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“Looked like a palace” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Russell

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Hotel Russell
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE, England (Bloomsbury / Holborn)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #512 of 1,066 Hotels in London
Oslo, Norway
1 review
“Looked like a palace”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2010

The staff were very friendly, but even though we had booked a room with an extra bed, we had to ask twice to get it. The bath-room basin didn't drain properly, and they did not manage to fix it. Nevertheless, we had a very good time at The Russel, the children (14&17) loved the palace-like building, the room was of good size (even though we were three shearing it), and the breakfast was excellent! It was nice and clean everywhere and we found the location very good. All you need just around the corner!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Manager at Hotel Russell, responded to this review, October 21, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your wonderful comments on Trip Advisor.

It is a delight to learn that you and the family had an enjoyable stay at Hotel Russell. I agree , the magnificient architecture of this Victorian building does gives the impression of a palace.
Why not bring the family along to celebrate the festive season in the unique Victorian splendour.

I would like to offer my apologies that the request for the extra bed was not dealt with efficiently and the maintenance issue could not be rectified. Rest assured I have shared the feedback with relevant Heads of the Departments and taken steps to ensure no lapses occur in dealing with guest requests. However Iam glad that these did not deter you from enjoying your time at Hotel Russell.

I look forward for your next stay at Hotel Russell.

Regards
Murray Wilson
Deputy General Manager
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2,615 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Newcastle
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2010

I stayed for 3 nights with business. The location on Russell Square was ideal for me and it is close to a number of shops and restaurants.
I was disappointed with my room. The website pictures show a spacious modern room and I was looking forward to staying here. On opening the door however I was very disappointed indeed. The room and fittings were very old - an ancient wardrobe, dresser and table with a small old style TV. The bathroom (though updated with a large shower) was tiny - so much so that when siting on the loo your knees are under the sink!
The bed however seemed new and was very comfortable. The redeeming feature that stopped me complaining.
Breakfast was ok - very friendly efficient staff (as they were at check in) with a selection of hot and cold fare.
I have stayed here on and off for years and after what seems a long refurbishment some rooms are still not up to standard and their website is misleading.
Be careful what room type you actually get but otherwise a good hotel

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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guestservices_10, Manager at Hotel Russell, responded to this review, October 21, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review Hotel Russell on Trip Advisor.

I am sorry that you felt that the pictures of bedrooms on our website are misleading. The website features the refurbished Superior, Executive and Junior suite category of rooms with the modern facilities and decor that come at a premium. Being a busy city centre hotel, the refurbishment programme has to be carried out in stages and at present we are left with a handful of traditional style rooms that are going to be refurbished soon.

More positively Iam glad that the team impressed you with their friendliness and efficiency and that you have chosen to stay with us on many occassions.

We value your custom and look forward to welcome you again.

Regards
Murray Wilson
Deputy General Manager
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London
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2010

Stayed here for one night on business in September 2010.

Room was okay, if a bit dingy (no main light, just lamps). Hotel is very centrally located, just round the corner from Russell Sq tube (Picadilly line - so good for Heathrow)

Main niggle was reception - I queued for ages to check in, with what seemed to be a huge conference party. Because of the pillars in the reception area, some guests didn't see the queue and walked straight to the counter, where staff served them, ignoring the existing queue. The desk was clearly under-staffed but I put this down to the large conference party that seemed to be checking in. However, I had a similar experience at check-out. This is really basic stuff so needs sorting.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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guestservices_10, Manager at Hotel Russell, responded to this review, October 22, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments on Trip Advisor.

Iam glad that you benefitted from the Central location of Hotel Russell however can understand how frustrating the wait to check in must have been. I apologise for this inconvenience.

For the large groups, we set aside a seperate area where the bed room keys are handed to the delegates by our conference team members. Our Team makes every effort to ensure there is minimal wait and the check in process is efficient and to high standards however I have shared your feedback with the Front of House Manager to make sure that necessary steps are taken and guests are served on a first come first serve basis.

I trust that you will consider this experience as a one off and give us another chance to welcome you back in the near future.

Regards
Murray Wilson
Deputy General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2010

I booked a couple of nights at the Russell Hotel while on a business trip from Birmingham. There were very few rooms available in Central London for one of the nights (apart from the cheapest of the cheap hotels), so I plumped for this place. At approximately £160 per night I was expecting a quality experience. I was therefore surprised to read on TripAdvisor many negative reports about this hotel, and extremely disappointed to find that my high expectations were dashed by a mediocre experience.

The room I booked was a twin "superior" room, as they had no standard double rooms available. On arrival I was told that I could upgrade to a double "executive" room for £20 extra per night. This I did, at my own expense (as I can't expect my company to pay over the odds for my additional comfort). I was then appalled to find that the room they gave me was of a lower standard than I would expect for a £50 - £90 hotel in Birmingham:

* It was small.
* it had two TVs. One, a brand-new-looking flat screen.... that didn't work. The other an old CRT TV with an appalling picture, and a half-knackered remote control.
* A sign in the bathroom said something along the lines of "Caution: The Towel Rail is Hot", but it was cold / broken.
* The two plug sockets closest to the bed were both obfuscated by the bed itself, so the only way of using them was to move the bed away from the wall. Most peculiar.
* I'm not sure what justified branding this room as "Executive", except that it came with 4 free magazines, none of which were of interest to me.

Additional issues:

* The internet is APPALLING. In one of the reviews on this site, the hotel replied to say that they were going to introduce wireless internet into all the rooms in the hotel in the second half of this year. It's certainly not there as of early October. They advertise that they have internet access in every room, but it's HUGELY speed-limited and only available for 30 minutes at a time. If you want any more speed or want to use it for a long period, you have to pay extra. So much for actually getting any work done in my room.

* I ordered room service on my first night. Which the food was actually extremely pleasant, I asked Guest Services to confirm that what they describe on the menu as "fresh orange juice" is actually "fresh". She said it was, so I was extremely disappointed to receive a glass of the usual poor-quality cartoned juice that most pubs get away with serving nowadays. For £3!

* The warnings from other members of this site about the air-conditioning unit in the hotel's central courtyard are not exaggerations. It whirs along like a jet engine all day and most of the night. I recall reading someone on here say that it stopped at 11.30pm and recommended at 7am. While I was there, it was still going when I fell asleep just before midnight, and was definitely going at 6am the following morning. It really is shocking that they don't re-glaze all of the windows in the rooms facing the courtyard. I was probably as far away from the air-con unit as it's possible to get (on the top floor), but it was still uncomfortably and irritatingly loud.

* My room package was described as "Bed and breakfast", yet they charged me an additional £11.25 each day for breakfast. They couldn't explain what the reason was for this.

Other comments:

* Service - adequate. I was asked if I'd enjoyed my stay while I was checking out. I said it was only OK, but the man serving me seemed disinterested in discussing this any further.

* Food - good. Both the room service food and the breakfast were of a good standard.

* Decor - I suspect this hotel looked amazing in its day. However it's day must be long past. The main foyet is still attractive, if a little too garishly old-fashioned for modern tastes.

In summary, I think this is a hotel that doesn't really care about its clientele. Its location in Central London means that it's guaranteed patronage, if only from customers like myself who have spilled over from other, full hotels.

I would suggest that you only stay here if you have no other option.

Also, if the hotel replies to this review, finishing off with their customary "I trust you will visit us again so we can try and improve on your last experience with us", I will be happy to, if you send me a voucher for a free stay. I won't shell out any more money in your direction.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stornoway
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2010

It is hard to write this review because the staff were just so absolutely lovely, and because the refurbishment has clearly tried so very hard to make this a good hotel. But there is a major structural flaw.

The hotel has an inward-facing courtyard, and mounted on gigantic metal struts above a pitched roof, suspended over the courtyard, is a massive airconditioning unit inside a metal cage, about the length and breadth of three London buses. I assume this is for the whole hotel but I have never seen anything like it.

The noise from this unit is unreal. It sounds like the noise of a jet engine starting up, and the night I was there, was switched off at 11.15pm, only to resume at 7.30am the next morning. My single room gave onto this courtyard, and my room and bathroom were only single glazed. I couldn't sleep until it was switched off, and not knowing if it would be switched off was even worse. I had been up very early that morning and I was exhausted.

It really is unforgiveable to only have single glazing in the rooms that overlook the courtyard: triple glazing would probably be required.

The room itself was fine, clean although the sheets were scratchy and starchy, with standard four-star London amenities. The hotel is a bit dark inside, but this is an old London building and they have done their best. The breakfasts were lovely, even though the dining room could do with a few screens across it to break up the 'ballroom' effect. The staff were lovely, friendly, very multicultural and of a wide variety of ages, which is always a good sign.

But I couldn't recommend this hotel at all, or to anyone, because of the noise, and the risk of getting a courtyard room.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Manager at Hotel Russell, responded to this review, October 22, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write a review on Trip Advisor.

The team at Hotel Russell had been commended on numerous occassions for their friendliness and professionalism and I am glad that you share the same opinion as our other valued guests.

I apologise that the noise from the air conditioning unit caused inconvenience. It is a necessary evil as providing the modern 4 star facilities like air conditioning in all the 373 bedrooms would not be possible without accommodating the unit and the central courtyard area was the only option .

We have taken measures to keep the noise levels at bay and recently had approval to add an extra layer of glazing to the windows. I am sure you will appreciate the effort that goes in to preserve this magnificient building and the sanctions and approvals take longer as ours is a Grade II listed building.

I trust you will give Hotel Russell another chance and we shall endeavour to make sure that you have a comfortable and relaxing stay .

Regards
Murray Wilson
Deputy general Manager
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Hornsea
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2010

First impression on entering is that of a "Grand" hotel. Reception staff efficient and friendly giving a welcoming feel.
Room clean and spacious and comfortable. One slight criticism the air conditioning
refused to operate. Maybe we misunderstood the instructions.
Hotel is very well situated for public transport both bus and tube.
Bar prices a bit steep but it is London after all.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. B.M.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Manager at Hotel Russell, responded to this review, September 30, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your wonderful comments on Trip Advisor.

I am glad our team impressed you and the services and standards that we pride ourselves at Hotel Russell were up to your expectations .

You have my assurance that the concern raised regarding the air conditioning unit has been addressed . I apologise for the inconvenience caused. Our maintenance team would have rectified the issue straightaway if it was reported during the stay.

Once again, Thank you for your comments and we hope you will return to Hotel Russell in the near future.

Regards
Murray Wilson
Deputy General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2010

I was really disappointed when we stay at Hotel Russell. We stayed only one night at we were in London to see a music gig and thought it would be a treat to spend a night in a hotel rather than arrive home in the wee small hours. We later regretted this.
We booked our room with American Express vouchers and were given a room next door to the central heating boiler or similar. it was very hot so we opened the windows and then very early in the morning heard the service staff outside going about their work.
When we left the following day we were exhausted and it left negative memories of the whole experience.
I filled in the comments card but never heard a word back.
Obviously, it's our suspicion that we were treated like second class customers-we can't prove it!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Manager at Hotel Russell, responded to this review, September 29, 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments on Trip Advisor.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the difficulties encountered during your stay, particularly in respect of the noise in the bedroom. The age and complexity of the building impacts the location, size and shape of each bedroom as a result of which the rooms are all a little different and unfortunately on this occasion you experienced one of our bedrooms that was not ideal as per your requirements. As the building is listed there was no alternative but house the air conditioning machinery in the central courtyard area, which at times can be noisy; however plans are being finalised to add an extra layer of glazing to the windows to keep the noise level at bay.


We have taken your comments on board and taken measures to ensure that we do our best to help our guests deal with any such situation in the future. I am sorry that we could not rectify the situation during your stay; I am sure our team at Reception would have been forthcoming in offering you a room move if you would have brought your concern to their attention.

We value all our guests and endeavour to make their stay as comfortable as possible. I apologize that we did not meet your expectation on this occasion. I trust we are given another chance to make amends when you next take a chance to visit London.

Regards
Murray Wilson
Deputy 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 Hotel Russell

Address: Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury / Holborn , Camden / Primrose Hill
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#301 Luxury Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Russell 4*
Number of rooms: 373
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Russell 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, Hotel Russell is the perfect base for business or pleasure. With 19 air conditioned meeting rooms you can rest assured that your business requirements will be met with ease.It is our mission to bring you the very best luxury hotel in London and we can guarantee that Hotel Russell will not disappoint. This Victorian hotel stands out from the crowd with spectacular views over Russell Square. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Russell Hotel London
Hotel London Russell
Russel Hotel London
Hotel Russell London, England

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