Our trip was a combination of business (meet with prospective client in the City on Friday) and leisure (attend a wedding at Dulwich College on Saturday).
We choose the south bank location because of the near proximity to Dulwich College in comparison to most hotels being located north of the river. The building in itself was quite impressive, though the hotel only seems to occupy the first 2 floors. It's bang next to the Thames and provides some nice views (we had room 203 which has a partial view over the river towards Chelsea Harbour). The Heliport nearby wasn't too noisy and provided some alternative entertainment.
Upon arrival, "valet parking" took care of our vehicle and at £15/night a steal compared to NCP car parks elsewhere in the city.
The lobby was nicely furnished and reception staff were most helpful; check in was very smooth wasn't it for the fact that my card got declined because of fraudulent use... a tad embarrassing!
Though help was offered to take our luggage to our room, we decided to do so ourselves. The corridors once again were nicely decorated and quite wide compared to other hotels. Access to the room was via "swipe your card"... a nice high tech feature. The same continued inside the room: air conditioning using an iPod style touch mechanism (- left, + right).
Space wise it wasn't too bad with a large entrance hall and fairly big bathroom (double shower!), the bed and desk area felt a bit cramped. Top to bottom windows provided plenty of light. The room provided internet (didn't use), free Wi-Fi and a decent mini-bar.
As said a fairly big bathroom with a double shower (with pressure point, overhead or hand-held showers). Towels were very soft and fluffy.
We didn't have the opportunity to enjoy any of the on-site eateries, though my business contacts ensured me they are worth considering.
Whilst the concierge service on site was excellent and provided us with everything we needed (we forgot tooth paste); the free shuttle service to the nearest underground station (Clapham Common) wasn't all free sailing: on the way back we called to request a pick up and after a nearly an hour of waiting we called again to hear they "forgot". Fair enough they told us to hail a cab and suggested for them to settle the fare. As much as the wait was annoying, I can't fault their willingness to resolve the matter.
All in all, Hotel Rafayel, delivered beyond expectations and we would certainly consider coming back here.
What I can't understand: the full name is "Hotel Rafayel on the left bank", yet if my geography doesn't let me down I'm sure the hotel is actually located on the right bank, no?! (ie. on left hand side as observed whilst facing downstream... so Chelsea is on left bank, Battersea on right bank)... anyway, just a trivial matter.
- 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 London
- Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel And Spa