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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
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Reviews (2,154)
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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
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2  Thank TJW1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank cocktailkitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank AdriandNigel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Jemimastar1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank derosa
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 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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