We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Not Best Value for money”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
The Principal London
Ranked #442 of 1,063 Hotels in London
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Not Best Value for money”
Reviewed March 28, 2006

As a regular Bussiness visitor to London I am always willing to try different hotels convienient to meetings etc. Unfortunately the Russell Hotel was not one of the better ones.

Having requested and had cofirmation of a double room I was very miffed to be told on my arrival that they only had singles available. When challanged they did find me a double room on the 6th floor. The room was average in size but in need of some redecorating, however the bathroom was extremely small, with little or no room to stand at the sink.

Price wise this was on the more expensive end of the scale for London hotels & definately not worthy of its 4 star rating.

Will be giving this a miss on my next visit.

  • Stayed March 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 04PaulJ05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

3,866 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    951
    1,433
    859
    390
    233
See reviews for
475
1,404
334
961
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (855)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2006

We just returned from a week in London on vacation and stayed at the Russell hotel in Russell Square. We found the hotel to be a friendly, comfortable place to stay. We paid an additional 30 pounds a night and upgraded to a "king" sized bed with a small sitting room. This room was very quiet, clean and comfortable with plenty of storage area, a small fridge and a large tiled bathroom. The hotel staff was pleasant and the breakfast was very substantial (included in our room rate). Russell square is a great location. I would stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BDHNewHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 14, 2006

I travel to London three to five times a year on holiday. I've stayed at several hotels through the years, but I find that the one hotel I enjoy repetitively is the Hotel Russell.

I feel at home when I stay here. While there are many hotels in the area, I do not find the area or the Russell Square tube stop to be at all as crowded as some of the other reviewers state; but I guess it denpends on the days and time of year one visits. I find the Russell conveniently located to those parts of London I enjoy the most for theatre, food, and atmosphere. It is conveniently located near Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus, etc.

I have always received very nice accommodations from the Russell including the time they were going through their renovation one year ago. I have found the rooms to be clean and comfortable. I too would like to have a little more variety when watching telly, but I ususally watch only at night when I am going to sleep, so this is a relatively unimportant aspect. I needed to use the internet, and I was disappointed to learn the rates they charge (50p per minute) as it was a bit too pricey for me considering the fact that I normally need to have access for at least one hour every day, but £30,00 (approximately $60.00 per hour)is, I believe, excessive. I have ordered via Room Service at night (late snacks) and have always been served in less than a half hour. The room has a mini fridge for those who wish to bring something back from the Tesco Express, which has a goos variety of food, spirits, and snacks. While there is usually a long queue, it moves quickly.

I do enjoy the English breakfast, which is included with my room, and there is good variety there although the scrabled eggs can use a little more of the chef's attention. This is the one place where I do find most of the staff to be indifferent (in the morning)toward the guests. The manager of the restaurant is always friendly and makes every effort to have the servers see to guests' needs. I have also had dinner here and everything was superb from the service to the food, but a bit pricey, even for London.

The staff (Concierge, Reception, Room Attendants) is always polite, courteous, and attentive to guests' needs. the lobby is inviting, and the pub is also a comfortable place to meet with friends and chat for hours. I believe the prices a little high in the pub, even for London, but cozy nonetheless, and the servers are quick to to make certain your glass is never empty.

I enjoy sitting in the square across the street. Also conveniently located across the street from the hotel is an HSBC bank, Royal Post, and not too far away, the British Museum.

All in all, I like this hotel and feel very much at home here. I will stay here again as I enjoy the accommodations, food, atmosphere, and location.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
87 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2006

I travel to London 4 or 5 times a year to visit my boyfriend who lives in Surrey and we always try to stay in the Soho/Covent Garden/Strand area, and preferably at the Thistle Charing Cross, a real 4 star hotel. As it wasn't available on this trip and we wanted to avoid the Strand Palace, we chose to stay a little further, at the Russell where we found a room, breakfast included, at 110 pounds.

We arrived at the hotel late at night and found an extremely irate customer asking for apologies; not a good sign. The girl at the reception was pleasant, and not much else, and assured us that we could get room service, limited to sandwiches, at any time, and that breakfast was served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. We were assigned room 218 which much to my surprise, had a street view (pub and horse hospital). While the room was small, we're used to this in London and it was actually larger than similar accommodation at the Strand Palace or Radisson Pastoria and Mountbatten. As soon as we walked in, we turned on the rather old tv set and found it not operating. As we were tired and had no intention of leaving the hotel, we had planned on room service and some television, and so I attempted to call "guest services" (no answer), the operator (no answer) and finally, the reception (no answer). We played this little game for about 15 minutes when I finally decided to go downstairs and complain.

Once at the reception, I was advised by the same girl that she would send the concierge immediately to repair the tv and that she would be able to take our room service order, which I placed (roast beef and chicken sandwiches, and a diet Coke). Unfortunately, they claimed to be full and therefore, no change of room possible.

After waiting a good half hour and more unanswered calls to the desk, an extremely surly and severe man appeared at our door claiming to be the concierge. After much hassle with the tv cables, he was able to repair the problem and we were finally able to get the standard channels you might get on Freeview in the UK (all the BBCs, Channel 4, etc). I know it's London and there's plenty to do, but a hotel that advertises itself as 4 star should at least carry CNN.

After another 1/2 hour, we received our room service without the diet Coke. The sandwiches were about the worst I've had in my life; gravelly dark meat chicken and dry roast beef. We would've been much better off buying something at the Tesco nearby. We asked the server to please bring the diet Coke which eventually arrived a good 1/2 hour later. During this time, we'd asked for a cable to connect to the internet and were not only charged a 10 pound deposit, but also charged a hefty fee for use of internet services.

On the following morning, we arrived at the breakfast room at approximately 10:05 a.m. only to be told that they closed at 10:00 a.m., but would accommodate us if we ate fast. I advised that the check-in girl had told us 11, but apparently this applied only on weekends. (How can a hotel employee not know the times of operation of its services?) The rest of our stay was pretty uneventful.

I should point out that we were not completely disappointed with the hotel. On the plus side, the hotel was clean and the bed was very comfortable. While we didn't need air conditioning, it's nice to find a hotel in London that has it as it can get stuffy there in the Summer. The breakfast, for this type of hotel, was above average. It was nothing spectacular, but the food was fresh and they offered a good deal of variety. With a few exceptions, the staff were generally indifferent, although some of the restaurant staff were somewhat nice.

The location of the hotel is good. It's not Soho/Covent Garden/Strand, but it certainly beats staying in Kensington, Earl's Court, Marble Arch, etc. and although a bit long, you can certainly walk to Soho, etc. and always be entertained. There is a tube stop right next door, and on the Picadilly line, but this area of London has lots of budget hotels and B&Bs and the smallish station gets extremely crowded with tourists, but nothing patience won't overcome. When I read there was a Tesco nearby, I envisioned the regular-sized Tesco in my boyfriend's town, but instead, found it was a Tesco Express, something like a 7-11 with a few more items. It is always extremely, extremely crowded, but given the dire situation of room service at night, if you arrive tired, you're better off braving the lines and buying a sandwich there.

One curious item was the faucet; I've never seen one this small. My hands didn't fit inside the basin and it filled up with water (without a plug) in about 10 seconds. Very, very uncomfortable.

The hotel is impressive from the outside and we thought the bar and breakfast room were classic English, but we found the staircase dizzying and (too much red marble) the lobby a bit tired.

Bottom line----we weren't completely disappointed with the Russell, but as it advertises itself as a four star, we expected a little more. The accommodation itself is fine, but if they want to be 4 star, they need to change the attitude of the indifferent staff and be a little more attentive to the needs of their guests. I would stay again if I got a very good deal, but otherwise, I'm back to the Thistle Charing Cross.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank islington3164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 28, 2006

Stayed over a weekend. The standard double we were given was definitely not 4 star. It was small with junk shop style furniture. The wallpaper had small parts torn off and the ceiling paper was nearly hanging off in places. The carpet was well worn and had buckled along its width which could be used by a small child as a trampoline. The paintwork was scuffed and the grouting in the bathroom had discoloured brown.
The window was mouldy around the panes of glass and had no secondary glazing causing constant annoyance from the noise of the air con unit outside.
The staff claimed no other rooms were available however, strangely enough, I could upgrade for an additional £60. This room was of a 4 star standard as was the Foyer which has recently received a multi million pound refurbishment. Shame they didn't think of doing the same to the rooms!
Breakfast was in a nice setting although on the Saturday we did have to queue at least 30 minutes for the priviledge. The food was, overall, adequate, but if you believe scrambled eggs should appear light and fluffy then you are in total contrast to the views of the Chef who makes them like slop. You could always try the fried variety I suppose, but these were only available in blue!
The staff were, on the whole, fine although not particularly friendly.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these London hotels

Montreal
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2006

First of all, this hotel like all others I have stayed at to date in London, does not give value for your money. When I arrived, before I was even assigned a room, I said: I dont want to waste your time or mine; please do not give me a room looking out on a wall. Guess what! That's exactly what had been planned! Apparently, most rooms of my calibre: standard double, did in fact looked on an inner courtyard (translation: WALL). I could of course upgrade for an additional 30 BP, but hey, why should I, since I was already paying over 200$ Cnd for basically an extremely ordinary, dumpy room even with a window looking out over the street (which yes, I did get, without too much trouble, and without paying an upgrade).

For me, the Russell had a great location, since I had a meeting at 17 Russell Square, so this was a hop skip and a jump from the hotel. Other than that however, I don't know how these hotels have the nerve to offer such ordinary, dumpy rooms, badly decorated, small, with absolutely nothing special or nice about them. I will say the lobby was nice and so was the bar, very cosy and British, but hey, I don't sleep in the bar.

I have yet to find a hotel in London that I feel gives me value for my money, and I am still searching.

  • Stayed February 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Déesse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 19, 2006

Visited London for the weekend and found this hotel on the web..looked great in the photos but then again don't they all!
I found the staff to be very helpful and the breakfasts were fantastic, the room was clean and very comfortable...only gripe was that the evening meals are very overpriced!!

Overall all very happy and would highyl recommend a friend!!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these London hotels
Bloomsbury
Mercure London Bloomsbury
Mercure London Bloomsbury
#335 of 1,063 in London
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,044 reviews
Bloomsbury
Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
Bloomsbury
Grange Beauchamp Hotel
Grange Beauchamp Hotel
#294 of 1,063 in London
4.0 of 5 bubbles 785 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Bloomsbury
Thistle Bloomsbury Park
Thistle Bloomsbury Park
#425 of 1,063 in London
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,008 reviews
Bloomsbury
Grange Clarendon Hotel
Grange Clarendon Hotel
#486 of 1,063 in London
4.0 of 5 bubbles 519 reviews
Bloomsbury
The Montague on The Gardens
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Principal London? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#297 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Agoda, Cheap Tickets, TripOnline SA 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing