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“Hmmmm where do I start?” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Principal London

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The Principal London
Ranked #434 of 1,087 Hotels in London
Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Hmmmm where do I start?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014 via mobile

My friend and I have just returned from staying at the Russell hotel, we had a junior suite (705) all I can say is what a pic and mix of a hotel. Reception area is beautiful but rooms are not what to be expected. Carpets torn, horrendous bathroom, scratched wooden flooring, awlful paint jobs, wonky plug sockets, bathroom taps that move, light bulbs blown and very noisy. We we're on the 7th floor and views of Central London were amazing but the noise level was loud even at that height, I can't imagine what it's like lower down.
The hotel is in a perfect location for exploring Central London with Russell square tube station just behind it, I just feel a little conned to be honest with the rooms. I have personally stayed in suites before but the Russell seem to have there own understanding of what a suite should be, maybe it's just me and my expectation but I certainly didn't expect to see the things listed above in such a high end hotel. Another disappointing factor was the suite bathroom, nothing like advertised (roll top) instead a small pokey area where you couldn't swing a cat. Personally I think the Russell had a refit a few years back and hasn't been touched since as it's started to get dated in certain areas. The bar area was lovely full of potential but was disappointed to see it cheapened by some dodgy Budweiser merchandise on the shelf above the bar and the fact that the open fire wasn't working. drinks we're pricey £5 for pint of coke but customer service did not match the price tag.

Overall a disappointing visit to the Russell full of pros and cons, pros based mainly on the location and interior of the lobby, cons based solely on the degrading decisions made but management to cheapened the hotel and not deal with areas which need updating.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank julie8884
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (856)
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English first
Carmarthen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

My wife was celebrating a 'significant' birthday with a party on the Thames so I thought it would be a nice touch to stay in a good quality hotel near the venue. Having stayed at various PH hotels in the past I thought that they were generally very good value so when I received an email to say that there was a special offer that very weekend the decision was made. The hotel building is quite fabulous, an amazing piece of architecture and the staff are absolutely top class but there were a couple of niggles; the information in the room was incorrect in that it said that breakfast on Sunday would be until noon but we missed the actual breakfast closing time of 10.30am by just a few minutes. In fairness the staff did arrange for a breakfast substitute in our room but it caused a delay that made my wife late for an appointment. What was so very irritating about this was that the staff knew that the room information was wrong but omitted to let us know when we checked in - or if they did tell us, they didn't make it clear that the room info was wrong so since we checked in quite late and tired it would not have registered. The other little niggle was that we phoned down to ask them to hail a taxi. We went straight out to see whether a taxi was already there but there was only a minicab - the driver asked if we were going to Heathrow, which we weren't, so I assumed that he was waiting for somebody else. After a few minutes I asked the concierge if a taxi had been ordered and he offered us the minicab! We declined as they are notorious for charging unsuspecting passengers very high rates so he flagged down a black cab within seconds. The concierge staff were otherwise incredibly helpful so I just put it down to a misunderstanding.
However, the overall impression was of quality - an excellent room and beautiful surroundings - so I would unhesitatingly stay there again. (But I would double check the restuarant service times!)

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 470John470
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, 30 June 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review. I am so pleased that you chose to celebrate your wife’s birthday with us at Hotel Russell.

I am also glad that you enjoyed the rich heritage and grandeur of our Hotel as we have ensured that this has been well maintained over the years.

I am sorry to learn of the miscommunication regarding our new breakfast times. Our team mention this to all guests upon arrival, but I do apologise if this was not the case for you and for any inconvenience caused. I am pleased that our team were able to arrange breakfast for you and our new brochure has placed in all of our rooms.

Taxis are arranged on a daily basis for our guests upon request, especially if they are travelling a distance such as the airport. Taxis are also hailed for guests upon short notice should they require this for a central London location. Please be assured that the cab company we use is competitively priced and provides an exceptional service. I am glad that our Concierge was helpful and arranged your cab for you.

I am delighted that you enjoyed the excellent room and beautiful surroundings and it will be our pleasure to welcome you back to Hotel Russell in the future.

Kindest regards

Julie Hammond
Regional General Manager
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Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
184 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2014 via mobile

We decided to book a suite here as a treat. The three rooms were very comfortable but just a couple of niggles - only one soap, no robes, no slippers. We complained and the concierge was tasked with supplying these. He struggled a bit with the robes and slippers but eventually we got some but only one set of slippers. We were promised these but alas over our several day stay they never arrived. Last time we stayed we were in a junior suite and all these were there when we arrived. Is the hotel trying to save money?? The rest of our experience was great.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Castleman073
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, 30 June 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review. I am pleased that you had comfortable stay with us at Hotel Russell.

We provide robes and slippers to guests upon request or if we are made aware of a special occasion and arrange this prior to your arrival as a special treat. I do sincerely apologise that you had only received one pair of slippers. I have highlighted this to our team as we endeavour to deliver all guest requests efficiently as possible.

I am glad that your experience was great at Hotel Russell and do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you back upon your next visit to London.

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
Stirling, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

I just returned from a ten day stay in London and tried two hotels - this one and the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury round the corner. This hotel far outstripped the Holiday Inn and was £100 cheaper per night. The wifi access was better, the staff were friendlier, the room was nicer, the bathroom was nicer, the toiletries were adequate (not cheap and scant like at the Holiday Inn), and there were no hidden 'exrtas'. Oh - and the décor is beautiful downstairs. Do yourself a favour and save £100 - book here.

Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank 456Scooby
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, 30 June 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review. I am absolutely delighted that you had a wonderful stay with us at Hotel Russell.

We genuinely endeavour to ensure all of our guests are relaxed and comfortable as possible throughout their stay.

Please be assured that your very kind comments will be shared with our team and we do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell upon your next visit to London.

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
Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

This is a big old Edwardian style hotel, imposing and spacious lobby, competitively priced, centrally located and popular. But be warned you get what you pay for. In our experience, and we have stayed here 4 times in the last six months it can be very hit or miss. The rooms are variable, large to small, good to bad, fresh to stale, and you will always be just another punter, no point in complaining because no one listens or cares, e.g. we had a problem with lack of hot water one evening, tried calling reception, no one answered the phone and when we pointed this out in person later, the response was 'what do you expect we're all too busy checking people in and out to answer the phone'. Incidentally if you take breakfast here be prepared to grin and wait in line, it can take a while to get seated because no one seems to have conquered the logistics of guest occupancy vs tables. The breakfast staff are excellent, so when you do find a spot they are friendly and very efficient. So my recommendation is that if you want a reasonably comfortable bed for the night at a sensible price, take pot luck - you may be cheerfully surprised or sadly disappointed at the accommodation, but you will have London on your doorstep to explore, which we find more than compensates for the hotels shortcomings.

Room Tip: Try to get a room overlooking the square and avoid those at the rear of the hotel, which have a grim...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Coorojo
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, 30 June 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review. We genuinely strive to create and maintain high standards at Hotel Russell.

We have a variety of different rooms to suit our guest requirements and each room is individually decorated and cleaned to an immaculate standard.

I am sorry to learn that you encountered some difficulty with your hot water and for the manner in which your concerns were addressed. We usually receive many compliments regarding the efficiency and helpfulness of our team, however please be assured that your concerns have been highlighted as we do understand the poor impression created.

Breakfast is extremely popular at our Hotel, and I do apologise for the short delay encountered whilst our team prepared your table. I am, however pleased that you were provided with exceptional service from our Breakfast team.

Should you wish to discuss your concerns further please do not hesitate to contact our Guest Relations Executive, Bebita Dhaya at bebita.dhaya@principal-hayley.com as she will be delighted to assist you and provide you with a room more to your preference upon your next visit with us.

It will be our pleasure to welcome you back to Hotel Russell upon your next visit to London.

Kindest regards

Julie Hammond
Regional General Manager
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Musselburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

Stayed here for 1 night as I couldn't get a room in my usual London hotel.
Very impressive looking from the outside an reception area is grand looking with a fantastic wide staircase.
My room was dated but ok. I was overlooking the gardens at Russell Square which was very nice. Not even secondary double glazing though which was disappointing as I was on the 2nd floor so could hear the traffic which meant I didn't get a great nights sleep.
The bar area was very impressive with very comfy seating.
Breakfast was fine and the staff were very attentive. I had my pot of tea in front of me less than a minute after sitting down.
I would stay here again but only if I could be guaranteed a room either with double glazing or away from traffic noise.

Room Tip: Avoid a front facing room on lower floors if you want a good nights sleep.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank T0mmyGee
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, 30 June 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your review. I am pleased that you were very impressed with the grandeur of our Hotel which we have maintained well over the years.

We have a variety of different rooms ranging from traditional to modern to accommodate our guest preferences. I am glad that you enjoyed the amazing view overlooking Russell Square park. Usually rooms at this level do not require additional glazing, however I am sorry that you found the central London traffic noise a disturbance. Please be assured that your comments have been taken on board.

I am delighted that you enjoyed our Tempus Bar and Restaurant which is very well known for the rich ambience and atmosphere. I am glad that our team were so attentive and provided you with the exceptional service we so pride ourselves in at our Hotel.

We endeavour to meet all of our guest requests and will certainly ensure that you are provided a room more to your preference upon your next visit.

I do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell in the not too distant 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
Seattle
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

I stayed here for several nights for business recently. I didn't expect a big room as this is in London, however, my room was tiny; a single bed, a desk/chair, a tiny closet, a tiny bathroom, that is all.

The room is so tiny, that AC will blow air right at you while you are in the room, which I don't like at all. So I had to open the window while I was there instead of turning on AC.

There is a dusty iron-board in bathroom, but no iron. I asked the cleaning lady for it on my way out, she said she'd bring it, but no iron after I came back; I called the house keeping, and the lady on the phone didn't believe I checked every where; she came up without an iron, just to walked around the tiny room to confirm that I was right - there was no iron in the room!

The room and bathroom are clean though; the breakfast is good but expensive. of course, the location is great, just one block from British Museum, and the tube is right by the hotel.

Considering how much I paid for this room, I probably will try another hotel in London next time.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank picturejoy
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, 26 June 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review. I am pleased that the central location of Hotel Russell suited your requirements well and you found the room clean and comfortable.

I am concerned that we did not meet your expectations fully. We have a variety of different rooms to suit our guest requirements and I am sure the team would have arranged for an alternative room more to your preference on being notified of the concerns . I hope you will experience one of our spacious double rooms for single occupancy on a future visit.

I have taken a note of your comments regarding the amenity in the room and the manner this was handled. Please accept my apologies for the shortfall. Moving forward, I am confident that a combination of improved product & attention to detail will impact positively to the overall guest experience.

Thank you for your constructive feedback. We do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell upon your next visit to London.

Kind regards,

Julie Hammond
Regional General 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
#296 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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