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“Lovely hotel, not a great location”

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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
Ranked #316 of 1,068 Hotels in London
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Lovely hotel, not a great location”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

The hotel itself is nice and met our expectations! The food was lovely but drinks a little expensive. Staff all friendly and helpful! Room was big and clean but air con was a bit difficult to use! Gym and spa facilities were brilliant! Only downfall is the location isn't great but the shuttle service they provide to clapham junction and common is great! Would recommend!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank xsjix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
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Louisville, Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2013

I stayed at the Rafayel on the Left Bank for two nights – July 16 and 17, 2013. It is a nice hotel and I would stay there again. I was on vacation with my two adult children so I needed one room with three beds. The hotel staff put two portable single beds into one of the large suites – it worked perfectly ! We had a great room that over looked the river.

The front desk staff was professional, friendly, helpful and efficient. The four things I look for in a front desk staff !

The hotel was clean and quiet. The location was OK. There are some restaurants within walking distance but it was a 10 – 15 minute walk and the selection was limited. The closest ATM was about a 15 minute walk. The Clapham Junction rail station is about a 15 minute walk but the hotel does have a free shuttle that will drop and pick you up. I used it a couple of times.
The hotel also arranged for a shuttle to take us to the Euston train station. It was not free but it was cheaper than a taxi. The driver also provided some helpful advice.

The hotel does have a restaurant that is of course overpriced but every hotel restaurant is overpriced. There is a breakfast buffet that has a decent selection. The service was OK. They have an outdoor dining area that was very pleasant. We arrived in London at 7:30 a.m. and arrived at the hotel about 9:30 a.m. Unfortunately our room was not ready so we grab something to eat in the restaurant. Our room was not going to be available until 1:00 p.m. so the hotel let us check our luggage and we had their shuttle take us to the train station.

I think one of the advantages of this hotel is that it is not in the London center. It is located between the airport and downtown. It is not the cheapest hotel in town but it is competitively priced. We took a taxi from Heathrow to the hotel that cost £75. The train would have been a lot cheaper but we had just spent 12 hours travelling and didn’t feel like trying to figure out the very confusing London rail system. We did take the train to Heathrow the next day to pick up a rental car. We had to switch trains twice.

Bottom line … great hotel and I would stay here again. The staff is professional and responded to all my emails in a timely manner. They worked with me to get one room and three beds.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Patrick O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnborough, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

Writing this review 2 months after staying - should have written earlier but been too busy on other matters. Anyway, here now as looking at reviews for our vacation hotel so thought I'd review this whilst I'm here. Review won't be great - I did advise hotel staff on check out that I'd write a letter of complaint, but frankly, got the distinct impression that it wouldn't be worth the time or effort - our points were made during our stay and at checkout in any event.

Anyway, we booked 3 double rooms for 3 nights in May for myself and my staff who were attending a trade exhibition. Upon arrival, we were told we would be 'upgraded' to a penthouse apartment - from memory, I think it was on the 5th floor (accessed in any event by putting your key into the penthouse lock in the lift). We understand that the hotel was full - and as we were a party of 5, us taking the apartment freed up 3 more double rooms in the main hotel for the hotel to sell (easier to fill I suspect than a 3 bed apartment). We had a look around before committing, and more fool us, the fantastic views were what we looked at rather than subjectively looking at the quality of the rooms, furnishings and facilities. Back downstairs at check-in with common sense returning, we questioned the bathroom facilities and were assured that whilst only one bedroom had an en-suite, the other two bedrooms each had a bath/shower room albeit not en-suite (important when there are 4 females trying to get ready at the same time in the morning!) We were also under the impression that we would be saving money to take the apartment over 3 separate rooms. This we were later told was our misunderstanding. Had I known this before check out, we would definitely NOT have taken the 'upgrade' as facilities and comfort would have been better had we kept to our original booking for the same price.

Without making this an incredibly long review; the net effect of our stay is that (1) the quality of the 'upgraded' apartment was poor (2) it had only 2 bathrooms for 3 bedrooms, (3) The bedrooms were small and not well furnished, certainly not to the standard of other same star rated hotels I've stayed in; and (4) definitely NOT the same high spec as I'm led to believe the bedrooms are in the main hotel. The shower in the en-suite was pitiful and spluttered to life each morning. The furnishings were definitely NOT 5* standard in this particular apartment. There was only one mirror in the whole apartment (on a wardrobe) that had natural light and one of my staff slept on a what looked like a camp bed (that was the 'twin')... Basics like tea/coffee were not replenished, and the cleaning left something to be desired (all of this was brought to the attention of the staff at the time).

On a plus point, the restaurant food is very good and the cocktails are good. The very slow service in the restaurant however really lets it down. The general areas of the hotel that we saw were very nice, and if the main hotel rooms are anything like the images then they too befit the rating. The location is good for Battersea Park and there are also some very nice restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

I had high expectations for Rafayel and was sorely disappointed due on the whole to the apartment and the price we paid for it. This is because of the sub-standard quality of the apartment - the main hotel rooms themselves look very good from the images, and main hotel rooms appear to be well priced (this is one of the reasons we chose this hotel over Pestana Chelsea Bridge which is where we usually stay). I wish we had never agreed to 'upgrade' - this was in fact a massive 'downgrade' in my opinion. As I said, we thought we were getting a better deal by taking the apartment which is why we didn't insist on getting the three original rooms back - had I known we would pay the same (which I was subsequently advised at checkout), I would never have agreed as it definitely was not worth it - even if it did have amazing views......

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Natalie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Arrived at the hotel and without asking we were upgraded to an executive apartment suite over looking the Thames.... Desk staff were amazing, helpful and polite... Our suite was on two floors with two bedroom with winter gardens over looking Thames, kitchen, dining room (which we ordered room service for breakfast with also was fantastic!) we didn't want to go out like we had planned and also didn't want to leave! We wish we could have stayed a week at least... We used the spa which was beautiful and very clean and after sat out on the bar terrace and drank champagne all afternoon in the sun :) ....I would recommend this hotel to any one especially those looking for a romantic weekend away

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank angelface1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

We stayed 6 nights here. We were initially given a ground floor very dark room which was lit by lamps not central lights and it only had one window in the corner of the room. We also noticed on returning from dinner a bad smell in the room. We advised reception staff in the morning and on returning that evening returned to our room. It was even more pungent & after a staff member came to the room to check it out, he agreed it was not good. We were shown a one bedroom apartment & were moved there fairly promptly. This was an excellent outcome as we had a full kitchen, laundry facilities & an enclosed outdoor area. Location is serviced by a very frequent 170 bus service which stops right outside the hotel and takes you to nearby Clapham Junction or to Victoria. The hotel also provides a free shuttle to Clapham Junction or Clapham Common. If you stay here check out Red Pocket an excellent Chinese restaurant beside the helipad in the hotel next to Rafayels it's well worth the visit.

Room Tip: Ask if they have any apartments available they're well worth it particularly if you're havin...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Trish B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

I stayed here with my girlfriend and it was an excellent stay. I originally booked an amazon suite but got upgraded to a junior suite.

The hotel entrance is very impressive and the room was amazing. Some minor stains on the carpet, but you would have to really look to see them. The rest of the room was spotless and bathroom perfect.

The hotel is about a 10min walk from clapham junction, but overlooks the Thames. Apparently the hotel offers a shuttle service from clapham junction but I didn't realise until I got there.

On our way back from London I called the hotel and asked for a champagne bucket with ice to be left in the room with the champagne I had previously bought, to be put in it. This was no problem at all.

Overall, a fantastic hotel, helpful staff and beautiful rooms. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alex P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

We stayed one night for my partners bday. Had found it on a hotel comparison website, though found booking directly from their site, a better deal.

On check in the car was parked by a member of staff and overnight parking cost £15. I asked what our room was like and the lady said it was spacious...nothing else. We were explained about free use of the gym and spa and 50% off at the restaurant if two courses were ordered and 50% off on spa treatments.

Our room was lovely. An amazon room situated on a corner. It was spacious and modern with huge windows. The only downfall was we were on the first floor and looked out onto the street. This meant that we had to keep the blinds closed, but it wasn't a real problem.

We were provided with the usual tea and coffee, soap, towels, robes and slippers. Room was air conned and room service was 24 hours.

The spa and gym were small but clean. They had everything we needed and staff were friendly. As it was quiet, we had the place to ourselves though could see the space being an issue if it got busy.

We didnt eat at the restaurant as there was practically nothing on the menu for vegetarians although we would have loved to have taken advantage of the 50% off. Finding somewhere near by to eat was a bit of a mission and we were prob better off driving into town, but ended up eating at a thai 5 mins down the road.

When we returned, we decided to go to the hotel bar as we noticed it was advertised as 50% on a board by the lift. Unfortunately, this was not the case and when we complained about the false advertising to reception, no one could come up with a resolution. They kept mentioning dinner, but there was no mention of dinner on this board, just drinks - 50% off. Kindly the bar man gave us complementary drinks. I presume he could see the error. The restaurant and bar look on to the thames with beautiful views.

We had breakfast in bed the next morning, it was quite pricey, but was nice - scrambled eggs with mushrooms & salmon and a bakery basket - this was described to come with condiments but arrived with just butter.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay even with the cons described and we will be back. We loved the decor and the modern touches and for anyone that prefers a more traditional hotel, this may not be the one, but for us it was lovely.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simmtch
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:
Location: United Kingdom > England > London > Clapham / Battersea 
Amenities:
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 Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#59 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 (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
Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel & Spa London, England

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