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“Could do better, a lot better! ”

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The Principal London
Ranked #446 of 1,076 Hotels in London
Reviewed 24 November 2013 via mobile

My 3rd stay in as many years. Check-in experience was extremely disappointing. My colleague checking in at the same time received a far superior service than myself. I was made to feel my arrival at the hotel was a little inconvenient for the lady checking me in. Although relatively quick, I was not asked for a card to secure additional items during the stay. Consequently, I had to come down after midnight to settle my bar bill, because there was no credit in the room. Complained and was told duty manager would contact me in the morning. No contact and worse still, duty manager unaware if any issue. Although apologetic and offered a bottle of red, disappointed to have returned to my room to receive a 1/4 bottle instead. I honestly would have preferred nothing! The building is magnificent; use the stairs instead of the lift- it's simply wonderful. Bits of the room falling off - in need of considerable renovation. The breakfast was good. All in all, unfortunately the hotel represents poor value for money and I am unable to recommend. If my work was not so close to the Hotel, I would not stay here again.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
4  Thank HHawks
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 30 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor.

We value your custom and I am sorry to learn that you were disappointed with certain aspects of your stay, in particular check in experience. There are a few new starters in the team and though our team receives numerous compliments for their professionalism, I am sorry this was not the case on this occasion. Nevertheless I assure you the feedback has been reiterated to the team to ensure procedures are followed to avoid any such inconvenience to any of our guests. I apologise that you felt your concerns could have been handled in a better manner, this shall be addressed with relevant Managers. On a positive note I am glad that you enjoyed the breakfast experience in our Tempus Restaurant and benefited from the central location of Hotel Russell. I hope this one off experience will not deter you from visiting us again in the future.


Kindest regards,

Julie Hammond
Regional General Manager

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1,660 - 1,666 of 3,869 reviews

Reviewed 22 November 2013

I stayed at The Russell for a weekend. My single room was not big,but well designed with dark wooden furnitures and a Flat Screen TV. Also an iron for clothes was there....
Bathroom was nice and had a bath tub...
The room was situated to a back yard were engines for the air condition made a permanent noise. The view was therefor not stunning.
The Breakfast room was a nicely decorated old lobby with statues. I liked the variety of Breakfast which was very tasteful. The Staff at reception desk and in the restaurant was professionally and friendly and worked efficient and quick.
2 only complains I have. I think 15 Pounds for 24 hours internet is not very reasonable. Many Hotels offer this for free.
There was staff knocking at my door several times. Once in the afternoon as I just returned home to ask if the cleaning service was okay and at my departure day I was woken up at 8 p.m. by permanent knocking and somebody asking to enter the room. For me this is a bit early for cleaning service as the official checking out time was 11.
But in summary I liked the hotel!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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1  Thank FrankBER
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 30 November 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased you had a pleasant stay at Hotel Russell in a well appointed room and enjoyed the sumptuous breakfast selection in our Tempus Restaurant. I am so glad that you found our team members helpful and efficient. I have shared your comments with the Executive Housekeeper with regards to the knock on the door by the maid. We encourage guests to use the ‘Quiet time please’ sign should they wish not to be disturbed. I am sorry that the maid knocked on the door in absence of any such sign. However it is unacceptable and I am extremely apologetic for this. The layout of the building left us with the only option of placing the air conditioning unit in the courtyard area. I hope you will have the opportunity to experience a room with a view over Russell Park on your next visit. I assure you our Internet prices are competitive and inline with other similar Hotels in the area. I hope we will get a chance to welcome you back again to Hotel Russell in the near future.


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 21 November 2013

Well situated, but does about it. Expensive, doesn't have free-wifi, small rooms and very poorly isolated, extremely noisy. I ordered room service one night and waited one hour and half.... They took my room number wrong, and didn't even offered my a discount. Very disappointed, i don't think i'll ever come back.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
2  Thank Pal S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2013

Good location and the building itself is very beautiful.
The staff is friendly. I arrived a bit early, but the room was already prepared. Great breakfast - and even when there were a lot of people, no problems with free spots.

Clean small room, no minibar though and the street is pretty noisy (it was the 2nd floor). Was very surprised that there was tea/coffee, but no water to make it and the staff couldn't even say anything concrete (though wouldn't drink tap water anyway).
The bathroom was one of the largest I've seen.

Wifi costed about £15 for 24 hours, I'm ok with paying for it if it works. The first password wasn't accepted, so better check it right at reception in case you'd need to get another one.
The 'working' wifi was terribly slow! The phone 3g is much faster, so ended up using it.

Room Tip: Pick the back rooms and stay as far from the lift as possible, it's really disturbing.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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Thank extemporizer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
    • Value
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3  Thank ZWright8
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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