You will definitely not experience a stay like this closer into London for the price of a room at Rafayel.
We stayed on February 1st in an Amazon room as a birthday treat for my partner. Arrival is made special by being able to park right outside the main doors to the rear, then a concierge guides you to the underground parking, which cost us £15 for the night. Reception is magnificent and my partner suspiciously began to question how much I'd paid for the night (always a good sign)! Checking in was smooth, it wasn't at all busy there and staff were friendly and happy to help with any information we asked for.
The same concierge showed us to our room, very attentive and polite. Synthetic rose petals had been laid on the bed before we arrived and a birthday card left for my partner, all on my request and she loved it. The room is very big, with a super comfortable queen sized bed, a couch, desk and floor to ceiling windows. The only downside was that our room overlooked the road at the front of the hotel but I did know that in advance; I think it would have cost the same to have a smaller room (Yangtze room) partly overlooking the Thames but I opted for the space instead. A large room with a Thames view was more.
The bathroom is absolute luxury. There was literally enough room to swing several cats in there. You could probably hold a small party in there. A deep bath with TV screen in the wall above one end, a large separate shower with overhead shower and jets facing you, and instructions hanging on the outside of the glass just in case all the knobs leave you slightly confused. We could switch between full lighting and small blue-ish strip lighting on either side of the mirrored wall. Towels are soft and the most important feature of any hotel room: the whole place was IMMACULATE. Not a speck of dust anywhere.
The room seemed to be sound-proofed because we didn't hear a single sound during our whole time in there. There was an ipod dock and some other fan-dangle machinery on the desk which we managed to hook up to our phones to play music through speakers in the ceiling. The room temperature control was digital and really easy to use, it began at 22 degrees which perhaps could have been too warm if we'd stayed later in the year, but we switched between that and 28 degrees accordingly.
If you stay here, do go up to the roof terrace which is open until 11pm I believe. It faces the Thames and is not too high, was beautifully lit and if it hadn't been winter would probably have made a really nice place to chill out, night or day.
We had a peek at the jacuzzi and pool, both very small and too cosy for more than one couple at a time, but it was beautiful and also empty at 7pm, we would have tried it had we brought our costumes.
Leaving the hotel for the evening meant catching a minicab into town (around £15 to Covent Garden) but I've read the hotel offers a ride to Clapham Common or Clapham Junction station every half an hour until 10pm. Arriving back in around midnight we didn't bump into a single other guest and decided to roam the lobby and hallways on each floor for a bit of a nose around. There is space galore in this hotel, and lovely touches like a lounge area on the second floor; we found two massage chairs which unfortunately we couldn't get to work but that could have been the alcohol's fault...
Breakfast was included and we called reception 15 minutes before breakfast stopped being served and asked if it was still possible to eat. They were happy for us to go down but the last guests were leaving and staff had begun putting the buffet away, however a friendly staff member mentioned that we could order from the menu. I had scrambled egg with smoked salmon and it was wonderful, but would have left me hungry if I hadn't grabbed a few bits from the buffet table before they whisked it all away. If you don't have breakfast included, the menu will set you back a fair amount, I think my choice would have been nearly £8 but considering the service, quality of food and the surroundings, still worth it depending on your budget. Also, we were charged in the end for the tea and coffee we had, which I thought should have been included in the breakfast, but not complaining, excellent value overall. The restaurant overlooks the Thames and there is quite a tranquil feel there, asides from a number of joggers running past outside who look as though it might be their regular Sunday morning route.
Before we left we had a quick look around the other rooms as one or two were left open for cleaning I assume. We spotted a small dark room with no view really, still decorated to a high standard but probably more suitable for lone travellers (Mississippi room maybe?).
Checking out was fine and quick, again we were showed back to our car by the concierge.
All in all the best hotel I've ever been to and cheaper than many of those! We will absolutely be returning and hope to try out a river-facing room next time. Thanks to all staff at rafayel for making our stay so special.
- 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