We are a family of four and stayed for a week. We had read the negative reviews and braced ourselves for what was inside as we walked into the Russell Hotel.
First impressions were good. We were given a very friendly welcome at reception. The decor looked dated. We arrived early and they offerred to store our luggage for us while our room was being prepared. We headed for the town and they said they would call us when the room was ready for us to check in. We had breakfast and came back to find all our cases moved to the room. A pleasant surprise as they do not have a lift and we had 4 large cases so we were not looking forward to lug them up ourselves.
We were in a family room overlooking the common. The room was clean. The bathroom looked like it needed updating. It didn't take long for our first impressions to take a nose dive. The toilet was a disaster! It didn't refill water quickly and we basically had to wait for up to 20 minutes after it had been used for the next person to use it!!! Worse still on several occassions it did not completely flush away and one had to wait for another 20 minutes for it to refill to try and flush again... Totally unacceptable. We complained and it was looked at immediately with polite apologies, but sadly things did not improve and that unbelieveable situation prevailed for the duration of our stay..... On one day the plumber visited 3 times and left us with a toilet that worked however we had to wait 20 mins in between visits...
The staff were polite and helpful but the facilities were not of a high standard considering we were paying £110 a night!!!
Breakfast was good. There was always a polite, friendly and helpful waiter on duty. The good thing was that it was cooked to order so it always arrived hot. Full English breakfast, tea , coffee, cereals, juices and yoghurts on offer. They accommodated special requests within reason and never minded us staying after 10:00am to chat over our tea when they closed the buffet. They do not have a restaurant and are happy for you to bring food back and eat in the restaurant int he evenings.
If you stay in a room by the road, it can be noisy from the traffic and chatter from passing pedestrian traffic. Thursday nights in particular seemed to be a very noisy night. To get a good nights sleep in the room we had by the road, we had to have the windows shut. There is a lounge and a bar which is stocked with drinks and we used it when we had visitors one evening.
The beds were comfortable, tea, coffee and hot chocolate provided. We were not impressed with room service as the room did not appear to have been cleaned for a number of days in a row.
It is expensive for what it is as, £110 a night for the family room is at par with some 3 star hotels and one would expect similiar if the rooms go at those prices. Overall they could do with updating the rooms especially the bathroom. Not sure about the peach colour bath tub and basin. The Russell Hotel does have its pluses like the car park which is a great help given parking in Tunbridge Wells is expensive and it is not always possible to find parking close to the hotel. Its location near to the city, shops and restaurants makes it well positioned and if you don't have a car most places are within walking distance.
It could be a great hotel if they paid attention to detail. As it stands it is an average hotel with a 3 star price tag. Will I stay again? I am not sure. If there are other hotels in the area available on the night, I am sure for the same money I could get a better experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With style and comfort coupled with convenience, this hotel set in the very centre of historic Tunbridge Wells is positioned on the edge of the rural common.The hotel was built as a residence in the Victorian era and became one of the town's leading hotels in the 1920s. Set on the edge of the Tunbridge Wells common, it is only 2 minutes stroll from the shops, restaurants, cafes and theatres. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Russell Hotel Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent