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“3 days 2 nights”

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Smart Russell Square Hostel
Ranked #539 of 923 Specialty Lodging in London
Reviewed July 9, 2013

We got a private room for 4. The room is small but it was sufficient for 4 of us. However the shower rooms are too small and it was inconvenient to hook our clothes. That said, the location is pretty good and most importantly it's clean! Breakfast is provided. Overall it is quite a value for money hostel to stay in for a short while.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank 1stttime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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276 - 282 of 812 reviews

Reviewed July 1, 2013

The rooms are very tiny for the amount of people in but this is common in london (and worse than paris) where space is very scarce. So backpackers should be prepare to see backpacks everywhere in the room.
I had a sleep ok but its a chance i could choose my bed in the room cause since beds were lined one after another and not side by side they had to put some walls to the beds and those wall shortens the available length: your head touch and also your heel. Extremely uncomfortable if you are 6 ft. tall and dont find a little longer bed (one inch makes the difference). In the end i managed. Good priced booking for location.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank louisarnout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

I arrived around 21:00 from elsewhere in the UK and left around 06:00 to catch the earliest Eurostar at St Pancras. For this purpose, the hostel suited me well: cheap and a 10 minute walk from the station. For all other purposes and for longer stays, I would not go back nor recommend it.

12 persons in 1 room, stacked in 3 rows above each other. Like sleeping in pigeon holes! Very little space next to the beds to walk in the room and put luggage. Unpleasant smell in the room. Because there were so many people in 1 room, the window stayed open whole night -> much noise from the street and rather cold. Windows without curtains, so light on top of that. Noise + cold + light = bad sleep. Noise from fellow guests too, both in and outside the room.

Beware: they demand a £10.00 cash deposit for the linen, which they don't mention anywhere. If you are unaware of this and travel with your debit/credit card and minimal cash like me, you will find yourself walking down the street looking for an ATM in the dark and the cold and the rain before you can check in - after first having queued for half an hour in their reception area.

This hostel is a better place than a pedestrian tunnel or a railway station to put your head down while waiting for a train in London at night, but don't expect anything more than that.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank LisaB936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

I stayed here the night before a tour to save some cash and was glad to leave. After walking up four flights of stairs with a heavy suitcase, I reached my dorm to discover that you had to purchase a key to open your locker (something the reception staff failed to tell me before I made the trip upstairs, and which forced me to lug my suitcase back downstairs to get a key).

The building itself is quite cold and not very welcoming, especially when you can hear people running around the halls in the early hours of the morning. The showers were also quite inconvenient as they are located in the basement of the building (quite a trip when you're on the top floor!). There is nowhere to store your towels or clothes inside the shower block without getting them wet, so be prepared to show some skin to your fellow travelers.

The location is the best thing about the hostel as it is quite lose to the tube.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Ali O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

I just left this hostel this morning and felt the need to share a bit of advice with fellow travelers. The Smart Russell Square Hostel is fine if you plan on only staying for a night. I had to come to London for a university visit day and planned on leaving the next morning. This hostel worked well enough for that. However, if you plan on staying multiple nights, look elsewhere. It costs £5 to rent a towel and they don't provide paper ones in the toilets to dry tour hands. It costs £7 to do a full load of laundry (£4 to wash, £2 to dry, £1 for detergent). The floors are broken and warped in places so you're likely to twist an ankle. Beware of the stairs, they are also crooked and lean towards the railing. There are cracks in the ceiling where water drips through, there is not enough seating in the lounge, the only wifi is in the lobby but they have 3 computers you can also use there. Finally, the noise levels are deafening. You can hear every footstep above, the bed in the room next to you squeaking (beds are metal boxes that squeak when you breathe too deeply), and voices carry through the halls.

In conclusion, if you're here for a short stay and don't need to shower in the morning before you leave, or do laundry, or get a quiet night's sleep, then this places serves the purpose of keeping you out of the London fog and putting a pillow under your head. However, if you plan on staying longer, or need any of the above, I advise finding somewhere else to hang your hat.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
Thank Erin E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2013

The hostel is centrally located, clean and pretty tidy for the money. However, I spent an absolutely terrible night there after 3 people were allowed into my 4 bed dorm - they had no luggage and had clearly just come in off the street at 4am. Thirty minutes later, the police were hammering on the door as one of them had been reported a missing person. Once the police had left, they were snorting cocaine off the handbasin next to my bed.

I realise that the hostel cannot entirely be blamed for their behaviour, but when at 5am I dragged all my stuff downstairs to ask to switch rooms, the staff were pretty unconcerned and didn't seem to understand why I was upset - it's not like anyone had been arrested! They allocated me a new room, but really there was very little apology for the fact that I was woken up by the police and a bunch of druggies in the early hours of the morning. This was my first experience of staying in a hostel alone and considering how insecure it made me feel, it will probably be my last.

Oh, and after all that, burnt toast set the fire alarm off at 7am.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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Thank amymi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2013

I'm not sure why there are so many complaints about this place - it's £10-14/night - what do people expect?!
For what it provides, it's great value, and an excellent location. The beds are ok, reasonably comfortable actually! The pillows are a bit flat, and there are no spares, but it's cheap - I should have just brought my own!
I used the showers in the evening, and found there was lots of hot water, and they were very clean. Some of them need the push button to be held in all the time, but if it's quiet, it's easy enough to find one that doesn't.
The communal areas were welcoming and comfortable, with a good mix of sofas and table seating.
I stayed in an 18-bed dorm room - the only accommodation available as I booked so late. I was wary as people had posted about the temperature and lack of space, but I didn't find this a problem at all. I'm generally too hot when sleeping, but the room wasn't uncomfortable at all. Space was sufficient for all of us to keep our bags on the floor, and still have plenty of space to move about.
I'd definitely stay here again; though would probably try to book earlier and opt for a smaller room - less people to be disturbed by!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank ne324bh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smart Russell Square Hostel

Address: 71-72 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DF, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #539 of 923 Specialty Lodging in London
Price Range: $15 - $135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Smart Russell Square Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This hostel is in the heart of London, a 10-minute walk from King's Cross Railway Station and the British Library. It provides budget accommodation with free WiFi access throughout. The Smart Hostel Russell Square offers beds in mixed-sex dorms. Linen is provided and security lockers are available in all rooms. Shared and en-suite facilities are available depending on room type. Reception is open 24 hours a day, and there are no curfews or lock-out times. Guests can receive tourist information and discount tickets for major attractions. The hostel's common room features a large TV, and some shared kitchen facilities are available. Self-service laundry facilities and an internet cafe are also offered on site. Russell Square Underground Station is 252 yrd away. The Foundling Museum, Islington Farmers Market and University College London are all within 10 minutes' walk. Camden is a great choice for travellers interested in Theatre, Museums and Culture. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Smart Russell Square Hotel London
Smart Russell Square Hostel London, England

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