Well, it's not the worst hostel I ever stayed in but it's quite close, and to be the only one I ever stayed at in my home country I am quite ashamed. First off, a sign, or even a note on the door stating that 'this is the place you are looking for!', would be helpful. We had to take a guess that it was the place with all the unhappy smoking people lurking about outside. When we got in, we knew why those people were unhappy. The only reason I booked this hostel was because they had a space in one room for 4 people (us) and were expecting to be in that same room ( a 6 man dorm) with maybe 2 strangers, but...we got separated 2 in one (creaky 3rd floor) , 2 in the basement and the two of us in the basement had to check out the next day and check back into another room entirely?! our lovely en suite bathroom consisted of a sink crammed in the corner that didn't actually work, it reminded me of a scene from an old Resident Evil game. The nearest toilets that worked were on the floor below, which is great when nature creeps up on you in the middle of the night. The only showers are in the basement where you have to walk through the communal area to get to them.
I am 6"5 in height. The beds may have been luxurious if you were about 5"7 but if you like sleeping in the foetal position, this is certainly the place for you. My friends were also put in a 9 bed room the first night even though we paid for 6, we questioned it at reception to which they replied 'Oh, that room is only used as a 6 bed anyway'. Forgetting that I was born yesterday and clearly not knowing any better from previously travelling 5 continents and never hearing that excuse, I decided to ask about train tickets. The train tickets had miraculously sold out too! They may have been accidentally put in the microwave which would explain why that was also out of order. The pillows were not particularly clean and the staff seem stretched and dismissive. I think a bulldozer might help the structural maze of the building and the toilets might be better if they weren't communal, mainly for the women because some guys, like most rats, seem to be incontinent and leave them in a right state. That's not the hostels fault, but I guess they are taking their anger out on them because they lost the fight for the one plug socket in their room.
On the plus side, security was strong, so strong that we had to show our keycards twice in 2 minutes at one point! I think he may have thought that we looked too happy to be staying there and wanted to check :). No bed bugs that I know of either and there's a neat little bar around the corner.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This hostel is in the heart of London, a 10-minute walk from King's Cross Railway Station and the British Library. It provides budget accommodation with free WiFi access throughout. The Smart Hostel Russell Square offers beds in mixed-sex dorms. Linen is provided and security lockers are available in all rooms. Shared and en-suite facilities are available depending on room type. Reception is open 24 hours a day, and there are no curfews or lock-out times. Guests can receive tourist information and discount tickets for major attractions. The hostel's common room features a large TV, and some shared kitchen facilities are available. Self-service laundry facilities and an internet cafe are also offered on site. Russell Square Underground Station is 252 yrd away. The Foundling Museum, Islington Farmers Market and University College London are all within 10 minutes' walk. Camden is a great choice for travellers interested in Theatre, Museums and Culture. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Smart Russell Square Hotel London