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“Terrible Hostel”

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Smart Russell Square Hostel
Ranked #530 of 895 Speciality Lodging in London
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Ill equipped and ill informed, rude staff made my stay appalling. Checking in took over an hour because of various mix ups caused by the greeting staff, one key opening the door of two wrong dorm rooms for our booking (doesn't say much for security). Night staff hassling us as we came back from our event regarding our payment, even though we had spent all this time with them checking in and were assured all was fine. We didn't make it through the night. When asked to speak to a manager, no manager was on site and couldn't be called as "they would be asleep", as we should have been being as this was the service we had booked and paid for. I asked to lodge a formal complaint to which I was handed a blank piece of A4 paper, no real complaint process, and I'm sure it ended up in the bin. Barely used the facilities available, not worth the hassle for a cheap place to stay.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
3  Thank Alice H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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234 - 240 of 798 reviews

Reviewed 29 April 2014

Hello, i will recommend to do not go to this place, bed are complete boxes, and i had a dispute with the bed, and they say me to find somewhere else and they will refund the money and after 10 minutes they do not wanted, have to say, than even the mistake was for the girl working on there, she was amazing worker, and a lack of training in this situation, Also the manager is disgraceful!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank Fernando H
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 reviewResponded 1 May 2014

We are continuously seeking ways of improving our service's quality, so thank you for your feedback. We have a strict 24 hour cancellation policy so after checking in we do not refund the amount for the first night stay. We do apologize if this rule was not communicated clearly. We hope you will stay with us again.

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Reviewed 17 April 2014

We booked here because of the location and the unbeatable price, but those were the only 2 positive things about our experience. Beware, this place is not well-marked, not marked at all in fact. No sign out front, nothing, and the address on the website wasn't correct (at least when we were there), so we spent about an hour running up and down the street. Finally we found it, and when we told them how much trouble we'd had getting there, I could not believe how rude the receptions were! They acted like we were total idiots for not finding it right away. I've never encountered such brash, impolite staff at a hostel before.

The rooms themselves weren't bad, decent beds with curtains and roomy lockers, but our room was so unbearably hot at night, even though the window was wide open with near freezing temperatures, that it was very hard to sleep. There's also a lack of outlets in the rooms, which is inconvenient, but then again not unusual in hostels.

In addition, the bathrooms are absolutely disgusting. The ONLY showers in the ENTIRE hostel are all the way downstairs in the basement, and to get there, you have to walk through reception and the lounge and kitchen areas. There was no hot water, and no lights in the sink/toilet area on our floor, so you couldn't see what you were doing unless the sun was shining directly into the bathroom window, which rarely happens in London anyway.

The breakfast is pretty terrible as well, but at least it was free.

Really, if you're thinking about staying here because of the price, it's not worth it in ANY. WAY. There are plenty of other places that cost about the same or even less and there's no way they could possibly be as awful as this one.

Room Tip: We stayed in the female dorm on the 2nd floor. Really hot and loud from all the noise on the street.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Susan T
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 reviewResponded 22 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback. We take our guests comments very seriously. We have different types of dormitories to suit different types of travellers depending on their budget. We offer a cheap and competitive accommodation at very good location. First of all I would like to say that our address is correct on our website but still we are sorry if you got the impression that one of our staff members reacted inappropriately. About the rest of your comments: we are undergoing a refurbishment and all the beds will have power plugs near them and all the rooms are going to be en suite.

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Reviewed 8 April 2014

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with BudgetPlaces
Thank MartinaKarnfeldt
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Marta K, Guest Relations Manager at Smart Russell Square Hostel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2014

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Reviewed 7 April 2014

Stayed for 2 nights. Glad that was all! We booked as 4 people in a six bed en-suite dorm. We were put in 2 seperate rooms. 2 of us on top floor and 2 in basement...in a 9 bed dorm. The two in basement were also made to check out the next day and check in again. The people in our dorm also had to do this and we all ended up together again in another room which was a bit better.dont see why they had to move us and was spare beds so all four of our group could have been together but were not allowed. No rooms are en suite so don't know where that came from.basement toilet could do with being renovated. Toilets on top floor were out of order. Had to walk to the basement for a shower. The beds did have curtains which was good for privacy. Only 2 sockets for the dorm by door so was hard to charge items. Was pretty cheap so can't grumble to much at price but I would pay a few quid extra to stay elsewhere if I were you! Not recommended at all!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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3  Thank Yobnation
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 reviewResponded 10 April 2014

Thank you for your review and we are really sorry you didn't enjoy your experience in our Smart Russell Square Hostel. We take our guests feedback very seriously. Sometimes it happens that there is a need for changing rooms in the middle of the stay and we are sorry for all the inconvenience it's causing. We are undergoing a refurbishment for all our rooms to be en suite.

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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"
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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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 reviewResponded 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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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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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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 #530 of 895 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range: £11 - £70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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