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Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa
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Reviews (2,135)
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Reviewed 21 September 2015

Came with no expectations other then wanting a shower and a good nights sleep.
Exceeded my expectations - was dubious as this hotel is literally next to a hellcopter landing pad and was expecting to relive my days in Nam but it really is a sound proof hotel. Very comfortable lovely linen and towels, comfy bed and great powerful hot shower.
Did not eat here so can not comment on that but otherwise a great place to stay by the river Thames.

Room Tip: We had the disabled room - huge and spacious
  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Claire M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2015 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here as the starting point of our honeymoon. We know hotel star ratings can be deceptive in the uk as we have both stayed in 5* hotels in different countries the UK 5* hotels are never close standard wise.

We got to the hotel and didn't realise most of the building is apartment rental so when you look up at the hotel from the front you can see people laundry from the windows. This obviously is not the hotels fault but it just didn't give off an expensive hotel feel.

We were greeted by a lady who looked miserable and a gentleman who was more friendly at the desk.

We checked into our room and we were very disappointed with the view. We were on the 1st floor and at the front of the hotel (is facing the warehouses and not waterfront). The room was very bright and clean. We asked the front desk if they had an alternative room we could have facing the waterfront as we were starting our honeymoon. The gentleman was very nice and checked for us and relocated us to the other side of the hotel (above the restaurant) with a view of the river.

This room was slightly darker because there was few windows but we preferred the view.

I did read reviews about the hotel on TripAdvisor before we went and I completely agree with people in that it is a very dark hotel. I get they are eco-friendly etc but I would consider booking an eco-friendly hotel again if it means it being this dark. The corridors light up by motion sensors but they react slowly and when the lights come on they are the dimmest lights.

The room itself was quite technical. If you like your technology you will love the rooms. There were speakers in the room and bathroom. Sound was amazing. The light above the bed had a dimmer and you can change the colour. The shower had 4 jets, the rain shower and the normal shower head. I can see the hotel really does pick up on TripAdvisor reviews as they have placed 4 circular shower mats on the shower floor. Which I think was quite good and looks lots better than the ugly normal shower mats. But I think the lights definitely need to brighter in the rooms. Impossible to do make up!

The waffle bathrobes were not the greatest bathrobes we have used and they were stained too. But the bath towels were large and lovely and soft.

We were very disappointed about the spa though. The hotel is advertised as having a sauna, jacuzzi and pool. On check in we were told the jacuzzi and sauna was broken! Which was not great considering we paid for a hotel with these and they were out of use. We didn't get much of an apology. We decided to go to the pool and only to find it was a resistance pool and you needed goggles to use it. Absolutely useless for us.

Location wise the hotel is fantastic. We took the bus from Victoria coach station from and to the hotel with no hassle as it drops and picks you up directly outside the hotel. The hotel also does a free shuttle to clapham junction and clapham common. It's extremely handy and nice touch.

The hotel Restaurant (banyan on the thames) was rather disappointing. The food wasn't great. We had dinner with two of our friends and all 4 of us were not wowed by the food. Hotel guests get 50% off their bill and there is currently a Groupon deal too. The food is very expensive. With the 50% discount it is just reasonable but would still expect better food. The choices available maybe too wide for the chefs.

Just a note to those expecting a cigar lounge,there isn't one. We saw a plaque saying there was a cigar lounge next to our room but it was empty (not like the photos on tripadvisor) so we called reception to ask where it was. We were told there isn't one. Maybe the hotel should take down the sign.

Overall, the hotel is in a good location, the view is fantastic and the rooms are great. Downfall for the hotel is the lack of working facilities in the spa and the restaurant.

We would consider going back if the spa was better or the price dropped to reflect the lack of swimming pool.

Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank Connie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malcolm_Bass, Director at Rafayel on the Left Bank - Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2015

Dear Guest

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent stay at Hotel Rafayel on the left bank. We appreciate all feedback we receive and try and act on feedback as much as possible in order to improve our hotel and the services we offer.

You are right in that the hotel is located on the first 3 floors of a sixteen storey building which also houses private residents. We do ask residents to always try and keep their balcony areas free of clutter, as we are aware this does effect the image one has when standing outside and looking up at the building. We are sorry if the initial view you had of the hotel was not one that inspired you.

I am disappointed to hear that you found one of our reception staff to be miserable at the time of check in. I like to think that friendliness comes naturally to most of our reception staff when dealing with guests, however this shows perhaps a need for some of our staff to demonstrate more of a happy side when greeting guests! Nevertheless I am delighted to hear that the gentleman you dealt with was able to show the friendliness I normally associate with the staff in our hotel. I am also glad to hear that upon hearing of your discontent with the original room you were allocated, he was able to allocate you a different room which turned out to be much more to your liking.

I appreciate your comments regarding the lighting in the hotel and can inform you that after reading some other recent reviews and upon receiving other feedback from guests, we have recently added extra lights in the bedrooms and are also looking at adding extra lights in some of the corridors to address this issue.

I am pleased to hear that you were impressed with the technology in the room including the quality of sound from the speakers and the power from the rain jet showers. I was also particularly happy to read your comment about the shower mats, as you are correct in saying that we have recently added these in response to feedback. It is nice to see that some of the changes we are making are having a positive impact!

Thank you again for your review and we look forward to hopefully seeing you back at the Rafayel on a future occasion.

Kind regards

Hotel Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2015 via mobile

Me and my other have had the pleasure of staying here for a trip to London on our anniversary, and I can happily say that the staff were very attentive to us and made us feel very comfortable, they also went out of their way to cater for any needs or requirements that we had. At first their had been a mix up on the rooms, which they were more than happy to rectify! The othe manager of the hotel was very friendly and so were the staff, I would record recommende staying their again!

Stayed: September 2015
Thank Harris1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2015

Myself and my partner booked this hotel for one night (05/07/15). At the time I was 35 weeks + 6 days pregnant. We thought this would be a nice pleasant break, in nice surroundings.

However, we were in the basement carpark when my waters broke. We thought we were in luck, as a staff member from the hotel had accompanied us down there. How wrong were we?! When my partner asked the man for a towel and told him what was happening, he completely shocked us. He refused point blank to get us a towel or offer any help at all. All he said was "no sorry" then disappeared. For a 5 star hotel that is completely unprofessional and very poor customer care, especially in these circumstances. After the man had gone, we realised that we were locked in the car park. All the doors including fire exits were locked, we couldn't find a way out. It wasn't until we saw a man who lives in the local apartments leaving the car park that we were actually able to exit.

Once we were out, we went back up to the hotel room to call the hospital, as we had no signal on our phones in the car park. We were advised to make our way to the hospital. We ended up SPENDING THE NIGHT THERE, and our daughter arrived safely in the morning...thank god.

Now, with contacting the hotel to make a complaint, they refused to except any responsibility and denied not helping us in what was a scary situation. Not one member of staff we talked to over the phone helped us, they were all VERY RUDE. We even had the phone hung up on us! Even when we got through to someone higher up in the company they didn't seem bothered about what had happened. We are very angry and of course want a full refund for the night we DID NOT spend there. Which they also refused!

They even had the cheek to take £50 off my card which they had activated when we had checked in. A few days later after receiving a mouthful from us they decided to give back £35 but they still took £15 for the carpark, which again shocked us as we DID NOT stay there and use the OVER NIGHT CARPARK!!

All they are offering is 25% off our next stay, what a complete joke. This is appalling behaviour for any business let alone a 5 star hotel. We will definitely not be returning or recommending.

WE WANT OUR REFUND! At the very least.

  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank Chloe W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2015

Stayed here for one night and it was very comfortable with extremely friendly and helpful staff. We checked in very late which was no problem for the staff and left the car in their secure underground car park the next day. Efficient shuttle to the tube and buses outside the door made getting around easy. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank MHCambs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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