Royal National Hotel

Bedford Way at Russell Square, London, WC1H 0DG, United Kingdom
(3 star hotel)
#752 of 2,538 hotels in London
Bad (2.0 out of 5.0) 31 reviews
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Poor Value

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Not for the faint hearted!

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on July 10, 2014

The only reason this hotel fills its rooms is because of its location, in what is admittedly a very good part of central London - if it were anywhere else it would be empty all year round. The customer service is non-existent. All of the staff are foreign and there appears to be a big Spanish contingent on the staff, that's fine and I don't have anything against Spanish people or foreigners, but none of them had any manners at all or any appreciation for even the basics of British etiquette. When I arrived to sign in and get my room card there was some confusion about my booking which made me a little annoyed, then I went to the room and the card didn't work. I came down a bit annoyed as the room was on the other side of the hotel which is huge, the card was then reprogrammed and I then apologized and tried to laugh things off but got a load of dirty looks from the women who had dealt with me at reception, one of whom coughed loudly as I walked off (computer says no), followed by more dirty looks the next day, which I found utterly rude and made me feel like a creep which was utterly ridiculous and pretty much outrageously rude, considering they were to blame and I was paying 100 GBP per night to stay in their hotel! Do they not want guests? They're going the right way about it!
The room was average, no air cond., the window was dirty, the shower was old fashioned, the bed linen and towels old, otherwise more-or-less acceptable. Do not book a room over the central courtyard as you will be kept awake by young revellers at the pub there all night.
Breakfast is no go - it's a 1970s time warp, the catering staff are also rude. You might as well just go to one of the local cafes.
The other guests are nearly all foreign tourists, there is no atmosphere, everyone ignores everyone else and being a cheap hotel quite a few guests are pretty low class and rude.
Overall, a cheap (by London prices) and nasty hotel, the only good thing being its location.

Avoid it

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on June 5, 2014

Although the location is great, I would not recommend it to anyone. We chose this hotel for our school trip due to its location and their experience on big groups. However, we found most of the staff was unhelpful and rude (especially towards our students, who were answered with bad faces or simply ignored whenever they needed something), breakfast was terrible and the rooms were old and ugly. The internet worked rarely and only in the lobby (no Wifi in the room). As said, we are definitely never coming back and we are sure we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

elpolloviajero's Profile Photo

Royal National Hotel

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on July 24, 2013

Las instalaciones dejan mucho que desear, es un hotel muy viejo, muy grande, los cuartos muy chicos, el baño esta bien, las camas muy chicas. Hay que tener cuidado con las ventanas ya que al tener un patio interior TODAS las habitaciones estan a la vista de todos. Durante la noche se da uno cuenta de cuanta gente se pasea por su habitacion con mucha menos ropa. El desayuno, para morirse de hambre, pan tostado y mermelada, cereal y jugo. Si quieres desayunar huevo revuelto y salchicha cuesta 5 libras adicionales y esta completamente sin sabor, no vale la pena el gasto. No hay internet en las habitaciones solo en el Lobby, por lo que durante la noche el lobby se ve repleto de gente que esta ansiosa de conectarse con el resto del mundo y compartir sus experiencias en este pais. Lo cual hace que el servicio de internet sea extremadamente lento.

Unique Quality: Que es lo que tiene de conveniente este hotel? SU UBICACION, se encuentra localizado junto a Russel Square, a un costado del Museo Britanico, y a una cuadra de una estacion del Underground, lo que lo hace muy bien comunicado. Se encuentra a menos de 5 minutos del Palacio de Buckingham y a solo 15 minutos caminando hasta el Rio Tamesis, Big Ben, London Eye, etc. por lo cual si conviene aguantarse un poco los contras del hotel con tal de estar cerca de los lugares que hay que ver.


Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on August 20, 2012

Watch out ! My Wallet consisting of 250 euros and all my id got stolen out of my luggage. The WORST service ever. The house keeping and room service act like they have no clue when they go in your luggage and steal your money. NEVER come to this hotel, it is not worth your money. There is NO air conditioning and NO wifi access in your room!!!!!! Biggest regret! This hotel ruined my trip !

Unique Quality: Nothing is unique about this horrible hotel

Not a good hotel

by written on June 19, 2012

The Royal National hotel i London, Bedford way.

What a poor hotel. We will give it half a star for the cleaning staff on first floor.

The breakfast is toast, butter and jam, there are no chees, no meet or eggs. 3 out of 7 days we had to put butter on the bread with a spoon, there where no knifes. The juice is thin out with water and the coffee, if there is a cup, is either thin og to strong.

It is not possible to have at tabel and to sit down before taking food from the buffet, then you have to walk around with a tray finding a tabel. The staff is like policemen bossing people, they do not smile, say godmorning or anything, just ordering people to follow the line.

The internet in the hotel is bad bad bad. The rooms are small, the beds are hard, and the blankets are thin and bad. We will Never be back.

ew, ew, ew!

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on July 19, 2011

i thought this hotel would be your average cheap hotel, considering its in the middle of london, i thought it would be quite busy as well, and oh boy it was. I came to stay at this hotel on a school trip, visiting the city for a couple of days. When my group of people turned up at the hotel, about 50, 14 year olds, the amount of dirty looks we got was terrible. I'd read recent reviews about the hotel, saying that there were loads of students running around all the time, this was pretty true.

When i went into the room, it seemed okay, until we looked around a bit.. There was shattered glass on the floor, one of the beds was broken and squint, and there was mould forming in the bathroom.. i mean, come on.. i'm 14, never been away from home, never stayed in a hotel, but i expected to feel comfortable in the hotel, (as your supposed to be) but i didnt, i was glad to get out for the day. I didn't eat anything, because they expected me to pay £4.50 for breakfast, but shouldn't that be included in the price of the room?

i wouldn't recommend this hotel to anyone.

Systematic incompetence

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on October 30, 2010

After a week at this place, I'm so enraged that I feel I have to go online and try to do something about it. I'm actually pretty sure they've come to grips with the lack of quality, and are just not trying to do anything about it. In fact, they're probably just profit maximizing. Anyway, here goes.

Rooms are decent, sure. There's beds, a kettle and a TV set. No locks on the bathroom doors though.

Cleaning is done everyday, and if you're in your room when the cleaners come by they'll insisnt until you let them in. What they actually do while in there, noone knows for sure. We came back to find our towels turned so that the clean side was visible. One day, we came back to find a pair of women's underwear on the bed. There is literally no other explanation than the cleaners having put it there. We complained to the manager who responded "what, you've never seen a pair of panties before?" and eventually told us to talk to the cleaners. There was no way he was going to do anything about it.

Breakfast is included, but if you want anything more than coffee, a cold toast and corn flakes, you have to pay 4.50 extra. There's a breakfast room manager who'll make sure you pay - but only after you make the mistake of grabbing a couple pieces of bacon. I'm pretty sure this is a business model - you won't turn around and put the bacon back. Make sure not to be standing around for too long, the staff will make sure you get out of the way by any means necessary. Also, don't tell them not to take your tray - they will get hostile.

There is no wifi in the rooms. The only way to get an internet connection is by going to the nearby café and buy something so you can sit down. There's two irons. Two irons, 6000 rooms. They're hidden in another part of the hotel, on the 1st floor.

The hotel seems to be one of London's biggest employers. The workforce is huge, and at any given point in time 90% of them are literally doing nothing.

I cannot begin to convey how horrible this place is. please, steer clear of it at any cost.

Unique Quality: Uniquely horrible.

Directions: Russell Square

Absolutely Appauling

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 2, 2010

What a dump.

I have to admit it was nice of them to put me and my parter up at 3am on short notice, but they did rudely demand cash up front before I could even book a room! I understand why that is now. I handed over the £94 cash, and rudely told that we better be out by 11am.

In the reception, I was asked by a drunk man trying to check in next to me if I was a '***er' to which I just blankly stared at him. He was becoming very loud and rude to me and the concierge just ignored the abuse. I respect that it was 3am in the morning but it would be nice to feel safe in a hotel, no security there whatsoever.

The room was unpleasant at best. It wasn't particularly dirty althought the bathroom was grotty and early signs of mould were appearing. The bathroom itself was tiny, no lock on the door, no shampoo or any basic products, just very cheap soap.

The view from outside was just the other side of the buidling, resembling run down office blocks. There was little in the way of tea and coffee, just very cheap pound shop job lots.

The bed was ok, but the covers were too thin, and the room decor was revolting!

If you're on a school trip, I still wouldn't recomend it unless you were really desperate. It's also very noisy and kids do need sleep.

I found the entire experience very unpleasent. Very unfair treatment, and utterly undeserved of their apparent 3 star status!

I read on this site that all negative reviews are by compeitors trying to ruin their reputation, but please, take it from me, their competitors need only spend one night and realise they have nothing to worry about.

I am seriously considering writing and asking for a refund.

Unique Quality: Without a doubt. The worse hotel I have ever stayed in. That's unique to me at least.

Directions: I refuse to give directions incase you accidentally end up there.

SassyMcPeaches's Profile Photo

Feels like a cattle call

Bad (2.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on March 7, 2010

Another huge hotel you will get lost in, but don't expect luxury. It's rudimentary yet sufficient and comfortable enough. The rooms are large and tourist resources are plentiful, but there are always lots of crowds around. Bring ear plugs; this hotel caters to younger tour groups, and lots of them. It can feel a bit like a cattle call at times.

Budget London Hotel

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on March 5, 2010

I also had some trepidation reading the online reviews. However, a colleague from Wales told me the negative ones were ltypically posted by competitors. We stayed from Feb 20-27 and arrived a few hours late thanks ot BA. The place was overrun with Greeks from a Greek Student Congress. Loud but not that bad other than the druken German banging on room at 4:15 am asking for a light so he could smoke fall asleep and set fire tot he place. Water in the shower was always HOT. Excellent. The maid came up and showed how to work the raditor flow valve and when opened, the room was too warm. So those amenities worked. Housekeeping came up both times we called them, albeit took an hour but came witht he necessaries. Its a budget hotel that is always brimming with students. Breakfast is decent to get seomthing in the stomach in the morning and the only problem is the occasional drunks, like the other one who pulled the fire alarm at 11:30 pm our last night. I would stay again given the price and location (on the Picadilly line at Russel Square).

Directions: About four blocks from the British Museum. Area has a lot of good, small restaurants within 6 block radius.

Basic, clean, cheap, friendly.

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 1, 2009

A friend of mine booked us into this hotel (south side)
After reading the reviews I wanted to cancel, but was persuaded to go, I said we shouldn't eat the food.
Check in was 2pm bit of advice either wait an hour or try to check in before 2pm as it was busy.
I expected a dump but what I found was cleanliness everywhere and I mean everywhere.
Staff were helpful, always pleasant. We asked the concierge many questions about transport and places to visit over the few days we were there and they always gave us good advice.

We were running late for pre theatre dinner, we ended up having dinner in the hotel. True it wasn’t that great and didn’t eat dinner there again, however, breakfast was brilliant and you could eat as much or as little as you liked.

A choice of 5 cereals, fresh fruit, fresh juice (cheap but palatable) eggs fried/boiled/scrambled sausage (not consistent quality) bacon, beans, tomatoes (tinned) toast & jams, tea/coffee hot & cold milk.

I’ll definitely be going back again we arrived at Kings Cross train Station and took the tube to Russell Square a 3 minute walk from hotel which was in a good safe area.

Hotel is basic, cheap and most of all clean, well worth the money. I can’t understand why there are negative comments about it; believe me I’m well known for being hard to please and I was happy with it.

pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

Over 1500 rooms

Bad (2.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on April 7, 2009

The Royal National Hotel is part of the Imperial London Hotel. It's a BIG straightaway building with a central inner court with the lobby. Don't be surprised if 4 buses with Italian school classes are in front of you when you want to check in. This is an ever busy and very lively hotel. The rooms are well used and suited for housing soccer hooligans to just a one night stand. Nothing fancy; just basic British "comfort".

If you have a "breakfast included" arrangement, prepare yourself for a queue or a food battle straight away. The typical British breakfast with saucages, eggs and tomatoes is charged extra.

The hotel is served by Airport shuttles and that might be the best option to take.

Unique Quality: Luggage depot for just 50p per day.

Directions: One block West from Russell Square Tube Station.

Bus 188 to Russell square.

bad choice

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on April 8, 2008

I booked this Hotel via BA hotel offer. I stayed there last week (April 2007) for 5 days and it was dirty! This place needs a renovation! And the breakfast is very poor. I payed 100 euros per night which is probably good for an expensive city like London.

Unique Quality: Very good location.

Directions: Russel square station.

Not a good place to stay

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on March 6, 2008

As an American it did not even come close to American standards. The room was tiny, with a twin bed that felt like a baby crib. I asked for a double bed, and the hotel clerk said they were only for couples and that they didn't have that many. There were cracks in the ceiling, and somebody's hair was on the floor in the bathroom.

A bad option

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 22, 2007

If you travel with your gang (football, school,..), that hotel will be suitable. But if you look for a comfortable and quite place to stay, think again! This hotel is ugly, noisy and the stuff is rude and incompetent. I have made a reservation for a triple room, they gave me a double with a lousy extra-bed. I have asked for the complaint book and they didn’t give to me. Now, you are able to understand why they want your money in advance!

Nearby Royal National Hotel

Royal National Hotel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

  • Royal National London
  • Hotel National Royal
  • National Hotel London
  • Hotel Royal National

Address: Bedford Way at Russell Square, London, WC1H 0DG, United Kingdom

17 Photos of Royal National Hotel

Amenities at Royal National Hotel

  • Restaurant
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Free High Speed Internet

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