The Russell Hotel is a wonderful turn of the century building overlooking the beautiful Russell Park in central London. It's interior is breathtaking - having lost none of its original charm - all high ceilings and wood paneling. That's the good part. The rooms are decent, not spectacular. They are small, like all of London, but they are air conditioned, clean and comfortable. They do lack double-glazing, which leads to a poor night sleep in rooms overlooking the busy roads around the square. They also, bizarrely, lack a fridge.
Breakfast is ok. They make an effort with the variety, but it still ends up tasting like school dinners. The coffee, if they remember to bring it to your table, is bland. Service is again ok. It's friendly, with lots of smiles and "have a nice days", but it feels programmed in rather than genuine. I think that's because they employ many non-native English speakers.
I think the rooms must be a mixed bag. The first arrivals on our team got the same kind of room on the second floor - totally fine. But our late arriving team member got a room which he thought was awful - on the sixth floor. He said he didn't have room to lie down on the bed - and he's not a tall guy.
Unique Quality: Incredible building and interior.
Directions: Tube to Russell Square.
Absolutely lovely, but you'll pay for it! If you can afford to splurge, I'd wholeheartedly recommend this hotel. It provides luxury while refusing to sacrifice the flavor of London. It's possible to snag a good deal during the winter months.
As a Londoner I rarely have the opportunity to test out any of the city’s very numerous hotels, but a conference for work recently led to me spending the night at the Russell in Bloomsbury – a hotel I had passed loads of times but never had occasion to enter. Its attractive red brick facade dominates the east side of Russell Square, and I found the entrance equally attractive, with warm lighting and an old-fashioned but well-maintained air.
My single room was fairly small but had all the essentials including a TV, coffee- and tea- making facilities (but no biscuits!), a trouser press, desk (with broadband access at a cost) and adequate hanging space. The bathroom was spacious with a full size bath and the usual range of toiletries.
Downstairs the bar is cosy and welcoming, and the restaurant offers a good buffet breakfast. We also had a dinner here, but I never judge a hotel by its corporate catering as this is likely to be below its usual standard (though in this case it was better than average).
The hotel’s location is excellent - very near Russell Square tube station, with the attractive Square itself opposite, and walking distance to Covent Garden, Oxford Street shopping and Leicester Square for theatre district. Bloomsbury is a safe and attractive area with many hotels, pubs and restaurants, and would make a great base for a London stay.
I didn’t pay for my room, but the hotel’s website (below) quotes prices of between £80 and £170 a night for a double room depending on date. Weekends are much cheaper than weekdays, and online booking cheaper still.
Directions: Nearest tube Russell Square on the Piccadilly - turn left out of the station and left again as you reach the square
Unique Quality: This hotel is next to the Russel tube station. It is facing the Russel Square. You can walk to the
British Museum by foot. The streets are lined with small cozy hotel. If you prefer to take the tube for exploring London, no problem, just take a tube and you'll be in Picadilly, Oxford, Camdem, Waterloo Station and etc.
Horel Russel is a classic Victorian hotel with 373 rooms.
The lobby has a splendid original mosaic floor.
- Business Center
- Disabled Facilities
- Meeting Rooms
- Concierge Services
- Internet Access
- Conference Facilities
- 24 hour Reception
- Close to City Centre
- Dry Cleaning
- Dining Room
- Air Conditioning
- Hair dryer
- Trouser press
- Ensuite bathroom
- In-room safe
- Tea/Coffee making
- Direct Telephone
- Room Service
- Premium Movies
- In-room Internet Access
- Cable - Satellite TV
Directions: At Russell Square
I took my mother to London - a lifelong dream. We chose the Russell as a mid-price hotel on our package choice. We stayed at the Russell for 1 week, then boarded the 'Silver Arrow' for a tour of England and Scotland. Then back to the Russell before returning to the US.
When we arrived at the Russell, we were first given a very small room. We were NOT impressed. The door would not even close. After calling the desk, we were moved to another room - better - twin beds and a roomy bathroom. The window opened onto the interior 'square' - not much of a view but it was a plesant stay. We were there in July of -94 during a real heat wave. There was no A/C but the hotel provided a fan when we asked.
We left the Russell for a week. Upon our return, for the SAME PRICE, we were given a HUGE room on the third floor overlooking the front of the hotel and Russell Square across the street. This room had huge windows and a huge wonderful bathroom. If we had known a room of this calibre existed at the same rates, we would have insisted on staying in this room for the week prior!!!
The location of the Russell was not central to London but was right around the corner from the Russell Square tube station and was easy access to anywhere we wanted to go!
I would definitely stay here again!
Unique Quality: The full breakfast was wonderful!
I have stayed here occasionally when I've had a conference or an early start at work as this used to be just across the road from my office when I worked in Russell Square. It may seem expensive, but it is really no worse than many hotels anywhere in central London and is defintely a very pleasant experience. The hotel has some real character, which you spot as soon as you walk through the doors. The first thing you notice as you walk in is the huge sweeping grand staircase leading upstairs. The more observant among you might also notice the painstakingly restored original mosaic floor. There are grand pillars and opulent plants everywhere you look. You can't get much closer to Russell Square itself. The bedrooms at the front of the hotel look out over the Square and Southampton Row so may suffer from traffic noise. The back of the hotel is quieter so ask to be located there if you are a light sleeper. Personally I think the view across the Square more than makes up for a bit of city buzz.
Unique Quality: The hotel was built in 1898 and claims to be the oldest purpose built hotel in London. Although the lobby and many of the bedrooms remain decorated in keeping with the architecture, the top floor of the hotel boasts some very snazzy and exclusive modern executive rooms with blue neon signs indicating the room numbers all along the corridor, plasma televisions in the rooms and jet showers in the bathrooms. The modern styling may not be to everyone's taste, but they're definitely something different!
Directions: Turn left out of Russell Square tube station, walk to the end of the street (you will see Russell Square itself on the other side of the road) and turn left at the corner. The hotel entrance is the first on your left in Southampton Row.
I stayed for 4 nights and the service, comfort and general standard of luxury surprised me. I had a 5th floor corner room (ask for room 532) with a round seating arrangement in one of the building's corner turrets. If you're on the 5thl floor, you're high enough not to hear the traffic and you can see the tree tops of Russell Square. The breakfast room is a marvel of Victorian marble, granite and plaster, staff was very good and the location is second to none.
Unique Quality: great location, great breakfast room, very helpful concierge
Directions: Around the corner from Russell Square tube station
On our very first trip to London back in 1998 we had reservations in a little boutique hotel. We were not happy there and moved after our first week to the Russell Hotel. It certainly was a savings and a change of atmosphere. It was a tad worn and seedy, but the room was large and maid service good. The near by tube stop was crowded with young people, the hotel food service poor. I would not stay at the Russell Hotel again but would say it is OK if you want a room with space and do not mind the few downsides that I have mentioned.
August 2006 -- having just done a web search I can see that the rooms have been redone. They are no longer the stuffy traditional style -- they are now quite contemporary. So no doubt the place feels less seedy and over worn now. And the web says that deluxe rooms have "Wide-screen plasma TV. Fully air-conditioned." -- that would be a big switch from the accomodations I stayed in!!
Unique Quality: Virginia Woolf’s at the Russell Hotel
I only tried this establishment once. Shortly after checking into the hotel we went in for lunch. The service was very poor but as I recall the food was OK once it arrived.
I had a very positive experience at the Russell. I was able to check into the room upon arrival in the morning. I had booked my room through Expedia and requested a room with two beds. When I arrived the desk staff moved me to a two bed room, even though Expedia had booked me a double bed. The concierge is friendly and approachable and gave us good tips throughout our stay. Because of its recent renovation, the hotel is in beautiful shape. It is so nice to see such an historic hotel so well maintained and appointed in such a way that the modern elements do not take away from the quaintness of the place.
Unique Quality: The hotel's 373 rooms have all been recently updated. They are attractively appointed and reflect understated luxury. The bathroom is spacious, and by European standards so is the room. The bedding is soft and comfortable with European duvets.
Underground and bus stop nearby, as well as "Big Bus" stop. Short walk to British Museum.
Directions: Opposite Russell Square
I've stayed in many hotels in London through my work and I think 'so far' this has been the most pleasant.
My first visit here was in a standard room (thanks work!) and it was awful, a really small and dark n dated decor greeted me. I wasn't best pleased so I rang Reception and they kindly upgraded me to an 'Art and Tech' room for a small charge of £20 :-)
The Art and Tech rooms are the newly refurbished deluxe rooms. They provide a balance of both Art and technology.
One of the most striking elements of the room was the headboard of the bed, featuring an edge-lit handcrafted etched glass panel, placed either back to the wall or into the room acting as a divider and providing a view of the room, which for smaller rooms gives a real sense of space.
As for the Technology side, the wall-mounted 42-inch plasma screen TV contains the in-room entertainment system providing video and music on demand, as well as hotel information (including on-line billing).
As for the hotel location, well it's a 10 min (max) walk to Oxford Street and all other parts of London are easily accesible as there is a Russell Square tube station next door to the hotel.
Altogether, the hotel recieves a big thumbs up.
Unique Quality: As the hotel was currently under refurb, it was pleasing to see they were keeping the giant Chandelier and marble reception area, this alone is a feast for the eyes.
I've stayed here 3 times now, all very pleasant, especially the time I had the Art and Tech room which gave me views across London as far as the London Eye.
The hotel seems to show the glory of the past but there's not much left of it today. The foyer and public areas seem all right but the rooms are different.
I only stayed one night there and in my room the kettle was broken, there was no cold water and the toilet was broken. Not extremely clean, and no air conditioning, but that's an old hotel.
I also had problems calling the hotel at night (to advise my late arrival).
They offered a complimentary breakfast to compensate for the inconvenieces. Hmm.
Unique Quality: Friendly staff, decent breakfast.
Good location in London, close to the British Museum etc.
Convenient for Heathrow on the Piccadily line.
Directions: Just on the Russel Square
Needing somewhere close to Euston station I'd heard mixed things about the Russell. In the past it has a reputation for having aged badly, but a recent refurb has sorted that out. It's now back to its former glory with reasonably sized rooms (large by London standards) and a level of service that is second to none.
Unique Quality: The lobby, bar and dining room are a sea of marble lit by a multitude of chandeliers. The place just oozes class and provides a haven of tranquility from the city's bustle. Putting the poetic stuff to one side - this place does all that a hotel should, and does it well. The setting and location are great and are worth paying that bit extra.
Directions: Less than half a mile from Euston or Kings Cross stations. Close to the British Museum.
This hotel is in the process of renovation and if you don't mind staying in the old section, it is a great deal - about $100 a night for a double room. It is clean, a bit old-fashioned in decor - tapestry curtains, etc. - but a perfect neighborhood for shopping and eating, etc. You can walk to the theater district and the British Museum is only a couple of blocks away.
For not much more than the Paddington/Bayswater hotels, it is by far worth it for the location. Safe and lively neighborhood, too.
I'm going to London at the end of July and have decided to stay at Covent Garden. What hotel at a moderate price is recommended for stayingin that area?
My strong positive vote is for the Thanet Hotel in Russell Square, one Tube stop from Covent Garden on the Piccadilly Line (or about a 15-minute walk from Covent Garden itself). See my London page for more info and pictures...it's moderately priced and in a great location, with friendly staff.
superbreaks.com have a look
There are a lot of half-decent, big hotels in the Bloomsbury area - the Bloomsbury, the Russell, the Bonnington, etc - which is quite close. Some of them, like the Royal National on Bedford Way, look a bit grotty - but not having been inside I can't comment on the rooms!
Other than that, I think it's slim pickings in the immediate Covent Garden area. Rather noisy as well!
A friend of mine stayed in the Royal National about four years ago...she said it was serviceable and clean, but nothing out of the ordinary. The Russell Hotel looks very nice from the outside--but I've not been inside at all. I personally prefer B&B's with nice little English breakfasts, but you'll probably pay a bit more for that.
15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, London
1 Kensington Court, Kensington, London
17-19 Egerton Terrace, Knightsbridge, London
41 Buckingham Palace Road, London
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Address: Russell Square, London, WC1B 5BE, United Kingdom