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“Friends mocked me all weekend for booking us in here!”

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Smart Russell Square Hostel
Ranked #514 of 871 Speciality Lodging in London
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Friends mocked me all weekend for booking us in here!”
Reviewed 7 April 2014

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.

Room Tip: "good rooms are plentiful in other hostels"
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank JamesAgombar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marta K, Guest Relations Manager at Smart Russell Square Hostel, responded to this review, 10 April 2014
Hey there! Thank you for your comment. Some of the things you've mentioned are being resolved right now. The hostel is undergoing a refurbishment and the rooms will all have en-suite bathrooms. Also we apologize for the inconvenience caused by our standard sized beds, 6ft 5in is a height way above average. We do our best to keep the stock of everything we sell in the hostel though sometimes deliveries are delayed, and we are situated in a listed building so the inconvenient layout with stay as it is. We are sorry you didn't enjoy your stay with us.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
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English first
Aalborg, Denmark
1 review
Reviewed 6 April 2014

Typical hostel with typical problems, terrible showers with no temperature adjustment, just a few sockets and just one type of meal for the breakfast. wifi is slow but works also on some rooms, toilets are clean and inside are nice people. Hostels are for young people who usually just need to place to sleep and all day long are outside, and for sleeping is the place fine. So average for me

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank verdaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marta K, Guest Relations Manager at Smart Russell Square Hostel, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Thank you very much for tour review. We take our guests feedback seriously and we will try to work on the things you have mentioned.
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Zagreb, Croatia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 March 2014

Terrible what else to say... they put 12 of us in the basement with no window to open, then they moved us to another room on the 3rd floor (no elevator!), after that again to basement and they moved our things by themselves (stafff) and touched our things (suitcases, wardrobe..), they broke my phone charger, stole my Hawaiians! the so called ˇmanagerˇ was sooo rude, threaten to call the police and I was robed! didnt want to return us money... not a clean place to sleep or eat! I couldnt get the wifi and had to pay a 1 pound for half an hour of Internet (had to do stg for my college).. I like Egyptians and have many friends but this egyptian staff is the worse scumm of egyptians I have ever met...

Room Tip: dont accept the basement room!! go to another hostel!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kika M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marta K, Guest Relations Manager at Smart Russell Square Hostel, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Thank you for your feedback and we apologize for the inconvenience that was caused by the need of changing the rooms. We are located in a beautiful listed building and putting an elevator in is not possible also sometimes there is a need of changing the rooms and the staff do everything they can to proceed as seamlessly as possible. The accusations of our staff taking your shoes are unfair and we do not take responsibility for the items lost in the premises, that is why our Manager refused to compensate for your loss. The Wi-Fi is available for free in the common areas and for the access in the rooms we charge £1 per 24 hours.
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Travellers are raving about these London hotels

Zagreb, Croatia
2 reviews
Reviewed 20 March 2014

This is the worst hostel ever! dont go here! they put us in a room with 12 people (that is not the problem) but that was basement room without a window, we told the owner to fix that window and he said that he doesnt care, showers, toilet and everything is soo dirty, the walls are so thin so you can hear everything. Price, comparing to everything, is veery high because you can get a double room in a HOTEL for 30 pounds. Also the owner is the rudest person ever. I did not believe it could be so terrible but it was.Also someone stole my friends shoes and we told the owner to find them or to pay us and he told us, of course, that he doesnt care.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank timi m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marta K, Guest Relations Manager at Smart Russell Square Hostel, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Thank you for your feedback and we apologize if you weren't satisfied with our service and If you got the impression that our manager doesn't care. First of all we are not responsible of any items lost in the hostel so we always advise our guests to take good care of their belongings. Our housekeeping staff start as early as 06:30 and finish at 23:00. We do regular check every one hour during these times to maintain good cleaning quality. However, if any cleaning issues get reported to receptionists by guests, it will be dealt with promptly. We hope you will give us another chance and stay with us again.
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Trieste, Italy
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2014

Ok, you get what you pay: the location is nice (you can visit the city centre on foot), 1 minute away from a tube which brings you everywhere.
There are no showers at every floor, but the toilets are almost at every floor, male and female mixed, quite clean (but it depends on the guests!). The breakfast consists in the usual "hostel breakfast": bread/milk/tea/coffee/cornflakes.
But make sure they put you in an upper floor!!!
For the first 2 nights we were in the basement, room 17, which was a terrible experience! The "soundtrack" of the room was the endless noise of the sewage pipe, but above all we were 12 guests in a room without a window (actually there was a window but it was obstructed by a block of concrete wall from outside). All the wet boots and socks of the 12 guests made the room so smelly that we couldn't even breathe! I was feeling like choking. We asked to change room and luckily got it!! The girl of the reception saved our trip.

Room Tip: evitate il Basement come la peste.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank -o-rainbow-o-
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014 via mobile

I only stayed at this hostel for two nights, which was fine - Any longer and I would definitely have preferred to stay elsewhere. The rooms are very small and crowded, with only two powerpoints (one of which was taken by one person the entire time, they were also in a corner that could barely be reached due to bags and a sink in the way - it was really inconvenient, many of us had to charge our phones in the common area instead), barely any room for luggage, and the doors would start to beep loudly if you didn't close them within a second or two. The one good thing about the rooms were that the bunks had curtains, which is nice. I found that the heating was up far too high, I kept waking up in the middle of the night sweating! The showers are the type where you push a button and get maybe 20-30 seconds of hot water. If there was more than one other person in the shower block with you, you could say goodbye to that hot water. There were maybe 15 showers in the block, so it was nice not having to wait. There is also no proper door or shelves in the showers, just a curtain, so you need to leave your towel hanging outside and all your stuff in another area. There were lockers, but to be honest, I couldn't be bothered paying to use them. The common room was VERY crowded, to the point where it was uncomfortable. Breakfast was just cornflakes and toast. The milk was off the first morning I was there. The wifi was pretty unreliable and unavailable in the rooms unless you pay extra. 6 pounds to use the washer and drier, and none of the sinks have plugs, making hand-washing really difficult.

Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank alicewendy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caerano
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

The hostel is quite good, you have to share the room with other people but each bed has its own curtains and you have your own privacy or at least enough. Breakfast is included and for the price it's really ok. Even the position is good, closed to everything. The staff is kind and even if you come at 2 in the night you are more than welcomed.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Nadia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Smart Russell Square Hostel

Property: Smart Russell Square Hostel
Address: 71-72 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #514 of 871 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Smart Russell Square Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 60
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

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