The Principal London
|The Principal London|
|Location||Russell Square, London, UK|
|Management||Principal Hotel Company|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Charles Fitzroy Doll|
|Number of rooms||373|
The Principal London, formerly known as Hotel Russell, is a five-star hotel, located on Russell Square, Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden, owned and operated by the Principal Hotel Company. It was built in 1898 by the architect Charles Fitzroy Doll. It is distinctively clad in decorative thé-au-lait ("tea with milk") terracotta and was based on the Château de Madrid on the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Its restaurant, which was named after the architect but has since been renamed Tempus, is said to be almost identical to the RMS Titanic's dining room which he also designed. Also in the hotel is ‘Lucky George’, a bronze dragon on the second floor stairs. An identical copy was on the Titanic.
Known for its palatial design, the hotel's fixtures and fittings included £25,000 worth of furniture, an ornate Pyrenean marble staircase and an interior sunken garden. Each room was fitted with an en-suite bathroom, a great innovation at the time. A sister hotel by the same architect, the Imperial Hotel, was also built on Russell Square, but was demolished in the late 1960s.
The life-size statues of four British Queens above the main entrance were the work of the sculptor Henry Charles Fehr. The hotel's four suites are named after them: Victoria, Elizabeth, Anne and Mary.
The hotel was one of the few that were not taken over by the War Office during the Second World War. It survived the war largely intact, but the magnificent dome that stood on the roof was badly damaged in an air raid of 1941 and not replaced.
The Russell Group Universities is named after Hotel Russell, where the first informal meetings took place.
The hotel is currently closed, and is expected to reopen in the autumn of 2017.
Statues of British Queens on the Hotel Russell by Henry Charles Fehr
- Official Website
- History of the Hotel Russell
- "Hotel Russell, Russell Square London". waymarking.com. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Media related to The Principal London at Wikimedia Commons
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