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“Extremely disappointing”

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The Principal London
Ranked #447 of 1,069 Hotels in London
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Extremely disappointing”
Reviewed October 16, 2007

Our stay at the Hotel Russell was extremely disappointing. Having stayed at this hotel eight years ago I was dismayed at how appauling the service had become. Most of the staff were surly and rude. Even the concierge appeared put out when you asked for simple directions to standard tourist locations.

We had some luggage stolen from our room. The hotel's reaction to this was both unhelpful and un-sympathetic. We had to struggle to get them to provide the police with simple information. It also took quite a bit of discussion to have them waive the cost of local calls from the room to the police station.

Even without the theft incident, the quality of service provided by Hotel Russell was extremely poor - I would no longer recommend this hotel to anyone.

Stayed September 2007
Helpful?
8 Thank KathDayKnight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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shefield
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2007

The room was small, and shabby, the bathroom was dirty, the public rooms are nice, and the nice look of the place from the out side, it is all so good location.
Brekfeat was no good, the main resteruant was full, and they put us in a over flow place, self service most things cold, or no bacon, then no sausage etc, so hopless and cost a lot for what it was..
Bar was closed as well, only beer by the bottle, and poor service.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — room small and dirty
  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank johnbexfields
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these London hotels

Dublin
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2007

The rooms in The Russell Hotel are generally very small. Our double bed was squashed into a corner, and you could barely swing a cat in the room. Still, the location is really good. Breakfast was fine, though the dining room gets very crowded. Our main problem though was with the charges for using the phone in the room - we used a phone card, but were still charged for dialling a number, even if it didn't get through. The charge was £2 per call made - an absolutely outrageous surcharge, which is not prominently flagged. After complaining for about 10 minutes, the manager grudgingly knocked £4 off our final bill. We won't be rushing back.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Attitude of some staff
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank R1Z23b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 5, 2007

The Russell Hotel has had a major re-vamp, it's a pity about the Bedrooms, My partner & I were offered a room on the first floor at the back of the Hotel, clean bathroom that’s all I can say about the room to be honest, the double bed was thrown together and the base had obviously seen many years of use ie: all four corners of the base were ripped open and showing the wooden frame, the wall paper was ripped and coming away in places, the trouser press had been broken off the wall fixings, bulbs didn't work in the overhead lighting, the windows where as black as soot, for £60 pppn for two nights, I feel we where both ripped off, the bedrooms on the website are obviously not in this hotel.

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank BigDEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2007

I booked two rooms in this hotel for two nights. My wedding was on the second day. I made this clear when I booked, and explained that I wanted my bridesmaid to be in a room close to mine. They didn't manage to accommodate this. My room was nicely designed, and clean. However, the lights near the mirror were not working - not ideal when you are trying to get your make-up right for the wedding photos! The view out of the window was okay at night-time - into the central courtyard of the hotel. However, in the daylight all you could see was the dead bodies of pigeons, in varying stages of decay, that were caught in the net above the central air-conditioning unit. Charming. The hotel seemed to be ridiculously under-staffed. We had to queue for 15 minutes just to check out. And when I ordered a taxi - to take me to my wedding (which, again, I explained) they did not manage to get me a cab for half an hour, and it was one of the grottiest mini-cabs I had ever been in. Oh, and the breakfast was stale and mean. From the reviews I read, I had expected much better. The infrastructure is here, the location is great and the interior design and cleaning services are fine, but the customer service needs a serious overhaul. I hope it has improved over the past year.

  • Liked — Great decor
  • Disliked — Terrible service
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank London-honeymooner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2007

Stayed here on business during September and there's no way I'll be returning.

The hotel itself is very mediocre, albeit contained in a very beautiful building.

My main gripe has to be with the staff. Usually you get one or two members of staff who appear unfriendly/unhelpful. Well at the Russell it seemed to be a prerequisit of employment!! On at least one occasion I was blanked by staff when asking for help.

As the title says ......... NOT IMPRESSED!!!!

  • Liked — Nothing!
  • Disliked — Everything!
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank yummymummyWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
Reviewed September 14, 2007

On first glance this hotel has a lot going for it - beautiful building, very convenient location (right next to tube, plenty of buses & shops nearby). But that's about where it ends.

The hotel claims itself to be 4*. Not sure whose 4* rating they use but I can say it is not!!

I arrived early from the airport and was pleasantly surprised when they said there was a room available. So off I went to my double room on the 5th floor. It was clean and with plenty of space for my bags but rather shabby and the window frames were rotten and really dirty. It had air-con but it was rather noisy and looked at some point to have dripped onto the lampshade below as it was heavily watermarked. Furniture was rather worn. Bathroom again was clean but tile grouting had seen better days. The wall mounted hairdryer was clearly many years old and was starting to come loose! I then discovered that the safe in my wardrobe had been left locked. After several attempts to unlock it I called the front desk who sent someone up to look. They immediately said it was broken and they would have to order a new one. Another call to the front desk to ask them what I should do and they then offered to store my valuables for me (errr my laptop and passport - no thanks!). I asked to move rooms.

So onto room 2! I went down to the front desk to discuss moving rooms and was treated as though I was a major inconvenience to the staff. There was no apology, nothing. Just a sneery comment that they wouldn't be able to accomodate me on the same floor I was currently on (relevant.....no!). I took the key to my new room (4th floor facing the inside of the hotel) and went to move my stuff. It was night and day to the old one. This was a refurbished room. Furniture was modern, decor was much cleaner and the safe worked!

Room cleaning seemed rather erratic. The bin in my room was not emptied at all when I was there (the bathroom one was!). One day my tea/coffee tray was not replenished & the next only the biscuits (but not the coffee!). The other minor point was that when I opened the container with the tea bags and coffee inside I noticed that some of the coffee sachets had a best before date of Dec 06!!!

My other big complaint was the cost of internet access. For high speed in room access it was 50p a minute up to a maximum of 25 pounds a day! There was also a charge for using the computers in the hotel business centre.

Breakfast was nothing special. Staff seemed rather disorganised and there was limited choice for those who didn't want a full fried breakfast.

The hotel has no leisure facilities. Fine if you are a tourist and have better things to do with your time but for those on business a gym is usually something that would come as standard in the USA at a hotel of this size.

I was put in this hotel by my employers travel service. They seemed to get a good rate. Having seen the hotel's rack rate and those being offered by the big internet booking sites there is no way on this earth I would pay that for this standard. I know London is a difficult place to find good quality at a reasonable price but you can do much better than the Russell so please shop around.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — room standard - make sure you get a refurbished room!!
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank London_bird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#285 Family Hotel in London
#300 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
The Principal London England

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