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“Hotel Rafayel, a good 3* definitely not a 5* hotel”

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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
Ranked #317 of 1,067 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Hotel Rafayel, a good 3* definitely not a 5* hotel”
Reviewed 5 December 2013

We stayed at Hotel Rafayel last night for our pre-Xmas treat. Previous reviewers have mentioned it's inaccessibility and it has to be said it's not in the best area for public transport but the hotel does run a 5 seat shuttle bus, Transport for London bus number 170 runs from outside to both Victoria & Clapham Junction & as a guide, a black cab from Clapham Junction to the hotel cost £6. So it's not a deal breaker.

First impressions are reasonably good. We started off in a Thames Room which looked to be finished to a high standard and the view was amazing. Sadly, we had a massive problem with the shower which was faulty & we were moved to an apartment, the only accommodation vacant on the night. The apartment, whilst fine, was not of the standard of the room which we'd actually booked and really wanted to spend our night in. We also ended up having an issue with a broken base in the bed in the middle of the night! Clearly we were not meant to be there.

We spent a couple of hours in the Crystal Bar where I ate a starter & main course, both of which were perfectly fine &, with a 50% discount, very reasonable. They didn't add up to 5* dining though, no matter how charitable you may be. And the bar, whilst attractive, is small & lacks any sort of ambience. I imagine though that on a sunny afternoon/evening it would feel entirely different as it looks directly onto the Thames.

We spoke directly to the staff about our issues within the rooms & came to a very satisfactory agreement. Throughout our stay we commented on the fact that whilst the hotel itself is much more like a good 3*, the staff that we dealt with gave 5* service which made all the difference.

Bearing in mind the price of a room at the Hotel Rafayel [which is good for London] and as long as you remember that it's not a 5* hotel, it offers good value for money.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MogirlLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Basingstoke
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2013

This is the second time that myself and my boyfriend had stayed at the Rafayel on the Left Bank and we were yet again thoroughly impressed. We stayed in an Amazon Room and it was both spacious and comfortable.

Unfortunately this time due to a tight schedule, we were unable to eat at the restaurant Banyan, however it is truly fantastic and we would highly recommend it from the last time that we stayed. Their curries and lobster ravioli were to die for, along with the cocktails!

The staff are always pleasant and welcoming and were quick to ask if we wanted any help with our luggage. There is also a valet parking service which we have used every time and is worth the extra charge as you do not have to worry about your car!

When I booked I asked for a late checkout and was told that this could be granted, however when we checked in we were told this would be at a charge of £20 per hour. This was a little disappointing as we were not told this on the phone but they redeemed themselves by offering us an hour complimentary.

Thank you again for a lovely stay and we can't wait to come back next time - and to stay for longer!!

Room Tip: The rooms on the 3rd floor are slightly more noisy as they are next to the spa and gym, however idea...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank natmoraviec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 December 2013 via mobile

We booked this hotel after reading good reviews on here so we thought we'd give it a try.. On arrival we were greeted by a nice person on reception, it was just a shame we could barely understand what she was saying which was frustrating. We were excited to see our room as it was branded as 5* star quality; straight away we were quite disappointed with the features of the room. The bed was very small but claimed to be a king size on the website.. maybe it is for midgets...? The lack of lighting in the rooms also must be to hide the splatters we found of a drink on the side table from the previous guests plus dust that hadn't been cleaned away. I then found some rather botched DIY work in one of the cupboards.. Scratches on the door? not what you should be finding in a luxury 5*star hotel?! We dined in the restaurant which was also distinctly average. It was a 50% off deal with 2 courses from the a la carte menu. There is no way we would have paid the full price £20 each for a curry based on the flavour and presentation. Those kind of prices I'd expect to pay at Gordon Ramsays restaurant, and this certainly was not it. The bruschetta to start with was nothing to write home about either. Staff were less than friendly in the restaurant, and again we struggled to understand accents.

On checkout we found it quite alarming that one of the staff was listening to every word we said to the girl on reception. We guessed this must have been the manager witnessing the conversation as I've noticed they do like an argument on here regarding people's reviews. We were asked how the stay was and didn't feel comfortable in feeding back our disappointment due to the presence of the manager lurking in the background. Maybe the hotel should take the comments off tripadvisor on board rather than arguing back with customers if they want to keep them.

Location is not ideal if you are travelling by tube as it is a 45 minute walk from clapham common. They do a shuttle service however there is only 5 seats and runs every half hour requiring you to ring in advance. London is a busy place to be in and after a long day it's nice to get back to the hotel quickly.

All in all this is definitely not a 5 star hotel if you are expecting it to be of that standard.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malcolm_Bass, Director at Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 7 December 2013
Dear Guest


Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor.


We have always acknowledged our shortcomings on this site but also in course highlighted our strengths, and use this space to let our customers know our side of the story. We have been one of the most reviewed places as we encourage it, and subject ourselves to the rigours of public opinion.


Firstly we would like to respond to your comments of our staff. When staffing, we believe in giving equal opportunities. We have over 20 nationalities working for us and spoken English is an essential criterion for employment. We accept the limited language skills of some of our staff, but they do speak English, which is a must to work in any hotel. However their accents differ and maybe you were not impressed the way they tried to communicate. With reviews in excess of 1000 our service is categorised above 4 stars in this forum.


With regard to the comment about our bedrooms, we keep repeating ourselves that there are 5 room categories of rooms which you could have chosen from. All our rooms are equipped with Hypnos beds sized adequately to the category of rooms. They have state of the art Daikin air conditioning which is noiseless and our bathrooms are fitted with Bristan rain showers with more pressure of water but less consumption. A unique Philips-designed lighting scheme which works on sensors in the night, with energy saving light bulbs fitted throughout the hotel. Free high speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel as well. We have a maintenance team working day and night, to ensure the property is maintained to the highest standards.


Our Banyan restaurant is renowned for its food and services and we think your view about food is not fair either. We have over 2500 reviews on various websites and forums rating us averaging over 90% positive. We have maintained the prices and the discounts in our restaurant for the past four years and have had many renowned chefs from around the world, who have tasted our food, and had nothing but compliments about the food and the service received from our staff.


We are very surprised that you found it disturbing to find a manager behind the reception counter, as we would have expected you to have been glad to see one as this would have given you the opportunity to voice your dissatisfaction there and then for our immediate attention. We never try to create a false impression of being the best, but certainly focus on ways and means to maximize guest’s comfort and experience. More than 70% of our clients are repeat guests over the past four years which is an indication of the quality of our establishment and staff.


As far as our location is concerned, we never fail to highlight that we are located in Battersea and guests who come to ‘Rafayel’ make an informed decision in choosing our hotel. We have tried to address and mitigate the inconvenience insofar as possible, by providing a free shuttle service. About the free shuttle, it would be worthy to note that we are the only hotel to provide this service. We have never heard of any of our guests walking to the hotel from Clapham Common. You are probably the first guest to do so. However, had you called the hotel, our complimentary shuttle which operates every half hour could have easily picked you up from the Clapham Common station. Further, the bus (170) stops right outside the hotel, which operates between Clapham Junction and Victoria and is a very convenient connection to Central London. In fact, most guests are surprised how easy and quick it is to get to Victoria from the hotel.


Thank you for staying with us and we look forward to welcoming you back to our hotel on another occasion.


Kind Regards
The Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
45 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

We stayed for one night in late September 2013 and overall had a very pleasant stay.
Our booking was for one night after a long flight from Asia. The hotel was chosen because of it's proximity to our new flat, which we were to move into the next morning.

The hotel is located in a somewhat non descript building, right on the river. Unfortunately not much to do around the hotel, but there are limited dining/bar options in the hotel complex.
Staff on check in were extremely friendly ad helpful. The enormous amounts of luggage we had with us were taken care of with smiles and immediate attention.

We got upgraded to a one bedroom suite, which was much appreciated. The suite was very large with a living, dining and sleeping area. The bathroom was enormous and had a very large spa tub and the most amazing rain shower. The room was modern and very comfortable. My only quibble would be that it was quite dark in the room, even with all lights switched on. I guess it makes for a romantic time if lights are dim, but we would have liked a bit more light. (first world problem I suppose)

We did not eat in the hotel. We only had drinks and found the stuff helpful if not overly friendly. Morning coffee from the bar was delicious.

Checkout again was done super efficient, very friendly indeed and the mountain of luggage was not an issue again.

Our only complaint would be the car service that we asked the hotel to help us with. We needed to move to our new flat in the morning and asked for a van to be booked. The hotel booked it for us and the service was provided without problems. We just found the charge that was quoted to be too high. It also had to be paid in cash to the driver and could not be put on the bill.
The local minicab company quotes half price for this service in the same car type. This upset me a little and ended the very enjoyable stay on a slightly sour note.

We would not really stay there again as this is now in our neighbourhood, but would have no problem recommending the hotel to friends that wish to stay in a hotel nearby.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank malbkk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2013

This hotel is very good although it is not as great as the majority of 5* hotels I have visited in London. I would have rather given it a 3.5 out of 5 rather than a 3, but 4 would have been too high an option.

The room we booked was upgraded complimentary which was great and we were put into a suite (I think the Nile room, number 104). We were, however, put on the 1st floor and I had originally requested a higher level so we were very close to cars/pedestrians walking along and felt a lack of privacy. I did not complain though, as we had been upgraded into a bigger room.

We noticed an anniversary card in the room which was interesting as it was not our anniversary but it made us laugh if anything! :)

The room was for the most part clean however I noticed that when the mirror steamed up in the bathroom it had not been cleaned as I could see "Happy 21st" had been written on it by the last guest - it just made me a bit worried about what else might have not been cleaned... :(

The cushions on the sofa in the living room part of the room need to be changed; the leather was really worn in places.

A part of the carpet was coming loose where the room goes from the entrance into the main bedroom. Nothing major but a long thread was coming out and you just don't see this in 5 star hotels in London.

We ordered breakfast to the room both mornings we were there and this came promptly and was very nice although the toast was cold but again, a minor issue. The dinner we ordered to the room on Saturday evening was really good but the chips were cold - I know there's only so much you can do to keep food warm on its way up from the kitchen to a room but it just annoyed me as it's supposed to be a 5 star luxury hotel and the temperature of the food made me think it'd been waiting to be taken up for more than a couple of minutes.

TV remote was quite worn out - again a really minor gripe because it's 'just a tv remote' but a replacement wouldn't go amiss as it was clear it was an old remote and had been used by lots and lots of people.

The jacuzzi in the bathroom was fun! And the bed was really, really comfy so we loved that aspect. The iPod speaker was a good addition to the room although the quality of the sound was not very good - again, minor.

Overall a nice stay and we would return, but I would have liked the hotel to pay closer attention to some of the details mentioned in this post.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GLCHAPMAN1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

Arrived here last night (29th November 2013) very nice hotel very clean and tidy with very modern deco, checked into a superior with a view of the Thames. When we booked up with lastminute.com they said it would have a queen size bed and sent an email telling them we were coming down for my birthday and would like a cake a bottle of wine or some flowers in our room, I have a print out of the confirmation with all these details on.when we saw the room it was very modern with a huge bathroom with a shower big enough for 2 people. The actual room was very small with just a double bed and no wine,cake or flowers in the room. They did have a smart t.v and overall it was very very clean. The small bed didn't bother us because when we lay on it to try it out it was very comfy. We quickly got changed and went down to the restaurant as we had a table booked for 8pm, I was very excited for the meal but when I looked at the menu there wasn't actually that much to choose from which was disappointing. The staff were very nice and friendly and we seen a helicopter landing right outside which was fascinating. The food was cooked very fast and was ok not a lot of flavour, I expected more flavour as the food was presented lovely. The main course come out about 8 minutes after the starter once again not much flavour but presented beautifully once again disappointing especially as it cost £32 for a steak. When we asked for the bill it came to £133 but they had a 50% discount offer on so it was only £66.50 which was good. When we got back to our room about 9 there was a party going on upstairs and the music was very very very load. We rung reception an they told us the party would be on until 11 so if we wanted they would move us to one of the apartments. When we got to the apartment all I could as was wow. 2 floors a lounge a kitchen dinning area a massive balcony with excellent views of the city and on the next floor 2 bedrooms 1 ensuit and a family bathroom and another balcony ( huge) with amazing views.once again very very clean I was a happy birthday girl. Today we took the free shuttle service to the tub which is actually a private car that u have to pre book an hour before hand which I think is a great touch from a great hotel. I would defiantly visit the hotel again but I expected more from the restaurant so wouldn't be going back to the restaurant but overall a very modern clean friendly hotel.

Room Tip: Plan your visit as it is abit out of the way it took us about 40 minutes from kings cross on the tub...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stacey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2013

The staff were brilliant, very helpful and accommodating.

The room was amazing, wonderful view of the Thames and very comfortable.

The spa was, as usual, an amazing feature and extremely relaxing.

The hotel bar and restaurant was great, wonderful flavours and excellent service.

All round this is a wonderful place that will make you feel at home.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#58 Spa Hotel in London
#71 Business Hotel in London
#227 Family Hotel in London
#230 Luxury 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 London
Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel And Spa

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