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“Overpromised and undelivered”

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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
Ranked #309 of 1,088 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Birmingham
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Overpromised and undelivered”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2010

I stayed here recently on a Friday night with a friend as a celebratory treat. We had booked two standard doubles but were kindly upgraded to the next room-type. Despite this, and not wishing to sound ungrateful, we were rather underwhelmed by our stay. I appreciate that this is a soft-opening, and therefore I expected there to be a few teething problems, but I was surprised at how wrong some of the basics still were. The hotel is undoubtedly aesthetically quite pleasing but it just doesn't function as a 5* star hotel, eco-friendly or not. Firstly, the location - it isn't great. Yes, it's by the river but obviously only some of the rooms have that view. The room I was in did but the bed was positioned facing away from it, overlooking the Travis Perkins building supplies yard opposite the hotel. Very strange. There are no bars or restaurants very near to the hotel and it's about a 15 min walk to central Clapham which is good but the route is through unfamiliar residential streets and we were warned to be careful in the area by our cab-driver. The hotel does offer a complimentary shuttle service to Clapham Junction and Sloane Square but it isn't always available immediately, so walking is really the best option (and eco-friendly too!). The main problem with the location though is the noise from the heli-pad next door. You can definitely hear when helicopters are flying overhead, although it didn't disturb our sleep - I think we just got used to it. The other noisy feature was the open ceiling vents that seemed to open straight up into the ceiling cavity above. It meant that the noise of other people running water in their bathrooms was very prevalent. Another particularly annoying feature was the temperature in the rooms. When I arrived the room was very cold (despite being shown how to use the thermostat). When I mentioned it to staff, it was adjusted but this time it was stifflingly hot. Staff explained that they are having problems with it and that it should be sorted soon. Breakfast was disappointing and expensive. It's held in a small side room. The service was exceptionally slow (despite there being only 3 other customers) and our poached eggs were undercooked/still raw. The accompanying toast was provided much later than the eggs in one case and not at all in the other. Other than that, there are lots of little things that aren't hugely important on their own but they do add up to. Eg the room had no plug socket near to a mirror, which is annoying for us vain types who like to blow-dry their hair. There was no price list by the (what appeared to be) complimentary small packets of kettle crisps which were then charged at a staggering £3.50 per bag on check-out. The bar didn't open until 6.15pm. The staff are doing their best but (and I hate to say this because they are lovely) they just don't seem to have a good grasp of what they are doing. In addition, they are not local to the area and they can't answer basic questions about where things are and how to get around. I over-heard another guest ask for a local map of the area and they were told there wasn't one. However the person I asked did have one, albeit a tiny one of only the very nearest roads nearby. Check-in and out took ages (40 mins in the case of the latter). If this hotel takes the time to find out what matters to its customers (I was surprised that no-one asked me about this, I had to offer my opinions!) and does something to improve things as a result, then no doubt the experience of staying here will be a much better one. As things stand, this is vastly overpriced for what it is (even with the 50% discount duing the soft-opening) and the experience I had would put me off using it again until things had improved.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nomad89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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SystemaDave
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2010

Stayed here during the January snow and I have to say what a refreshing change it was from the usual London hotels I stay in when in London for business.

The room size and the furnishing is far superior to anything else at this rate, the shower amazing and the staff were helpful, polite and the service very quick.

I cannot recommend the hotel enough for the business traveler- try it once and I am sure you will use it again!

Dave- Bath

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SystemaDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
united kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2010

The hotel was fantastic, the room was beautiful and the biggest available.Unfortunately the staff were unhelpful, rude at times and didnt seem to know what they were doing.They even gave me someone elses bill by mistake and tried charging me more for someone elses smutty movies they had rented. The worst part was waiting to be seen at the check in desk which on several occasions meant the mostly foreign and barel able to speak english staff, would start dealing with other people or answeing phones for ten minutes at a time whils you stood and waited.Other than this, the tv in the bedroom didnt work or in the bathroom, the shower didnt work properly and the view was that of a lobby and workmen as opposed to the riverside view promised.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank randomstranger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gaborone
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2010

I stayed in this newly opened hotel during its soft opening, what an absolute treat!!

Perfectly located on the river, far enough from the crowds of the Kings road to soak in the the fantastic river views but close to enough(5 mins drive) to reach at a moments notice to the hotel staff that offer a shuttle service.

Dispite the expected teething problems from a new building, the professionalism and friendliness of the staff over shadowed any snags which may have occurred, which i must say we were unaware of. They made our experience at Rafayel one we would definatley repeat. Resting on the banks of the Thames this hotel is sure to glisten in the summer sun, with is roof terrace above their chic and impeccably styled restaurant 'the Bayan' and cocktail lounge 'Crystal bar".

We stayed for just over a week and so enjoyed the comfort the very large room which had incredible river views at an affordable price. The shower was one of my favourite aspects of our room once I figured out how to use. Unfortunately the spa and gym were not open yet but when were there, but will definately sample them on my return.

To top it all they are an Eco hotel, and you would never...

I can't wait to see this hotel when it is in full swing!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Bonnie911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LONDON
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2010

Hotel Raphael has a sophisticated ambient with a prime view of the river in Battersea. It is the ideal place for dining and wining with friends or colleagues. The experience of Fresh and tasty Mediterranean and Asian food will be your delight. The excellent service will be the best invitation to come back.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RodWhiteLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2010

This is a very up market 5 star Luxurious Boutique Hotel. From the moment we drove up to this hotel which is on the River, we were met with smiling helpful staff. They took our keys and whisked our car away to the secure underground parking area. We were then taken into the beautiful lobby. More friendly staff. We were upgraded to a superior room,. I can mention that all of the rooms are beautiful.

Our room was spacious and well laid out, everything in this hotel has been thought about carefully. It is a member of the Green Hotel group and therefore they believe in providing what you need when you need it. Bathroom was huge and all of them are big enough for 2... more like wet rooms. Black granite and marble are everywhere, thick pile carpets also. All rooms have a proper hair driers, not like the nasty chains that have some contraction on the wall. Also full coffee/ tea facilities

There is an amazing spa, Training pool,. sauna and jacuzzi. Plus a fully equipped gym which will not disappoint, including a power Plate!.

I would suggest this hotel, being on the river and in walking distance of all the restaurants and shops, is ideal for couples and business people. I do not think it would be suitable for children. Although there is a fab cup cake shop, it is really geared more towards adult entertainment.

And by the way the have FREE IPTV and WIFI in all the rooms!

It also had an amazing restaurant on the Thames called Banyan with fabulous river views and a Crystal bar that serves cocktails and nibbles.


There was nothing we disliked about this hotel. My partner and I both travel extensively on a global basis and I am pretty hard to please.... which does say a lot about this hotel. Once you have been there, you will want to go back!
We will be staying there again it is fabulous, next time for a weekend spa break. I would highly recommend it also for business conferences and am considering this myself.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank allisearle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2010

The service, impeccable; The staff epitomizes professionalism and courtesy, The rooms delicately appointed and spacious, The amenities,(spa, fitness center, conference room, meeting room, roof terrace, two restaurants and FREE WI FI throughout the hotel) all the comforts of home; Rafayel On The Left Bank is the Five Star Hotel that Londoners obviously does not want to share with the world, but alas, their secret is now being made known worldwide. When traveling to London, if you are looking for elegance and charm, then look no further, Rafayel on the Left Bank is what you are looking for! And if you are Earth and environmental conscious, then you should feel right at home in the eco-friendly 5 Star hotel. The hotel is completely sound proof, and I mean sound proof from all external noises, while you can sleep to your hearth's content without being disturbed by your neighboors in the next room anticks.
Unfortunately, you must go to London to experience the charm, elegance and creature comfort of, The Rafayel on the Left Bank because there is only one of its kind in the world! But please, let’s just keep it our little Five Star Hotel secret! Wouldn't want to share something as precious as Rafayel on the Left Bank now, would you? But only for you my fellow connoisseurs of the finest hotels in the world am I willing to share this! The attached pictures speaks volumes about the cleanliness, charm, elegance, warmth and the great care for details that has gone into creating one of the world's finest hotel!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carmel105
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
#225 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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