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“TERRIBLE SERVICE”

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The Principal London
Ranked #439 of 1,067 Hotels in London
W Sussex
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“TERRIBLE SERVICE”
Reviewed 20 January 2014

The location is excellent, tube nearby and attractions within easy walking distance. The building is very impressive. The Concierge greeted us in a polite and friendly manner. Alas, after the initial good impressions there came disappointment.
Reception staff gave no eye contact and raced through breakfast times for the two nights my partner and I were staying. Our room was very small, very little space, with drape/blind part hanging from the window. There was a dark short hair in the bed, a tear at the side of the duvet cover that revealed a shabby duvet with long hairs attached.
We rang reception who said, they would get back to us with regard to changing our room. 3 hours later nobody called us. As we had to get ready for our meal and theatre we got ready to go out. We went to reception, again, on the way out and was informed, if we packed our things back into our bags they would move us, but as we were going out and time was short we had to decline. We decided just to ignore these issues and try to enjoy our time in London. English breakfast was very greasy and all plates were cold. Except for the concierge I found staff very unfriendly. We will not go back to this hotel or recommend it. We visit London at leased four times a year and will re visit other more caring hotels.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mag2707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

I was disappointed to read your comments, and I apologize for the unacceptable standards and service levels you experienced on this occasion. Each room is inspected by our team of Housekeepers prior to guest’s arrival and it is highly unlikely that the points raised in your review would have been overlooked. Nevertheless, I can assure you that attention to detail is a top priority and measures have been taken from our end to ensure each room is maintained to the highest standard possible.

I apologise for the miscommunication regarding the room move. It is unfortunate that you decided not to move due to time constraints and the opportunity to readdress the unfavourable impression created went amiss.

I have also noted your comments regarding breakfast and assure this shall be looked into.

On a positive note I am pleased that the hotel location suited you perfectly and the concierge impressed you. I want you to know that we truly do value you as our guest, and I would be pleased to welcome you back , the next time you are in London.


Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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UK
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

We have stayed at this hotel twice, once in a standard room and once in a suite. The location is excellent; easy to walk to many of London's attractions and with a tube station around the corner. The rooms we have stayed in were modern and the service from the staff was excellent.

I have stayed in many hotels in London and for the money and because of location, I don't think this can be beaten.

Room Tip: Be careful about having a room above the function room; we stayed when there was a large function on...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NWPDWR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review Hotel Russell. We very much appreciate your kind words and positive feedback and are pleased to learn that our well situated location and elegant rooms met your expectations fully.

We also very much appreciate your business, and look forward to being of service to you again soon.


Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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Pembrey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
Reviewed 15 January 2014

Great location and the building is very impressive especially the entrance with it's stunning staircase. Asked to change rooms as the first one we were allocated was tiny, 2nd one was larger but decor was a tad shabby with cracked plaster and peeling paintwork. Considering it is situated where it is the noise did not disturb and we had a great sleep. The breakfast was satisfactory and the dinner was excellent but a little pricey. Reception staff are polite but didn't seem interested in going "above and beyond" their calling to impress, phones were answered while guests were waiting to be dealt with at reception with no apology when completing the call and speaking to the waiting customer. Wii fi is charged and is quite expensive which was surprising given that so many hotel "chains" now provide this for free! I have rated the pool and childrens activities as excellent even though we did not use either or even know if this is available but it would be unfair to post a negative. I would definitely choose to stay here again and would be happy to recommend it to friends and family but would probably choose to eat elsewhere given the cost of meals.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Scottywelshlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 19 January 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us at Hotel Russell.

Due to the shape and size of the building we have a variety of rooms, each with its own unique style. Each room has been decorated to enhance the charm of the room. I am sorry to learn of the concerns you encountered with your room and will certainly highlight this to our team as we pride ourselves on our high standards.

I am glad that you enjoyed breakfast as this is freshly prepared by our team of Executive Chefs on a daily basis. Each dish is prepared on request and I am delighted that you found this excellent. Please be assured that our prices are in line with leading restaurants within the area.

I am disappointed to learn that a member of our team did not apologise for keeping your waiting whilst assisting another guest on the phone. We strive to create and maintain high standards and will ensure that this does not occur again in the future.

As per most establishments in the area wifi is chargeable. We prefer to give our guests this option rather than include this in the room rate. We also ensure that our wifi is fast and accessible throughout the Hotel for your convenience.

We appreciate your recommendation to your friends and family and do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell in the not too distant future.

Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
112 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2014

Booked one night in a suite via the hotel's website and bagged a great deal!

Check in was quick, simple, efficient and we were able to check in before the scheduled time. To make this an even more positive experience, we were given the choice of two suites. In view of the previous reviews referring to the traffic noise we opted for the 7th floor suite and enjoyed the view right across london rather than a park view. Traffic is audible but this is a city after all!!

The accommodation was spacious, spotlessly clean and the room felt fresh. Yes the Windows are old but
this is what gives this hotel it's stunning and impressive exterior.

The public areas were similarly impressive and there is a pleasant tranquillity about the place.

We chose the 'room only' option as I am not a breakfast lover so it is such a waste of money paying for a bowl of cereal and cup of coffee! The tea and coffee making facilities in the room were quite sufficient. There are numerous eateries in the locality should you prefer an inexpensive breakfast to the £18 or so the hotel charge (though I seem to recall its approx £12 if booked directly with the hotel when booking your room).

All in all it was a great stay and I am happy to recommend without hesitation, which is a relief as having read some reviews I was rather nervous before arrival!!!

Room Tip: Higher is quieter and we had a great view of the London Eye.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tripper1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie_Hammond_13, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 15 January 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

We are delighted to learn that you had a fantastic stay at Hotel Russell and were impressed by the services and standards offered.

Our team endeavours to meet all the guest preferences and I am pleased that the room chosen met your expectations and you had a wonderful stay. I agree, the building architecture is remarkable and enables our guests to marvel at the period features whilst at the same time enjoying the modern facilities and comfort that Hotel Russell has to offer.

I do hope that you will experience the sumptuous breakfast selection, freshly prepared by our chefs on your next visit to London. We appreciate your recommendation and look forward to welcome you back again in the near future.

Kind regards,

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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Halifax, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

We spent 7 nights at this hotel on our first trip to London. We were delighted by our twin superior room (two double beds) on the 5th floor, facing the street. The outlook was beautiful and the room was not noisy at all. The room was nicely appointed and was certainly spacious enough for the three of us. The beds were very comfortable. One nice touch was that the room was equipped with a real kettle and ample supply of tea. Shower good with no lapses in pressure or hot water. The elevators were impressively prompt, especially considering the size of the hotel!

We had a large cupboard for our coats but very few drawers for unpacking. We were expecting this of a European hotel so weren't too disappointed. The room was large enough to leave our luggage out of the way along the side of the room and we lived out of our suitcases.

The buffet breakfast had a wide assortment of hot and cold foods. We almost always went before 8:30 and were seated right away. On the one occasion that we went a little later, the dining room was full but we only waited five minutes or so.

Staff were friendly and helpful.

The hotel is in a lovely neighbourhood, just outside the hubbub of central London. It is right next to the Russell Square subway stop, as well as a bus stop with buses to several other neighbourhoods. It is less than a ten minute walk to the British Museum and twenty minute walk to Covent Garden. In other words, it is very close to the action without being right in it, and at the end of our day's adventures, the peace and quiet and charm of the hotel were very welcome.

Room Tip: Our fifth floor room facing the main street was very quiet.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kmacmill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie_Hammond_13, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 15 January 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

I am delighted that you had a wonderful stay at Hotel Russell during your trip to London. I am glad the bedroom was to your liking and you found it well appointed with necessary amenities ,adequate space and comfortable beds which ensure all our guests have a good night’s rest.

I have noted your comments regarding storage facilities in the room and shall certainly bear them in mind whilst accommodating more than two guests in a room.

Our chefs take pride in preparing a delicious, fresh selection of breakfast items everyday and I am so pleased that you enjoyed this. Thank you for commending the staff, the team at Hotel Russell is committed to provide exceptional service to all our guests.

I agree, the location of Hotel Russell is unbeatable with major London attractions just a stone’s throw away. I hope you we will have a chance to welcome you back again soon when you next visit London.

Kind regards,

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

Booked a suite for two nights for a special occasion - partner's birthday - via the hotel website for a discounted price. I was assured this was the hotels highest quality room.
When we went up to the room a member of staff was walking towards us as we were opening the door and she wished my partner a 'happy birthday' which was nice, and when we entered the room there was a birthday card and slice of cake with 'happy birthday' piped on it - which we thought was a nice touch.
The suite was very nice - large four poster bed which was very comfortable, two armchairs and coffee table, large TV - separate day room with dining table and chairs, writing desk, one arm chair and another TV - separate dressing room with full length mirror, dressing table, chest and wardrobe - en suite with bath and separate shower cubicle. Everywhere was clean and nicely presented although personally I would have like a sofa rather than armchairs! However, I was surprised that there 'luxury' touches weren't there - no complimentary biscuits or water, no bathrobes or slippers, toiletries not replenished during stay, no fridge, no free wifi - a lot of these things are supplied now in 'standard' accommodation and we have paid much less for hotels and received all of these things! I did mention the robes to reception and when we returned to our room that afternoon these had been supplied and nicely laid out on the bed. We also had issues with the TV and radio channels and although we called Reception and the duty manager came to the room, he couldn't resolve the issue - we were given an 24hr wifi card as compensation.
The hotel is beautiful - the building, reception, the bar - all lovely and the stair case is amazing. The location is fantastic and the RCP car park behind is both excellently priced and located. Everything you need is close by. The hotel staff are friendly and helpful, in particular reception staff and concierge.
We would stay there again but probably not bother with a suite.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Deborah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 19 January 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us at Hotel Russell.

We want each guest to have a memorable experience and hence ensured that a birthday treat and personalised card was waiting for your partner upon arrival.

The room we specifically chose for you was a lovely, traditional room and I am pleased that you enjoyed this. We receive many compliments regarding this room including the elegance of our large armchairs. The suite has a fridge which contains both still and sparkling water and I am sorry that you were unable to locate this.

Our research has shown that guests prefer a selection of teas and coffees including green teas rather than biscuits. Robes are also available upon request and I am pleased that our team were able to arrange this for you.

Toiletries are replenished once finished and I only wish you had informed us that you required more as we would have happily provide you with this.

As per most establishments in the area wifi is chargeable. We prefer to give our guests this option rather than include this in the room rate. We also ensure that our wifi is fast and accessible throughout the Hotel for your convenience.

I do apologise for the difficulty encountered with the channels on your television, please be assured that this is not a usual occurrence. I am pleased that you were offered complimentary wifi whilst this was being rectified.

We are delighted that you found our Hotel beautiful as we are extremely proud of our rich heritage. Our location is ideal as we are a stone’s throw from many of London’s major attractions and transport links.

I am also pleased that you found our team, in particular Concierge and Reception so friendly and helpful as they endeavour to make each guest feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible throughout their stay.

It will be our pleasure to welcome you back to Hotel Russell in the future.

Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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Co. Down
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2014

I stayed in the Russell for business and i found the experience between average and good.
The hotel was approx 300 meters from the underground station which was very convenient for travelling to and from my meetings. The check in and out was efficient. The room was small but adequate. However the kettle was a bit of a problem in that i had to get down on my knees to plug it in or else i had to unplug the table lamp - so more plugs would not go amiss. The room (number 117) was opposite a pub and it was noisy and this was made more so by the fact that the windows in my room were single glazed. The evening meal was a let down as it was so overpriced for what you got it was almost unbelievable. I ordered a well done steak and it was still pink coloured in the middle and tough to chew. I got six chips (this would be considered an insult at home). The breakfast was good. I was lucky as i got down in a slack window but the breakfast area got very busy just as I was leaving with approx 10 -15 queued outside in the waiting area.
Overall ok but i would not be back in this hotel as there are many others much better value.

Room Tip: stay away from room 117
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Greg M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 19 January 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. We are ideally located as we are a stone’s throw away from many of London’s major attractions and transport links. I am pleased that you found our location so beneficial.

I am so sorry for the difficulty you encountered with plugging in the kettle. Each room should certainly have conveniently located power points and I do apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The pub which is located on a side street to the Hotel is usually a very quiet establishment, however I am sorry that you were disturbed by this. I only wish you had informed us as we would have done our utmost to rectify this.

I am disappointed to read that you did not enjoy your meal as each dish is freshly prepared by our team of Executive Chefs. Had we been aware that your dish was not cooked to your liking we would have certainly prepared a fresh dish for you. Please be assured that your comments have been taken on board.

I am pleased that you enjoyed your breakfast experience as we want each guest to start their day content. It is extremely popular and we do inform our guest of the peak times should they wish to have a more leisurely dining experience.

We are glad that you enjoyed our ideal location and efficiency of our team.

Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel 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

Property: 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
#298 Luxury Hotel in London
#346 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Principal London 4*
Number of rooms: 373
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are delighted to present The Principal London which will open in stages throughout the course of the summer, and will fully launch in September 2017. The Principal London is an iconic establishment nestled in the heart of the city. Whether you wish to indulge in a spot of shopping or want to host a conference at one of London's most exclusive addresses, The Principal London is the perfect base for business or leisure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Russell Hotel London
Hotel London Russell
Russel Hotel London

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