The much-anticipated Principal London has opened its doors today (16 April) following an extensive £85 million restoration project.

Formerly known as the Hotel Russell, the historic building was designed by Charles Fitzroy Doll in 1898 and overlooks Russell Square.

Following the refurbishment, the hotel now features 334 bedrooms and suites, including the two-bedroom Principal suite. Lead designers Tara Bernerd & Partners worked with the in-house team to design the interiors of the rooms.

Eight additional meetings and events spaces on the lower-ground floor will open throughout May and June and will accommodate up to 100 delegates. Meanwhile, the building’s historic Grade II-listed ballroom is set to open in early summer and will feature a private entrance on Bernard Street, as well as double-height ceilings, ornate windows on one wall and a mezzanine gallery. It will hold up to 450 delegates for a reception and 260 banquet style.

The meeting spaces are equipped with audio-visual and IT in line with Principal’s Smart Space concept, as well as up to 1GB super-fast wifi, interactive displays and an on-site team of experts for support.

Food and drink options at the brand’s flagship hotel include Fitz’s cocktail bar, all-day dining at Neptune and Burr & Co coffeehouse and bar.

Paul Walters, general manager of the Principal London, commented: “The restoration of this stunning grande-dame hotel will provide visitors to London – and Londoners themselves – with a new destination that celebrates the splendour of the original hotel but re-imagines luxury for the 21st century. Bloomsbury is one of London’s most inspiring neighbourhoods, and I am convinced that our beautiful hotel will bring a renewed spirit or energy, independence and creativity to the area.”

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