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The Royal National Hotel, London. Review.

4 Jul 2009 Kitty Kat said

Kitty Kat
I was not impressed by The Royal National Hotel at all. <BR>First of all, through my travel agent, I booked to stay two nights before my tour. After I had confirmed and paid, however, my flight changed and instead of arriving at 2pm on the Sunday I was to arrive at 6am. As I'd already paid for the two nights my agent let the hotel know that I would be arriving at approximately 7am on the Monday and would like to go to my room at that time [hey, I'd paid for night - I had a right to use it. <BR>When I got there, after 23 hours of flying, not to mention customs, stopovers and an hour on the tube, I arrived, pulled out my voucher book and was rudely told that to go to the contiki basement - which opens at nine.<BR><BR>So after lugging my case and backpack down those horrible narrow stairs and waiting in the freezing cold until 9am, I was told by contiki staff that I had to check0in upstairs [no complaints about the staff - it wasn't their fault I was sent to them.<BR>So back up to the hotel counter, where once again, the staff were rude, telling me that check-in was not until 2pm.<BR>I had to explain multiple times, to a number of different people about my situation - all the while trying to be polite when I was jet-lagged, had a headache and had already waiting 2 hours after they fobbed me off the first time. Not even showing them my vouchers proving I'd paid for two nights worked. Eventually a manager of sorts let me check in. <BR>I was then sent to the concierge desk across the foyer to collect my key [card]. Again I had to argue about my check-in time, the man told me I couldn't have my key until 2pm. Eventually though, I got my key. <BR>When I asked how to get to my room, the concierge rudely waved in a direction, which I later found out was the complete opposite of where my room was. No proper direction to the lift etc. Boy those rooms are hard to find - the room numbers don't go in a sensible order.<BR>Finally, I get to my room which already has someone in it - I get that I paid for a twin room and that I might be sharing with someone at some stage - but not once did any of the check in staff inform me that there was indeed someone in the room already. <BR>All in all I know that this is a convenient place to stay for contiki people, but at 70 pounds/night it is absolutely not worth it. I would never stay there again, nor would I recommend it to any of my friends.<BR>I really thought the 14pound/night backpackers down the road was far better - and that was with having to go to the basement to shower.
  • Read the responses 10 responses so far
  • 4 Jul 2009 Leon90 said


    Wow, I’m sorry to hear that, I will be in the County Hotel and a Hostel also, are the directions from the Airports to the Royal National Hotel, still accurate??? do you have facebook?

  • 7 Jul 2009 Kitty Kat said

    Kitty Kat

    Yeah the place is easy to find. Tube from the airport to Russel Square station and around the corner. And take the advice of many fellow travellers and DON’T take the stairs at the tube station – wait for the lift Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 7 Jul 2009 Kitty Kat said

    Kitty Kat

    Yes, I do have facebook.

  • 13 Jul 2009 Explorer1133029 said


    Kitty Kat- When I booked to stay at the Royal National Hotel in London it was mentioned and noted that they do NOT accept check-in before 2pm, and this is the case with sooooo many travellers, and would have seen heaps of people chilling out on the couches etc etc.

    Although the Royal National is not the most amazing place to stay, for how much you are paying and only using it to crash before and after the tour, I wouldnt think ppl should expect much.

    I was quite impressed with the RN, although I had many troubles with the key access card and bits n pieces, they were able to let me borrow adaptors and help out with dot-to-dot service etc.

  • 14 Jul 2009 Kitty Kat said

    Kitty Kat

    I work in a hotel, I know the deal with check-in times – the thing is I had ALREADY paid for the previous night therefore I should have been able to check-in anytime after 2pm the PREVIOUS day bacause I had bought the room for two consecutive nights – you could say I was checking in late not early. If you pay for two nights you don’t sleep at night and vacate the room during the day – you’re entitled to it from check-in day 1 to check out day 3.
    And as for expecting too much for the price, regardless of how much you pay for a room I would expect the staff to at least be polite & helpful.

  • 16 Aug 2009 said


    Kitty Kat, I’m going to be there at the RN from September 18th to 20th, which is when my tour starts. I haven’t paid for the hotel yet, and I just need a place to crash for the night, so would you recommend any backpackers places close by to stay at instead of thr RN? I need it to be close enough to the RN so that I can make it to the start of the tour at 6 am.

  • 16 Aug 2009 Kitty Kat said

    Kitty Kat

    Well I stayed at “smart Russell Square” backpackers behind Russel square station for the two weeks I was in London after my tour – they were fine and only 14pounds/night at the time. It’s only just around the corner from TRN, about 3 minutes walk. Not that I’d reccommend TRN, but I suppose if you don’t mind paying 75pounds for a crappy room and you get there after 2pm you should be right. I’d still go the backpackers though – and I’m not really a backpacker type person. Even ifyou are getting into London early they will store your bags in a locked room for you, and they have a pretty good kitchen/lounge area

  • 19 Sep 2009 Twisty said


    Another local hostel thats pretty good is The Generator. Its a 5-10min walk from the royal national but quite worth it. Its a bunk bed style hostel set back off the road and has a very cool atmosphere.

    2 pound drinks during happy hour, for any kind of drink you want (beers, cocktails, shots).

    As for the royal national, i stayed there after my tour and didnt have any problems at all. The food in the pub downstairs was awesome! Best chicken kievs ever!!

  • 24 Sep 2009 aymeh! said


    I personally would definitely try and book into a hostel…generator or smart russell square…TRN is convenient but definitely not reasonable in price.
    I stayed here for 2 nights before my tour and 1 night after…the 2 nights before were good but the room on the last night before i flew home was filthy. had not been cleaned when we checked in and and even had a used tampon on the side of the shower/bath and hair all through the room.
    Smart russell square hostel is cheap and from what ive heard fantastic…i havent stayed here yet but it is right behind the train station and is literally 2 minutes to TRN so its not hard to get there on you departure morning!

  • 25 Sep 2009 Hunz said


    Hi Kitty Kat,
    we were going to stay at the TRN, but i thought the price that the travel agent had quoted us was too expensive for 1 night pre and three nights post. It was going to cost us $720 AUD each…

    So i found accommodation myself which is gonna cost us roughly $500 AUD for the both of us. We’ll be staying at The Generator, which i’ve heard great reviews about.

    Hopefully we won’t have any troubles there…fingers crossed…

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