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Reviews of Rafayel on the Left Bank, Battersea

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Review by Ian Jeremy on 17th January, 2010

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Great place to stay, just read this article and would like to share- Will London’s newest “eco hotel” be a success? The recently-opened “eco-luxe” Rafayel Hotel (or Rafayel on the Left Bank as it calls itself) in Battersea has just received its first TripAdvisor reviews. And since we love green hotels on this blog – having praised the eco award-winning Cavendish and Base2stay hotels as well as the Zetter at various times – we’ve decided to take a closer look at the Rafayel too. This new hotel is interesting because it seems to have been constructed from head to toe with the environment in mind. The hotel’s owners rather boldly state that they don’t see any compromise between luxury and eco-friendliness and have set out to hit both targets at the same time. As the hotel developer puts it: “luxury should not mean adhering to traditional standards of unsustainable opulence; rather it should incorporate technology in tune with the sensitivities of Mother Nature.” Time will tell whether they manage to achieve their ambitious goals but I think the spirit and lofty targets are admirable. Early guest reviews of the Rafayel appear to suggest that its "luxury-eco" claim is not without substance Here are some of the ways that the Rafayel is setting out to reinvent our idea of what a “green hotel” should offer: Cutting-edge new green technology to minimise energy consumption. “No plastic” policy. Paper and glass recycling. LED lighting. Efficient air conditioning/air management system. Full-length windows to maximise natural light. Rainwater recycled from roof. Only organic and fair trade products. Guests offered electronic rather than printed newspapers. Handmade beds recycled with “zero landfill” processes. The goal is to cut the average guest’s carbon footprint by 17kg from the conventional hotel average of 70kg/night – a 20% improvement. Some of the hotel’s ideas are certainly innovative. For example, it may be possible for guests to view their own energy consumption. This opens up the possibility of eventually giving rewards to the most eco-friendly guests. It’s important that innovation and competition stimulate more hotels to pick up the challenge of being truly green. In this sense, the Rafayel’s opening is a step in the right direction and I hope it succeeds as a positive example. The TripAdvisor guest feedback sample is still too small to analyse however, the initial signs look promising and it has provisionally entered the charts in the top 50. Watch this space and we’ll keep you fully informed.

Date visited: 11th Jan. to 14th Jan. 2010

Review by Harry Henkel on 14th January, 2010

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London has many hotels and a big inventory of rooms, but all in one 'rooms' that bring value and quality are rare to come by. I hope they can maintain these lofty standards and hi-usage of technology may not fail them. I will rate them a great hotel for business, Battersea sounds distant but in my opinion it was very close to my Mayfair rendezvous point, I was pleasantly surprised. Took me 20 minutes directly in gratis service provided by the hotel. 1- The beds - just grand , Hypnos I believe, u don't have a better pedigree of beds 2- The corridors- I have never seen wider corridors in a new construct. 3. Carpets- very good, cloud nine 4. Decor- Sculptor and art sprinkled all over, extraordinary 5- Wide plasma TV screens, IPTV hi definition 6- Power ad jet showers 7- Amenities- organic by Neom, very refreshing 8- Technology- every room has a guide 101 on how to maximise services utilisation 9- Earth friendly- all low energy LEDs 10- No paper or plastics, can cause little upset when u need to take notes instead of electronic notes 11- Free hispeed - internet, office table and room to work in the room,BT rates for telephones 12- I used the board room facility and the attched huge common areas to entertain my guests. 13- Grand lobby and a great bar 14- Free shuttle to Sloane square, big plus 15- Jacuzi and bathroom TVs in my Amazon room 16- SPA was not ready, that was a disappointment but hopefully in the next visit it will be 17- I think great value for what I paid for and the staff was ready to please 18- Linen and pillows- extremely good Hotel Rafayel represents an extraordinary effort to please customers, they have raised the hurdle so high that I fear they themselves may not trip. I was most impressed by eco friendly approach and welcoming staff, Bathrooms were sometime cold I was informed that eco-friendly nature of the hotel resulted in no towel heaters.I think we need to change our habits of luxury.. I wish them best of luck.

Date visited: 3rd Jan 2010

Review by Ken K on 3rd January, 2010

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Absolutely brilliant - To open the doors of a new build during the most inactive period of the year when services failures are hard to be repaired showed some confidence that this hotel management had or maybe it was the best sleek period for a soft opening. This is state of art expertise combined with a smart technology that tries to minimise energy usage, I see that present threat of global warming cannot be addressed unless we try to change the pattern of consumption, talking to the staff and using the rooms that were all paperless and plastic free, I felt that it is achievable. The beds, linen the closest to ones face were just incredibly comfortable. I must say a word about common areas and huge bathrooms sizes with power showers and natural products, this is the new face and future of a very changing hotel industry. i wish all the best for Hotel Rafayel team and hopefully in my next visit will see the whole complex functioning, the new year party the crystal bar was wonderful the views are wonderful, the one most attractive part was latest technology that helps bar to change colours, like Sanderson long bar it is one of a kind bar, though prices are far reasonable. In my opinion this is a top west end product introduced in Battersea. Absolutely brilliant property with a lot of potential, once SPA and conferencing come on line by 10th of Jan 2010. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my stay, will return.

Date visited: 30-1st ,Jan 2010

Review by Nadine on 29th December, 2009

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Sans doute, one of the best hotels I've ever stayed at! Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank went beyond my expectations. Unique concept, unique features, very stylish in a contemporary way, and fascinating the way the hotel took pains to install ecofriendly features. Loved the art collection too! And all of that at such reasonable prices! Rafayel's staff was very helpful and warm. Thank you for such a nice stay and see you soon!

Date visited: 22 Dec

Review by Dr. Ibrahim Taghrid on 26th December, 2009

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My family stayed at Hotel Rafayel for a day and they were really pleased with their stay. The lobby was really stunning and I was really surprised by how large, yet tasteful, my room was. The restaurant and spa, was very good even though the Spa wasn't open yet. I spoke with Imelda Burke, and she told me about the surrounding locality, where local businessmen jog along the river and that there's a real sense of community. My family was really surprised to realise how close we were to the Kings Road since hitherto their impressions of the South Bank had been Canary Wharf. However they soon realised that Hotel Rafayel is really in an area, which is an extension of Chelsea. I'm a resident of the Falcon Wharf development but the Hotel has just galvanised the entire locality. Its constantly buzzing and vibrant; last night I attended the Christmas Eve dinner at the Banyan, which was an intime and wonderfully tasteful affair. The views were simply stunning; West End bars are very trendy but they simply can't compare to the floor-ceiling views of the River Thames. In beauty, lighting and length of the bar; I'd compare the lobby of the Hotel Rafayel, if not better, equal to the Sanderson's. However what the Sanderson's definitely does not have is the vista and view of the River Thames, which is both awe-inspiring and soothing at the same time. I sincerely believe that Hotel Rafayel is a great addition to Battersea and will definitely give an added attraction. Battersea needed that. Furthermore the price is very reasonable and I really think the developers had a real vision behind their work. There is a definite pride and it seems that all over the internet one finds raving reviews of Hotel Rafayel. There is only one more axis for London to grow and that's via Battersea; the houses are large and the Battersea Park is among the largest in the city.

Date visited: 23-24th December

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