First I have to say we did not actually stay, but visited the hotel where two members of family, and very young child, were staying. What I'm giving here is my observations of being in a room,, bar and seeing staff. We got a good looka round and facillities looked very good - gym and room all well equipped and modern. The staff were very friendly and dealt with adding a cot to the romo in a smooth manner - even if the first one was impossible to put up they simply replaced it. All the work was done for you, which was good to see, and done with a smile. The room was well furnished with a good view of the river. The restaurant and bar had a river level view and I expect with summer coming will permit outdoor dining. The menu certainly was good and reasonably priced. Drinks were similar for a London hotel.
The downsides I could see were the location (as well as being it's biggest asset), flats above and the entertainment in the bar.
Dealing with the "lounge singer" first there was a guy singing in the bar/restaurant (they're two levels of the same place) with the taped backgrounds for "swing" music. Presumably called "swing" as he hit so many bad notes as he swung from in and out of tune with a regular rythmn. Definately not 5 star on this point, bordering on crass. It cheapened the place a bit.
The block is actually a lot higher than the hotel space, with longer term accommodation taking up the higher floors. As you walk to the hotel you could be forgiven for thinking it's flats, and possibly council, with the number of toys and such which are clear on the balconies above. It's not an appealing view and again does the hotel no credit. It looks off putting.
The location suggests it is more of a business than holdiay hotel. If you're driving then it's easy to get to and going to be very comfortable to stay. If I was on business i'd be happy here. Using public transport is a different matter or going for a walk outside. The riverside of the hotel is a lovely view. The builders yards and walk back to Clapham Junction train station is not. This is a bit more "raw" London. It's interesting but not the best part of town by any means. There's a nice Thai restaurant about 5 minutes walk (also facing the river) whic his good value and good food.
The Helipad is right outside on the riverside. Watchintg Helicopers take off and land is fun, but noisy. Some rooms in the hotel are going to be very close to this. A plus or a minus, depends on who you are. For me it was a plus.
Very close to Chelsea and Fulham if you're travelling for soccer.
Overall I'd tell people travelling on London for business, particuarly if they have a car, that this is a hotel you should look at. For holdiays or breaks if you've got a car or don't mind getting taxis it's also going to be reasonable. I just think it's good, "got close to very good" but could just be that bit better.
- 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 London
- Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel And Spa
- Rafayel On The Left Bank - Hotel & Spa London, England