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“High Quality” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa

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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   34 Lombard Road | Falcon Wharf, London SW11 3RF, England (Clapham / Battersea )   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #237 of 1,052 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
Slough, Berkshire UK
1 review
“High Quality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2010

I have stayed at the Rafayel Hotel on February and was really impressed. Quality of the hotel is oustanding, clean, modern. I booked this hotel as my workplace recommand it. It look like a brand new hotel, Will definitely come back for my next week in london in June. Price is little bit high but really really worth it

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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1,445 reviews from our community

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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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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2010

This hotel is brand new and rates itself as 5 star but in reality it would be 4 possible 4.5 at the very top. I stayed at the hotel as it was close to my brothers place and near some places I needed tp visit for work. It isn't really near anything but it does have fantastic views of the Thames. OK so to the Faulty Towers. After reading the reviews I emailed the hotel and said I wanted a room that was as far away from the helicopter pad as possible - this was confirmed in writing by the reservations department prior to arrival. So when I checked in I received the room closest to the heli pad. The porter I had naturally didn't speak much English (ala Manuel from Faulty Towers) but I explained the issue needed to be fixed. He said he would speak to someone. Ten minutes pass and I see the porter drive off in a car. Room was changed, but the airconditioning didn't work that well in the second room so I wore teo jumpers to bed each night. Did say something but they couldn't really fix it. Went down for breakfast ordered eggs on toast waited 20 minutes and out came a beautiful plate with some greenery and two eggs - no toast. I called the waiter over and she couldn't understand why I wanted toast for my eggs on toast. Anyway another 5 minutes later the toast arrives. The list goes on and got to the point where I just wanted to go back to the hotel each day to see what would happen next.

I would stay here for a comic novelty but have a back up as I doubt you will last more than 1-2 nights.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2010

Fantastic bar looking out on to river. Very friendly staff and elegant decor. Bus 170 takes two mins from outside Clapham Junction St John's Exit. Stop D. Recommended.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2010

On the 6th of March 2010 we celebrated our wedding with a delicious and exquisite lunch at Banyon on the Thames restaurant with our guests from various parts of the world. Some of the guests and ourselves stayed at the Hotel Rafayel for the night. The hotel is modern and very elegant from the ornaments and decoration to the design of the wall paper. The hotel reception area is beautiful, with comfortable sofas and chairs, amazing console marble tables with vases of fresh flowers. The rooms were beautifully decorated and furnished with all the modern facilities you need, including a very comfortable bed. The facilities of the hotel were perfect for our guests, from the cute cupcake shop, to the spacious relaxed communal areas. The staff was attentive all the time and very helpful. All of the guests commented on how good the hotel was and would definitely come back.

We were pleased to have had our wedding lunch at Banyon on the Thames and the Hotel Rafayel. We highly recommend this pearl on the left side of the river Thames! The experience was magnificent and we thanks again to all the members of the hotel and the restaurant to make possible this unforgettable experience. All in all, the experience was a real treat for our family and friends.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2010

I was slightly worried at reading he last review before arriving at the hotel for a stay last week. But I needn’t have been and disagree on several points they made.
Yes, there may be no station on the hotels door, but Wandsworth Town/Clapham junction over lines are a straightforward 10 mins walk away, there are many buses running nearby and a cab from Knightsbridge we took after a day’s shopping- was only a 7/8 min ride away. I think it’s worth it for the actual location, set right on the Thames and in front of a helipad (very James Bond!) you don’t often get a riverside locations like this, and the hotels in London I’ve stayed at that do, have box small rooms.
We went straight to the bar/restaurant for drinks and dinner.
We were very pleasantly greeted by all staff who offered us a cocktail menu as well as telling us the specials of the day and offering to make anything to our personal requirements also. I had the vodka cocktail of the day, can’t remember the name but it was beautiful- and very strong!
The restaurant and bar are dimly lit creating an intimate, relaxed atmosphere, with modern, streamlined decor and looks directly out onto the river. It’s very spacious so we didn’t feel at all disturbed as a couple, and it would be a great location for business meetings or events too.

The dinner was great with generous portions and fresh ingredients. My only gripe- being a vegetarian, was that there should be more than 1 vegetarian main option offered on every menu these days! But I told our waiter this, who then introduced us to the restaurant manager, he was very friendly and said my comment would be taken on board and looked into immediately.
The staff also explained the great ‘green’ ethics behind the hotel. Every material used is carefully considered so there is no plastic anywhere, rubbish –without recycled kept to a bare minimum and I think this is a fantasist, and very unusual contrast for such a glamorous, modern hotel to have.

Regarding rooms, they are all obviously new! So totally spotless, clean but stylishly designed, the bed was soo comfy and bathroom/tv had enough mod cons to keep my boyfriend happy! It was also nice to be slightly off the beaten track( but to make you aware- around the corner is a 24 hour MacDonalds for any late night nibbles, bars, restaurants, and several large stores so it isn’t exactly in middle of nowhere!) and the riverside location is hard to beat. Bars and hotels with gorgeous riverside locations are sadly few and far between in London, so this hotels location and its spacious rooms really made a welcome change, and we will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2010

I booked a room at a good rate on-line and knew the hotel was in its early stages of occupancy so expected a few "start up" but to be fair that did not turn out to be the case but I was disappointed with my stay.

For a top hotel - which will eventually bring its rate up to its normal advertised levels - I was really surprised that in a luxury room the double bed was the absolute minimum width that you get in UK - a four feet 6 inch bed. Couldn't somebody have stretched to a more normal queen size (or larger) bed for what are supposed to be luxury rooms?

But the room was well equipped with a good shower and bathroom. Some of the advertised space was taken up by the corridor in the room which made the room feel more cramped though. Not very attractive views of the river.

But the real issue is the location. It really is in the middle of nowhere from a London tourist's or businessman's perspective. There is no underground station anywhere nearby, no taxis waiting at the hotel or going past and when we walked for some time from the hotel no taxis to be seen. The hotel did say they had a shuttle bus running to the undergound station but that it took 20 minutes just to get there. We decided to try and walk and find a taxi and did manage to find one once we crossed the river and after about a 25 minute walk. To be fair the hotel did offer to order a taxi but that really removes the flexibility of being able to pop in and out to suit your own agenda. Our "cheap" one night stay soon became more expensive as we racked up a taxi from the station (£25), taxi to restaurant (£20), taxi back from restaurant (£20) and taxi in the morning (£15) when we would normally have just hopped on the underground.

So the hotel is fine, but with unnecesarily small beds, though it will struggle to match others in its price class but the real issue is the location in an out of the way area - I just can't see how they will attract repeat customers over a longer period -we certainly would not stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rafayel, Manager at Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 12, 2010
From - Krystyna Maziarka
Guest Relation Manager

We appreciate the comments of the guest and would like to add the following-

On 'Bed sizes-'

Our beds are from Hypnos known as Queens bed, known as the best in the hospitality trade. Hypnos, a fifth generation, family-run British business, has been manufacturing luxury handmade beds using traditional, time-honored methods for over 100 years, and is renowned around the world as the expert in making handcrafted deep pocket spring beds. Our bed size ranges from 1.40 by 2.00 to 2.20 by 2.00

Hypnos is a proud holders of the Royal Warrant of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, each and every bed is individually made by master craftsmen, guaranteeing unrivalled quality and years of sumptuous, comfortable sleep. Combining traditional skills with constant innovation, and using only the finest natural materials, Hypnos has a reputation for making the most comfortable beds in the world.

We have only 5 of beds that are 1.40 wide as highlighted by the guest; these are located in some of our standard rooms. Our standard room is 220 sq-ft and to create an office desk space plus a small sitting place that contains hi-fi internet access and a media hub we did compromise on 1.40 by 2.00 m bed in these rooms, but yet no compromise was made on quality of the beds. Space with purpose has been leading feature of our design and for us every room to have a working desk .Our guests only rarely due to higher occupancy may have had the inconvenience of being allocated one of those rooms. Our average bedside is 1.80 by 2.00.We are conscious of this and will respect any guest request to be accommodated wherever possible.

On 'Location-'

We are a Battersea Hotel and will never shy away from unique pedigree of our location. We try our best to offer facilities that are quite at par with what a good hotel should offer in the West End, we are serving clientele from all across luxury at affordable level.

Battersea and area around is becoming a new Yuppie location where hedge fund managers and banks are moving in droves, within 1and half mile radius with Rafayel at the centre live nearly 250,000 people. With summer approaching our unique position on river gives on a south west angle where sun rarely sets until as late as 10 in the night.

In our opinion we have made this investment in an up and coming area which is fast growing and has a great future. The designs of 500 m £ American Embassy and Billions of pound worth Battersea Power Plant projects recently got a go ahead. The American Embassy has announced plans to shift here in this new upcoming area of London from heart of Mayfair, the most expensive piece of river front residential property is located along the riverbank, where we are located.

Battersea is not connected to London main tube service but has excellent bus and on land train services, the bus 170 leaves right in front of the hotel to Victoria in 12 minutes at a frequency of every 15 minutes. We take great pride being in Battersea that is up and coming area of London and situated across the river from Chelsea. We think we are proud part of a change and transformation of Battersea and we firmly believe that Hotel Rafayel in its little small way will help Battersea become a stronger competitor with other areas that are competing for greater visibility and prominence in the hospitality industry.

We understand that we are no West End but we have geared ourselves to bring good quality accommodation and service to the South Bank, we do apologise where we fail to impress despite of our best efforts.One thing we really cannot help is where we are, definitely we like it here.

With all these new developments sprouting along the river we see Hotel Rafayel located only 18-22 minutes river walk from Kings road as part of London that is on South bank but unlike Greenwich is at a very short walking distance. It is in our assessment this is an area that is very beautiful but still undiscovered on the river yet so close to London. From our point of view we believe that it would be 'unfair' to suggest that Battersea is in middle of nowhere, though arguably not on the tube network and hence still a secret location.

We do offer free drop off to Clapham common tube station, Clapham South and Clapham Junction, that helps our guests a lot but absolutely no match to the convenience offered by hopping a black cab. The hotel does have a special rate from a call taxi company that charges only10pounds to the heart of West End but the guests regrettably refused to accept these service.

We intend to resume free service to Sloane square as soon we have traffic on Chelsea Bridge normalised after initial setback of rerouting of traffics as a result of Prince Albert Bridge closure. We think that taxi charges that the guest suffered were quite excessive but would suggest a little planning of routes can help; we would like our guest to take full advantage of complimentary drop services to the closest tube stations and remain fully pledged to help them in any way to reduce transportation costs that will define our hotel.

Krystyna Maziarka
Guest Relation Manager
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South England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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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:
#54 Business Hotel in London
#69 Best Value Hotel in London
#173 Luxury Hotel in London
#218 Family Hotel in London
#261 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: 65
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 London
Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel And Spa
Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel & Spa London, England

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