Oxford’s newest hotel The Store set to open

Department store Boswells closed in 2020 and the historic building in Broad Street has been transformed into a 101-bedroom boutique hotel with a rooftop bar and terrace.

Owners Reef Group had hoped to open the hotel before the end of 2023 but contractors Gilbert-Ash were hit by unexpected delays and it will now open on Tuesday.

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The history of the site will not be forgotten after Boswells staff left behind 2,000 old prints, reflecting the department’s store’s history.

Some of these will now be displayed in the hotel’s bedrooms.

Oxford Mail: Guests will be given a further understanding of the history of the site through QR codes.

“There will be a QR code for guests in the bedrooms which will give them an understanding of what they are looking at through the window,” Mr Drake, a former general manager of the Randolph Hotel, said earlier.

“It’s a very historic site – the Treadwell restaurant on the ground floor is being named after Treadwell Passage which used to run between 30 and 31 Cornmarket Street,” he added.

“And from some of the bedroom windows you will get views no one else will see – including parts of the old city wall dating back to 1660.”

Oxford Mail: A bar at The StoreThe Treadwell will use sustainably sourced produce from local suppliers and aims to bring multicultural influences to British dishes.

Also on the ground floor, The Bar at The Store will have floor to ceiling windows overlooking Broad Street, with a fireside snug next to it.

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For guests looking for luxury, 14 bedrooms on the two top floors have their own roof terraces, with deluxe level rooms costing from £380 a night, £100 a night more than entry level bedrooms.

Only 11 out of 101 bedrooms have been fitted with baths – but that is a deliberate decision allowing designers to make individual bedrooms more spacious.

Oxford Mail: A view from The StoreIn the basement, just below Broad Street, there is a sauna, steam room and gym.

The Roof bar and terrace is expected generate excitement among guests because of its stunning views of the dreaming spires.

Mr Drake estimates that he has counted about 57 spires which are visible from the roof terrace and will invite guests to make their own calculations.

Oxford colleges, the Westgate Centre, and even the John Radcliffe Hospital are visible from the terrace, which will be open to the public and offer seating inside and outside for about 70 guests.

A private party for invited guests is scheduled for May 16.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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