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“A typical London Hotel- and that's not a complement!”

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The Principal London
Ranked #438 of 1,088 Hotels in London
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
277 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
“A typical London Hotel- and that's not a complement!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2014

Stayed on business in January and booked this Hotel on Late Rooms. It looked grand and very impressive online and as you approach it, the outward façade supports this view. A good old fashioned entrance and foyer, the Reception area to the left is not big enough for the numbers of people all requiring checking in and I had to wait almost half an hour. The bedrooms were disappointing, too small, grubby and unkempt with a terrible shower only, which had mould on the tiles. This to my mind is a typical London Hotel where you pay Premium rates for very disappointing quality. Granted, breakfast was very nice and even had porridge already made at the buffet which was a plus, however any time I made up over breakfast was lost at checking out time with yet another lengthy wait. Why do Hotels insist on just one or two people on Reception at the busiest time of days with people wishing to check out or check in? This is a false economy and does not engender client satisfaction. All in all, a disappointing experience and a Hotel I wouldn't hurry back to until they upgrade the bedrooms and get more staff on Reception.

Room Tip: Leave yourself plenty of time for your Reception experience.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tom K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Dear Guest,



Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor.

I would like to offer my sincere apologies for the difficulties encountered during your stay. I was very disappointed to hear that we didn’t reach your expectations regarding your room. Each room is inspected prior to guest’s arrival to ensure it is maintained to the highest standards possible. I have shared your feedback with my Executive Housekeeper and assure you , measures have been taken to ensure there are no shortfalls in future.

I am dismayed to learn that the check in process took longer than anticipated. The Reception gets quite busy at peak times however the teams are well aware of the business demands and strive to offer prompt assistance to all our guests. Due to arrival of many guests at any one time, there might have been a slight wait. We do offer Express Check out service so the guests can drop the keys in a box thereby eliminating the need to check out at Reception desk.

I can however assure you that Front of House Manager is aware of your feedback and shall review the staffing requirements for peak periods to avoid any inconvenience to the guests in future. Thank you for making us aware, your constructive comments are very much appreciated.

On a positive note I am pleased that you enjoyed the sumptuous breakfast selection in our Tempus Restaurant. I trust we are given a chance to welcome you back again and show you the improvements we have made since your last visit. I look forward to welcome you back.

Kind regards,

Bart Luijk
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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3,867 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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Bognor Regis, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2014

Grand looking hotel from the outside and the reception foyer was equally as grand.
Nothing really wrong with the hotel there just seemed to be several niggling things, which for a 4 star hotel shouldn’t happen! The key cards to the rooms don't work very well; wifi is a bit of a palaver to get on and is charged extra! The reception desk always has a queue early evening, which is really annoying especially when you’re trying to sort out your key card to get in your room and to top it all off the bathroom door fell off its hinges!
The rooms were clean enough and certainly big enough, thought they looked a little dated though, neither keeping in style with the character of the building or that modern a look.
Staff were all friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelsonabike2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Dear Guest,



Thank you for your review on Tripadvisor.

I am dismayed to learn that your recent stay at Hotel Russell did not meet your expectations fully.

The property management system used at Reception ensures that there are no errors in issuing room keys. I apologise that you experienced difficulties with the key card and it caused unnecessary inconvenience. Re training shall be arranged for the Front Desk team to ensure procedures in place are being followed to make sure that any chances of mistakes are minimal.

We intend to offer our guests competitive rates and hence incremental such as wi fi are not included in the rates to provide our guests the flexibility to choose the option as per their requirement. I have noted your comments and assure you our charges are inline with other Hotels in the area.

I have also highlighted your feedback regarding the busy times at Reception and maintenance issue experienced to relevant Managers for addressing with the team. I apologise for the inconvenience caused on this occasion.

On a positive note, I am glad that you had a comfortable stay in a well appointed spacious room and appreciated the service offered by our friendly and professional team members.

We do appreciate your feedback and can assure you that your comments have been taken on board. I know that we have fallen slightly short of your expectations on this stay, however do hope that we will have the opportunity to turn around your experience on your next visit to London.



Kind regards,

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
122 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014

This should really be an iconic London hotel given the architecture / location but its just so frustrating that a problem in isolation which would be bearable becomes totally unacceptable when its repeatated time and time again! So overall it just doesn't deliver - and I stayed here twice as the location was perfect for my business needs. Not again! Examples:
Room 402 - on attempting the 4th electronic key card and going to and fro from Reception, it was agreed that the lock was broke! I was moved to 602. And a hint, don't go anywhere below this floor. Staying in 236 subsequently meant hardly any sleep - when they say your room overlooks the park that ='s it also is alongside one of London's busiest main roads with no double glazing; the air con / heating goes on and off with a bang and shudder and its opposite the main stairs where between 2 and 3am numerous "laughing lushes" stumbled giggling upstairs. Breakfast meant a queue for 10 minutes and room service at 4pm for a sandwich and drink didn't turn up after 30 minutes - when queried by phone they said they were busy and it would be 15 minutes more. When it arrived the top slice was "dry" - obviusly it had been the top of a stack uncovered or just been waiting in the heat too long! But room 236 is truly awful - opening the door makes your heart sink, its dark and dingy, there are just 3 lights within - old and ineffictive furniture, 1 plug socket by the desk and I could go on and on. I'm usually very positive - see my other reviews, but here!!!........... Nice things? The breakfast ! Avoid!!!

Room Tip: Go above the 5th floor if at the front or ask for a room away from the traffic noise. Also enquire a...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ernie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at Hotel Russell on Tripadvisor. It is only through feedback such as this, that we are able to continually monitor and maintain and where necessary, improve upon the services and standards that we provide to our valued guests.

I was disappointed to read about the difficulties encountered during your stay with us. Whilst an apology will regrettably not alter the outcome of your experience on this occasion, I do take the opportunity to extend it with utmost sincerity. I certainly empathise regarding the points raised in your review, especially the noise you experienced in your room from the traffic and air conditioning unit and the unsatisfactory service you received as a result. I agree, the team could have offered proactive assistance when the key card issue was brought to their attention. This is certainly unacceptable and will be addressed with relevant team members.

I apologise for the shortfalls in service with regards to your room service order. Teams are well aware of the demands of business and any sub standard service is completely unacceptable. I assure you the feedback has been shared with the team and such a situation shall not occur again. I am sorry you had to wait for a table at breakfast. Whilst it is beyond our control when guests may arrive for breakfast however we have signs advising guests of the peak periods and do offer continental breakfast selection in Tempus Bar for the guests who do not intend to have breakfast at leisure.

We shall update your profile to ensure a nice, quiet room is allocated for all your future stays and sincerely hope we are given another chance to restore your faith in Hotel Russell.


Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these London hotels

Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014

We got a cheap deal of the internet for one night and this was excellent value for money large room big bed very clean and very well appointed bathroom. The staff where very helpful and could not do enough for you.The hotel is well situated for convent garden etc.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank steve c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience on Tripadvisor , following your recent stay at Hotel Russell.

We are delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay in one of our elegant, well appointed, spacious and comfortable bedrooms and the location suited you perfectly. Thank you for commending the team, it means a lot and motivates them to keep up the good work.

We look forward to being of service to you again in the near future.


Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2014

I booked 2 nights as a Christmas present for my partner. We arrived at 12.30 (1.5 hours before our room should have been ready). I took a chance and queued for approx. 15 mins at reception to see if the room was ready early. The receptionist booked me in and said the room would be ready by 1.30pm. As we wished to go out for a walk, I was invited to leave our bags with the concierge. On the concierge's desk was a sign, 'concierge away, please enquire at Reception'. I returned to reception and not wishing to queue again went straight to the receptionist. She told me she could not serve people out of turn and to return to the rear of the queue.
We decided to have a drink in the bar until 1.30. I returned to reception only to be told the room would not be ready until 2.30!
We went out for a walk (still with our cases), and returned at 2.30 to be told housekeeping was running behind and the room would be ready at 3.30!!
The following day we were out all day, returning at 5.00pm to find the room still being cleaned.
The housekeeper also left her master room key in out lock. I returned this to reception where no body seemed in the least bothered as to the security implications of leaving a master card lying around!
That night we had to phone down as we could hear music playing (despite us being on the 5th floor) until 11.30, quite late for a Sunday we thought.
I mentioned this at check out, only to be told 'there was no music playing last night', only for the same person to say moments later' oh, unless it was the wedding party'!!!
My initial thought was not to put these comments on a public forum so I tracked down the parent company PH Hotels and wrote to the CEO. Guess what....., a month later and I have had no response. I was looking to stay for another few nights in London but I will never stay her again.

Room Tip: Choose one in another hotel!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Barrie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

I would like to personally apologize for the series of unfortunate incidences that you experienced on your arrival and during your stay with us. We continually try to do our very best for all of our guests and did endeavour to get the room ready for you on your arrival, prior to check in time of 14:00 however we encountered an unforeseen delay as many of our guests opted for late check out. I assure you the team did their best in the given situation and I apologise if you felt unassisted due to concierge being away from the desk at the time. For future we shall ensure, the concierge breaks are covered so the guests are not inconvenienced during busy periods at Reception.

I will look into the key card issue that you have highlighted whilst assuring you that safety and security of all our guests is of paramount importance to us. The key cards are left in the room by Housekeepers for the lights and they are not master keys, however this shall be further investigated in an attempt to correct and improve our hotel facilities further.

I am sorry to learn that the noise from an event caused disturbance. We have volume controllers in place and for future shall review the room allocation and follow through to ensure that the guests not attending the event are located as far from the function room as possible.

Principal-Hayley group is committed to provide exceptional service to all our guests and I assure you, having received any correspondence following your stay, you would have had a response. I am sorry to learn that this was not the case. Please contact me directly should you wish to discuss the matter further as I am keen to restore your faith in Hotel Russell.

Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, England
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014 via mobile

We just stayed for one night and found the hotel clean and conveniently located. The staff were friendly and helpful. The room was a little small but nicely decorated. We got a deal and it was well worth the money.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Arterfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback on Tripadvisor.

I am pleased that we lived up to the usual excellent standards that we pride ourselves at Hotel Russell. I have made sure to share your comments with our team.

We look forward to being of service to you again in the near future.


Kind regards

Bart Luijk
Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
W Sussex
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

The location is excellent, tube nearby and attractions within easy walking distance. The building is very impressive. The Concierge greeted us in a polite and friendly manner. Alas, after the initial good impressions there came disappointment.
Reception staff gave no eye contact and raced through breakfast times for the two nights my partner and I were staying. Our room was very small, very little space, with drape/blind part hanging from the window. There was a dark short hair in the bed, a tear at the side of the duvet cover that revealed a shabby duvet with long hairs attached.
We rang reception who said, they would get back to us with regard to changing our room. 3 hours later nobody called us. As we had to get ready for our meal and theatre we got ready to go out. We went to reception, again, on the way out and was informed, if we packed our things back into our bags they would move us, but as we were going out and time was short we had to decline. We decided just to ignore these issues and try to enjoy our time in London. English breakfast was very greasy and all plates were cold. Except for the concierge I found staff very unfriendly. We will not go back to this hotel or recommend it. We visit London at leased four times a year and will re visit other more caring hotels.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mag2707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bart L, Manager at The Principal London, responded to this review, January 26, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

I was disappointed to read your comments, and I apologize for the unacceptable standards and service levels you experienced on this occasion. Each room is inspected by our team of Housekeepers prior to guest’s arrival and it is highly unlikely that the points raised in your review would have been overlooked. Nevertheless, I can assure you that attention to detail is a top priority and measures have been taken from our end to ensure each room is maintained to the highest standard possible.

I apologise for the miscommunication regarding the room move. It is unfortunate that you decided not to move due to time constraints and the opportunity to readdress the unfavourable impression created went amiss.

I have also noted your comments regarding breakfast and assure this shall be looked into.

On a positive note I am pleased that the hotel location suited you perfectly and the concierge impressed you. I want you to know that we truly do value you as our guest, and I would be pleased to welcome you back , the next time you are in London.


Kind regards

Bart Luijk
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 (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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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Hotwire, Booking.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Agoda, Cheap Tickets and HotelQuickly so you can book your The Principal London reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Russell Hotel London
Hotel London Russell
Russel Hotel London
The Principal London England

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