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The Royal National Hotel (London)

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6 Reviews

Bedford Way at Russell Square / London WC1H 0DG / England.

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    6 Reviews
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      28.08.2011 00:00
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      Comfortable hotel convenient location for sightseeing London.

      We went to The Royal National Hotel in London a few days after the royal wedding celebrations in May this year. We booked this through a city break package for a 3 night stay for 2 adults and 2 children including first class rail travel from Dundee to London for an excellent deal of £600 for all of us. The hotel is a short taxi ride from Kings Cross Station which cost around £8. When we arrived at the hotel we checked in at the desk. Now I did find the people at the desk helpful and we checked in speedily, there was no queue although there was a lot of school children around in the foyer waiting on check in too. I think this hotel is used for international stays for children and students worldwide. Once we checked into our room via swipe card, there was 4 beds in the room, a double wardrobe, 3 sets of drawers, trouser press and TV. We had a family room which sleeps 4. The room was very roomy and there was 2 radiators in the room, which we did use although we left the window open. there was also a kettle and the usual tea / coffee / biscuits etc. It was very quiet at night and the only noise we heard was the sound of ambulance sirens now and again. The bathroom consisted of a bath with shower and sink and the toilet was in a separate room on its own. There was plenty of soap, toilet rolls and towels and these were replenished for us every day. The beds were comfortable and we all slept extremely well each night. The breakfast room is entered through the foyer accross the courtyard of the hotel. The room was huge and it was full of children, students and families from all nationalities. The choice for breakfast was brilliant. There was something for everyone, different cereals and fruit, tea, coffee, juice, milk, rolls and toast, butter, jam, marmalade. We had full english breakfasts which was self service although a waitress was on site, the choices were sausages, eggs (poached, fried, boiled and scrambled), bacon, hashbrowns, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes. You could go up as many times as you liked to replenish your plates but we only went once..... Once we had this breakfast this would set us up until late afternoon / early evening which was great as we had lots of time for sightseeing. There is a tube station just accross the road from the hotel. Bus stop right outside the door of the hotel. The sightseeing bus tour stop is right outside the hotel as well, which we went on. There are a some shops nearby the hotel, for convenience foods and papers, pizzas, subway, small tesco. There is also a pizza restaurant in the courtyard of the hotel where you can order pizzas. It is also a fully licensed bar but they also sell hot chocolate, coffee and teas etc. We went in there one night and it was quite empty you can also use their wi-fi facilities for a small price. On the whole we enjoyed our stay at the Royal National and London itself. We were out most of the day from breakfast time until around 8.00 pm at night and were pretty exhausted by 11.00 most nights anyway.

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        29.04.2010 22:56
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        Cheap and not so cheerful hotel in a good location

        I have just returned from a short break in London where I stayed at the Royal National Hotel in Russell Square. I did not choose the hotel as I went with my Mum who organised the trip but next time I will be checking to make sure that she books something better!

        ~~Location~~
        This is well located, it is only a couple of minutes walk from the tube station and we found it very easily.

        ~~First Impressions~~
        The hotel is very big and when we entered the lobby it was full of busloads of teenagers from various countries. They were all milling about and getting in the way as they were being checked in by their tour leaders and no-one thought to move them to a more convenient place so that other people could get to the desk easily. Check-in took a while as they didn't seem to have a record of our booking but luckily it was sorted and we were booked in after a short delay. The staff were not terribly nice and helpful but nor were they terribly rude, they seemed a little indifferent. The majority of the staff were foreign but spoke good English.

        The hotel is set around a courtyard, which they've tried to 'pretty up' with plants but they've failed, it just looks sad. You can see into nearly every room and it felt a bit prison-like.

        ~~The Room~~
        We had a twin room and we knew it would be basic as we'd booked something 'cheap' as we weren't planning on spending a lot of time there. The hotel is quite clearly, in my opinion, aimed at the groups of teenagers I mentioned earlier. The bare minimum is in the room, we had 2 small beds, a wardrobe with 4 hangers in, a dressing table with a very old TV on with channels 1-5 (and C4 didn't work!) and a 'table' for your suitcase. The toilet is separate from the bathroom. The bathroom is small with just enough space to squeeze in between the bath and the sink but it is fairly well lit.

        The beds are terrible. Very cheap feeling and uncomfortable. I had 2 very bad nights sleep. There are 2 pillows on each bed but they are rubbish and flat with scratchy covers.

        One thing I can say is that the room was clean; I did not feel like it was grubby at all and at one point when I was looking out of the window I saw a cleaner in a room across the courtyard removing and cleaning the radiator guard which seemed very thorough.

        We had expected there to be a hairdryer in the room which there wasn't, you could get one from reception (by putting down a deposit) but we didn't bother.

        There is no air conditioning in the rooms and it got very hot and stuffy in there during the night.

        ~~Breakfast~~
        A continental breakfast is included with the basic room rate which includes a choice of several cereals, toast, tea, coffee, orange juice, apple juice and a small choice of fruit. It costs £4.50 to upgrade to the Full English option, we had this as part of the deal we booked but I would not have paid it if we didn't have it included as it was very average.

        ~~Value for Money~~
        It costs £94 a night for a double/twin room. I suppose this is cheap for London but I was looking around thinking '£94 for what???' as it really does need a lot of updating and I can't really see what they do with the money!

        ~~Other Bits~~
        We we leaving late on our last day so once we checked out we took our luggage to the left luggage room where we had to pay 50p per item. I've never had to pay to leave my luggage in a hotel before so I was not impressed.

        There's a bar and a couple of small convenience type shops in the hotel but we did not use them as we wanted to spend as little time as possible there and the bar was full of kids.

        All in all it wasn't the best, we were expecting a cheap and cheerful hotel but it was worse than expected and I would not recommend it to a friend.

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          13.01.2010 13:47
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          Would give this hotel a miss

          Royal National Hotel - 3 star

          While we were in London on our honeymoon we had to stay over one night before we started our Cosmos tour of Europe (see review). One of the places that the tour met you at that we were told about was at the Royal National Hotel so we thought it probably would be easiest if we stayed at this hotel instead of trying to find it in a panic. So my husband booked it and it cost £99.50 online. This price also included breakfast.

          I have to say my first impression of this hotel wasn't great the staff were not very helpful, pleasant or friendly. They did not seem interested in helping us and to be quite honest didn't seem happy at all and had sour faces.

          When we arrived there was long queues with pushy angry and inpatient people. We had to wait about 40 minutes to check in which was rather annoying as we were limited to time and wanted to explore a bit of London.

          I think what took the process so long was that everyone who was booking in had to fill out a form with your name, address and passport number. So everyone was scrambling trying to find their passports.

          When we finally did get to the end of the long queue we were told after waiting all that time that we weren't allowed to check in until 2 o'clock.

          We were told we could leave our bags in a room (there was no individual lockers) and there was a man keeping an eye on them however he was busy doing other things too. I wasn't prepared to do this, as I was afraid that our things would get stole.

          Once we finally had checked in on the way to our room the corridors looked like a school and the lifts were very outdated with carpets on the walls. We met some of the cleaning staff here and I have to say they were very nice and helpful and showed us what direction to go to find our room.

          The hotel looked old and outdated. The rooms were very basic and the bathroom was not very clean in fact it was very grubby. The sink and bath just looked very dirty and I was reluctant to use them.

          The bed wasn't much better as the mattress was not comfortable and you could feel the springs. The pillows were exceptionally gross and all yellow. They also were very flimsy so you weren't comfortable while sleeping on them.

          They didn't have a duvet on the bed just blankets and a sheet underneath. I also found it difficult to get the heating on and it was freezing. It was only turned on for a few hours automatically and my husband and I woke very cold in the morning.

          In the room there was a small uncomfortable chair and a stool at a bench. Another bench was there which you could set your suitcase on. It seemed to be covered in carpet.

          The room had a small wardrobe with extra blankets and a few open shelves to hang clothes in. There was a medium sized flat screen television. This was the only modern thing in the room.

          We didn't have a nice view from our room either just other crappy rooms everywhere.

          Breakfast was simple you got tea, cereal, toast, they had limited fruit (just mango and pineapple). We didn't realise but you had to pay an extra £4.50 for a cooked English breakfast even though I thought we had paid for a full breakfast. The toast was cold but you did have several choices of cereals in containers. The cutlery was very obviously grotty and dirty. The cups were so grimy it took me a few minutes to find clean ones and even they were still dirty. This is something I really hate!

          The hotel is situated very close to Euston Road Station and as we were getting off the train this was very handy as we had our luggage to carry and it only took us 10 minutes to get to the hotel.

          Outside the hotel has a tour place however the man who was on the desk was not very helpful and we asked him for night tours but he just said he didn't have any. It didn't offer to help and I felt like he could be bothered. I got the impression he didn't want us there at all. However inside the hotel there is an information desk and the people on this desk was very helpful and gave us all the information that we needed. So I would advise you to talk to them first.

          Right beside the hotel is London coffee shop this is where we started our Cosmos tour and it sort of looked to me like a backpacker's café. I have to say the staff was friendly and it seemed like a nice enough place. It was really only a place for snacks and if you wanted a meal there was plenty of food places within walking distance.

          Overall I don't think I would recommend this hotel to anyone and I think it is very bad value for money. If I ever were going on a Cosmos tour again I would stay at a different hotel which was near this area. I didn't enjoy my stay at all.

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            23.01.2009 00:28
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            Horrible and would not even consider

            This without a doubt is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in bar a hotel in Kenya I stayed in (however that is a third world country and I only paid $15 dollars for that room)!!!

            Location of the hotel is good and that's the only positive. Close to Russell Square tub station.

            Hotel is massive I think that here are over 2000 rooms and so gets very busy. Check in reminded me of an airport check in desk the reception is that large and its just not like a hotel. The hotel does cater for a wide variety of guests from different nationalities, however English was certainly not the preferred language of the person that served me so ignored the questions I had. As soon as I stepped in the place looked stuck in the 80's in fact I believe the carpets were older than me!!

            The room was disgusting dirty bed sheets, dirty bathroom and again furniture from the 80's and in such bad condition it should have been thrown away from the 80's. I would expect higher standards of a youth hostel. But I was lucky..... it one of my friends rooms there was used condom in the waste paper bin.

            To note be very careful it you leave the shower or bath running... a bath can fill in less than 2 minutes and when showering the water doesn't drain so I was showering and the water was coming up to my knee!

            And how much did all this (dis)pleasure cost £70 per room. Value for money.... I would rather have stayed in a youth hostel! It was a shame as I visited London with people who had never been before and this whole experience tarnished their view on London.

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            28.12.2007 00:16

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            Good location for this budget hotel, no facilities at all, staff were unpleasant and not helpful at all. Dont bother with reception staff or porters...they couldnt care less. Nobody smiles there. Good location, fairly clean. You get what you pay for.

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            10.10.2006 11:34
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            An adequate hotel

            For my 21st Birthday my boyfriend and I were planning to go to London to get my Birthday present. We decided to drive down which I though would be too long to drive there and back on the same day so we opted to drive down the night before and book into a hotel. So the day before (the night we wanted to stay) I spent 3 hours trawling the Internet looking for somewhere suitable.
            It was quite difficult really, as we needed somewhere that wasn't too bad but in a good area close to the tube. At the last minute all the decent hotels were full which left a lot of 2 star hostel type hotels, which had some pretty horrible reviews.
            After a painful time I finally came across the Royal National Hotel which seemed half decent well there wasn't reports of rooms being ransacked put it that way.

            THE ROYAL NATION HOTEL
            The Royal National Hotel is London's biggest hotel with a total of 1,400 rooms. The hotel is rated at being 3*. The hotel is split into 2 buildings by the large outdoor driveway. The hotel has 3 very large restaurants where you go for your breakfast and evening meal if you have paid for them and two receptions the north and the south. The hotel has some great facilities such as
            *Downstairs café
            *Cocktail Bar
            *Traditional Pub
            *Parking Facilities
            *Concierge
            *Vending Machines
            *Internet facilities
            *Concessionary rate for onsite gym

            HOW TO BOOK AND RESERVATIONS
            After deciding on the Hotel Royal National I thought I would have a look round for the best deal but unfortunately this hotel doesn't seem to go for any less than the flat rate of £85 per room per night including breakfast. There weren't any pricier rates but there were sadly no cheaper ones and I am pretty good at getting a good deal.
            You can book online with most websites. Just type in Royal National Hotel in a search engine and it brings up all the operators that sell this hotel. Unfortunately for me as it was the same day of travel I couldn't find a reputable site that would let me book online so I logged on to the homepage of the hotel and rang the reservations line.
            The lady on the end of the phone was pleasant enough she confirmed the price and advised that we would both get a full English breakfast the following morning which was great. She then only took my debit number, as a guarantee, which I thought, was very trustworthy as it was for the same night and I could have just made one up. I told them that we probably wouldn't be checking in till 22:00 maybe later as at some hotels they wont hold the room that long, but she that's no problem at all we have a 24 hour reception. Great Service so far.

            LOCATION
            The hotel was unbelievably easy to get to which was quite surprising. It is situated in Bloomsbury right next to Russell square Gardens on the Bedford Way which was very close to Woodburn Place and Tavistock Square which was perfect for us to get to as we travelled down on the M1 and used the A1 and A400.
            The hotel was excellently situated for getting into the main shopping areas, as Russell Square tube was only a 2 minute walk away.
            The area the hotel is in is very busy especially in rush hour so if you want to drive there I would suggest going early or late because we were getting caught up in traffic at 9 o clock.
            The hotel is that well situated you would think you couldn't miss it well not until you have drove by it like we did. You may panic as the area is on one long 1 way system but if you follow the road in a circle you find the back very easily,
            Although the hotel wasn't perfect as you are about to fund out the location was that good I would certainly stay here again just for ease of use.

            ARRIVAL AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS
            When we arrived at the hotel you drive straight into the middle of the hotel its like being in a drive thru American hotel check in. You then go down into the underground car park, which is charge at 15 for 24 hour, not bad value for money I don't think. Once you are up the stairs and in the reception you appreciate how big the hotel is. We arrived at 22:00 and usually you wouldn't expect to say many about but there were people everywhere. The pub was full, the cocktail bar was full there was a queue at the reception and the place was buzzing not in a bad way but in a very strange way. The hotel was mainly full of foreign travellers so I suppose they were on their holidays and were just letting their hair down like we do when we go away.

            Once we got the reception we were asked to fill some details out and I noticed my name was spelt Mr Gemma lol how rude they thought I was a man on the phone!!! Honestly I don't sound like a man. Once we were given our key and directions to out room (trust me you need them the place is huge) we were asked if we wanted to pay now or at the end of the stay. I was wondering if they wanted my money or not so I paid straight away just in case I forgot the following day.

            I was quite surprised at how busy the hotel was but the facilities were good and prices were good so you can't blame people for taking advantage of that. There were plenty of vending machines around which was good the bottled water was £1 which I thought was quite good value and crisps and chocolate same price as your local corner shop. There was a large desk where you could book theatre tickets, bus tickets and excursions etc. I also spotted something I had never seen before I know this might sound sad but it was a machine where you put your phone or ipod in and have it charged. I was very fascinated about how it did it but I wasn't allowed to look because my boyfriend thought I was silly.

            Hint
            There are lots of ways to get to your room because there are about a million sets of stairs and about 20 lifts so listen carefully to the receptionist's directions

            THE ROOM
            After finally finding out room we had a bit of trouble getting in it took 6 goes and finally we were in. it opened by a swipe card but for some reason it just didn't want to work.

            Once we were in the room was quite cosy it was a decent size and very adequate for the 1 night out room over looked the middle of the hotel which was where the traditional pub was situated and we had the window open so it was quite loud but not in an annoying way it was nice to see people enjoying themselves for a change. I have read complaints about this but once the window was closed I couldn't hear anything.

            The hotel is twin beds unless you request a double which we did I was told this probably wouldn't happen but when we got in I noticed we did in fact have a double bed which was very nice and comfortable luckily for me because I hate sleeping in hotel beds and when I can I take my own pillow and quilt (I know very sad) but I have a complete phobia but the bed was fine.

            There was a small television in the room with the usual 5 channels and then itv2 and a couple of foreign channels, a dressing table with mirror, a wardrobe and bathroom with bath and shower. Unfortunately the bathroom was a bit grotty to say the least it was very dark and dingy with a lot of cracked and missing tiles and some mysterious black stuff. The tap also leaked and dripped all night, which was a bit annoying, but I couldn't have had a shower or bath there even if I stunk because it was just horrid. In the end I ran in and out to brush my teeth and to go to the toilet.


            THE BREAKFAST
            We set our alarms for an early start and were looking forward to a nice hearty breakfast and my boyfriend was making the usual threats if he doesn't get enough he was going to kill me etc and I was starving so was praying for some good food.
            We weren't disappointed once we had located the restaurant we had been allocated we found a seat and had a look around. The restaurant was huge and was set out with big long tables like at school and then some smaller tables dotted around. The smaller tables all seemed to still have food on or people at them so we just sat in the middle of a school table. There were two breakfast areas the continental section, which seemed to have all the travellers around it. That consisted of rolls, toast, jams, juice and tea. The English section was a lot better there was a full fry up sausages, eggs, beans, tomatoes, hash browns, bacon the lot. There were also cereals, toast, tea, and juice.

            The staff are quite strict that they see your yellow checking in cards as we left ours at out table by mistake and the chef said we must see it go and get it I think it was because if you didn't have one you had to pay but from what I could see there wasn't a room tariff which didn't include breakfast unless holiday groups had this sort of package.

            The food was hot and very tasty it was just like being on holiday the only trouble was that some of the tea urns had gone cold not sure how but it left lots of full tea cups everywhere and the staff weren't very quick at clearing away. There was an excellent selection and I don't believe anyone could have gone hungry.

            Breakfast was served from 7am until 10am.


            OVERALL THOUGHTS
            This may not be the nicest hotel in London but is clean enough for a night or two granted I wouldn't be able to spend a week there but a couple of nights wouldn't have killed me. Some people may not like the hotel because they prefer the bathrooms to be huge and white tiled and the rooms royal and spacious but lets face it £85 for two people aint going to get you the Ritz.
            The hotel has a good feel, there are always lots of people around and everyone is friendly. The staff are not rude but many don't speak amazing English so they tend just to get on with it, which is fine by me.
            The food was nice and the location was excellent so therefore I would visit this hotel again and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the area for a night two.

            Just a note to say if you stay at this hotel and you use the Car Park and need to pay the congestion charge you can do this there but only with a credit card if you only have cash or a debit card you have to go looking for a shop that offers the service which can be quite difficult.

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          • Product Details

            Multistory tourist hotel with restaurant & modern amenities; set in the heart of Bloomsbury; walking distance to Covent Garden.