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“Great Find” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa

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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
Ranked #291 of 1,088 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Great Find”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2012

The Rafayel is a jewel of a hotel - the only downside is its location. It suffers in being on the southside of the Thames, making access to the city difficult. Thhe rooms on the Thames are nothing short of amazing- I loved sitting in bed and looking out at the water and the boats go by. The Thames-side rooms are in the front of the hotel- in a separate building that also houses the restaurant. The room we had had everything you could want-a nice large bathroom, a frig, nicely decorated room-and the view! The restaurant, while a limited menue, has one interesting erk-if you are staying here, any 2 or 3 course meal is half price, making it a very good deal. The hotel offers free shuttle to either Clapham Common tube station or Clapham Junction train station and this is fine but you have to book at least a half hour in advance and wait if the car is full. However, the number 170 bus stops literally right in fron of the hotel and goes to Victoria-making the trip into London a piece of cake- I used this frequently.
I think the staff of this hotel is young and still learning- they are friendly and happy to do anything but housekeeping especially, is not as on top of things as one would expect in a 5* hotel. The hotel has followed the European way of having down duvets on all the beds- which is great in winter- not so great in warm weather! I haven't figured out why an eco-friendly hotel would do that considering that the only solution was to lower the temp in the room to freezing temps so one could sleep without lying in a pool of sweat! All in all I liked the hotel but consider the location ann issue.Perhaps when the redevelopment of the area is complete, that won't be an issue.

Room Tip: Pop for the Thames-side roomsv - the noise didn't bother us and the view is worth it!
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Spaniellady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,870 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (421)
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English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012 via mobile

We stayed here as part of our mini moon and I couldn't fault the staff for the service they gave us, we were due to stay two nights but had to cut the visit short and this was no problem for the hotel, very flexible and understanding!!! We visit the spa for treatments which was really nice and good value for money!!! Room was lovely overlooking the river, only one problem though is the music was really loud in the bar below so did ruin our sleep a little! Overall lovely place to stay!!

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
Thank angellm8te
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012 via mobile

We have stayed here 3 times now and would DEFINITELY recommend this hotel. Yes it's off the beaten track but the shuttle service is efficient and the drivers are always friendly and helpful. The staff are warm and welcoming and the rooms are wonderful. We have often been upgraded too! Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and they are always welcoming and friendly. The food in the attached restaurant is delicious and you get 50% discount as a hotel resident. I would say take the knock at being outside of the town centre as the shuttle makes this wonderful 5* hotel well worth the extra effort.

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Sam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spalding, lincolnshire
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

This hotel lived up to the good reviews that I had read. Excellent rooms with luxurious bathrooms and great views over the Thames. Ate in the hotel which was very good value considering the standard of the food and taking into account the 50% discount for guests. The shuttle service provided by the hotel was a great plus and the shuttle driver was an excellent ambassador for the hotel. Would stay there again for sure.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Colin90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire Dales National Park, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

My second visit to this wonderful hotel this year, the staff are gracious, the facilities are excellent, my two standard poodles are made welcome, the river walks and nearby parks are a bonus, we visited battersea park, richmond park, hyde park, regents park, and wimbledon common all within easy reach in minutes. the hotel gym, pools and sauna,s were first class, i especially enjoyed the libarary and computer room. our large room on the ground floor was exceptional, ideal for our dogs, the large bed very comfortable, the shower and toilet facilites excellent, it was like home from home. we intend to visit london again next month and looking forward to staying at the Rafayel.

Room Tip: GO5 is our preference with the two dogs opposite reception, easy access to the hotel exits, excepti...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank anthony v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

Stayed here end of March and were very impressed. The room was top quality aesthetically and comfort-wise. Massive bed, flatscreen tv, aircon, wall-to-ceiling windows - lots you would expect of an expensive room. If you're looking for it there are a couple of little bits not quite 100%, such as carpets not completely fitting, complicated shower setup, etc, but there were only things that a complete jobsworth would pick up on.

Rule No.1 with the rooms in this hotel, make sure it's on the River View side!! Ours was and we had a brilliant panoramic window spanning the Thames. The added bonus (for boys) was a view of the helicopter landing pad. On the other side the rooms have a view of some shops and the road.

Getting there was quite easy, you can either call the hotel to get a courtesy car to pick you up from the station, or you can walk outside and get a bus that stops right outside in 5 minutes.

On check-in it's very much like a boutique hotel, very swish. I think there are two blocks to the hotel as on route to our room we had to cross over the forecourt through to another part of hotel where our room was. I'm guessing these were added on at a later stage.

In terms of location, the hotel is a (medium length) busride away from most places. Not a big deal, particularly as the bus stops right outside the hotel. Plus if you get an all-day travel pass you can go on any tube/train/bus as often as you like.

We ordered food via room service which was OK. Overall, a very nice hotel. You can tell it's been put together over time, but they've made it into a very nice hotel. A combination of location, niggly bits in the room and only ok food take a star away from my rating.

Room Tip: As with a lot of recommendations for this hotel - River view is a must. Also, ring for the courtes...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JCR1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

Stayed here for 2 nights on a business trip.

Overall this hotel is ok. I've stayed in some better 4 star hotels for less money and in better locations. The appearance of the hotel is a little overdone - the blue lights in the reception at night look cheap and the "artwork" is a bit dubious. My room was lovely - larger than average with comfy bed, loads of wardrobe space, a great desk/working area and large bathroom. The rain shower was great, but it would have been nice to have had a bath, espcially given that there was plenty of space for one. The wallpaper was scuffed in places, and the carpet had a few spot stains - I think it's small details like this that let this place down. You would certainly not get scuffed walks in a true 5 star! Although the room itself was great, it was a shame that I looked out into a builders yard and their offices! The light swtiches were strange in the room and it was a nightmare to try and get them all to turn on or off! The towels in the bathroom were thin and smelt stale.

Ther service at this hotel was hopeless. I can't decide whether the receptionist (same one when I checked in and out) was painfully shy or incredibly rude. Either way she is not cut out for front of house! There was no explanation of the hotels services or facilities or directions to find my room. I was handed a key card with a little scrap of paper sticking out with my room number written on it. When I checked out, I wasn't asked how my stay was, and I didn't get a thankyou.

The poor service continued at breakfast. I waited in the queue of 4 people at the reception desk to ask directions to the restaurant and eventually gave up and went for a wander myself. I waited in the restaurant to be seated and was convieniently ignored by all three waiting staff and when I approached one of them to ask for a table (I was in a rush to get to the office), they seemed surprised as if they hadn't walked past me several times while I was waiting! I waited at the table for my order to be taken as I wanted to order from the a la carte breakfast menu. After 10 minutes, I gave up and helped myself to the breakfast buffet, where the choices were pretty average. Eventually I was asked if I wanted tea/coffee. The view from the restaurant was lovely, it was just a shame that the tables and chairs on the terrace outside were still littered with half empty and a couple of broken glasses from a function the night before.

Location of the hotel ok - it's bit of a walk to/from Clapham junction station, but I quite enjoyed that. Really handy for getting to my office in Vauxhall.

I had a decent couple of nights sleep here, but in general feel that the hotel overpromised and under-delivered. If they work on the service and the details, then this could be a great hotel. I don't think I'd bother staying again though - there are better 4 star hotels in more central areas that I would prefer to stay at.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank monty69Edinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malcolm_Bass, Manager at Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 25 April 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your review. The policy of our hotel is very clear. Unlike other hotels where reviews are considered as a bane, and usually not properly responded to from day one, we have made a hotel policy to answer every negative review.

Lighting: You don’t have to go too far for lighting. Please Google search “Rafayel lighting” and you will see Rafayel lighting has Philips International video specially made on our lighting, case study by Community Lighting Philips International, case study on lighting by Architainment Lighting and many such articles. This has been properly designed. You may have a different taste but that’s a fact.

Bath/showers: Some rooms have rain showers and others have a bath. We are an ecofriendly hotel and have tried our best to have a balanced count of baths and showers in the rooms. 17 rooms contain baths while others have rain showers (Rain showers have both body and telephonic shower). You were upgraded from Mississippi Room (with bath) and were given the bigger Amazon room of 280 sq. ft. (that had a shower) as a gesture of corporate goodwill. We do accept it was our mistake to upgrade you to a larger room that lacked a bath.

We have investigated room 118, where you stayed, and have not discovered any apparent problems on the wallpaper. As far as spots are concerned, the room is carpeted in light grey so stains are inevitable, but we do have assigned people whose duty is to attack and clean these stains regularly with all possible ecofriendly cleaning agents. We try our best and regret that we disappointed you here. We will continue to work hard at removing stains from the carpets.

The Receptionist you refer to has been an employee with us for over 14 months. She is a highly professional individual and performs her duties well. It is standard procedure to inform every guest on arrival of all the facilities and special discounts and offers we have at the hotel, breakfast, spa and the restaurant.

We checked your arrival on CCTV and talked to the Reception. Yes there were guests queued in front of you but this is a normal thing. Your check in and check out procedures took approximately 3 minutes each time. We didn’t find any untoward delays accorded to you by our staff. Please appreciate we are a small hotel with nearly 80 full time and part time employees.

As for your breakfast experience, we have interviewed all three staff at breakfast. Yes, on Friday morning, there were a huge number of people at breakfast and we are sorry if you feel that you were neglected. Our staff are all experienced and are continuously prodded by us not to make any mistakes, but we were not satisfied with their explanations and have reprimanded them accordingly.

We are sorry you were not happy with the breakfast menu, but kindly look at our range on our blog. We serve eggs prepared to order and a full range of breads/croissants, fruit and fruit salads, yoghurts, cheese and meats. All for £9.95. Since TripAdvisor policy disallows posting links here, kindly visit our site to see the photos with details. If this is not enough, then we apologise.

On your comments on towels, we are very conscious of our linen and towels. Our towels are of good quality (450-550gms) and we wash them individually and not in mass laundry bundles. This is done to maintain quality control. Our housekeeping keeps a diligent eye on this. However, we are sorry they did not meet your high level of expectations.

Thank you for your appreciating our other points. We hope to welcome you again at the Hotel Rafayel for a better experience.

Kind Regards
The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa

Property: Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
Address: 34 Lombard Road | Falcon Wharf, London SW11 3RF, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > London > Clapham / Battersea 
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#56 Spa Hotel in London
#71 Business Hotel in London
#212 Luxury Hotel in London
#227 Family Hotel in London
#263 Romantic Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rafayel on the Left Bank boasts 70 designer "smart" rooms, champagne bar, riverside restaurant and conference facilities, exhibition spaces as well as the latest spa and beauty treatments and gym. Rafayel is one of the world's most advanced luxury green hotels and proves that hotels can dramatically reduce their carbon emission output without compromising on five-star luxury, quality or comfort. Located on the River Thames at the heart of London's most dynamic riverside development, with sweeping views across to Chelsea Harbour, Rafayel is minutes from the shopping areas of Sloane Square and Knightsbridge and is close to Victoria Station and London's major attractions. Rafayel provides a free shuttle service to and from Clapham Junction and Clapham Common on Northern line every 30 minutes from 7.30 AM to 10.30 PM. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel And Spa
Rafayel On The Left Bank Hotel London

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