Booking a hotel in London at Christmas can be challenging. If you’re me, and I suspect most travelers are, you want a good central location and you don’t want to pay a fortune for it. I looked on line and found the Hotel Russell on Russell Square and according to Orbitz it was a “Best Value” I’m always skeptical when I see that especially since other 4 star hotels were significantly more expensive. I booked it and hoped for the best.
I stayed with friends for the first few days and was heading into central London after that. I was going to The National Theatre for a matinee and wanted to confirm I could drop my luggage off ahead of time. I was pretty sure I could, but just wanted to confirm and do the “Can I possibly check in early thing”
A very pleasant woman by the name of Barbara, who was the front desk manager answered the phone at the hotel and I asked her about the luggage and she said sure. Then I asked about early check in, I said I’d probably be there around 11:00 and she said your room should be ready so you can check in when you arrive.
In a world where the first words out of everyone’s mouth regarding things like this these days is “no” it was incredibly nice to hear “yes” Not only that, she said “I’ll have a look and see whats available and choose a nice room for you”. So before I even checked in, I had a very favorable impression of the Hotel Russell–take note of that other hotels its called “customer service” repeat after me “customer service” . In an age where you get surveys and how can we do things better and what did you think of your stay, a simple old school accommodating, nice person on the other end of the phone did the trick just fine, sometimes its good to go old school.
When I arrived I was even more pleasantly surprised by the opulent Victorian Hotel, the front desk staff were incredibly nice and there was Barbara, as pleasant in person as she was on the phone. My room was fantastic, light and airy with a view of the square, just perfect. The nine days I spent at the hotel could not have been better. The location is extremely convenient, near everything but not in the middle of all the tourist horror! It was an easy walk to Covent Garden and Leicester Square and The British Museum was just on the other side of the square.
The other nice surprise was how close it is to Kings Cross Station, just a 15-20 minute walk or a 5 minute cab ride. It was perfect for catching the train when I went up North to Leeds. I would absolutely stay at this wonderful hotel again, I highly recommend it if you find yourself in need of a hotel in London any time soon. Thanks to the hotel staff for making this years Christmas stay in London a holiday delight!
Check out the hotel website for availability and history of the hotel