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“Fool and his money”

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The Principal London
Ranked #443 of 1,068 Hotels in London
Sheffield, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fool and his money”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Don't be FOOLED into thinking this hotel is worth the money they charge with it's impressive frontage and entrance because that's where it ends. Rooms are disappointing, unbelievably hot even with air con on. We stayed at the end of May & arrived just after 8pm - check in was very slow. We booked a few weeks before & the price went down £100 for a 2 night stay per room & we had 3 rooms. When I mentioned this there was no one to help. We quickly unpacked as we had a booking in the restaurant at 9.15. Some of us chose their award winning pie - never been so disappointed crust was soggy & meat was mush. I've had better from a take-away. We didn't bother to say anything cos it took them 45 mins to serve that so it was too late to start ordering another meal. We went to bed to find the air com didn't work & it was really hot but we couldn't open the window as the extraction units outside were very loud. We were on the 5th floor but could hear the party music & vibration in the room from the ground floor. We had to move rooms because of the heat after midnight. Pack, move & unpack made it 1'o'clock before we got to bed. Air con worked but really noisy so didn't sleep well both nights.. One of our other family had to move rooms & the third room also had problems - air con worked but not enough to cool room, noisy & bathroom dirty. We had to be out early the following morning for an event so had no time to tell anyone. We saw the customer relations lady later who was very nice but didn't come back to us & we had to find her the following morning. She made us feel that it was only us that complained about the meal, the room etc but that clearly is not the case according to the reviews. She did offer money back for the pies but nothing for the over pricing, the quality of rooms & the fact we had to move at midnight. She was only interested in giving us a better rate next visit even though we had told her we wouldn't ever stay again. The only nice thing was breakfast & reception staff were friendly. Concierge were lovely.
Manager replies to these comments seem to be repetitive & defensive as if it's a one-off complaint and not the norm but surely the complaints from various guests saying the same must mean you have a real problem. Sorry is easy to say try making some changes instead of burying your head in the sand.

A very disappointed family

Room Tip: Don't book any room would be my tip
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Beverley O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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england
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

I have stayed at this hotel on numerous occasions, mainly for business and it has never let me down in terms of quality. It is expensive with breakfast around 20pounds but the lobby is an exceptionally attractive area and the staff are always good and welcoming.

The hotel is very central with a tube station just around the corner and some of the museums not too far away either.

My room was a double which was quite big and was very comfortable; overall; a nice place to stay before moving onto the next meeting or whatever you are in London for.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EnglandButterfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie H, General Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 12 June 2014
Dear Guest,

We certainly appreciate you taking the time to review us and for your valued custom. It is pleasing to note that our location was ideal for you.

We are happy to read that our rooms are pleasant and welcoming and that the beds, linens and pillows are very comfortable, crisp and clean. It is very refreshing to read that the core components of your stay were excellent!

Thank you for commending the team and the standards offered as we are indeed passionate about our service and quality at Hotel Russell.

I do hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back again on your next trip to London.

Kind 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
durham
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

I was happy to stay in this hotel despite some of the reviews because I wanted the location and loved the grand entrance...and work were paying.
I was delighted with the quick response I got to an email querying the possibility of a bath.
On arrival I expressed my preferences and whilst not all could be met I opted for 111 ( not high up with a view of rooftops and down the side towards Russell Square tube station) and it was GREAT>
I don't expect peace in the capital but there wasn't loads of traffic noise, the double door windows opened onto a teeny balcony I could look out onto the bustling street below but didn't feel it was invasive.The bathroom was gorgeous and the bed comfy.
I used room service which was quick and courteous...so good I had it the second night by choice too.Staff concerned were lovely
Breakfast was full of options( still seems to be the thing with the small plates like others mention but plenty to have) I was in as it opened , there were plenty of staff all very pleasant...maybe the queues start later.
All said a super stay , it will be on my choice list for my next visit.
Its a little crumbly in places but the staff are a credit to the company.

Room Tip: the rooms on the side have interesting views and small balconys
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank karanneDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie H, General Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, 12 June 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us.

It will be a pleasure for me to share your comments with our Room Service and Restaurant teams – they all work very hard to ensure our guests are offered exceptional service at all times and they do appreciate a simple thank you from our guests!

We do value feedback from our guests and endeavor to address any shortfalls and constantly improve the overall level of service and quality throughout the Hotel. Each guest has unique requirements and the reviews are reflective of a guest’s personal opinion. I am glad it did not deter you from choosing to stay at Hotel Russell and experience the standards yourself.

We appreciate your positive comments on how comfortable and well kept our rooms are and how professional and promptly the team responded to your queries.

Once again, thank you for your positive feedback and we always look forward to welcoming you back to Hotel Russell

Kind 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
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014 via mobile

Friendly staff, room decent enough, decent location. Can't ask for much more. Maybe, breakfast thrown in for a lower cost, and a bit of modernisation.

Hallway is spectacular. Really impressive architecture.

Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Steven 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, 7 June 2014
Dear Guest

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

We have ensured that the rich grandeur and heritage of our building has been well maintained over the years. We have a variety of different rooms ranging from traditional to modern and do hope you have the opportunity to experience one of our modern rooms upon your next.

We are delighted that you enjoyed our spectacular hallways and impressive architecture 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
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

i booked a stay at this hotel directly on their website, and along with booking a junior suite i pre ordered a bottle of Mum Champagne in my room, from their drop down box of extras.
It started to go wrong upon our arrival at the hotel. The person who was booking us in disappeared out to a back office in order to obtain a code for the hotels wifi. We were left standing there for over 5 minutes while other guests came and went. In fairness another member of staff asked if we were being served, and i explained to her what had happened and also told her i didn't really need a wifi code as i was here for a romantic evening not for work so could she tell him. She then disappeared out to a back office and reappeared saying he wouldn't be long. Another 3 or 4 minutes passed and he eventually returned.
Upon reaching our room, which was very nice, there was no Champagne, so I then had to phone down which rather spoiled the surprise.
The Champagne arrived but was not Mum Champagne that the web site offered, it was a generic branded champagne that i had never heard of and tasted frankly rather average.
Once again I phoned down and the person i spoke to apologised and told us to drink the bottle we had and he would make sure a bottle of Mum champagne would be on ice in our room when we returned to the hotel later that evening, an offer that i was happy to accept.
When we did return all that was in our room was a note under the door saying they no longer stocked Mum Champagne, there was no offer of a substitute.
The next morning as we went to check out i mentioned the mix up to reception and they said I had to speak to guest services, and would I sit in reception and wait.
The lady in Guest services seemed very busy dealing with problems, and after about a 15 minute wait i was eventually seen. I ran through the problems, and she was very sympathetic and apologetic. She immediately refunded the cost of the Champagne and I was happy enough with that.
She then asked if there was anything else she could do. I told her i was visiting London again the following week for a birthday celebration and needed to book a single and a double room. She made copious notes checked the hotels computer systems then told me someone would ring me Monday or Tuesday to give me "very special rates" for my next booking, in order to make amends, I thanked her and Left.
Needless to say no one rung me the following week, and I phoned the hotel myself on the Thursday, i was cut off once but persevered and eventually spoke to guest services, who, knew nothing about it whatsoever but said they would ring me back in 30 minutes, at this point i confirmed my phone number to them.
3 hours later they called me back, apologising and telling me they had the wrong phone number. They then gave me exactly the same rates for my booking that were available on their web site. Needless to say I did not rebook !!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Andy P
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, 7 June 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. Please accept our sincere apologies for the disappointment experienced.

We strive to create and maintain high standards at Hotel Russell and please be assured that your comments have been addressed in great detail by our team once we were made of your concerns as we do understand the poor impression created.

The Champagne is usually delivered to the room once the guest arrives and I am sorry that this was not made clear to you when booking this. Had we been aware of your preference of the Champagne in your room before your arrival we would have certainly ensured that this was done. I am also sorry that the selected Champagne had run out, however we ensured an equally great bottle was provided to you. I am pleased that this was provided to you complimentary as a goodwill gesture.

We do also apologise for sorry for the genuine miscommunication regarding your rates and the delay in contacting you, I can assure you that this was an extremely unusual situation. On behalf of our Guest Relations team I do apologise for this and will certainly ensure your feedback is taken on board and addressed.

I understand that our Guest Relations Executive has been in contact with you 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

Travellers are raving about these London hotels

Poole, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

This is a good hotel. You feel looked after and the staff are friendly and courteous. The rooms contain everything you need for a good nights sleep.
The breakfast is good if a little expensive so make sure breakfast is included in your room and for an extra £5 you can have breakfast in bed as they will bring it up to you at the time of your choosing, just order it before 3am the previous day and leave your order on the door.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Phillip W
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, 6 June 2014
Dear Guest
Thank you for your review. We are delighted that you had a wonderful stay with us at Hotel Russell.
We pride ourselves in our high standards and we genuinely endeavour to create a memorable experience for all of our guests.
We do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell upon your next visit to London.

Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

One of the Russell Hotel's event rooms was booked for my University Summer Ball. Naturally prior to the event most, if not all who were thinking of attending were looking forward to the event. From its gothic appearance from the outside, the the marble and intricate detail around the hotel and the area our event was held, there is no denying the Hotel was aesthetically pleasing.

However, after an adequate dinner & an hour of dancing, we were told we had to turn the music off and leave the hotel. Our student union had gone to the effort of booking Radio One DJ Edith Bowman, only for the hotel to tell her she had to stop midway through her set as the hotel guests had complained about the noise. Whilst I can understand one does not pay to stay in a four star hotel if there is constant noise, this was no way a fault on either my university nor my student unions part. Staff of the hotel should have recognised if there was to be a ball, with students & a DJ they should have notified guests in advance, or likewise, if they knew they had guests, should not have agreed to us utilising one of their rooms for our summer ball.

I cannot stress enough the lack of professionalism shown & the unethical behaviour of the staff here. Not only were we not given the option of turning the music down, but instead, by 12:30 staff had began to remove tables and chairs, despite us having hired the room until 1am. When staff were asked if they knew what time their shifts ended, they replied "I do not know. I am only doing what I have been instructed to do" followed by my friends and I being asked to move from the very chairs we were sitting on.

As if this enough was not a cause for complaint, when asking the concierge if they could ring a taxi firm for us we were told they only offered a chauffeur service and therefore they would not ring any firm for us.

I have never experienced such disrespect from (what is supposedly) a four star hotel in my life and I would encourage others to steer clear of the hotel unless they favour poor service and incompetent staff.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tiffanyyy
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, 6 June 2014
Dear Guest
Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. I am dismayed to learn of your disappointment.
We hold many functions within our Hotel and our team are very well known for their efficiency and attention to detail. We were not informed that a dj would be present at this function as the necessary precautions including the sound levels would need to be taken into consideration. All of our meals are freshly prepared on the evening and to our knowledge we have not received any similar concerns, however will certainly take your comments on board.
As per all functions within our Hotel we request all functions to end at 12 midnight with a 30 minute departure as we do need to ensure our in house guest are not disturbed.
I am sorry that you found our team unhelpful as we would gladly provide assistance to all of our guests including contacting our selected car service for guests.
We have not received any negative feedback from the organiser for the event and our team were actually thanked for the hard work and assistance. Nevertheless please be assured that your comments have been taken on board.

Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
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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