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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
Ranked #319 of 1,073 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 October 2010

The hotel's position is appaling for transport and it can take half an hour before a scruffy mini cab turns up (on a Sat morning).
There were numerous problems with the booking, the wrong rates quoted. Make sure you check your booking confirmation thoroughly.
Also, be sure to get to breakfast quickly, as service is slow and some in our parties were told there was none left, even though they arrived before the end of published closing.
Would defintly not stay here again.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank MartinEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rafayel, Operation Manager- Chris De Saram at Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 October 2010

Dear Guest,

We refer to your review and note that you have given us a one-star rating. While we welcome constructive criticism from our guests wholeheartedly, doing our best to incorporate suggestions and recommendations, we do take exception to unwarranted criticism that does complete injustice to the quality and standard of our hotel.

We are one of the few hotels who take great pride in its location. We sell ourselves as a 'luxury hotel' in Battersea, advertising on our website why we are there, and providing links on all the commutes. In fact, our site is packed with information because of where we are. We do get hit hard on our location, but we can rightly argue that bus 170, which stops right at our doorstep, takes you directly to Victoria in 12 minutes and on the way stops at lower Sloane Square in the 9th minute, which is a 3-minute walk away from Sloane Square.

Our guests make an informed decision when they choose Rafayel. Naturally, they wish to take advantage of our beautiful rooms, their size and quality, excellent beds, state-of-the-art technology, impeccable services, 15 MB of connectivity for free, free phone calls, zero service charges, and other additions at no cost. We are the only hotel that employs a full-time painter to fix stains and wear-and-tear marks which shows that we maintain the aesthetics of our facility with the highest sense of integrity. You may not appreciate the shuttle car but the pick-up and drop-off services are free; the cars will soon be replaced but they are clean and functional. It is because of all these reasons that we are getting numerous rave reviews.

Our guests appreciate that although we are a fledgling business, we go to great lengths to ensure that they enjoy a cost-effective stay in the current economic environment complete with 5-star treatment and amenities. We are a top class, beautifully designed hotel but it is because of our location that the rooms are selling at attractive rates with so many free services. This is the reason we call it “affordable luxury.” Certainly, if one were in West End, prices would be far different; you cannot demand West End with freebies and pay Battersea prices. Therefore it is rather harsh on your part to be so severe in your review. Even our worst critics have lauded us for our stunning design and quality; the hotel’s entrance is littered with designed products. Our eco-credentials are impeccable – we are the only hotel in London where every bulb is 99.6% LED. We have a beautiful spa and Jacuzzi that is available for free, which you completely ignore.

We offer the finest food at our restaurant, Banyan on the Thames, that has earned fastest number of reviews in the shortest span of time - as of today 712 in 8 months - and is gold-rated on Top Table. Our breakfast is part of the restaurant and offers a variety of breakfast food. We realize we have shortcomings, and perhaps on some days are not able to satisfy our guests, but we try to make amends by waiving charges or offering some discounts. We punish ourselves for our shortcomings that is the whole concept of hospitality that we incorporate here.

Any lapse in breakfast service occurs because of an uncustomary influx of customers who live in our neighborhood and walk in for breakfast, as they do for lunch and dinner. The moment a guest complains we address it instantly and rectify the problem. We also say a big sorry. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to take us on task and harshly complain on literally the most trivial and menial of things to wangle a refund.

Having just 65 rooms, we are one that is reviewed with great passion on TripAdvisor. We are more reviewed than many other with far more rooms. The reason being that we are conscientious towards our guests and make sure they enjoy as comfortable a stay as possible.

When a guest arrives, we pick him at the station, his luggage is taken in, and he is offered iced tea or water for no charge while being checked in and then escorted to his room. If a guest experiences any discomfort, we waive the price of that service. Our rooms are expansively described sizewise on our website as Mississippi, Yangtze, Amazon, Thames and Nile. Even if you pay for the smallest room that does not have a river view, it still faces the street giving you a view of London’s cosmopolitan streets. The hotel is not in an industrial area, but right on the River Thames. It is in “The Beautiful South,” as architectural guru Stephen Bayley says. We, along with others in Battersea, are working hard to rejuvenate and regenerate the area. One tends to overlook that we are right opposite Chelsea but are working hard to overcome popular psychology. For us it is most important to bring footfall here going to lengths beyond the call of duty to ensure it, and perhaps being taken unfair advantage of. Such cruel kinds of reviews are not just in bad taste, but are counterproductive to the efforts of all Batterseans. We have the finest of SPA's at 50% discount, we have the best of Gyms with latest equipment, we have a Jacuzzi and steam room plus sauna and an exercise pool plus a great restaurant, all very greatly applauded on professional sites, your one curious judgment is brutal on us and does not help, as a corporation we intend to rebut it at best of our effort.

We enjoy the patronage of guests from all over United Kingdom and other parts of the world. You may not have enjoyed Battersea, but many people love it. There are all kinds of people with varying tastes; some for example who don’t enjoy the dimness of the eco-friendly LED lighting or the no-plastic policy, but we are avoiding wastage to reduce our carbon footprint to make a difference. These factors should be encouraged and are well highlighted before you make your decision to choose Rafayel.

Reviews are most welcomed as is constructive criticism, which we address accordingly. But we object to those that are a blatant attempt to destroy our business, hence this response. Your review that rates us as one star is callous and borders unfairness, we will assure everyone that we are what we promise and that is the challenge and gauntlet we throw to those who are unfair in their reviews.

Our management policy is to be honest, straightforward and completely transparent. We have never misled our customers nor pretended to be the Dorchester. We are a great boutique hotel that offers affordable luxury. More often than not we see customers astounded with our lobby and when we lead them to the rooms, the vow factor does greet us many times, it is a tall claim as we need to deliver on this and we will do it that is our self-confidence. Your kind of review make us work harder and keener, we will try even harder to satisfy but we not yield to this unfair critic. This kind of destructive review makes us as team to believe in working harder to avoid driving our business into the ground, is it fair?

We care and we stand for what we serve. We are open minded corporate people, we don't bury our heads in sand we face the music. Please do come again we will definitely do better, your kind of reviews just encourage us to work harder. Hopefully on value you will rarely find as good a hotel as ours.

Sincerely,


Chris de Saram
Operations Manager

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Reviews (2,010)
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1,750 - 1,756 of 2,010 reviews

Reviewed 4 October 2010

We stayed for a few nights to do the London tourist sights. Firstly it is worth pointing out that the hotel represents extremely good value for money if you are looking for a 5 star venue.

The welcome was very nice with a quick and efficient check-in and free chocolate cake. There was valet parking (£15 per night, but this was well advertised)

The hotel is some way out of the centre, but the 170 bus stop is literally right outside the front door. Make sure you buy an oyster card and pre-load it with credit. it is then easy to get around as the 170 bus takes you straight to Victoria station which is a main transport hub in London. You can get anywhere from there.

We had a standard room and the presentation was nice. The room was spotlessly clean and the bed very comfortable indeed.

Only a few points to mention. The shower cubicle leaked quite badly and this has meant some mouldy staining has appeared on the wall.

The room was quite dark and the lighting poor. I guess this is part of the hotel's aim to be energy efficient but it makes it very difficult to see what you are doing, for example applying make-up.

There is free internet included but there was no WIFI signal in our room. We were able to connect OK with the cable.

So only a few minor issues to sort out. Overall a good stay.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank travellercardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2010

My partner had dreamed of staying in a hotel with a thames view and as we we're planning a trip to the globe (which is on the same side of the river and on the same tubeline as the nearest tube to the hotel (clapham common).
What we didnt realise was that the nearest tube was three miles away and that the congestion in clapham leads to come expensive taxi rides. We also found out at the hotel that they do run a complimentary shuttle service to the tube (which inconviently stops at 9pm) We used this on one trip to the tub and despite ringing down to book at the requested 30 min before hand staff seemed to only arrange it once we went downstairs and we had to wait.
Whilst the staff were vagually friendly whilst checking in they continually stopped to do other tasks taking our checkin to take over 30 min and none of the staff really seemed to want to communicate clearly.

They upgraded our room and the room was fantastic (although in the new room there was already considerable wear and tear to the carpets and couch).. unfortuantly there was also an emergency services helepad outside our room so the chance of a quiet evening or lie in where non existant.

Upon departing form the hotel there was also a dead squirrel just outside the doors.

I'm also not sure about its eco credentials as it appears to have the same costcutting measures as most modern hotels and it boasts a carpark.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank firefairie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2010

This hotel is seemingly ideal, with lovely river views, reasonable rates and offering excellent service. Excellent in its ideals.

The room was excellent, I cannot fault it one bit, with a comfortable bed and plenty of tea and coffee. However, the breakfast was the biggest let down. For the amount it cost, I would have expected better service.

Having phoned down at 9am to order breakfast, I found I could not get through to the room service attendant - as there was nobody there to answer the phone. After trying several times. I finally decided to phone reception who apologised and took my order. About an hour later, the breakfast had still not turned up and I phoned down to reception again. The receptionist followed up the breakfast, yet it still took another 15 minutes or so to turn up. When it finally did arrive, the hot breakfast was cold. Not even luke warm, but stone cold. I phoned down to reception to complain and they informed me that it was because they were short staffed and that they could send up another breakfast but that it would take 'some time'. Quite how long it takes to fry some eggs, cook a few sausages, some beans and some mushrooms I'll never know, but I can only assume that the kitchen only has one hob and a 50watt microwave, meaning everything takes at least 20 minutes to cook.

Upon check out they offered to take the cost of breakfast off the bill (a whopping 14.95!) and offered no other remuneration. As I was only there for one night, the breakfast made a substantial part of the visit, which my fiancée and I were truly looking forward to. It turned out to be a complete farce and ultimately, my muffin from Starbucks was more satisfying and a damn sight cheaper.

I would not recommend this hotel to anyone, because of the poor service I received and believe the whole staff need an overhaul in order to get it running efficiently and to an acceptable standard, never mind a standard that matches the cost.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Dan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2010

The staff were friendly and helpful, the food was lovely and the standards set by the hotel were extremely high.

I have stayed in a few 5 star hotels and with most I am left wondering what lends it that title. With The Rafayel they leave you under no illusion. The finish of the room is of the highest spec I have stayed at, with great mood lighting throughout, flat screen tvs, doubled ended baths and fantastic waterfall showers.

The bed and sheets were so comfortable and enveloping I didn't ever want to wake up.

I ate in the restaurant, that gave me an unexpected 50% off food for being a guest, and the Asian infused food was of a great standard.

I would not hesitate to stay here again, for business or leisure.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled on business
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Thank LaurenceJWhiting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2010

Newly opened, and so far, so very good. Public spaces and rooms are elegant and very spacious (my bathroom was, seriously, as large as some bedrooms I've had in central London), extremely well-appointed. Staff were all friendly and helpful; the valet parking service works smoothly and is very good value compared to hotel parking fees elsewhere. The room was quiet and comfortable.

I was a bit worried about the location, but needn't have been. They offer a free shuttle to Clapham Junction station, which is 10 minutes walk away. There was talk of a shuttle to Sloane Square station too, suspended while the Albert Bridge is closed. Anyway, I didn't feel the need to use the shuttle - either walked to the train or, a more pleasant option, walked along the riverside path to Battersea Bridge and across to Chelsea, which takes about 20 minutes. There is also a very frequent bus, the 170, from just outside the hotel to Victoria.

The only meal I had in the hotel was breakfast, which was excellent. Beautiful restaurant with river views, efficient staff and very nice, fresh food and good coffee.

It would be a great place to come for a romantic break or a business trip. Maybe not the first choice for a family holiday to see the sights of London, because they are quite a long way away.

Oh, and, in case anyone's confused (like the people who named the hotel): it's on the RIGHT bank of the river, i.e. the south bank.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled solo
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Thank northumbriannomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2010

Stayed here as a stopover after helping my daughter to move to university and found it really easy to get to via tube to Victoria and 170 bus from there to outside the hotel. Checkin was easy and welcoming, the room, though on the ground floor, was actually quiet, very clean,comfortable and well equiped. Eating in the restaurant was lovely with really delicious food and warm service. I don't like dressing on salad and asked for my starter to be redone because of this, then asked for some other alterations. The staff quickly and very politely/ warmly changed everything without any trouble. An excellent sign of well trained and good staff I felt. Cocktails were made to my request and were delicious. The view from the restaurant over the river was lovely. We noticed that the cupcake shop was open at about 11pm and were told it was open 24 hours,( if unstaffed one only needed to speak to reception to gain acess/ make a purchase.) Our cakes were placed on a glass tray and taken to our room (only to be boxed up in a really sweet take- way chinese style cake box the next day when we hadn't had room to eat them that night!) Tasting them later they were delicious. Check out was easy as was getting back into town by the same root. (It took about 30 mins to Oxford street) All in all it was a very enjoyable stay and we would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank travellover03
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

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:
#60 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: £109 - £216 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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