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“The bathroom can be lethal for older folks ...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Principal London

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The Principal London
Ranked #434 of 1,086 Hotels in London
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“The bathroom can be lethal for older folks ...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

I stayed at the Russell from 4-10 October and it was fine. My one and only issue (and this is significant) was the height of the bathtub off the floor. I my room (706) the step up from the floor into the bathtub was steep and there was no bar to steady me as I stepped into the tub to shower. I am 49 years old, and I suspect that if I were 60+ I would have had great trepidation in using the tub to shower, particularly since on the reverse trip the bathroom floor was wet and slippery. Otherwise the room was small but quiet and wholly satisfactory. The hotel is in a great area, diagonally across Russell Sq from the British Museum and only a few steps from the Russell Sq tube station. The hotel bar was terrific ... everything one would hope in a fine English hotel bar. If it were not for the situation in the bathroom I would easily have given it a 4 star rating for location and value.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BigCityEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am pleased that overall you had a lovely stay with us.

We have a range of different baths and showers to suit all of our guests including easy access bathrooms for guests with mobility concerns. Please be assured that the health and safety of all of our guests is extremely important to us and that we follow all the necessary guidelines. We have not had any similar comments regarding the height of the bath and have the necessary facilities in place to ensure that guests can get in and out of the bath safely. We also have anti slip bathroom mats with instructions on them in each bathroom for all of our guests.

I am delighted you found our location so convenient as we are within walking distance of some of London's major attractions. We pride ourselves on the rich heritage of our Hotel and have ensured that the we have captured and maintained the ambience of the Old English Bar and I am also pleased that you enjoyed this.

I do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell in the future.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,866 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Australia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

This is a beautiful building in a lovely location that is so convenient for the Eurostar and main line train stations to the north and midlands area of the UK. You're not far from Covent Garden or Oxford Street without the hustle and bustle.

I think the hotel is riding on it's old world charm & location. The rooms are pleasant but the service and attention to detail is pretty poor.

We had booked a family room and another double. They messed up though and my parents ended up being split up into two singles. Our room was nice and well decorated, it was so hot in there though. I was visiting from Australia so expected to be on the cool side, but it felt like I was sleeping in a sauna & I couldn't open any windows.

We met in the dimly lit hotel bar on both evenings. I think we were there for 30mins on the first evening with little or no other guests in there waiting & waiting for drinks. Every time you asked about it you were told that they couldn't get them it was someone elses job blah blah. We nearly died on the 2nd night when we ordered a bottle of house white, now I know there's a mark up on the drinks but it was ridiculous.

The queues for breakfast were impossible to navigate so I wouldn't bother with paying for that. I called reception a couple of times and the waits were quite long. On the whole it was a good stay which could have been great, if they only sorted out the service in all aspects of the hotel. You'll probably find better places around for the price.

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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank carey77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am sorry to read that you were disappointed with certain aspects of your stay.

We did regrettably experience a system error on a particular day and hence a few guests were inconvenienced due to this. Please be assured that the necessary steps have been taken to ensure that this does not occur again.

Each room has an air conditioning unit which allows guests to find their individual optimum temperature, usually the temperature is not a problem, but will certainly take your comments on board.

I am so disappointed to read of the poor service you received in our bar area and have highlighted this to our Food and Beverage Manager for his consideration. All guests should certainly be served in a timely manner.

In our room service, bar and restaurant menus we do state the wine prices which are in line with other four star hotels in the area. Please be assured that we only serve high quality wines and do hope that you enjoyed this.

Breakfast is extremely popular and whilst it is beyond our control when guests arrive for this we endeavour to be as prepared as possible. We have created an additional dining room which also serves the full English Breakfast buffet. We do also inform guests of the peak times and hence, give them the option of choosing a quieter time if preferred. Usually this is not a problem, however I am sorry that you had opted to forego breakfast due to the wait.

I am pleased that overall you had a good stay and will certainly take your comments on board and do hope that we will have the opportunity to ensure that your next stay with us is great.


Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2012

Stayed on the 6th floor and the corridor does demonstrate its age … the rooms are being refurbished, part of the furniture is old, part is new, but I really was planning for some time to stay in this hotel because I found its architecture fantastic when walking in Bloomsbury the other times I visited LOndon. Then reading its history learned that the hotel was originally opened in 1900, and it is one of the latest Victorian hotels that already exist in London. The internal design mainly in the ground floor is fantastic. I would say that there are bigger and more well decorated rooms for the price paid on Russell, but I enjoyed very much my stay, it is just like driving a vintage car … a mix of hotel and museum ….

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank FlavioFukumoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am delighted that you had a wonderful stay with us.

We are extremely proud of the rich heritage which houses our magnificent structure. Our Hotel was one of the first purpose built hotels in London which we have carefully maintained over the last 114 years. We have ensured that we have maintained its essence of grandeur and style. I do hope that you had a chance to meet George, our brass dragon on the second floor landing, legend has it that if you rub his head he will bring you good luck.

Due to the age and size of the hotel each room has its own unique charm, hence has been decorated individually to enhance this. We do have a variety of room types to suit each guest.

It will be our pleasure to welcome you back to Hotel Russell upon your next visit to London.


Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Market Drayton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
259 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2012

Having booked and paid three weeks in advance,we arrived to be told that no twin rooms,or doubles were available.It was the computers fault according to the receptionist.Cutting a long story short,we accepted two singles as being disabled I cannot stand for any length of time,and with friends and family already booked in the Hotel could not go elsewhere.There is also a limit to the number of times anyone can hear the same lie repeated.The rooms were fine and the Hotel had a good standard of housekeeping,and apart from an issue with the service or lack of it in the bar we were reasonably happy.Until it came to breakfast,which we had prepaid.The queue on both days was ridiculous and the staff were unable to estimate how long it would take to clear.
The number of guests needing feeding can easily be calculated,even by a supposedly wayward computer,but no attempt was made by the Hotel to provide more space,which they do have,but instead rely on a framed note in the foyer,suggesting that queues could be avoided if guests could have breakfast in the wee small hours,or at lunchtime.I physically could not stand any longer,therefore the Hotel benefitted from four breakfasts which my wife and I did not have.Other people also gave up,and cynically I wonder if this is considered a nice profit source by the Hotel.
Whilst we made our feelings known on checking in and out,and being promised a response from the management,we are still waiting over three weeks on.
If you must stay in this Hotel,I would do so on a room only basis.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alancgreen8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. Please accept our sincere apologies for the disappointment you experienced with your recent visit.

I can personally confirm that due to a system error we had regrettably overbooked on our twin rooms. Please be assured that this was an extremely unusual occurrence which has been addressed and further steps have been taken to ensure that this does not occur again in the future. We do take full responsibility for this unfortunate situation.

I am pleased that you found your room to be of a good standard.

We are aware of the number of guests that have breakfast included in their package, hence we create an additional dining area including the Full English Breakfast buffet to accommodate all of our guests. Unfortunately we are unable to control when guests may arrive for breakfast as this starts from 7am, however endeavour to be as prepared as possible for this. We do advise guests that the popular time is between 8.30am to 10am, and if have the option of choosing an alternative time if preferred. I am so sorry that you did not find this information helpful and opted to forego breakfast in The Hotel. Please be assured that we pride ourselves on providing exceptional service to our guests and ensuring that they are happy and content before they start their day.

We endeavour to contact all of our guests as per their request and I am sorry to read that you have not received a response. I would be extremely grateful if you could contact our Guest Relations Executive, Bebita Dhaya at bebita.dhaya@principal-hayley.com to confirm the contact details that we have been given are correct.

I do hope that we will have the opportunity to turn around your experience for you at Hotel Russell in the future and that you may experience the exceptional standards that we are so well known for.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bray on Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2012

Stayed for just the one night in a basic twin on the 5th floor. Room was tired, bathroom fittings worn and to make things worse the heating that needed to be on all night as it was so cold was incredibly noisy.
This is fine for 1 night if you need a crash pad after a late night out but to be honest you'd be better off in a travel lodge. There is no mini bar in the room and when I asked for bottled water they informed me they had sold out of all large and small bottles, to add insult to injury they would not allow me to take a jug from the bar up to my room! Room Service was estimating an hour to deliver a cold sandwich too. The late bar staff seemed disorganised and were not exactly friendly or helpful either.
Breakfast was horrible - a buffet style with cheap meat products and that horrible powdered scrambled egg.
Save you money and go elsewhere...... this place looks great and grand from the outside and the lobby is grand but that’s where the luxury ends - everything else about this place is budget..... But not reflected in the room price.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Maniacnumber1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am sorry to read that you were disappointed with your stay with us.

The air conditioning units are checked on a regular basis and should only have a slight humming noise. I do apologise if this was not the case for you and have highlighted your comments to our maintenance team for their next inspection.

Each room has been furnished to an extremely high standard to enhance its uniqueness and style. I am sorry to read that this was not to your liking. I will certainly pass on your comments to our design team for their consideration.

We did have a particular day when a large number of guests had requested an unusual number of bottled water, hence we did regrettably run out of this. I do apologise that you were not given the option of a jug of water to consume in your room.

On average we do estimate a room service time of 30 minutes as all dishes are freshly prepared, I am sorry that the room service team were extremely busy as they had been inundated with requests. Please be assured that I have highlighted this to our Food and Beverage team as we should certainly endeavour to be as efficient as possible.

I am so disappointed to read your comments regarding your breakfast as we receive many compliments on the variety of dishes that we have available for our guests. We ensure all of our dishes are cooked freshly on the day using high quality ingredients.

I only wish you had informed us your concerns during your stay with us as we would have been more than happy to sit down and discuss them with you .

I do hope that we will have the opportunity in the future to provide you with the exceptional service and standards that we pride ourselves in at Hotel Russell.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these London hotels

malmo, sweden
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2012

The lobby is lovely with the grand staircase, the pub is cozy and the breakfast room left little to wish for.
Maybe I was unfortunate getting a room on the 1st floor. Found it dark and not particularly well maintained considering there was a leak in the bathroom sink. Very clean though.
The high ceilings were nice, but the walls hadn't been plastered and painted properly (painters must have been in a rush). Nice pull-out flat screen TV which you could angle to face the bed.
Very comfortable mattress and duvet! Though it certainly was a bit odd to have the head board of the bed facing the door! I realize that it would be difficult to fit all the furniture in a room of that size, but I would honestly rather have a smaller easy-chair or a smaller desk and have the bed face the door rather than having the door 5 feet behind my pillow.
Very nice location.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank coolcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor.

We are extremely proud of the rich heritage of our building and have ensured that the essence of this has been captured in all areas of our Hotel. I am glad that you appreciated this.

Due to the size and age of the building each room has its own unique charm and we have individually furnished each room to compliment this. Our rooms have recently been refurbished, however I will certainly take on board your comments regarding the paint work.

Each room is inspected on a regular basis, and I am sorry to read that you encountered a leaking basin in your room and have highlighted this to our Chief Maintenance Engineer, but I am glad that you found your room to be cleaned to a high standard.

I am pleased that you enjoyed the adjustable flat screen tv as well as the comfort of the bed. We do have a range of different room types and do hope that you may have the opportunity to experience one of our more spacious suites with a larger seating area in the future.

I do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell in the not too distant future.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2012

Very, very expensive for a cramped, tatty and not overly clean room (hairs in bath, toilet not v clean). At £286/night I'd expect at least 4 star - this was more like 2 star. Don't waste your money! Go to The Grosvenor House for the same price, 100 times better in every way.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jane C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
guestservices_10, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am so disappointed to read that you were unhappy with your room.

We pride ourselves on providing exceptional service and always ensure each room is cleaned to an extremely high standard. Each room has been individually decorated to enhance the charm and ambiance and we normally receive many compliments regarding this.

I would be extremely grateful if you could contact our Guest Relations Executive, Bebita Dhaya at bebita.dhaya@principal-hayley.com as your comments are extremely unusual and we would be interested in receiving some more feedback regarding your concerns.

Kind Regards

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel 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 The Principal London

Property: The Principal London
Address: 1 - 8 Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE, England
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
#296 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):
This place is temporarily closed due to renovation. 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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