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
The attention to detail in this hotel is amazing. The room I was in for 2 nights was spotless and immaculate. Room service was good and the gym well appointed with bottles of water to hand.
I highly recommend this place for both the hotel and it’s location, I’ll definitely be staying again!
I had stayed twice before at the what used to be the Principal London but was not able to do so in my 2017 visit as it was under major rehabilitation. With the renovations now fully complete I was not sure what to expect as I rather liked the old world, slightly decayed feel of the hotel on my previous stays. Thankfully, the elegance of the grande old dame has been beautifully preserved and polished in what is now the Kimpton Fitzroy. The place looked wonderful and I was very satisfied with my room which, as a small single without a view of Russell Square Park, was actually quite reasonably priced for central London in a hotel of this standard. The staff provided excellent, personalised service and were extremely accommodating and knowledgeable. At first glace I wasn't so sure about the new very fancy looking restaurant as I really liked the previous breakfast set up of a more simple dining hall with a traditional full English-style buffet. But the à la carte breakfast items were so sumptuous, the service so prompt and the waiters so friendly and solicitous that I wouldn't have thought of going anywhere else. The dinner menu and service were equally good and I was pleased to invite a local friend for cocktails and an evening meal. Best of all for me was that that while it has been upgraded the hotel has been able to provide such great services without becoming pretentious or grossly over-priced. Looking forward to my next visit to London.
This is a beautiful facility in a great location. Staff is superb. Eating/drinking options at the hotel are first rate. Only complaint was the size of my bathroom. It was so small, that all moves have to be thought out and choreographed. I was on a business trip traveling alone so I take things as they come. If I were traveling with my spouse, it would have been a different story.
Had a short break in London and what a great hotel to stay at. Beautiful rooms and helpful staff made the stay a treat. It is also brilliantly situated to explore central London. Don’t for get to say hello to Lucky George the Dragon. Will definitely be back.
What a stunning architectural building that has just recently been entirely refurbished from top to toe, restoring it to its former glory; it’s spectacular both inside & out & the attention to detail is highly impressive.
The Public areas are gorgeous & beautifully appointed throughout but equally very different, creating very unique & alternative vibes & ambiences; whether it’s Fitz Bar for the best cocktails & pre-dinner drinks or Palm Court for a stunning afternoon tea, but everywhere has been beautifully refurbished & it still has that super-fresh, brand-spank feel about it & there’s definitely something to suit every taste & age group all under one roof!
The bedrooms are generally small, compact & bijoux; the upgraded deluxe are slightly bigger, but not much; but they are all gorgeously appointed, crisp linens, big fluffy towels & just really stylish & indulgent.
Overall the customer service is generally very very good, very attentive & there’s a really great Team, with some very sincere Members of the Team, for whom nothing is too much trouble.
I have been especially impressed with Concierge, Sean whom upon my most recent visit, I’ve sadly learned has since jumped ship to Knightsbridge’s Mandarin Oriental; but thank you Sean for all your help & service, you were amazing & you will be missed.
Particular thanks & recognition Sean for the stunning recommendations to nearby Italian gems, Caffe Tropea, located in the park opposite & Maceallaio in Fitzrovia, a short walk through the University; highly recommend both establishments if staying at the Kimpton Fitzroy, they are both exceptional but very different in style.
Please see separate reviews for each.
Jeffrey at the Fitzroy is an equally impressive Concierge contact; the service Jeffrey extends to Customers is consistently excellent & his knowledge & advice for local-finds is second to none.
Thank you Jeffrey, your assistance & interaction was greatly appreciated & your command of the English language is faultless & we will be sure to undertake your recommendations within your native-land, The Netherlands.
Finally, other notable Staff Superstars, have to be Stephanie Harrison, event planner Extraordinaire, whom is the most personable, professional, proficient & charming Lady; full of ideas & very easy to do business with & whom we highly recommend for all your event needs.
Equally, Bogda & Natalie from the hospitality Teams provided consistently outstanding customer service & both are also so very personable & professional & couldn’t have been kinder or more caring.
We highly recommend the Hotel for food, drinks, afternoon teas, luncheons, dinners, stays & events; essentially the Kimpton Fitzroy really is knocking the ball out the park in every respect.