.
- Days Inn Oxford M40; Welcome Break Service Area; Oxfordshire OX33 1LJ; 011-44-1865-877-000
- Premier Inn Oxford; Garsington Road; Oxford OX4 2JT; 011-44-871-527-8866
- Holiday Inn Express; Oxford-Kassam Stadium; Grenoble Road; Oxford OX4 4XP; 011-44-1865-780-888
- Travelodge Oxford Peartree; Peartree Roundabout; Woodstock Road; Oxford OX2 8JZ; 011-44-871-984-6206
- Oxford Peartree Park and Ride
- Kassam Stadium: The Quadrangle
- observatory image by wawan from Fotolia.com