As a frequent visitor to Bournmouth I know several of the hotels quite well (as you might notice from my previous tips if you have come down the list) but there are occasions during the summer when none of my favourites have availabilty.
Ive now stayed at the Russell Court twice - the first time inadvertently as it was the cheapest available online and the second (and definitely last) time as it was the only hotel within my price range that I could find online.
It's not that there's anything disasterously wrong with the hotel but rather that it just doesn't suit my requirements. The rates are reasonable (often better booked through www.booking.com), I've always had a friendly reception, the rooms are clean and breakfast is good. The location for both the town centre and the beaches is excellent.
However the single rooms are really pokey and on my last visit I got one facing the inner courtyard whose window didn't open. OK there was an air-con unit but it was a massive noisy thing which seemed only to have two settings - blast chill or off.
Not only is the air-con noisy but so too is the hotel. Even though it doesn't, according to the website, accept stag and hen parties it does seem to attract quite a boisterous younger clientele who are there to enjoy the town's nightlife. Thus there's always noise from the corridors, banging of doors and the walls between rooms are often very thin.
For those of us staying here for work purposes the hotel offers a WiFi internet connection but this is one of those in-house proprietory networks which is ludicrously-priced and for some reason my mobile broadband only worked downstairs in the bar which meant that I couldn't get anything done in my room (on my tiny desk).
Breakfast is excellent and the hot stuff is served at your table but the rest is a bit of a scrummage when it's busy and although the hard-working staff are very good it can be a problem getting a clean table unless your timing is fortuitous.
Other little niggles include the surcharge for credit card payment and the 10 am checkout - neither was a problem for me on my last visit as I actually had money in the bank (HA!!) and paid by debit card and I had an early start anyway but had neither of these been the case they wouldn't have been little niggles.
Unique Quality: The staff here certainly are the stars of the show - all friendly, hard-working and helpful - but the hotel itself has no charisma for me.
Directions: On the main road from Lansdowne Roundabout heading towards the pier. Bus stops to and from the station are pretty much outside the front door.
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