Very Good 456 Reviews
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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


  •  Bar
  •  Concierge
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pet-friendly
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.


Grande dame turned glamour girl in the heart of bookish Bloomsbury, with a destination bar and sea-centric restaurant

The Lowdown

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

The Principal London
1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury
London, WC1B 5BE United Kingdom