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“What a treat”

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The Principal London
Ranked #446 of 1,076 Hotels in London
Reviewed 2 November 2007

We had a really fabulous weekend at the Russell. This hotel is such a beautiful place with lots of marble, high decorated ceilings and nice touches like the fresh flower decorations. The room was suburb, really clean and the extra special care taken to make us comfortable was really appreciated. The bed was turned down for us in the evening and was cleaned for us the next day to a surburb standard. The staff were really friendly and helpful. We had breakfast in the lovely restaurant and found a fantastic selection of food to satisfiy even the fussiest of people. We of course had the good old english breakfast and it was delicious. I would totally recommend the Russell, it is well situated in Russell square, walking distance to lots of London's attractions, or a short taxi ride which is always fun. We had a really great weekend and would definately come back again, great base for London sightseeing. The Russell has a real sense of luxury about it without being overpriced. Loved it!

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank FairlyMerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,173 - 3,179 of 3,869 reviews

Reviewed 31 October 2007

Central location, located in an impressive building...appearances can however be desceptive. First room I got was very small, damp, no daylight coming in through the toned windows that didn't open, internet didn't work and there was no fridge. When I told staff about internet problem I was told that they already knew that there were problems in this romm...okay so why put anyone in it? This room was so awful and depressing that I wouldn't even expect such standards in a 2'* hotel

Good points:
I was able to check in very early
I was given a much better room, which reflected much more that the russell allegedly is a 4* hotel. Staff very helpful.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled on business
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2  Thank milledyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2007

This is a lovely hotel, close, well within walking distance, to some wonderful London sites. The British Museum is just around the corner, and it isn't a stretch down to Waterloo Station. The tube is just around the corner and there is a lovely cafeteria in Russell Square, across the road.

The staff were very friendly and the service in the bar, which has worn leather wing-backed chairs and a lovely ambience, was of the highest standard. The bar staff were very attentive, as was the staff on the reception desk.

Be aware that if you don't like your room the staff can move you to a better room i.e. looking over the square or out at the tree tops, as they did in my case. This is quite different from an upgrade (which costs money).

What could be improved... inclusive breakfast. But generally rustling around The Russell was a sensational experience and I'd highly recommend it if you're planning a jaunt to London.

Julie from Armidale

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled on business
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6  Thank JuliefromtheDale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2007

This is the first hotel I've stayed in and reviewed that I wouldn't recommend.

The hotel is very expensive, and allegedly 4 star. It isn't. It's a four star building with 2* (or worse) service.

OK, well, it wasn't all bad. The hotel is in a great location, and the building is lovely. The decor of the public rooms is brilliant and some people appeared to be having a very good wedding reception there when we arrived! The rooms are big, too.

OK, the bad. The decor in the room was a bit shabby and the sink did not work properly in our room. The plug was jammed shut when we arrived. All of the courtyard facing rooms (on the sixth floor at least) have a lot of noise from some kind of machinery running in there

The bar has typical London prices, but once when I was served the bar man told me the round of drinks would be one price, then came back and gave me hardly any change, saying the price had changed. He also opened the wrong bottle of beer for one of our party, and on giving us the correct bottle, put the top back on the incorrect one, and put it back in the fridge. Terrible behaviour.

We had to queue for ten minutes for breakfast so the staff could individually try and make us pay extra for a full english breakfast. Obviously they can't do this at the table. We were not asked if we would like tea or coffee until we were nearly ready to leave.

I would whole-heartedly not recommend staying at this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with family
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4  Thank SmackEater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2007

After seeing previous reviews of the Russell Hotel on Tripadvisor I was a bit concerned, but everything lived up to my expectations. I had a single room on the second floor with a balcony overlooking Russell Square (inaccessible, probably for safety reasons) and a smart new bathroom which also had a balcony and a floor-to-ceiling draw-down blind to preserve one's blushes when the light is on! The room and bathroom were very comfortable, the only slight problem being the noise from people shouting in Russell Square in the middle of the second night (would triple-glazing be a good idea?).

I had the continental breakfast both days, which was good, although there was not as much choice as I have seen in other European hotels. Breakfast was very well organised, with a maitre d' overseeing the seating and service with quiet efficiency. On the second morning there was a queue for seating, but a waiter brought round glasses of orange juice whilst we were waiting, which I thought was a nice touch.

I found, unlike some earlier reviewers, that the staff were very polite and helpful. I could not tune in my TV on the first evening, and I reported it to reception and it was dealt with quickly.

I would recommend this hotel to anyone wanting to visit London and stay somewhere comfortable and central.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled solo
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4  Thank tessaseaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2007

I had to stay here on business as I had an early flight the next day. I really feel as if I paid a shedload for somewhere to lay my head for the night, as I didn't really benefit from any service at all.

Internet access is not free - it's quite astronomical, which for London which is heaving with business travellers is quite ridiculous.

The room was tiny and its 'ensuite' was just tacked on in a corner. Like a cupboard or something. You could barely get into it when the door was open. The decor was alright but nothing special. The whole place had an air of shabbiness.

Breakfast was included in my price but because I was leaving early (before 6) they told me they couldn't provide me with anything. I found this a bit pathetic - surely they could have given me a sandwich or something. It's meant to be a swanky hotel. Eventually they conceded that I might be able to get a hot chocolate in the morning in lieu of breakfast. I requested it to arrive at a certain time - it arrived 15 minutes later, so I didn't really have time to drink it as I had to catch my taxi.

I had to go to reception to get any response as they don't respond to phone calls.

The taxi service they recommended just seemed a bit dodgy and not really the type you generally order for business travellers.

I can't believe this is meant to be an upmarket hotel. I would give it about 2 stars. And that's being generous. Next time I need to get up early for the night I will stay in the office, rather than pay over 100 quid for nothing much!

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled on business
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6  Thank Nao C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2007

Our stay at the Hotel Russell was extremely disappointing. Having stayed at this hotel eight years ago I was dismayed at how appauling the service had become. Most of the staff were surly and rude. Even the concierge appeared put out when you asked for simple directions to standard tourist locations.

We had some luggage stolen from our room. The hotel's reaction to this was both unhelpful and un-sympathetic. We had to struggle to get them to provide the police with simple information. It also took quite a bit of discussion to have them waive the cost of local calls from the room to the police station.

Even without the theft incident, the quality of service provided by Hotel Russell was extremely poor - I would no longer recommend this hotel to anyone.

Stayed: September 2007
8  Thank KathDayKnight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Principal London

Address: 1 - 8 Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE, England (Formerly Hotel Russell)
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#285 Family Hotel in London
#299 Luxury Hotel in London
#346 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range: £326 - £1,015 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Principal London 4*
Number of rooms: 373
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Principal London will open in stages throughout the course of this winter, and will fully launch in March 2018. Whilst the final touches are made to some areas, be one of the first guests to experience a sneak preview of the newly renovated hotel located in the heart of Bloomsbury, London’s most literary neighbourhood. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Russell Hotel London
Hotel London Russell
Russel Hotel London

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