The Principal London
What We Love
- The restored 1898 façade with its terracotta thé-au-lait tiles
- Sipping tea—or champagne—in the lush Palm Court
- Kicking off the evening with inventive cocktails in the funky, fin-de-siècle splendor of Fitz’s Bar
- Bath products from The Perfumer’s Story in guest rooms
What To Know
- The most recent overhaul was masterminded by fashion designer-turned-interior designer Russell Sage and “The Princess of Posh” Tara Bernerd
- Charles Fitzroy Doll, the hotel architect who lent his name to the in-house bar, also designed the first-class dining room on the Titanic
- Deluxe Rooms overlook the gardens in Russell Square
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Grande dame turned glamour girl in the heart of bookish Bloomsbury, with a destination bar and sea-centric restaurant
If Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde and collaborated on a hotel, the end result might have resembled this Grade II-listed landmark on Russell Square. Its central Bloomsbury location would surely have appealed to the former, while its style could have been plucked straight from the latter’s famously flamboyant playbook. The Principal’s 19th-century facade—balconies, copper-tipped turrets, ornamental tiling—oozes Neo-Gothic glamour while common areas, courtesy of a two-year makeover, are equally theatrical, from the moody and marble-paved lobby to the eye-popping ballroom and decadent cocktail bar draped in plush fabrics and Wilde-worthy ostrich plumes. The muted décor of the 334 guest rooms is more restrained but still sumptuous thanks to marble baths, custom beds topped with 300-thread-count linens, and a bevy of original architectural features. Many also feature a curated selection of books—an appropriate perk in this literary neighborhood.
In the Area
Although known for its leafy squares, Bloomsbury is also ground zero for London’s museum buffs and book nerds. After all, it’s anchored by the venerable British Museum and haunted by the ghosts of the literati (most notably Woolf and her Bloomsbury Group buddies). Skoob Books is nirvana for bibliophiles, but if its labyrinthine stacks seem too daunting, Persephone Books, tucked amid other compelling shops on Lamb’s Conduit Street, is a boutique-y alternative. Leaf through your purchase nearby at The Lamb, a classic pub with literary cred (Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were once regulars).
How to Get There
Excellent weekend stay a couple of months ago. The hotel is in a great location and oozes atmosphere. Staff were friendly and helpful. The rooms were large, clean and well equipped. The bar serves some great cocktails and the bar staff were really great.
Well staffed, very clean, very comfortable bed and well located. Took the Tube from Heathrow to Russell Square - the hotel entrance is around the corner. Very near the British National Museum and the John Soane House. We walked to sites and the theater. Daily turndown service and clean towels were appreciated. Breakfast was well presented. Recommended.
Recently stayed 4 nights to celebrate my birthday and to have a few more nights in this beautiful city.
Everything from checkin to checkout was faultless. The hotel is like a palace- beautifully restored in an elegant style- maintaining the best of the old. As we were celebrating my birthday we were upgraded to a junior suite - with all the trimmings- and a special treat on the big day.
The staff were superb- so attentive but never intrusive. Walter, at the front door, made us feel so welcome- like old friends- and the staff at Burr and co. were ready to meet our every need. The chef at the egg station needs special mention as he was only too willing to oblige any request. Everyone we encountered was so friendly and efficient- they appeared to really enjoy their job and were extremely well trained.
The hotel is very centrally located and should be on everybody’s bucket list!
Go ahead and treat yourself!
Stayed at the Kimpton Fitzroy London earlier this month and the staff was helpful and friendly. In particular, Walter at the door was very supportive in getting us cab rides, providing recommendations and directions. For people traveling from out of the country, he made our stay relaxed.
I felt this hotel was way overpriced for what it is. The lobby is beautiful and the location is great so I feel that you are really paying for those features more than anything. The room we had was teeny tiny. Once my husband and I were in the room with our luggage there was barely any room to move. There was a lamp that was awkwardly in front of the door as we entered into the room but there was no other place to put a lamp but it made entering and exiting the room with luggage difficult. The rain shower didn’t work well and just sprayed everywhere so we had to use the handheld shower head which made showering a bit awkward as well. The staff was fine but lacked a certain degree of professionalism I would expect from a 5 star hotel at this price. Overall it was fine but I was not super impressed.