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“Failed to impress.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa

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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
34 Lombard Road | Falcon Wharf, London SW11 3RF, England (Clapham / Battersea )   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #121 of 1,073 hotels in London
South England
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Failed to impress.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2010

I booked this hotel as a treat for my partner before my deployment to Afghanistan next week, this hotel seemed to offer everything and at a great "introductory" price. How wrong was I!!

On arrival we drove to the back of the hotel to a non-descript drop off area and had to leave the car in the middle of the driveway as space is very tight. Carrying our own bags to reception we asked to book in, the receptionist started the check in and informed us the swimming pool, sauna and steam room were not functional due to not having a licence yet!

I had booked this hotel as it had the facilities to enjoy our stay during the day and go into town in the evenings. We expressed our disappointment to the receptionist who explained she'd try to upgrade our room to one with a Jacuzzi. After 30 minutes she came to us and showed us a room (214) it was an impressive room with copious amounts of space although a lot was the corridor into the suite which is wasted space.
The receptionist showed us the room including the "Jacuzzi" bath, after she left we discovered it was just a standard bath, more training required.

The view is of the Thames but more so of one of the areas where all the rubbish is collected from the river... a total mess, beware the helipad right outside the window, as in 25 meters away!!!

It turns out if you want a Jacuzzi bath you don't get a view, which is what we found when we moved to the next room (117) a stunning room with loads of usable space and a massive bathroom complete with double shower and large Jacuzzi bath. This is the room I would have expected originally from what had been described on the website.
Unfortunately the TV in the bathroom doesn't work nor did the iPod docking station.

We eventually got sorted just in time to get downstairs to our waiting free shuttle service to Sloane Sq. however it's currently running to Clapham Jctn instead, not so helpful after all.

The whole debacle made us very late for our evening show and put us in the wrong mood for a comedy night.

It's even down to the little things such as when my car was brought round in the morning the driver left the seat so far forwards I couldn't get in.
It was also left in gear and parked very close to the car in front....basics!

We had originally booked in for two nights but I cancelled the second night due to such disappointment in the hotel and a ruined weekend.

We did get a complimentary breakfast for the trouble which was average.

I'm sorry this had to happen as this hotel has such potential but still has so much more to learn!

The cut price helped ease the annoyance however at full price I'd have to go elsewhere.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rafayel, Hotel Manager at Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 11, 2010
Thanks for taking the time and provide us a very good feedback.

First of all please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience experienced by our guest during his stay. We wanted to go out of our way to make his trip memorable as our guest was bound for national duty, we realised that it was not to be, for which we are once again sorry.

We have investigated thoroughly and we would like to give a brief explanation to the some of the issues the guest has brought forward.

We received his reservation through our website for a Mississippi room our standard category for the price of £120 inc vat. Through the confirmation email we sent him, we clearly informed him that the hotel spa facilities are not currently available.

However, we understand that when he arrived this information was overlooked or missed.

We straight away assumed responsiblity, to taper the unexpected disappointment experienced upon arrival to the hotel about our spa facilities. The receptionist tried to resolve the situation by providing the guest an upgrade to one of our big suites.

Unfortunately, the receptionist made a mistake by taking him to 214 one of the few suites that does not have Jacuzzi.

The mistake was immediately corrected by our deputy operations manager who was able to accommodate the guest in one of our Nile suites with a Jacuzzi. The suite is 625 sqft and has an office space in the entrance which the guest have referred to as a wasted space. This also serves for families as a dining space.

With regards the drive through area and complimentary parking service i.e. a drvier takes a car and brings it back for 24 hours secured parking for 10£.

As to inability of the driver to keep the parked car in a gear whilst handing back is definitely a training issue, we have asked our drivers to make sure that this is not repeated.

Our location next to the river involves that room 214 is next to an estuary. ( the room that the guest never stayed but commented and photographed). This particular room has a great view that does includes a small encatchment.

The river is a tidal river and a lot of debris flow in the river, we try to entrap these debris so as to limit the damage to the marine life.

The tide comes in twice a day in and out and brings the debris in this small encatchment under 214, this area is not managed by the hotel rather Thames water authority, which means we do not have access to it, yet we still try to keep it clean, the picture the guest have posted reflects the time when the tide is coming in or receding a rather generous view from 214 mitigates this natural phenomenon of tidal wave that brings debris to this encatchment, our effort to place a blue net on the mouth of the encatchment tries to minimise the debris it as much as possible in this encatchment. We take out nearly 500 bottles of plastic weekly from this encatchment.

We do accept the problem of pollution in Thames, but I hope it is recognised that this is beyond our control, we have even planted reefbed and done lot of work on this encatchment and will continue to do so. On a smaller scale we try our utmost to keep 'Thames' free from debris, therefore the hotel maintains a plastic free policy.

The eco policy of the hotel is our way to contribute to the environment, together with many other green initiatives such as LED technology in all rooms, water harvesting among others.

The second photo is that of portion above the bar that has a screw so that Jacuzzis and power controls remain hidden and safe. The screw was left open for monthly maintenance of the Jacuzzi.

The free shuttle service to Sloane square has unfortunately been affected due to the recent closure for refurbishment of Albert Bridge. Therefore, we have sought to find a solution to maintain this free service by providing an alternative route to the tube through Clapham Common/Junction.

We have checked the ipod which is working, the TV in the bath has software issues that hopefully will be resolved soon.

I hope that some of these points help to clarify some of our honorable guest concerns and we will definitely address all the training issues and suggestions he has made.

We are constantly trying to improve and we hope our guests will provide us the opportunity to reach to our potential, the very reason we changed the rooms twice and upgraded to the best fo our ability demonstrate our eagerness towards guest care.

We are a Battersea Hotel and will try to help this area become a strong hospitality location.

N. Najef
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2010

As with earlier review, the hotel is in its soft opening period so you have to take account of that. Location is a bit in the middle of no-where but only 6-8 minutes walk to Clapham Junction. Courtesy shuttle was not operational due to closure of bridge although a car is available to take you back and forward to Clapham Junction - although this isn't widely known or publicised. Check in was OK and efficient enough. No-one offered to take bags to the room which was OK but you would expect that from a 5 star hotel. No room service menu or price for minibar which was frustrating. Also, lovely selection of teas and coffee but no milk. Raised question of milk twice with Reception and eventually had to go down and physically ask for it. Coffee was not replenished on day two so was left with just decaffinated which wasn't great. Bed was very comfortable but pillows were really soft and uncomfortable (well for me they were)! Asked Reception if they had any other pillows and they didn't. Again, would expect a 5 star to have a menu of pillows or at least another one to choose from. Dinner in Banyan was really nice and good value for money, helped by the 20 per cent discount which all guests had. Service was so-so, not great, just average. There's some work going on in the hotel which you expect during this time and it didn't detract from the stay. All in all, lovely decor and nice and "new" but I definitely wouldn't be pleased if it had been full price. Whole place just lacks "something".

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, England
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2010

The hotel is currently undergoing a "soft opening" so there is evidence of work ongoing around the hotel. Arrival is a little confusing with the car park not being obvious however after going around the block once and asking at reception the car was valet parked for us. Check In was efficient and we were shown to our room although we had arrived early. We stayed in room 110 and the room was stylish with a separate entrance hall and which led onto the bedroom. The bathroom had a large shower but no bath.

There is limited info in the room and no-one advised where or when breakfast was available. There is a lot of technology in the room but we were told it was not available during the soft opening. Just as well because I had enough trouble locating the light switches!

We ate lunch at the Banyan on the Thames. We asked to have a drink at the bar before lunch but were shown straight to the table. There is a limited choice on the menu - if you don't like fish or spicy food the menu is not for you. The starters were beautifully presented but poor quality. The raita served with the chicken tikka was the consistency of skimmed milk and the tilapia fishcakes looked to have been frozen and reheated. The waitress seemed unconcerned about the quality of the food. The Monkfish main course was very good - don't believe it was a tempura batter but it was tasty. Shame the pea puree was served cold as this spoilt the dish. There were only three desserts on the menu and one was not available. I had the brownie and this was disappointing being dry and lacking in chocolate flavour. The espresso quality served after dinner was poor too. Wines that we had during our stay were all good.

We were unable to try the pool / jacuzzi etc as we were told this is not yet open.

We went off to a show for the evening. Unfortunately the free shuttle advertised to Sloane Street was not operational due to the closure of Albert Bridge.

Once returning to the hotel the bedroom was comfortable with good blackout curtains however we were woken at 7am by the collection of the dustbins. Not only could we hear this but the room shook as the bins were emptied just below us. This really spoilt our stay as we were looking forward to a lie in as we had escaped work for the day.

We went to breakfast served in the Banyan and once served the food was tasty although the buffet was not extensive. It was very odd to eat breakfast with a window cleaner staring into your cereal bowl from outside and the jazz music that was playing was very frantic.

Checkout was efficient but the receptionist was not at all concerned when we stated that our stay was not as good as we expected.

All in all for £120 (plus the cost of breakfast) the stay was reasonable value but once prices go up to the full rate the service will not be of a sufficient standard. I would have expected management to have been using this period to train staff and to learn from their customers experiences but there seemed to be little supervision and staff were completely unconcerned about how we found things. This may have something to do with language barriers.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2010

The Rafayel is discrete, elegant and stylish. My wife and I were delighted with every new discovery as all the facilities are in interesting and attractive modern decor and the staff has just the correct attitude combining professionlism and friendliness.

The rooms themselves are gorgeous. We liked how you can't see the bed from the entranceway but instead, the room boasts a welcoming corridor lined with artwork on one side and large, beautifully-curtained windows on the other. The bed itself is luxurious as are all the surroundings. Both a lovely power shower and a seperate deep bath are provided as is a modern bidet. They seem to think of everything here.

The Banyan on the Thames restaurant provided more lovely experiences. Again the staff was wonderful; the waiter was young but directed us towards a gorgeous Sancerre and the signature (monk)Fish & Chips was delicious. We loved the ambience also; dark, sultry, cool with nice music. The views of the river are stunning.

All other facilities such as the super-modern fitness centre with resistance pool and vibration board (powerplate?) were fun to try and suited my style of working out without actually moving a lot!

Everything was very reasonably priced. All-in-all, for my money, we found it to be SUPERB (and sublime) VALUE.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2010

Stayed overnight at the Rafayel, hotel accomadation was excellent, location good, however. Decided that nice breakfast on the Sunday would be the order of the day, placed my order at 09:30 nothing arrived for 1 hour + I was constantly asking them what was going on, they forgot my order and when finally my fried breakfast arrived one of the eggs was still raw!!!!! Absolute disgrace, someone could have been seriously poisoned but such a complete utter regard. I will be contacting the local Environmental health to review the levels of competancy within the kitchen there.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rafayel, Tibor Kiss- Manager at Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 1, 2010
We regret and apologies for the incidence of yesterday, there is no excuse for such a failure on our part. We have taken remedial actions, the problem stemmed from failure of key employees to reach the hotel on time as a result of an accident beyond our control; we take full responsibility for the huge letdown and disappointment caused to you.

Please rest assure that as a small boutique hotel we take customer satisfaction as our only goal, necessary investigations and verbal warnings that constitute disciplinary actions have been taken.

Once again accept our apologies and we assure you that in your next visit we will be able to compensate for this short coming. Your continuous support and sponsorship of our hotel will be a great honour to us. I look forward hearing from you.

Tibor Kiss- Manager
Hotel Rafayel
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2010

We took a family weekend break to London. Having travelled extensively globally, I was intrigued to see how this new hotel measured up. Wow! - The interior deisgn was incredibly tasteful and chic. The restaurant and bar has a fanastic ambience , great food and most of all fantastic river views. Service feels very personal and staff are attentive. The rooms are very spacious with state of the art technology.

We will be back!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2010

Was in London for a brief visit and was looking for a modern boutique hotel in a similar vein to those in our management portfolio in the US.
The Rafayel Hotel has recently opened on Lombard Road, Battersee and has been conceived and built in an highly environmentally sensitive manner. It is well done, with superior attention to detail and quality fittings ... and carries their sustainable features throughout the operation, to the extent of filtering their own still and sparkling water in re-usable glass bottles.
The location is reasonably convenient to much of London and will be particularly desirable during summer months with their river frontage and patio restaurant seating, as well as event areas with sweeping water views.
In room technology is particularly impressive with LED lighting and a media hub for entertainment and work related connectivity to the flat screen LCD TVs. Only improvement opportunity ... HSIA which isn't ... download and upload speeds are poor. With the technology base of the hotel, should be an easy fix ...

James Simkins : MTM Luxury Lodging

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Clapham / Battersea 
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Business Hotel in London
#46 Best Value Hotel in London
#173 Romantic Hotel in London
#187 Family Hotel in London
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rafayel on the Left Bank boasts 65 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 10.00 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
Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel & Spa London, England

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