We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Really disappointing” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Smart Russell Square Hostel

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Smart Russell Square Hostel
Ranked #492 of 828 Speciality Lodging in London
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Really disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2012

As a seasoned traveller who's spent a total of over a year in hostels around the world, I have to say this was one of the most disappointing hostels I've ever stayed in. Yes, it was cheap. I paid only 9 pounds for a dorm bed. But the things that I disliked about this hostel weren't a result of its cheapness. My dorm room was ridiculously overheated. I couldn't get to sleep, even in a tshirt and shorts with no sheet or blanket, even though it's the middle of winter in London at the moment, and I'm from Australia so I'm used to heat. It was just overwhelmingly hot in there, and very stuffy. I couldn't figure out how to open the windows, but luckily someone else did eventually so I managed to get some sleep in the end.

I stayed in a 9-bed dorm, with 3 beds stacked on top of each other per bunk. Each bunk is kind of like a little box, with curtains you can pull to give some privacy. That was a nice touch. But the walls between each bed are really thin, so I could very very clearly hear the guy in the next bunk over snoring loudly. I could also hear, with perfect clarity, every person who walked by in the corridor. The bed was very small - I'm about 173cm and could not stretch out fully. The pillow was awful, sheets very starchy, and instead of providing real pillowcases they give you a disposable slip to lay on top of the pillow. And good luck making your bed if you get one of the top bunks - I found it impossible. The people staying in my dorm were also really rude. I always do my best to keep quiet at night when others are sleeping and not turn on the lights, and I expect others to do the same. But at least 3 different people after 11pm, when there were multiple people trying to sleep, came in and turned the lights on and left them on for ages. So rude. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if you were on one of the lower 2 bunks, since you're effectively blocked from the light, but on top you don't have a roof over your head and you're close to the ceiling so the light is right in your face.

Bathrooms were unisex and had a faint smell of vomit... Lovely. Showers were somewhere in the basement, really difficult to find. And probably the worst hostel showers I've ever had. They operate like taps in public toilets - you push a button, water comes out for about 10 seconds, and then stops. So you end up pushing the button 20 times. You can't alter the water temperature at all, and it was scalding.

Breakfast was fine, but very basic. Toast (white bread with jam and butter) or cornflakes only.

Definitely wouldn't go back here. I'd rather pay a few more pounds and stay somewhere that makes a little bit more effort to make its guests comfortable.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mel827
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

733 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    50
    128
    227
    141
    187
See reviews for
35
60
200
27
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2012

as a frequent hostel stayer on my trips around Europe for mostly pleasure, this hostel is one of the dissapointing ones. I stayed in a 4 beds dorm, not only the corridors were noisy as you could hear people walking in and out the corridors all the time but the walls were so thin that you could hear them talking too. The shower room is a maze to get to. Since I was in the top floor, i had to find my way all the way down to the lower ground floor, through a couple of doors just to find the shower room and occasionaly got lost finding my way back to my room. Wouldn't go back if given a chance...

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank foodlover11967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these London hotels

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 December 2011

One of the cheaper ones already, though I would have much rather paid abit more to stay elsewhere. We chose a 24 bed dorm, and the walls are paper thin, so it gets noisy from people just walking upstairs and outside the room. The beds are small and cramp, with no individual lamps (It's a 3 decker bed too, which explains how they squeeze 24 people in a room). The staff are unfriendly, unsure about the place, and unwilling to help at all with recommendations and directions. Toilets are not particularly clean either. Breakfast is a sad affair too. Only good thing would be the location, just a walking distance from town. Would not go back nor recommend it!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Toyfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Graz, Austria
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2011

I stayed at this hostel based on location and recommendation from a friend, but I would definitely not recommend it to anyone else.

- The staff was unfriendly and unprofessional, and did not seem overly knowledgeable either.
- Beds are uncomfortable, small, and I don't think the place is especially clean.
- Showers are located in Guam.
- Room was so hot, we had to keep the window open in December, and it was still too hot.
- Very noisy.
- "Breakfast" is bread and a big vat of jam.
- Curtains on the beds are actually a nice touch if you want darkness/privacy.
- I don't know what security people are talking about, no one ever checked to make sure I was actually staying there whenever I walked in.
- Your only option is to buy a towel (most hostels I stay at you can either rent one or just pay a refunded deposit)
- Good luck if you get put on the top bunk (they're stacked 3 bunks tall). I was on the bottom, which may arguably be even worse.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rianna R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2011

Staff were extremely rude! Rooms were just so hot you cant sleep. Its a Noisy place to. And the maze to the shower was disorienting! £5 for a towel that is like so small. You have to give deposits here and there £10 for a locker for the shower that you have 1hr to have. £10 for the door key. What a load of crap! they have your card details. Do not touch breakfast!! I'll tell you its just not good, save yourself the agony of the smart russel experience and look for a better place to stay maybe the YHA. The day that i was there was 10th of dec. I will tell all my friends about this place!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JAfrmNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these London hotels
Bloomsbury
Clink261 Hostel
Clink261 Hostel
#57 of 828 in London
3.5 of 5 bubbles 584 reviews
Soho
SoHostel
SoHostel
#26 of 828 in London
4.0 of 5 bubbles 459 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Clerkenwell
Clink78
Clink78
#67 of 828 in London
3.5 of 5 bubbles 1,941 reviews
RestUp London
#445 of 828 in London
3.0 of 5 bubbles 488 reviews
Bloomsbury
Generator Hostel London
Generator Hostel London
#38 of 828 in London
4.0 of 5 bubbles 2,347 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Smart Russell Square Hostel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Smart Russell Square Hostel

Property: Smart Russell Square Hostel
Address: 71-72 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1DF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Bloomsbury
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #492 of 828 Speciality Lodging in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €
Hotel Class:2 star — Smart Russell Square Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This hostel is in the heart of London, a 10-minute walk from King's Cross Railway Station and the British Library. It provides budget accommodation with free WiFi access throughout. The Smart Hostel Russell Square offers beds in mixed-sex dorms. Linen is provided and security lockers are available in all rooms. Shared and en-suite facilities are available depending on room type. Reception is open 24 hours a day, and there are no curfews or lock-out times. Guests can receive tourist information and discount tickets for major attractions. The hostel's common room features a large TV, and some shared kitchen facilities are available. Self-service laundry facilities and an internet cafe are also offered on site. Russell Square Underground Station is 252 yrd away. The Foundling Museum, Islington Farmers Market and University College London are all within 10 minutes' walk. Camden is a great choice for travellers interested in Theatre, Museums and Culture. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, LateRooms, Travel Republic (UK), Expedia, Agoda, SpeedyBooker.com and Hotels.com so you can book your Smart Russell Square Hostel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Smart Russell Square Hotel London
Smart Russell Square Hostel London

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing