Russell hotel sadly declining
I have stayed at this hotel for probably 5-6 times over six years, for periods of 4-7 days at a time, while it has been owned by different companies. the location is great, the rooms are quiet and comfortable (although dimly lit, as is the custom these days). the rooms are a bit small; just large enough perhaps. each stay, the service at breakfast has declined - not the food, which is great, just the service. this stay i had to complain to the hotel manager, who seemed to think i was complaining about one particular day, and he responded that they had had staff shortages that morning. well, perhaps, but it was more than one day's problems. salt and pepper have gone completely missing from tables, and are sometimes available on the food line, sometimes not. (you have to go behind the serving line to find a bowl of salt or a three-foot pepper grinder then.) one day i had to wait 15 minutes for tea, 25 for toast (when it arrived i had finished eating). a teacup with tea in it was removed while i went for food. sugar bowls on the tables in many cases have no white sugar, just alternatives, and the best way to get white sugar is to swap with a table which has some (you can't necessairly bring some from the bowl in your room, as my room had the same problem as the breakfast room.) it is difficult to converse with wait staff as they speak very poor english, and the best way to get someone to acknowledge your problem is to stand up and try to block their way as they move with their heads down to avoid eye contact. there is more emphasis on removing used dishes than bringing people things. i will be looking stongly at the other hotels within a block or so for my next visit as i hate to start my day upset. if you can overlook the service problems, this hotel is still a great choice.