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“Beautiful, peaceful place in Bloomsbury”
Review of The Penn Club

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The Penn Club
Ranked #446 of 1,077 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 28, 2011

Whenever I visit London I like to stay here, as it is so calm and peaceful. As a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), I am comfortable with the quiet atmosphere of this Quaker-inspired place..

Unfortunately, as the Penn Club now attracts so many visitors, it is often difficult to reserve a room! My favourite accommodation has always been a double room with en suite facilities, for single occupancy. I once stayed in a single room and found it altogether too "basic", but I understand that the rooms have been refurbished since then.

I think it may actually have been in November 2010, rather than in December, that I last stayed at the Penn Club. I have tried to make two reservations since then, but there were no suitable rooms available for the relevant dates.

People rave about the generous breakfasts, which are included in the price of the room. Unfortunately I am a coeliac and the Penn Club is unable to produce gluten-free bread for me. I normally have fruit and probiotic yogurt at home; a cooked breakfast of bacon and egg, etc., is not really what I wish to have in the morning. I simply bring my own gluten-free food with me and, as the coffee and fruit juices provided are so good, I am perfectly happy.

There may not be radio or TV in the rooms but there is wireless!! Yes! There is free wi-fi provision, which is a wonderful bonus.

If you are not familiar with London, there are many helpful maps available at the Penn Club and there is useful information about bus and tube journeys to places of interest as well as advice on local restaurants.

To find a reasonably priced room in Bloomsbury, in such an elegant structure (three beautiful Georgian town-houses joined together), is quite remarkable, but do book early!

Just a thought: if you have mobility problems, I must warn you that there is no lift at the Penn Club, though there is always someone on duty who will gladly carry your case upstairs for you.

Room Tip: As the Penn Club is now so popular, it is sometimes very difficult, even for members like me, to sec...
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  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled solo
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5  Thank A3MMH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 15, 2011

The Penn Club is situated in a very convenient area - a close walk to the Russel Square tube stop and one street away from the British Museum. The staff, both at the reception desk and at breakfast, were very friendly. The rooms are very clean. So, Why did I only rate it 3 stars? For the right person, it could easily be 5 stars. But, the biggest negative for me was the size of the room and the fact that the hotel does not have king or queen size beds. We came with 2 large and 2 small suitcases and there was literally no where to put them. (We ended up putting a chair from the room on top of the cupboard, along with one piece of luggage....and putting another piece of luggage diagonally inside the cupboard.) If you are traveling with one piece of luggage this won't be an issue for you. Be aware that the hotel is old and the staircases are narrow and windy (and there is no elevator - which we knew ahead of time.) We also knew ahead of time that they did not have a television or radio in the room. But I didn't realize how much I missed relaxing by watching a show before bed or turning on the news and weather report in the morning. There are no amenities in the bathroom, so bring your own soap and shampoo. They also do not have face cloths.
The hotel is VERY quiet...almost monastery quiet. You always felt like you had to whisper.
If I had to label this hotel, I would compare it to an old fashioned boarding house. We had our own bathroom (en suite) but you also had the option of using shared bathrooms and showers. The 117 pounds a night that we paid ended costing around $195 per night. If the hotel was in another area, it would over priced, but in the middle of London, it's hard to do any better. As long as you know what you are getting into, you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: Our room faced the back yard - very pretty.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank flehrer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2011

a very different atmosphere. a bit convent like - quiet, peaceful, super clean - and all of that right in the middle of London! I liked the caring for the environment and for the fellow-guests. very mindful. the hotel is a bit labyrinth-like which was a touch confusing. excellent value. we stayed one night in a double room that had a shower and another in a room that had shower and toilets in the corridor (very clean and private!). in the latter there was a small sink in the room. bth were clean, spacious (in London-hotels-terms...). library, TV room and lovely dining room are fun. many options for breakfast - yogurt and fresh fruits (6 different kinds!) or traditional English b-fast. will come back!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank nushki65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2011

A simple Quaker Bed and Breakfast, warm and friendly staff and guests. I expected the quality to be a little higher, a little shabby and dated. And not as much of a value as I expected.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank D_and_JCharlotte_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2011

Two of us just spent two weeks at the Penn Club in one of their en-suite rooms. We were greatly pleased and would stay there again without a moment's thought.

The main reasons why we liked it have been well noted by others:

1. It is very central (literally--in the centre of town, not just close to things in time), such that one could walk to just about anywhere in Central London. You probably would want to use the Tube for places on the margins, but they'd all be in Zone 1.

2. The immediate area is in itself interesting and has a lot to offer. We two have a long experience with the Russell Square area, and to us it has just the right mix of what urban London has to offer without being quite so congested and noisy as some other areas: the BM and BL, U of London, good inexpensive eats, etc. One local minor downside: hordes of young European travelers--well mannered, but lots and lots of them.

3. Heathrow is just two blocks and one Underground ride away.

4. The Penn Club offers clean rooms, quiet in the middle of London and good company if you want it; also a nice library, morning papers and a full breakfast. There's free WiFi. Staff are always helpful.

It is a great place for us, but at the same time, the Penn Club is not for everyone. Most rooms are not en-suite. There are no elevators and it can be a long way up to one's room. Neither are there any conveniences in the rooms save for a kettle: no phone or TV. [There is a TV room downstairs.]. While the rooms are clean and well kept they are definitely small.

Room Tip: The Penn Club is in one of the few streets in central London that backs onto a private block long ga...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank NormBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2011

The room was bright, clean and comfortable. The bed was firm - perfect for me. Above all it was quiet. I had seven nights of undisturbed sleep. Breakfast was substantial and set me up for the day. Table service was excellent. Dining arrangements are sociable but you could keep yourself to yourself if you really wanted. I met some interesting people who gave me useful tips on what to see and do. Lack of ensuite facilities will put off some but where else are you going to get B&B in a nice part of central London for £65? Showers on the top floor have good pressure and if one is occupied the next is just a few yards along the corridor. The public rooms are quiet, well furnished and provided with daily newspapers. Don't know if children are actually banned but I didn't see any - another plus for wicked old me. In summary, if you can live without a telly, are fit to climb stairs and have a healthy bladder, you can't do better than stay at the Penn Club.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms at the back of the building are SW facing and blissfully quiet.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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4  Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2011

Simple, clean, secure environment in lovely Russell Square. Very good breakfast. Easy access to the tube. The only disadvantage was lack of a lift. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled on business
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3  Thank Obliquus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Penn Club

Address: 21-23 Bedford Place, London WC1B 5JJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#294 Business Hotel in London
Price Range: $108 - $186 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 45
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Also Known As:
The Penn Club Hotel London
Penn Hotel London
The Penn Club London, England

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