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“Good location...but......”

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The Principal London
Ranked #447 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Reviewed 20 November 2013

The location is good, the rooms are clean but I was a bit surprised that the supposed four star hotel didn't offer any free wi-fi and were a bit stingy with the amenities. The hotel's (PH) website says there is a free 30 minutes wi-fi option available...but, no, not at this location.

Bathroom supplies were a bit sparse and the hallways seemed to be noisy all day and night, but, at least the staff (other than one person at reception who was rather clueless about several things - guessing -hoping, she was new) were very nice, knowledgeable and friendly.

I was there for two nights, for a birthday get-away and they were nice enough to leave a "birthday surprise" in my room...which was very kind and thoughtful.

They seem to be trying very hard to please..but, .I think they have a little way to go.

Overall, not a bad experience, but, I was hoping for a bit more.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank cpbasset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,663 - 1,669 of 3,868 reviews

Reviewed 19 November 2013

I've just returned from a one night stay at the Russell and found it to meet my needs perfectly. We arrived around 1pm and as checkin isn't till 3 we were able to leave our bags in a locked room which allowed us to go and explore the Capitol without lugging our baggage around.
We were in a twin room on the fifth floor; yes it was small (you could barely turn round in the bathroom) but it was clean & comfortable. The bedding and pillows were soft and luxurious.

All the staff were polite, friendly and ready to assist. We had dinner in the hotel which reasonably priced and served promptly (we were heading out to a show so needed something quick). The food was delicious I can recommend the slow cooked beef. The breakfast was plentiful, and served till midday! We were up and out early so didn't require an extended time for breakfast but had we of been staying another night we may have taken advantage of this.

The nearest tube station is literally just round the corner which we found really handy. I would definitely recommend the Russell and I hope to stay here again for longer in the future.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank Denica_Rose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2013 via mobile

The Hotel Russell is in a great location and is a beautiful & historic building but for us the service really let it down.

We booked with p&h a twin superior room [specifically 2 double beds] as I was sharing with my mum and sister.
We were told that the room would be available from 2pm on the day of our booking. I called the morning of our stay to check all was well with our booking and told that yes our twin superior room would be ready at 2pm.

When we arrived the room was not ready and we had to wait until 15.30. When we were finally taken to our room it was a standard twin with 2 single beds - there were clearly three of us who checked in so I don't know what they thought the arrangements would be? We explained that this wouldn't work. They told us they had no other rooms available except the double we were then placed in and they blamed the initial booking error on an IT fault.

After another 20 minutes were taken to a double room and a single bed [cot bed] was brought in and set up in front of us, the room was comfortable but had some damp and a faulty shower screen. We later had to ask for another mug, towels etc...

By this time it was 4pm so had definitely has the first day of our holiday messed up. We asked the reception desk if they could offer some sort of discount to which they said they didn't have that authority to organize and asked if we liked wine or would want to use the Wi Fi!!

We said that we would like to speak to a manager later. Nobody came to see us and it wasn't until the next day that a supervisor begrudgingly discounted our bill to the rate of the room we were actually in.

We decided to call the hotel [undercover] as though we wanted to book for three people the following week and were quoted a much lower rate and told that the only option for three people sharing would be the Twin superior room with 2 double beds as the temporary bed was not suitable for an adult.

In all honesty we were not made to feel like valuable customers at all, instead a nuisance. The breakfast was disorganized, the food a bit cold and quite a wait for tea and coffee and no tea spoons.

A real shame as the hotel itself is lovely. Their just seams to be a real lack of effective management and customer care.

  • Stayed: October 2013
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3  Thank ZWright8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

I concur with many of the other reviewers on here: public spaces great, staff good, rooms average (though I went for the cheapest).

This hotel is one of the few in central London which you don’t need a mortgage for, and if you pay the right price I think it is very good value.

No, wifi is not included and breakfast may not be (£12 I think). There are plenty of cafes nearby where you can get breakfast if you just want something light. Gails Bakery in Bayley St is great.
I was offered a choice of room and asked for one high up (6th floor) so I got a decent mobile data signal. It overlooked the central courtyard which others have commented on as noisy. Yes it is; but it was just a steady if loud hum and I prefer that to the variable noise of traffic. Lower floors are probably noisier. The aircon worked too even in winter, which is not always the case.

My single room was small, but adequate, with a desk and all the basics – even if I had to remove the ironing board from the wardrobe to hang anything. It was all clean. All in all as a place to sleep in central London it ticks the boxes for me and I’d come again if I could get it at the right price (which is certainly not the rack rate). For a romantic weekend I’d think twice and expect to pay more either here for a better room, or elsewhere.

Room Tip: Avoid lower floors if you want quiet.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Jandelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013 via mobile

I was only here for one night on business but really enjoyed my stay. The room was a decent size and looked onto Russell Square and was spotless with a nice comfy bed. I was travelling from Euston the next morning and was able to walk to the station in just a few minutes. I would definitely recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank anniecakes_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013

Love the Hotel Russell and stay there regularly when I'm on business - firstly it is very much the character of the area - I note a few comments re internet charges - yes I know some chains have "free Wi-Fi" whilst others make a charge - personally happy for them to charge as appropriate - as a result it is always fast as people are not all on it - and to be honest at other chains it is built into room charges.

Breakfast first rate - and uniquely I've never queued to be seated even at peak times.

Will always be my hotel of choice in London

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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Thank GB2809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie_Hammond_13, General Manager at The Principal London, responded to this reviewResponded 17 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor.

I am very pleased to learn that we are your preferred choice of Hotel on your frequent business trips to London. It is a delight that we have delivered consistent high standards of service that you expect from an esteemed establishment like ours. Thank you for your appreciating and understanding our competitive pricing as we always endeavour to provide our guests with the best possible options during their stay. I am pleased that you enjoy the full English breakfast selection in our Tempus Restaurant on your every visit and hope that we will continue to offer you the best in service and comfort on all your future stays with us at Hotel Russell.

Kindest regards,

Julie Hammond
Regional General Manager.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2013

The Exterior & ground floor interior is stunning. Our room (a junior suite) was on the sixth floor and was inward facing. The noise from the fans on the ground floor - and the vents which were right outside our bedroom window was quite noisy. Open the windows to get fresh air and the fan noise became unbearable. The room was adequate but had the smallest bath I have seen in a long time. Staff were excellent and the breakfast was great. I'm glad we visited the hotel - and thankful that we got it on special offer. I would have been really, really gutted to have had the same room at full price.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Stephen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie_Hammond_13, General Manager at The Principal London, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. I am glad you had an overall pleasant stay at Hotel Russell and enjoyed the sumptuous breakfast selection offered in the Tempus Restaurant. I am pleased that our team impressed you and you found the Hotel stunning with its intricate marble work and grand staircase. I am sorry to learn that you did not have a good night’s rest due to the humming sound from the air conditioning unit in the courtyard area, which certainly should not be audible. We shall get this investigated upon as we want all our guests to have a comfortable stay. We would have certainly offered an alternate room if the issue was brought to your attention. I am sure you will have another opportunity to visit us again and experience one of our bedrooms with a view of Russell Square.

Kindest regards,

Julie Hammond
Regional General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#284 Family Hotel in London
#302 Luxury Hotel in London
#345 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range: £228 - £523 (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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