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“The worst 5 star hotel I have ever stayed in.”

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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
Ranked #320 of 1,067 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Sheffield, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The worst 5 star hotel I have ever stayed in.”
Reviewed 12 March 2014

This Hotel should never be a 4 star never mind a 5 star .My family went to London for New year break and this hotel totally spoilt our stay in |London.The service was terrible in every area.
Ask for a glass in the bar to go with a bottle of wine we ordered that took 15 mins after the bottle arrived.Order a beer 20 mins later you would have to go and ask at the bar again.The rooms were very dark you couldnt see properly in the rooms we had three rooms and they were all the same.The noise was terrible every little car noise from the street could be heard and we could also hear peoples conversations walking past god knows what the double glazing is made from.We paid a very high premium for the rooms as we were staying new year and it was the worst experience in a hotel I have had.I travel all over the world and was still amazed at how bad it was for a so called 5 star hotel.We arrived and there was no conciege or anyone to help with our bags we had valet parking but couldnt find anyone to take care of this so we left the car outside the reception and no one asked for 2 hours about the car.We paid the premium because they advertised that after a new years evening meal you could relax and view the fireworks accross london from the residents roof top terrace it sounded wonderful.

Infact whilst we were finishing our meal we could openly see non residents most of which where friends and family of the hotel staff as they greeted them with open arms. They brought push chairs were piled up outside the lifts blocking access.

We had wrist bands on like in an cheap all inclusive camp to allow us access to the roof top terrace this was a joke as we could not even get in the lifts up to the terrace it was packed with people unable to access the roof as well some of my family managed to get there and others didnt and spent New years waiting in jammed lift the organisation and safety was very bad.
I spent New Years Eve stroke of midnight with the manager/owner appologising saying he didnt know where all the people had come from whilst my Wife and daughter were stook elsewhere.
He offered us a £5 bottle of cheap sparkling plonk as an apology but the stay was the worst experience I have had in a Hotel of any standard.

AS we chedked out the next day, the reception area was full of people complaining about the similar experiencethey had. We were sat with one couple who complained about been served a cold meal and complained twice about having hair in their meal! We didnt have breakfast the next day as we were so put off by this experience we wanted to escape as quick as possible!!!!This is also the first review I have ever written as I was so appalled by this i think everyone should be made aware!

Room Tip: go some where else!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Andysenior
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, 19 March 2014
Dear Guest


We refer to your review on TripAdvisor. It is evident by now that we as an establishment welcome both positive and negative reviews from our valued guests and contrive to take on board constructive criticism and meticulously incorporate suggestions that help improve the quality of our services. But when a review is misrepresentative of facts and distorted to the extent it would damage the reputation of our hotel, we are left with no choice but to respond comprehensively to correct any misconception such a review might intentionally or unintentionally create.


We were surprised you chose to post an account of your experience at the Rafayel three months after your stay especially when you say your stay was an unhappy one. Unfortunately, we find that none of the points you raise reflect the quality of the hotel in any way nor does your review suggest how we could have improved your experience.


In any event, we have investigated your complaints thoroughly and would like to address them as follows:

It is unfortunate that you felt the lights were too dim in the room. We are an eco-friendly hotel that uses state-of-the-art Philips designed lighting scheme with energy-saving lamps which are installed throughout the hotel. Most guests understand this important feature which is a part of our “green” technology. You will appreciate that any use of ordinary light bulbs while claiming to be eco-friendly would be in complete contradiction of our principles, and a mis-sell of our brand. In your case, had you requested the Reception at the time, they would have gladly arranged for extra lights to be placed in your room.


We are surprised that you could hear vehicles from your room. All our rooms are fitted with double glazed windows and are therefore very well insulated from sounds that even withstand the noise from the heliport.


As far as the New Year’s Eve party is concerned, we had requested all the guests to come an hour early. However, most of them chose to go to the terrace 15 minutes before midnight. The unexpected breakdown of one of the lifts that night caused the crowd to build. Moreover, some of the residents also brought in too many guests despite restrictions. We tried to accommodate and make the best of the situation but these were unfortunate circumstances beyond our control. We do apologise for the inconvenience it caused you and your family. We shall take sterner steps to prevent it from happening the next time. On that note, we strongly deny your comment on friends and family of the hotel staff being amongst the guests. The hotel occupies four floors of the building whilst the rest are private apartments of residents; therefore it is very likely that they enter the lobby areas of the hotel from time to time to meet with friends or family.


We have held New Year Eve parties in the past very successfully with excellent music, good food at very reasonable prices and a rooftop terrace view of the fireworks. The number of guests that New Year’s night lends credence to our popularity. It is but understandable that given the inflated number of people, there may have been some delay in serving drinks but this is normal in any facility on such occasions. It is unfair for you to label our complimentary drink as “a bottle of cheap sparkling plonk,” which was offered as a gesture of apology. We pride ourselves on serving the best quality and we certainly do not sell any glasses of wine or champagne of that calibre let alone bottles.


We absolutely disagree with your comments on the absence of a valet to park your car and lack of luggage assistance. It is mandatory for our Front Desk staff to assist guests with their luggage at the check-in point with the offer to have their vehicles parked in our basement car park by one of our drivers. It is inconceivable for any car to be parked in our courtyard for two hours on day as busy as the New Year’s Eve.


You claim you have travelled all over the world and mention that this is the first time you have ever written a review. With all due respect, the fact that it took you so long to post a negative review leads us to believe you took an impulsive decision to write with the intention to discredit us and tarnish our establishment’s reputation. A bad experience at the hotel usually motivates a disappointed guest to air his complaints immediately rather than wait for 3 months.


Having said that, we are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay at the ‘Rafayel’ and sincerely hope that you give us the opportunity to prove that this was a one off disappointment that you experienced and look forward to meeting you on the occasion of your next visit.


Kind regards
The Management
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Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2014

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.

Room Tip: If you want space and tonnes of it, go for an Amazon room.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank LNG85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
1 review
Reviewed 10 March 2014

Had a wonderful time at this hotel as upon arrival we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom apartment with a side view of the river. It was very clean and the view was breathtaking in the morning. Staff were really polite and the gentleman who runs the shuttle service to the station is so polite. Over all I would recommend for anyone looking for the whole package in a hotel to give this place a visit. The place is really affordable and cheap for the service provided. Absolutely amazing and we are definitely returning very soon!!!

  • Stayed March 2014
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Helpful?
Thank ellz0906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2014

This hotel is a little different from the big chains, and a nice surprise as a result. The location is a little off beat but they run a pick-up and drop-off service from the tube/train station, make sure you take it as the walk isn't that great (I did it). The rooms are slightly different to the typical layout and finishes, part marble part carpet floor, spacious and comfortable although the I thought the space given over to a 'reception' area of the room would have been better utilised with a sofa. The bathroom was very large, well equipped, clean and had a great multi-point shower even though it takes 20 mins to figure out how it works (why do people still put controls where you can't get at them without getting wet and/or sprayed with cold water?!). Nice place, nice service and probably a good location for a walk along the river in the summer. Will book again.

Room Tip: Ring for a pick up or get a cab from the station.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank DMELHUISH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014 via mobile

The hotel can't help that it's a £30 plus black cab journey away from the west end, this was our fault for booking something so far away so to be fair to the Rafayel this is the main reason we wouldn't return here. Our first trip into town was using a minicab company that I guess is attached to the hotel somehow. The guys vehicle was scratched and dented down both sides and he had a HUGE crack in his windscreen that he's stuck a big sticker over, worryingly across his line of sight on the driver side!!! We opted for the black cabs after this!

The hotel is very modern and well equipped - beautiful luxury bathroom, our room had a jacuzzi bath which sadly didn't work. I rang beforehand to expressly request a jacuzzi suite and bless her, the lady is spoken to (Maria) had remembered me from days before and asked whether I was pleased with the jacuzzi. I replied with my disappointment that it didn't work and the other reception lady said that it was probably that we didn't know how to use it because they are checked regularly. I'm quite techy and the bath only had 4 buttons so I can't see how this is possible but there you go. If, like the lady on reception said, that
lots of people say the jacuzzi doesn't work and then (once checked out) they are tested to find that they ARE working there clearly is a problem. Simply pop a sign up with user instructions??

My boyfriend and I are very lucky to stay at many 5 star hotels and found the customer service at The Rafayel very cold indeed. Perhaps the manager would like to visit the Lowry in Manchester to see how they treat their guests? The restaurant was chaotic and service was poor and slightly rude from the entrance man and bar staff seemed indifferent to us. No large plates at breakfast so I had to eat my English breakfast from a small side plate! The restaurant wasn't even that busy yet many of the breakfast buffet platters were empty and the orange juice had run out. We made the mistake of asking for a cappuccino instead of the filter coffee on offer and a grumpy waitress organised this some 20 minutes later.

Confusion upon arrival as to accessing the underground parking - quite often leading to a traffic jam on the single lane forecourt outside the hotel.... Signage might help people in the future. No valet either which would have helped.

I booked two spa appointments online thru their website. Upon check in no booking had been made with the spa and was told they were fully booked. Another disappointment - a call to confirm or reject my booking would have been nice.

Beautiful rooms but rubbish location, admittedly not their fault, and very poor customer service. Definitely not 5 star (when was this rated 5 star??)

If you don't want to be in town though, the hotel is beautifully set on the river and is picturesque.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank sazzlerah
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, 12 March 2014
Dear Guest,


Thank you for your review on tripadvisor. We appreciate your feedback and the positive comments regarding our rooms and bathrooms, however feel the need to address some of your negative points.


You mention our location and that it is a 30 minute taxi ride to the west end. Battersea is one of the most up and coming areas of London and does not have as bad transport links as you may think, when considering trains to Waterloo and Victoria depart every few minutes from Clapham Junction (accessible via our complimentary shuttle service- average journey time 2-3 minutes) with a journey time of less than 10 minutes to each station. Beside this, you know you are making an informed decision about where to stay, when booking. We are registered with two or three minicab companies but are making investigations to find out who your specific driver was. We apologize for any inconvenience caused during your journey to the west end.


After making your room reservation with a partner website, it is true that you consequently contacted us to request a room with a Jacuzzi. We followed up on your request and did allocate you to a room with a Jacuzzi. This Jacuzzi had, up until the previous guests who stayed in that room, been in perfect working order with all functions working. Upon hearing from you after checking in to the hotel that there was a problem, our maintenance team did then discover that some of the jets were indeed not working, although the bubbles still were. We are very sorry that due to the hotel being fully booked, we were unable to move you to a room with a fully functioning Jacuzzi bath. Regarding instructions on how to use the Jacuzzi, these are placed in all bathrooms with Jacuzzis along with instructions on how to use the different knobs in the walk in shower.We are sorry though, if you didn’t notice these.


We are sorry if you found our customer service to be cold. This after all is for each person to judge for themselves. Despite your judgements, this forum clearly shows that the vast majority has praised our customer service with four and a half stars from over 1,100 reviews saying it all. We don’t need to travel all the way to Manchester to experience great customer service as we already have an abundance of great customer service in our own hotel, backed up by the many good reviews.


I am slightly confused by your comments concerning breakfast, as our records show that you didn’t have any breakfast. On the particular morning when you checked out of the hotel, the restaurant had been extremely busy at breakfast time and I can only imagine that you came down to the restaurant around 11AM when the breakfast was finishing and the buffet plates were being cleared away. Please accept our sincere apologies if this were the case.


We do offer valet parking as one of our hotel services. Our investigation has revealed that you were assisted by a member of staff to the car park, as confirmed by the receptionist who checked you in. Thank you for your suggestion about signage to the hotel car park. We have taken your point on board regarding this and are looking to improve this aspect for all future guests.


Unfortunately you are unable to book spa appointments online and had you contacted us at the time of making your room reservation we would have gladly put you in contact with our spa team to make a booking.


Finally, with regard to your subject matter, where would you find a hotel with such facilities as ours in the centre of London, for the same price that you paid for your stay? Sorry to repeat ourselves but our rates are what one would pay for a 3-star hotel across the river. However, our customers enjoy 5-star amenities for that price. Hence our slogan “affordable luxury.” This certainly does not mean we try to create a false impression of being the best, but focus on ways and means to maximize guest comfort and experience. Then again, people are entitled to their opinions and choices...


Kind regards
The Management
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2 reviews
Reviewed 9 March 2014

I decided to take my girlfriend to this hotel after a look on the internet. The hotel looked amazing on the website but was even more stunning in person! we had a great room with great facilities including speakers everywhere ( even in the bathrooms!). The spa and spa treatment was the best i've ever had and the atmosphere was second to none. The restaurant food and hospitality was great, i had the best fillet steak ever in this restaurant and i've been thinking about it ever since. After dinner we was informed that there is a balcony upstairs were we can celebrate our day with a selection of cigars and cocktails brought to us. Overall this stay was better than many of the holidays and trips we have been to and i would most certainly look for a excuse to go again.

Room Tip: We had the room with a view of the themes..
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Roshlabob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 March 2014

I had an amazing experience when I stayed here. Everything was thought of and perfect down to the smallest detail. The staff were quick with the service and very professional. The food was delicious and the every part of the spa was relaxing including the deep tissue massage which was unbelievably good. when I left the next morning I wanted to stay for longer so will hopefully be returning soon!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jessica G
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
#231 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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