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“Good choice for budget accommodation in Central London” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Smart Russell Square Hostel

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Smart Russell Square Hostel
Ranked #492 of 828 Specialty Lodging in London
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Good choice for budget accommodation in Central London”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

What I was looking for was: a comfortable bed, a clean shower and a decent breakfast. I got all of that for £11 in central London, which is way more than I was expecting. The rooms might be a look a bit crowded, I was in a 9bed dorm with 3-tiers bunk beds, but the curtain is brilliant for extra privacy. It was great for one night and the staff was friendly. For a longer stay I would recommend it to younger people (let's say...late teens, early 20s).
Showers are in the basement and they're provided with lockers. To get there you have to walk through the living room or a maze of corridors, so think twice before heading out in towel and flipflop attire :)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rick_TravelLocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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733 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

front desk staff were great! housekeeping not so much.. arrived in london after a 35 hour flight to be told i had to wait for the showers to be cleaned after I had already got undressed and was walked in on!
didnt get to try the breakfast, wifi was excellent. got what you paid for I guess.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank m_wilson456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these London hotels

Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2013

Fawlty Towers ran like a dream compared to this place. Do not stay here. Some reviews say you get what you pay for but ideally this hostel should be paying you to stay, it is that bad.

The staff are rude, lie and are incredibly lazy. We were greeted by someone named Moshin who asked to check all our passports, looked at one and then said it didn't really matter, not typing anything at this point. When we tried to pay, Moshin informed us that the card machine was broken and that there was a bank machine up the road which we would be able to use, which was fair enough. We returned 5 minutes later at which point Moshin informed us he'd no longer be able to check us in as they were in the middle of a shift change and that it would take them 15 minutes to count all the tills.....both of them.

The staff were in no great rush and after 20 minutes said we'd be able to check in again and requested all our passports again as they had nothing on file....cheers Moshin. It was at this point I asked if the card machine was working? To which the new member of staff said yes....cheers Moshin.

Room wasn't that clean, too hot, had no A/C, paper thin walls and the beds were tiny. Anytime the light in the communal bathroom came on it lit up the whole room. Sink in bedroom had an out of order sign on it.

Showers were an experience.... Not clean and to keep the water flowing you had to continually press the button as they wouldn't stay on otherwise.

After only staying one night we were greeted by our good friend Moshin again. We asked if we could purchase 30 mins of internet access before we went out sight seeing. He responded by saying that we could only buy an hour and they were all out of 30 minute tokens....cheers Moshin.

Room Tip: Please choose the room that is in another hostel
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Blakers2810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2013

I stayed here with 3 friends for 6 days. We were in a mixed room with 10 other people, but they were all nice and did not disturb us, except for some snoring. The hostel is like a big student house, a bit smelly but everyone is nice, you get the chance to meet a lot of new people. The bathrooms were underground and with common showers, but they were kept very clean. The only bad thing was the kitchen, it was way too dirty because no one bothered to clean it, so I advise you to have breakfast elsewhere. Apart from this, the hostel's position is great, in a quiet neighborhood, very close to the city centre and the tube, there are a lot of groceries stores, banks and restaurants nearby, so you don't need to go far away to get what you need. The staff was very friendly and kind.

a piece of advice, don't bring a big luggage because there is no place for it in the rooms, except for very small drawers underneath the bed, which can only fit small luggages. if you have a big one, you'll have to put it in the store room and it's better to take out the things you need beforehand, otherwise you will have to go the store room everyday .
Also, if you come here it's best if you are with at least one friend, so they can guard your stuff when you shower

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ismira93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
56 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013

I stayed in a 10-bed mixed dorm with my friend which proved to be a really bad idea as the room was way too small for that many beds (and the beds aren't even that big/wide), leading to minimal walking space or even space for our backpacks in the room. On top of the cramped living conditions, there was only one half-opened window (which could not be opened any further) to ventilate the already-very-stuff room, making the sleeping conditions quite unbearable. Bathrooms were plentiful and clean except that you had to go all the way thru a mini-labyrinth of stairs and doors just to get to them (in the basement). Simple breakfast of cereal and bread provided every morning but the dining hall was quite small and thus always cramped with people and it was rather difficult to find a seat in the morning. Would only recommend this place for it's really convenient location, a walking distance to Russell Square and Covent Garden.

Room Tip: Only book the rooms with less beds and preferably rooms with A/C
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank FionanaChan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2013

I have just stayed a week at the Smart Hostel. I have stayed in many hostels in my life, from Rio to Milan to Paris to Hanoi. This hostel is not bad really, but it depends certainly on how many beds there are in your bedroom. I stayed in a 9-beds bedroom, and found the experience to be good on the following items: Bedroom size, acceptable; Beds size, a bit tight if you are 1,80m tall; Cleanliness: quite good, I used clean bathrooms, clean showers and clean hallways, and no signs of rodents; Breakfast food: basic, but quite average for a hostel. Reception desk staff: friendly and helpful.
Negative points: Cleaning/Kitchen staff; The Russian ladies scream a lot among themselves, they just don`t know how to use the words PLEASE, EXCUSE ME, or I`M SORRY. They are inappropriate, abrupt, unfriendly and altogether intimidating. And they can`t keep their fingers out of their mouth, which is not health and hygien - recommended.
First time I stay and I would return had the cleaning staff learn some basic rules of appropriate professional behaviour.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sergio s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester,
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

I stayed in a two-bed room with my friend (a 'twin private'), which, from reading the reviews of the dorms, seems to have been a better option. After paying our £10 deposit each (which we hadn't previously been informed of, although you get it back if you return your bed linen and room keys at the end of your stay), and being charged an extra 50p to use a debit card to pay, we made our way to our room was on the third floor. The final set of stairs leading to our room were crooked, leaning in towards the banister, making it more difficult to walk on, and which surely can't be very safe. They give you fresh bed linen on arrival (which thankfully is most definitely clean), however upon arrival in our room we realised that this contained only a sheet and undersheet, and disposable pillow case (the colour of which can rub off on your skin!) and that the duvet cover is not changed from guest to guest, and that my friends one was covered in hair that definitely did not belong to her! We also couldn't work out how to use the lockers, although I have now read that you need £1.50 to use them. As we were just getting ready to leave our room (which had a bunk bed and a tiny sink in), the cleaner buzzed herself into our room. Instead of saying that she'd come back later as you would expect, she instead just brought her mop into the room and mopped round us (without, we could see, wringing the mop out, or cleaning it in any way). My friend also accidentally dropped her purse on the floor, meaning coins went everywhere, and the cleaner made no real attempt to help or stop, she just carried on mopping! I quite liked the idea of the curtains around the beds, particularly if you're in a bigger room with people you don't know, and they block out light quite well - unless you're on the top of a bunk, obviously), although the curtains on my bed did have a horrible stain on, so they could maybe do with being washed every now and again.

The toilets were clean everytime I used them, although there is not a hand dryer or a paper towel on which to dry your hands.The water pressure in the room sinks is rubbish, though, you literally just get a trickle out of it. Another problem, which others have also flagged up is the showers being on the basement. Thanks to babywipes and deodorant, I decided to give them a wide berth, as I didn't fancy walking up/down three flights of stairs in my towel, and after checking them out discovered that they seemed pretty open plan, and I don't think any guest was ready to see my bare skin. I understand that this is more of a design fault with the building than anything, but they have enough room to put at least 2 showers on every floor and it's just not very convenient.

The noise was also initially a bit of a problem, we could hear next door's every loud/word movement until midnight, but after that things got a bit better. I was lucky enough to get some sleep, but my friend said that around 5am, the noise became an issue again. It's also situated near a busy road, (which doesn't bother me at all, in fact the location is probably the best thing about it, with it being so near a tesco express and the tube station), so if you want a silent night, here is probably not the place for you.

It also boasts having 'free wifi', but we soon discovered this only covers the lobby and the ground floor. It does have handy vending machines, though, which stock a lot of varied things from snacks to toothpaste and paracetamol. When we went to the lobby, there seemed to be a lot of groups of travellers together, who all looked like they were having a great time, so maybe the company makes for the place. A couple of members of staff were really helpful, although some less so than others. They also offer a bag storage service of £2 per bag, per day, which is really helpful if you don't want to carry your heavy bag round with you all day, and given the location, it's not too much of a detour to go and pick it up.

Overall, I'd follow the line of most of these reviews, which say that it is fine for one night, especially if you don't want to shower, but ultimately it's probably better to pay a little bit more and go for somewhere slightly nicer.

Room Tip: The fact we had a private room made the experience slightly more bearable & take your own towel...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kate F
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

Property: Smart Russell Square Hostel
Address: 71-72 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DF, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #492 of 828 Specialty Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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