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“A grand hotel between Euston and Bloomsbury”

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The Principal London
Ranked #447 of 1,072 Hotels in London
Reviewed February 4, 2013

This must be one of the largest, oldest hotels in London - and some of the original architectural features that survive are impressive - with a marble staircase, some lovely woodwork, stained glass and other fittings in the public areas. Its a shame that some of the modern alterations (heating, emergency signs and sensors) are not sympathetic to the original - leaving an impression of some 'cheap and cheerful' work in the recent past.

The hotel is near Russell Square tube station, and overlooks Russell Square - moments away from the Brunswick Centre (shops and arts house cinema) and the British Museum. The entrance is on a busy road, the rooms at the sides and back will be quieter, but the view will not be so impressive. Some rooms are on accessed from the central staircase which might be noisy too.

The rooms are fairly modern and functional - and could be in any business hotel. I stayed in a double room on the 5th floor, at the back of the hotel - and got an excellent night's sleep.

No water in the room, no bedside radio, and the lighting could be more subtle, but everything was very clean and tidy, and well maintained.

Internet charge is £15 per day - which feels far too expensive.

Staff were friendly and efficient - albeit busy at the desks. Food was fine too.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank keitharrowsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bebita D, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for recent review on Tripadvisor. We are very proud of the rich heritage of our Hotel and have ensured that we have maintained the grandeur and charm of our magnificent structure over the years. The health and safety of all of our guests is extremely important to us and hence we follow all the necessary guidelines with regards to signage throughout our building.

We are a stone's throw away from many of London's major attractions including the West End and I am pleased that you found our location so convenient.

We want of all our guests to be as comfortable as possible and have ensured that each room has a beverage tray with a selection of teas and coffees including green teas. The television has a wide variety of radio channels and our Reception team can arrange a wake up call should any of our guests require this, however I do apologise if you were unaware of this. We also have bedside lamps in each room should any of our guests prefer subtle lighting in their room.

We have recently upgraded our wifi system which allows guests to access this throughout our Hotel including the comfort of their room. Please do be assured that our prices are inline with other leading hotels in the area.

We pride ourselves on providing exceptional standards and I am pleased that you found your room well maintained and that you had an excellent night's sleep. Our Reception team are known for their friendliness and helpfulness and I am glad that you had the opportunity to experience this also.

I do hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell in the not too distant 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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2,125 - 2,131 of 3,867 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

Quite a hotel! Great location, fabulous old place all very grand and regal.
Very helpful and friendly staff and beautiful public spaces, really quite something and you feel a bit special walking up the steps.
The bedroom though was small and felt dated. Comfortable though and clean. I guess its hard to keep these places perfect but paint on the glazing, marks on the bathroom wall and the crude hole in the plaster where the fall arrest point for window cleaning was fitted are just home goals! A bit more attention to detail would make this a great hotel.
The food was good but the bar a bit small if you time it wrong like I did when a seminar or something similar had just ended.
In summary, pretty good, good location but not really worth the money until they get the detail in the rooms right.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank WainwrightBagger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bebita D, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent review on Tripadvisor. I am sorry that you encountered some issues during your stay.

Due to the age, shape and intricacy of the building each of our bedrooms have their individual character and charm. We also have a range of modern and traditional rooms to suite guest preferences. Our team of both Maintenance Engineers and Housekeepers inspect each room on a regular basis and ensure that they are both comfortable as well as aesthetically pleasing. I am so sorry that you found a few areas that require need improvement. Please be assured that I have highlighted this to our team as we pride ourselves on providing exceptional service.

I am pleased that the location of our hotel was so convenient for you. I am glad that our team were so helpful and friendly as we want all of our guests to feel relaxed and comfortable during their stay. We take pride in all our staff and I am delighted to see their hard work is acknowledged.

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

Warm Regards,

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

Took my partner here for a 2 night stay while we took in a show. The hotel was recommended by the booking agent for the location and their own experience.
On arrival the reception staff were professional and helpful. The first room they gave us was a long way from the lift and as I have a problem walking they willingly changed it without any question. The bar area is comfortable with a nice atmosphere and it is easy to start a conversation with fellow guests.
We only used the restaurant for breakfast and the welcoming staff were a delight, always smiling and willing to cater to any requests. We managed to avoid any queuing for the restaurant but some times it does get busy.
The buffet looked appetizing and the food was good quality, service throughout was excellent.
The only thing that let it down was the fact that the warmest item was the plate it was served on That is the only thing to let the place down. The following morning I opted for poached eggs on toast. These were cooked to perfection and served well.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 44west
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bebita D, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this reviewResponded February 15, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your response on Tripadvisor. I am delighted that you enjoyed your overall experience with us.

We are very well located and within walking distance to many great attractions including the West End and I am so glad you found this so convenient.

Our team at Hotel Russell are very well known for their friendliness and efficiency as we pride ourselves on ensuring all of our guests are relaxed and comfortable throughout their stay with us. I am pleased that you had a lovely experience in our Tempus Bar and our Breakfast team were so attentive to your requests.

I am so disappointed that although you enjoyed the variety of food at the English Breakfast Buffet the temperature was not as hot as expected. All of our dishes are freshly prepared on the day and kept as warm as possible, however please be assured that I have highlighted this to our Head Chef as we endeavour to make each aspect of your stay memorable. I am happy, however that your poached eggs were cooked to perfection the next day.

I do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Hotel Russell upon your next visit to London.

Warm Regards,

Yiannis Constantinou
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

Today my daughter and I spent a most welcoming and wonderful 3 hours at The Hotel Russell for afternoon tea.
From entering to leaving we were treated so nicely. Our coats were taken and then we were introduced to our clean, well set out table.The service was spot on. So glad we went. The staff were caring, helpful, ultra polite and they couldn't do enough for us.
Service with a smile is their motto.
We were asked politely and clearly if everything was to our satisfaction and if we would like more tea or champagne or scones etc.
There was a wide variety of sandwiches and cakes. Fresh and nicely presented. The tea we had was also good.
Overall - you should go!
It's a lovely special experience.
What are you waiting for....
Get it booked!!!

  • Stayed: February 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Thank GGSM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bebita D, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. We do appreciate your very kind comments regarding your lovely Afternoon Tea in our Tempus Lounge.

I was thrilled to read that you had an amazing experience with us here at the Hotel Russell. Our hotel staff take a genuine interest in our guests and it is always satisfying to hear that these efforts are noticed. I have informed the Executive Chef of your satisfaction with all the food and the Food and Beverage Manager for the service provided.

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.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Got a room at this hotel through Roomex, it was only €235 for 3 nights B&B. Didn't know what to expect for such a cheap price - but I needn't have worried! Cannot fault anything, from check in, to the room decor, to breakfast, everything was great.
Room was an average size, in fact, probably quite big for London but it had everything you could possibly need. Room was modern, bright & cosy. Shower was excellent.
Hotel is 30 seconds walk from the Russel Sq tube stop, which is on the Picadilly line.
Other reviewers talk about queues for breakfast, but we didn't see this and we were staying the weekend before Christmas. Yes, the restaurant was busy but there were no major queues and service was excellent.
Some reviewers also talk of old windows and therefore the rooms being noisy. Yes, the windows are old - it's a listed building - but it didn't make a difference as the curtains close over and keep any drafts/traffic noise out. It's not any noisier than any other city-centre hotel but if you are senstive to traffic etc, then bring some ear plugs!
All in all, I can only compliment the hotel for fabulous service, food, & location!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank citigirl_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bebita D, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. We are delighted that you had a wonderful stay with us.

We take pride in ensuring that our guests are well looked after and have a memorable stay and so I am very pleased that we were able to provide this for you during your visit. Your feedback is extremely important to us as we strive to create and maintain exceptional standards.

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.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

First impressions of the Hotel Russell are extremely favourable - the foyer is grand, with huge chandeliers and beautiful furniture. The check-in staff were really helpful and quick, but I was disappointed to learn that Wi-Fi was an extra £15 per 24 hours - this is very expensive and a real shame for the business traveller. It was frustrating to have to find an alternative source of internet (luckily the business school provided it free of charge) and not be able to work in the evening. Many hotels nowadays provide free Wi-Fi, and not to do so gives the impression of being penny-pinching and behind the times.

This gripe aside, my stay was really pleasant. The location is perfect - really close to the tube, within easy commuting distance of central London and within walking distance of Soho/Charlotte Street for lively restaurants and bars. My room was lovely (if pretty small!), and spotlessly clean every day. Another gripe was that it was impossible to get cold water out of the taps/bath, so I found myself brushing my teeth with warm water, which wasn't great. The bed was very comfortable and I had several great nights' sleep.

All in all, a pleasant stay, but to be outstanding, more care to detail needs to be paid.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank caitymay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bebita D, Guest Relations Manager at The Principal London, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor. I am glad that you enjoyed your overall experience with us.

We are extremely proud of the rich heritage of our building and I am pleased that you appreciated this.

We endeavour to provide exceptional service to all of our guests and I am happy that our Reception team were so efficient and that you enjoyed the cleanliness and comfort of your room.

I am sorry to read that you were disappointed with the wifi charges of £15 which allows guests to access the internet for 24 hours and can be used over a 5 day period. We do also have a £5 voucher for guests that would like to use the internet for an hour as well as a business centre which can be accessed 24 hours a day. Please let me assure you these charges are in line with other leading hotels in the area.

We are very well located and within walking distance of many transport links and some major attractions and I am also pleased that you found this useful.

Due to the shape and age of our building each room has its own unique size and style. We do have a range of more spacious suites and do hope that you may have the opportunity to experience this in the future.

I am also sorry that you had encountered some difficulty with the cold water. This is not a usual problem and I only wish you had informed us of this during your stay as we would have done our utmost to rectify this for you. Nevertheless, please be assured that I have highlighted this to our team of Maintenance Engineers to inspect as soon as possible.

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.
Reviewed January 30, 2013 via mobile

Went to this hotel for champagne afternoon tea the hotel is very clean and the cakes were great a good selection if sandwiches are not to your taste you can choose other ones the staff are very helpful and polite would go back everyday if I could a good afternoon

  • Stayed: December 2012
    • Value
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Thank Angela D
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

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
#299 Luxury Hotel in London
#346 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range: $336 - $1,318 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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