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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
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Reviews (2,126)
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1,925 - 1,930 of 2,126 reviews
Reviewed 3 June 2010

First of all, we got a very good rate for a 'family room' of around 100 pound. Making the reservation and check-in was complicated due to inefficiency of the hotel staff. We booked on the website and provided credit card details to guarantee the room. The day before our arrival we received a phonecall from the hotel requesting the security code of my credit card to guarantee the room (again ?). I really didn't feel like passing that on to a stranger on the phone, so I sent an email to the hotel, providing this code. Upon arrival at the hotel, they requested my credit card to block a guarantee for the room. I wonderded if they actually had blocked 3 guarantees now or if they were just really inefficient. After check-in (after 2 PM so the room should have been ready) we were requested to take a seat while they checked if the room was ready. Then they told us the room was ready and that someone would come a take us to the room. After ten minutes in the lobby I went to the reception to ask for the key, but the lady told me someone was coming. Five minutes later (we had just been in the car for 7 hours with a child, so a little unpatient) I went to the reception and demanded the key (ready to leave if she wouldn't give it this time) so we finally received the key and could go to our room. Travelled a lot around the world but never been to a hotel were they won't give you your roomkey when you check in.
The room was nice. No river view (you have to pay extra). Huge bathroom, great shower. No goodies (shower cap, Kleenex,...) just liquid soap and bodymilk. Very dusty though (see pictures). Good bed. The extra bed was kind of cheap and just fitted our 6-year old but if an adult sat on it to read a story it flipped over. A busy road in front of the hotel so some street noise (motorbikes, emergency vehicles) in the early morning.
Windows are the kind that do not open so the only fresh air you'll get is from the airco.
In room coffee maker but our coffee what not refilled after the first night so we only had coffee on the first day.
Our son loved the heli-port that's just next to the hotel.
Free shuttle to Clapham junction (train station - not underground) were you can take the train to Waterloo or Victoria. Shuttle is a bit of a 'struggle' at the reception as there is no system and a lot of request in the morning. You could also take a bus to Victoria just in front of the hotel, but there's a lot of traffic on the bridges, so it takes a while to get to the city center.
Reception is understaffed overall. Only one person handling check-in, check-out, incoming phonecalls, deliveries, shuttle request and taxi request.... So be prepared for waiting around there. But there's free water and lovely homemade ice-tea at the reception.
Parking valet was smoothly and only 10 pound/night, so cheap and easy.
We never checked out breakfast at the hotel (they never pointed out that there was a breakfast room in the next building and no information map in our hotel room) but you can have delicious breakfast at Jamie Oliver's Recipease near Clapham Junction.
Check-out in the hotel was a long wait, again they needed the creditcard (fourth time for one stay) and not a nice word. Not a 'how was your stay' or 'did you enjoy the room'. When you walked into the hotel, the people at the reception never looked up or said hello. The bell boy that drives the shuttle is very nice and helpfull though. But they really should work on the reception staff and do better cleaning. Rooms were very big for London standards but not as huge as they look on the website so I've added some pictures. We were on the 3rd floor. Might stay again if they keep this low rates but never at a full rate.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Kimfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2010

Location: horrible. Didn't feel safe walking around outside and not much to do nearby. Hotel provides complimentary service to nearby stations so that gives an idea of how useless the location is.

Room ok, very small and the windows leave you very exposed. Either you close the curtain, therefore no view or light, or you accept that everyone can look in. For this layout, you'd really expect one way glass.

Staff ok but clueless. Food at Banyan the hotel's restaurant was petty rubbish.

I won't be returning

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1  Thank WilliamSmithYahoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rafayel, Manager at Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2010

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review on Hotel Rafayel. We have already written to you explaining all the issues you have highlighted in your review. Our guests’ comments are very valuable to us and we use them diligently to improve our services and standards. In the spirit of hospitality and courtesy, we are the first to acknowledge any oversight on our part, if any, and do our utmost to make up to our guest. And in other instances, clarify any misunderstanding by giving factual account of events.

A thorough investigation was carried out by the senior management on your complaints with regards to your check in and credit card details. You made a non-refundable, non-cancellable booking through our website. When we tried to charge your credit card in advance, we were unable to because we did not have the 3-digit security code which you were unwilling to give over the phone, but that is completely understandable. As then agreed with you, our Reception sent you an email confirming she was the hotel staff, but we never received your email reply with the security numbers.

You entered the hotel at 1:53 pm and upon arrival the Reception asked for your credit card for preauthorization only, which is a hotel policy that you were fully informed about. As check in time is 2.00 pm your room was being prepared as the previous guest left slightly alter than 12.30, because we had to furnish it with the extra child’s bed and ascertain beds optimum position in the room which is designed as a double, our Reception coordinated with Housekeeping to ensure that it would be ready with minimum delay. Our normal charge for the extra bed is £30 but this was waived at the time of booking as a gesture of goodwill to make your stay is valuable and rewarding as possible. These additional requirements do take time and we beg our clients patience , we try to go out of the way to make them happy but if in the process in cases where delay is purely due to extra demand where we have not even benefitted if we inadvertently make omissions of preparation the extra ordinary circumstances should be taken into consideration.

As far as giving you your room key is concerned, our Reception was only waiting for the bellboy to escort you to your room rather than have you go up unaccompanied. During the entire time, you were offered refreshments to make your delay as comfortable as possible, we have our cup cakes and ice tea always available for every check in customer. Our system and CCTV registers that we were able to check you in at 2:19 p.m.

We do not charge 5-star prices, in keeping with our claim of offering “affordable luxury.” Our rates are one-third or a quarter of what other luxury hotels in London offer. Having said that, we are the only hotel in London to have earned more than 105 reviews in a small span of 6 months and 300 reviews for our restaurant on coveted top table site, which is considerable sign of the value of luxury and services we offer.

On your comments and photos of the room you stayed in, the narrow-angled awkwardly focused pictures you took are of an unprepared room in the morning it is a distorted image of room size and quality. The total square footage of the room 305 is 360sqft with huge bathroom. Average room size in London hotels is 210-220 sqft.


We are an eco-friendly hotel with no-plastic policy and minimum utilization of paper. But our beauty products are one of the finest and most expensive from Neom that have a retail price of £29. We do not compromise on quality of products and state-of-the-art technology that the hotel is equipped with, which even our fiercest of critics acknowledge. But our compromise on the plastic “goodies” saves waste of a harmful 380,000 plastic non-biodegradable bottles and accessories a year; even drinking water is provided in glass bottles. Our whole mission statement is about our eco-conscious principles and we try our best to maintain the no-plastic policy and absolute minimum waste of paper.

As a still-new hotel, we may have certain issues and we are not perfect for our location and our service but we are eager to compensate for our shortcomings and we do go out of our way, our replay to you is a part of our effort to let you know that we continue to address and rectify shortcomings we see in our service, but we take great pride in the superior excellence of affordable luxury Rafayel offers. We also pride in the fact that we have in no way made any misrepresentations on our website to mislead our clients, rather we highlight negative views in red for those who visit our website to ensure transparency and honesty.

Thank you for staying with us, and our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience caused due to the delay in your check-in.

Kind regards,

Hotel Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2010

Well hubby and I decided we wanted a few days away South of the river and decided to browse the net to see what was available. Well as someone who loves luxury we came across this 5 star hotel in Battersea. I had never heard of it before and delved deeper to find it was a new ECO hotel opened from December 2009. Well why not try it but first see if they have any accessible rooms. To our pleasure they had the Amazon room which we said yes to and hoped that when we arrived it really was accessible. With that I meant accessible shower with rails and seat. Some say they are when alas they are not...

The taxi came for us and we set about our journey to Lombard Road the taxi driver had never heard of this hotel and it didn't even show on their maps but by keeping a look out we finally found it. The Hotel is in a tower block over many floors but the Hotel only takes up 3 of those floors the rest are apartments.
The staff were very friendly and we made our way to the room. It was very pleasing to the eye.. large clean and smelt very very fresh. The bathroom was spacious and had a very lovely smelling hand and shower gel and hand cream. The shower was a wheel in shower with a door that opened in a couple of angles The only thing we did tell the owner was that a handrail would be a good idea in this area for a disbaled person that could also stand but was shaky on their legs like my husband and Mr Latif agreed made a note and told us that he would make sure on our next visit it would be there.. :))

The 2nd day we had to ask the housekeeping to clean our room as at 4pm it had still not been done but it was soon remedied once we informed reception.

Well We will definately be staying again and the courtesy bus to Clapham Junction or Clapham Common is a bonus and they will pick you up if you call them up to a certain time...It used to take you to Sloane Square but traffic and bridge closures has halted this at this time.

Once again Thanks to the great staff and see you all again soon.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank SmileUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2010

This is the first time in a long time we have been truly amazed by such a stunning hotel. This 5 star gem really does come highly recommended. From the stunning views in the bedroom with panoramic river views, the beautiful scene across the river in the bar/restaurant to the relaxing shesha lounge this place offers the perfect romantic get away for young couples. The staff has exceptional customer service and we also had the pleasure of meeting the owner who made us feel extremely welcome! The only regret we have is not being able to stay any longer!! Thank you all in the Rafayel hotel; for making this one of the best we've had in London...we will definitely be seeing you again!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rupa_london
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2010

Booked to stay here after spotting it in Telegraph magazine and then reading the TA reviews. It is not a fashionable location but on arrving at the Rafayel our car was whisked away and we located our Nile Suite (room 207) with amazing views out on to the Thames - fabulous suite, we loved it. Went to check out the rest of the hotel (courtesy of a lovely member of staff) and were just wowed! From the cupcake shop to the florist, the library to the gym, the cigar terrace to the jacuzzi, the owner really has tried to consider all a guest might want and more. We were wondering what kind of person the owner might be when just as we were going into the restaurant for dinner a gentleman told us he was the owner of the Rafayel. We had a really interesting chat and later he sent over two glasses of champagne to our table - I have never had that kind of treatment before, it was just so memorable! The only let down for me was the evening meal - the menu is Asian Fusion - well Asian fused with English, a mish mash that doesn't really work in my opinion. I had an uninspired crispy king prawn salad (where was the 'crispy'?) and a duck breast with a mango and melon compote with a raspberry sauce (it was £18.55 - gasp - terribly overpriced for not much). My husband thoroughly enjoyed his kebab and lamb biryani however - maybe the menu should just be Asian or have an English section without trying to combine the two, it was all a bit eclectic. However, on recommendation of the waiter I had the cheese mousse with a whisky toffee sauce for pudding - tasted better than it sounds!! Great nights sleep - hoorah, at last a hotel room which isn't stiflingly hot - this morning my husband enjoyed a massage in the spa whilst I took in the sights of the left bank and came away from the hotel with some cupcakes as a souvenir! As its an 'eco friendly' hotel I hate to say but I did miss some of the extras that you get with superior hotels - I missed not having any reading material in the room and I missed unpacking the bathroom smellies, shoe cleaning cloth and sewing kit when I got home!!! I would recommend staying here if you fancy something different from the big corporate London hotels but I would check what room you have before you arrive as some bedroom views are more desirable than others!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank nic040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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