We stayed here recently, as we were unable to book a room at our usual hotel, and this hotel had always looked very elegant and classy whenever we walked past it. We booked through a booking agency and got a fairly good rate.
On arrival our room was ready, even though we were early, and we we immediately offered an upgrade for £20 per night. We accepted, as good accommodation is important to us. Our room was on the first floor, facing the park and unfortunately for us, all the traffic. It was very spacious and well furnished, but unusually there was no double glazing and the windows were poorly fitting, as we found out later when the wind got up!! I bought earplugs after the first night!!
The room and bathroom were clean and the bed very comfortable but little things were missing. The hospitality tray was stingy, just a few sachets of boring beverages, the usual disgusting UHT milk but no biscuits!! There was a large dirty smear on the full length wall mirror, which stayed there for the three days we were there, and on returning from our first day out, my used glass was still on my bedside cabinet, complete with lipstick stains!!! Not major issues, but a lack of attention to detail.
We had lunch in the bar after we we checked in, which was a shambolic affair to say the least, although to be fair it was our waiter's first day!!! My Caeser salad came with anchovies, despite requesting for this not to be the case, this option is on the menu. It went back and they were simply removed, so their taste was still evident which made the dish very unpleasant for me!! My husbands soup was supposed to be tomato, but was such a strange browny colour and had no recognisable taste that it could have been anything!! Ordering our drinks was somewhat of a challenge also.
Breakfast was ok, but again there were signs that penny pinching was in place. One example being the size of the (cold) plates for the cooked breakfast, making it very difficult for anyone to pile up the plate. Another example was the hot beverages available. Tea and basic coffee were included in the price. Anything else such as hot chocolate or cappuccino were an extra £2.50. Also there was a daily cooked special available at a cost of £5.50 supplement if you were on a " breakfast included" rate. The choice was reasonable, although I would have liked some granola available, and some of the items on the cooked breakfast menu were not available. There were no mushrooms on offer at all whilst we were there. The staff in the breakfast room were pleasant enough, if a little over zealous at removing used plates, before both of us had finished, which I found a little annoying.
I feel that wifi should be freely available in a hotel of this size in Central London, but again it seems it's all about profit! When I asked about it at Reception, I was told that as I had booked through an agency I would have to pay, but I'd I'd booked direct with hotel it would be free!! That's extremely unfair and discriminatory!! I'm sure that the majority of bookings come via the various booking agencies these days, and the hotel should be treating all their guests in the same manner, however they have booked.
All in all, this hotel was ok, and we would stay again, but I'd be very concerned about the noise, as it seems from other reviews, that the rooms at the back have their own noise issues. If it isn't possible to have wifi in the rooms, I would expect free wifi to be available in the public areas.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This place is temporarily closed due to renovation. 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Agoda, Hotels.com and Priceline so you can book your The Principal London 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:
- Russell Hotel London
- Hotel London Russell
- Russel Hotel London