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The Inspector gets a first look at Oxford’s latest hotel – from where you can ‘almost touch the dreaming spires’

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You can smell the paint. Everything is fresh, clean, inviting. It’s day two at The Store, a 101-room hotel in central Oxford, so-named as it occupies what was Boswells, which opened in 1738, trading in luggage.

Today it sells pared-back, comfortable rooms, mainly in white with nothing on the walls, some with balconies from where you can almost touch the ‘dreaming spires’. Trinity College is just across the road.

There’s a 15 per cent opening discount and, space permitting, everyone is upgraded. Even so, The Store is pricey, with rooms starting at nearly £300.

The Inspector visits The Store, a new hotel in the heart of Oxford

The Inspector visits The Store, a new hotel in the heart of Oxford 

The hotel sells 'pared-back, comfortable rooms, mainly in white with nothing on the walls'

The hotel sells ‘pared-back, comfortable rooms, mainly in white with nothing on the walls’

TRAVEL FACTS

The Store, 1-5 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3AG. Doubles from £285 b&b. For more information call 01865 950666 or visit thestoreoxford.com

Rating out of five stars: ****

The fifth floor roof-top bar (where food will be served soon) is a terrific spot, while the main bar (‘it’s meant to be the longest in Oxford,’ says a staff member) is on the ground floor with a snug next to it. An Oskia spa lurks in the basement – but there’s no pool. 

Treadwell is the cheerful restaurant at the back of the building, with a separate entrance from the pedestrian precinct. The chef likes his burnt chilli and crispy shallots. They feature in my delicious asparagus starter and the tuna steak – and appear again at breakfast with my scrambled eggs and bacon muffin.

I’m given something of a morning workout as the lifts aren’t working and I’m on the fourth floor. Such hiccups are to be expected at this stage – but there seems to be more builders carrying power tools than there are guests.

A surprise awaits at check-out. The duty manager says he won’t charge me for dinner due to ‘the inconvenience caused’. I say this was minimal, but he won’t hear of it – and I come away hoping The Store will be a big success.

The Inspector has dinner and breakfast at Treadwell, the hotel's 'cheerful' restaurant

The Inspector has dinner and breakfast at Treadwell, the hotel’s ‘cheerful’ restaurant 

Above, the Oskia spa, which is located in the basement

Above, the Oskia spa, which is located in the basement 

The Inspector says The Store has 'balconies from where you can almost touch the dreaming spires'

The Inspector says The Store has ‘balconies from where you can almost touch the dreaming spires’

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