As Oxford grows, the demand for more hotels increases. While students live off campus, they often visit area hotels to eat, study and congregate before a night out on the town.
The Courtyard by Mariott Oxford at 305 Jackson Ave E. in Oxford is one of the latest hotel additions. University of Mississippi sophomore, Anna Kate Draper, of Roanake, Virginia, is a fan of the new hotel.
“It’s really hard for people to find places to stay on big weekends in Oxford,” said Draper, whose parents have spent the night in Tupelo because Oxford hotels are often full. “If you don’t book at least five months in advance for a big weekend, there’s a good chance you’re out of luck.”
New hotels offer more options. “My parents have stayed at the new Marriott twice now,” says Draper. “The location is great and so is the atmosphere. They did such a good job.”
The hotel has 121 rooms, an indoor pool and a rooftop bar called the Green Roof Lounge that overlooks campus. Draper believes the grass and trees on the rooftop bar give the lounge a unique setting.
“I feel like it would be the perfect place for literally anything,” she said. “A wedding reception, a birthday party – I think it would all be great.
“The other awesome thing about the Green Roof Lounge is that you don’t have to be a guest of the hotel just to go to it,” said Draper. She and her friends go to the hotel lounge before they hit the Square. “It’s awesome because it’s not as expensive as the Graduate rooftop, but it’s the same feel, and it’s just as nice.”
The Green Roof Lounge offers many cocktails, a wine list, and specializes in tapas that are meant for sharing. The new Marriott also has a lobby lounge where students can study or adults can hold meetings. It serves Starbucks coffee and has booths and other tables.
Many Ole Miss students are excited to have a new place to study. UM junior Bailey Thomas, of Nashville, loves her new study spot.
“I’m not a huge fan of the library at all, because it’s always too crowded, and because I hate the atmosphere,” said Thomas.
The Graduate Hotel, Starbucks, Cups or High Point Coffee all offer study spots, but Thomas said these places fill up fast, especially during a busy week like mid-terms or finals. Thomas said she was delighted when she discovered the lobby of the new Marriott.
“My parents were here for the weekend, and they were staying at the Marriott,” she said. “I was waiting for them in the lobby, and I saw the little lounge where they serve food and Starbucks coffee. Any place that serves Starbucks coffee is sure to be a winner.”
Thomas fears people will eventually crowd the new lobby. “At the rate Oxford is growing, it’s almost inevitable that’s going to happen, but for now, I just have to enjoy it as my hidden gem,” she said.