We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Rooms look like in hospital”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Smart Russell Square Hostel
Ranked #495 of 843 Speciality Lodging in London
Zvolen, Slovakia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Rooms look like in hospital”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Hostel is very easy to find. It´s around 10 min by walk from subway. Rooms look like in hospital. Blue courtains and very small space. What i like was locker, which was free of charge and you dont need to use your lock, cause you can open it very simply with your card. For this card you need to pay 10 pounds which are given you back by check out. On reception you can buy some adapters (converter for UK electricity), but they dont borrow them. Breakfast was very simple, just toast, butter, jam and cornflakes. No ham or cheese, no eggs.
One night was ok, but i will not come back

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank alle_alle_alle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott P, Guest Relations Manager at Smart Russell Square Hostel, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Hi. Thanks for taking the time to write a review. Glad you found the Hostel's location helpful. Unfortunately for our current guests we are in the process of refurbishment. We can only apologise for the inconvenience. Fortunately things will be so much better in the near future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

774 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    52
    133
    241
    150
    198
See reviews for
36
67
209
29
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 June 2014

I've stayed at many hostels in my time... So you could call me a hostel-connoisseur.
Unfortunately, this one did not live up to the ratings and reviews which I have read. I really do hope that it was just a one-off because my time was not pleasant.
First blunder, they did not have any towels to rent. Apparently they had ran out. This isn't good enough. Especially when it's hot and you just want a shower first thing in morning.
Second blunder, when I bought a towel for 12.99 because this was the closest shop which sold towels (didn't have time to venture further), the water was cold!!! And none of the showers sprayed water in a straight line!
Third blunder, hair dryer is there for use, but it doesn't turn on!
Fourth blunder, there are no downstairs toilets working, so you have to come back upstairs through reception, and there are only 2! Always occupied, not a surprise.
Basically, if you want happy customers, they need to start the day in a good mood. If none of the bathroom works, they might as well tell is to go piss in the street.
Thank you, good night

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank You52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott P, Guest Relations Manager at Smart Russell Square Hostel, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Hi. Unfortunately for our current guests we are in the process of refurbishment. We can only apologise for the inconvenience. Fortunately things will be so much better in the near future! Hope you'll come back and compare when we've finished the upgrade.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these London hotels

Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Location is the best for this hostel and it is cheap as well. However, there were no sockets in the rooms which was just unbelievable considering that everybody needs to charge at least their cell phones... There was also an extra fee if you wanted a locker. Showers were terrible. Yet, the staff was helpful and breakfast was included to the cheap price so it served okay for a really short stay.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vesavius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scott P, Guest Relations Manager at Smart Russell Square Hostel, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Hi. Glad you found the team friendly and the Hostel handy. Unfortunately for our current guests we are in the process of refurbishment. We can only apologise for the inconvenience. Fortunately things will be so much better in the future, including more power points! Thanks for the review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Despite reading many negative reviews of this place, I thought it would be ok as we were travelling in a large group (11 people) and I always take negative reviews on Trip Advisor with a pinch of salt as many are incorrect and a little snooty. I highly urge you not to read this one in that way.

We arrived at half 4, way after the initial check in time, hoping to arrive at a time when it wouldn't be load of people checking in. We had a gig to get to and were in kind of a rush, but we'd given ourselves 2 hours. However, the women at the reception highly messed up the paying in process and divided up the remainder to be paid by all 11 of us, despite us saying that one of us had already paid when we booked the hostel online to secure it. This was only discovered at the end of the paying process, which took around 15 minutes. In addition a £10 deposit was mentioned, which she insisted she took off those who paid by card, but wouldn't take off the rest of us. At some point she decided to freeze, forget how much had been paid and kind of faffle around with our money. About half an hour had passed and we were getting quite agitated as little communication was given our way. Most of us thought we'd paid the correct sum, we had paid the sum we were told to pay at any rate. Eventually a manager of some sort came over, berated the women and told us we didn't have to pay any more deposits or any more money and proceeded to give us keys. Hooray we thought, and went upstairs to the 2 dorms we'd booked (9 in one 9 bed dorm, 2 in another 9 bed).

However upon arriving at the one we'd fully booked out (room 109) we discovered 2 people already in there, asleep! We went to 113 (the one we'd apparently booked 2 of the beds in) and found it empty. In addition all of our keys opened both rooms, highly unsecure. I went down to speak to the reception who claimed this was impossible and looked at me as an idiot. He did concede that he'd made a mistake and that actually 9 of us were in room 113 and 2 in room 109. Fair enough. He then reset the keys and we went upstairs to settle down. An hour had passed.

However, now none of the keys worked! Wonderful. I went down again and relayed this to him. He looked highly angry and muttered and mumbled, I kept apologising for any inconvenience but he wouldn't accept it or even smile. He came up to them room, swiped his own key, then proceeded to swipe all the other keys, which now worked (clearly the room had been reset in some kind of way). He then said, 'See, it works'. Fine, it works, don't be that way about it.

So we settled down, made our beds and set off for the gig. All was good, we had a great time, and got back to the hostel around midnight. As soon as we arrived we were prevented from entering, told that we owed £110 in deposit (not true as some of us had paid) and that were still £28 short of paying the room costs. The latter we had kind of thought may be the case due to everything that had happened earlier, and we were happy to pay it, but they refused to acknowledge that some deposits were already paid, and our lead booker had to pay the remainder right that very instance on his debit card. They refused other methods of payment, but assured us we'd get it back in the morning. Still, the entire fault with payment was their fault, not ours and I felt it rather needless to resolve it right that minute rather than in the morning.

We put on some more comfy clothes and then left again to avoid any extra drinking we planned to do waking anyone up. We found a comfy street away from the hostel and stayed there till around 2AM. I will offer the fact that this was highly unneccessary as people were walking around, being loud in the hostel the entire time. Definitely not somewhere to stay if you're looking for sleep.

Around 3 we returned and came back to the room, where we chatted quietly and slowly went to bed. A few kept going outside for cigarettes, but the hostel advertises itself as 24 hours, and many guests were doing the same.

At 4.00 in the morning (everyone was asleep) a knock on the door was heard and the night receptionist told everyone to get out of bed, that they were kicking us out for loud noise and apparently because they could smell people smoking in our room. No-one had smoked in the room at all, everyone had been going outside. We'd been at an outdoor gig with thousands of people, a significant portion of whom were smoking (a variety of substances) which may have gotten into our clothes, but I cannot emphasise how much that no-one had smoked in the room. We were all asleep and quiet and if there was any kind of smell it was faint or non-existent. Searching took place by them and no evidence of any smoking was found, but kicking us out they were. People went down to reception to discuss this, brought up all the previous trouble we'd been having to no avail. They kept just saying that they were kicking us out and that if we didn't leave they'd call the police.

Well, it was 4 in the morning with nowhere else to go. We stayed, and despite me suggesting that maybe they could keep the deposits if they considered us in the wrong (which is what deposits are for correct me if I'm wrong) they could at least let us stay until 7, or a reasonable time, and then we could leave, they called the police.

Big knock on the door, 2 MET officers asking us to pack up and leave. We brought up the fact that this was a civil matter between hostel service and customer and that why would the police want to spend their time enforcing the hostel's self appointed rules with little to no side of our story, but they just kept up the usual police officer front and began slowly forcing us out.

We spent a long time complaining at front desk, asking about deposits, asking for invoices/receipts for the money paid (all this was refused), asking for proof of what we were accused of (nothing was forthcoming) and asking if they felt it was acceptable to kick out paying, quiet guests at 5 in the morning (people from other groups were still partying around us, including in the halls of the hostel). They laughed at us and just kept saying we had violated their rules (interesting side note, their rule was that anyone found smoking (actually smoking) would be given a £50 fine and a warning, if it happened again they could kick you out - no warning was given and we didn't receive the deposits back, essentially a £110 fine).

The police never took any side of ours and just enforced the unfriendly, unwelcoming, rude hostel staff's position, which apparently is a good use of police time. I'll repeat, at no point was any evidence found/shown/brought up that we'd done anything wrong, it was all just their side of the story.

I found it interesting that they insisted on getting the deposits at midnight when we returned, perhaps because they already wanted us out but didn't want to lose money, and wanted to tarnish our story so any negative reviews we gave of them could be brushed off?

Awful service. Awful communication. Rude. Dismissive. Unwelcoming. Aggressive. Highly out of order actions and completely dishonest, unorganised and cheating.

Never stay here. Read my previous review of the Leigh House B&B for what a hotel service should offer, regardless of their being a B&B, hostel or hotel, for that is the service I have to come to expect of good hostels. This was by far the worst hostel I've ever stayed in and if you have any sense you'll avoid it like the plague.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Big_Egg27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
3 Thank Alice H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angers, France
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these London hotels
Clerkenwell
Clink78
Clink78
#63 of 843 in London
2,013 reviews
RestUp London
#443 of 843 in London
513 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Bloomsbury
Astor Museum Hostel
Astor Museum Hostel
#87 of 843 in London
315 reviews
Bloomsbury
Generator Hostel London
Generator Hostel London
#40 of 843 in London
2,485 reviews
Bloomsbury
Clink261 Hostel
Clink261 Hostel
#66 of 843 in London
600 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Smart Russell Square Hostel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 #495 of 843 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Ebookers, Hotels.com, Priceline, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., HotelsClick, Evoline ltd and Cancelon so you can book your Smart Russell Square Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Smart Russell Square Hotel London

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing