Friday, 29 January 2010

Romance at Rafayel - Valentine's Packages

Rendezvous at Rafayel for Romance

London is a city for lovers and Rafayel is the rendezvous for romance. Our riverside setting and views, the warm glow from our lobby, the decadent cosiness of our rooms and the culinary delights of our restaurant all make Rafayel the perfect location for a romantic getaway.

To enhance your Valentine’s Day experience, we have designed two special packages for lovers seeking a romantic retreat over the Valentine’s Day weekend (Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th February): Rafayel Romance and Suite Dreams. Packages may be added to any room category.

Banyan-on-the-Thames, our riverside restaurant, provides the ideal setting for a romantic dinner and is also pleased to offer a unique Valentine’s Dinner menu. To view the menu please click HERE.


Romance at Rafayel

Experience the Rafayel magic. Treat someone special and book the Rafayel Romance package. Arrive in your room to find a bottle of champagne on ice and fresh rose petals scattered over your bed. Then indulge your senses with complimentary Valentine’s mini-cupcakes, Neom scented candle and oils. We want you both to relax, so don’t rush - take advantage of our special late check-out.

Package includes:

• Bottle of Champagne
• Valentine mini-cupcake treat
• Fresh rose petals
• Neom Complete Bliss candle
• Mini oils
• Late check-out at 1pm

2. SUITE DREAMS £175.00 inc VAT

Show your loved one how much they really mean to you with our Suite Dreams package. Your bed will be decorated with rose petals, a bottle of champagne will be chilling on ice, and a selection of cupcakes and strawberries from our very own Mychelle’s Baketique will be waiting for you.

But it doesn’t end there. What is romance without relaxation? This package also includes an individual 30min Amala Romance Massage for you and your partner at the River Wellbeing Spa. Arouse your senses with Amala’s bespoke blend of romantic Frankincense, Bergamot, Vanilla and Rosewood.

We will also provide a Complete Bliss candle and an organic body set for you to enjoy in your luxury bathroom or take home. You’ll be so relaxed you won’t want to leave, so we will also give you a late check out. Sweet dreams!

Package includes:

• Bottle of Champagne
• Fresh rose petals
• Neom Complete Bliss candle
• Organic body set
• Mini oils
• Selection of cupcakes and strawberries
• His and Hers 30 min Amala Romance Massage
• Late check-out at 1pm

Package prices are exclusive of room rates. Room rates vary according to category. Packages are valid Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th February 2010.

To book either package please contact our Reservations department via telephone: +44 (0)20 7801 3610 or e-mail:

To make a Valentine’s Dinner reservation at Banyan on the Thames please telephone: +44 (0)20 7801 3638

Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank Web Site

Monday, 25 January 2010

Rafayel's Spa and Bakery - New Photos

Rafayel's River Wellbeing Spa aims to reposition spa-going as a healing activity, as part of a complete health and wellbeing experience. The Hotel and Spa team believe that treatments such as massage, water therapies, natural skincare, nutritional therapy and exercise need to be redefined as an integral part of a health-conscious lifestyle, with the emphasis on their far-reaching curative effects rather than simply being luxurious indulgences.

To this end, the River Wellbeing Spa features an Exercise Pool and a Hydrotherapy Pool (pictured below):

Of course a treat from our lobby bakery can also make you feel wonderfully (indeed, decadently!) good and content!

Below is the latest photo of MyChelle's Baketique, which offers you deliciously inspired and unique cakes and desserts:

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Review of Banyan on the Thames

Banyan on the Thames, Hotel Rafayel's fine dining restaurant, has received its first media review (courtesy of View London).

To quote:

"Battersea has a swish new hotel, Hotel Rafayel, a bit off the beaten track but convenient for the heliport whence it presumably hopes a portion of its upmarket trade will come. Within is a sleek, riverside restaurant of considerable ambition and culinary diversity which could soon be a valuable addition to the area...

"Banyan on the Thames is a stylish, modern, welcoming restaurant with a glorious riverside location...Most commendably and unusually, no service charge is added to bills. Let's hope sufficient customers seek out this attractive, tucked-away place which...could become a hidden gem.

To read the full Review Article click HERE

Friday, 22 January 2010

Rafayel - a hotel Bill Gates should like

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is well-known for his charitable causes and interests. Many of these subjects are featured on his blog, "The Gates Notes". Hotel Rafayel shares many of Bill Gates environmental concerns. We were particularly interested to read his recent post "Why We Need Innovation, Not Just Insulation".

Bill Gates writes that:

"Conservation and behavior change alone will not get us to the dramatically lower levels of CO2 emissions needed to make a real difference. We also need to focus on developing innovative technologies that produce energy without generating any CO2 emissions at all..."

We at Rafayel have long subscribed to this view. To quote from our own mission statement (posted on this blog several months ago):

"Our decision to use the latest cutting-edge technology, at considerable expense, to replace redundant energy-hungry technology is grounded in our philosophy of doing what we can to minimise the harmful effects that an unsustainable carbon footprint will wreak on future generations. We are not shallow thinkers or narrow-minded consumers; for us, the huge capital costs of technology payback through lower emissions are a minor price to pay towards building a better world for future generations. We know that we can only ever play a tiny role in the greater, global, effort to securing a clean future, but we are ardent believers in the principle of leading by example."

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

MyChelle's Baketique now open!!

Hotel Rafayel is pleased to announce the opening of MyChelle's Baketique.

Founded by Michelle Husserl, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute, Mychelle’s Baketique offers a full range of pastries and sweets for any occasion. Located in the lobby of Hotel Rafayel, the Baketique will be an irresistible diversion for anyone who passes its appetising window display.

Tables are already stacked high with beautifully designed cupcakes decorated in the brightest Bollywood colours. Other baked delights will include Victoria sponges, heart puffs, cookies and much more. Michelle bakes every dessert herself and her creativity, talent and passion can be tasted in every bite. Mychelle’s Baketique will also happily cater to your dietary needs with their tasty gluten free, vegan, organic, fat free, sugar free, and low salt recipes! So no excuses!

The word about MyChelle's Baketique is already spreading and it was recently featured on

"Energy-efficient MyChelle’s Baketique — the adorable cupcake shop inside new ecofriendly hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank — uses farm-fresh ingredients and recyclable packaging. New Yorker Michelle Husserl bakes delicious cakes and cupcakes in gourmet flavours like margarita, lemon meringue, carrot, fig, and peanut butter and jelly with an oozing centre. A cupcake bar serves icing shots — perfect for a quick, intense sugar high."

To read the full article click HERE

London Hotels on Hotel Rafayel

Respected website has published a feature article on Rafayel Will London’s newest “eco hotel” be a success?

To quote part of the article:

"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 ... 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.

To read the full article click HERE

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

LED: lighting the way to a greener future

Hotel Rafayel is proud to be the world's first LED only hotel. We hope to lead by example and we encourage all our guests and visitors to embrace modern technology and help save the environment by switching to LED in their homes and offices.

Sonya Bilanis reports for the Pocono Record:

"If everyone in the United States had a dripping faucet and everyone fixed that faucet, how many billions of gallons of water would be saved?

Now change that line of thought to saving energy.

According to, if everyone in the United States replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an LED bulb, it could save 24,184.4 mega (million) watts per day.

Colour LED bulbs have been around since 1962 and commonly used in electronic displays, flashlights, TV remotes and indicator lights, but they have recently been made more affordable to use in the home.

What is an LED? LED stands for light-emitting diodes. A diode is a simple semi-conductor device typically made from gallium, arsenic and phosphorus, which allows the movement of electrons to conduct an electric current, giving off an energy released in the form of a light source (photons).

What's the difference between an LED light bulb and a conventional, incandescent light bulb? The incandescent bulb produces light from a filament that glows, which produces heat and, in turn, creates light. However, incandescent bulbs consume more power than light.

"LED lighting is more efficient, durable, versatile and longer-lasting than incandescent and fluorescent lighting. LEDs emit light in a specific direction, whereas an incandescent or fluorescent bulb emits light — and heat — in all directions. Therefore, LED lighting uses both light and energy more efficiently," said Paul Canevari, PPL regional community relations director.

"The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the rapid adoption of LED lighting in the U.S. over the next 20 years can deliver savings of about $265 billion, avoid 40 new power plants and reduce lighting electricity demand by 33 percent," he said.

Christmas comes but once a year; however, those Christmas lights are generally on for about a month and a half straight. "Looking ahead to the 2010 holiday season, each string of LED lights saves energy because it uses 80 percent less electricity than conventional holiday lighting, which obviously means they cost less to operate as well. Plus, they are made of tough material, so they don't break as easily," Canevari said.

Michael Chabal of Friedman Electric in Stroudsburg said there are two main reasons LED lamps are the future in lighting.

"The first being that the LED has approximately 50,000 hours of lamp life verses a regular light bulb, which has about 2,000 hours of lamp life. The second being the most energy efficient in lighting," he said. "A 10-watt flood LED lamp gives the same output as a 65-watt incandescent flood light," he said.

In addition to saving energy, you can also save on cooling bills.

"Traditional incandescent bulbs give off a lot of heat," Chabal said. "Feel a regular 60-watt light bulb after it's been on for one hour, just right above — do not touch it — it's hot. LEDs do not give off much heat at all."

Why are LEDs so expensive? "LEDs are costly like any other new technology, but the cost will come down in the next two years based on more demand and more competition," he said.

Friedman Electric has 10-watt LED dimmable flood lamps for $100, and, non-dimmable is around $65.

Friedman Electric offers programs that can do a cost analysis for companies on how to save more energy.

Scott Cerullo of Home Depot in Stroudsburg said that LED lights will eventually take over the lighting market and the incandescent light bulb will be a thing of the past, but for now, the shelves are stocked with few choices and little movement.

The initial cost factor is a hefty investment for anyone. "It's four to five times the cost of a regular incandescent light bulb," Cerullo said.

With the cost of electricity increasing by 30 percent in some markets in 2010, LEDs may become more a necessity than just another option.

It is hard to fathom the unseen energy savings until you see it on your electric bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the savings will be noticeable and the cost of an LED bulb will pay for itself in about a year.

And, according to, LED bulbs can be recycled because there are no harsh chemicals — they are made of plastic and metal."

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Hotel Rafayel teams up with the London Decorative Antiques Fair

Hotel Rafayel is delighted to announce that it has teamed up with the London Decorative Antiques Fair, which runs from January 19-24 2010 in nearby Battersea Park.

Hotel Rafayel is the Fair's recommended hotel of choice. Guests choosing to stay at Rafayel will receive a free pass to the Fair and upon request the hotel's shuttle service will drop guests at the entrance.

Fair attendees are invited to visit Hotel Rafayel pre or post Fair for breakfast, lunch or dinner in our stylish riverside restaurant, Banyan-on-the-Thames, or for a drink in the spectacular Crystal Bar. Light meals, snacks and freshly baked pastries are also available in our designer lobby.

The London Decorative Antiques Fair takes place three times a year, with around 130 exhibitors from the UK and Europe, all specialising in antique and 20th century design. With several thousand visitors, the Fair's popularity continues to increase in this, its 25th year of business, as an inspiring source for interior decorators and private buyers of the exotic, the unusual and the useful.

Particularly well known for its wide range of painted and decorated furniture of all periods, as well as lighting, mirrors and glamorous accessories, the Fair also features a large number of 20th century design specialists, as well as more traditional English furniture, textiles, garden ornament, art and sculpture, as well as quirky objets and collectors’ items.

As a design-conscious hotel, Rafayel is pleased to support the London Decorative Antiques Fair

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

London's Geffrye Museum - Eco Home Exhibition ends 7 February 2010

Eco Home Exhibition - Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London E2 8EA

Tuesday 13 October 2009 - Sunday 7 February 2010

"This exhibition hopes to address, without preaching, widespread and increasing concerns about ecology and the state of the planet and how this links to our homes and the way we use, decorate and inhabit them. It will examine current ideas around ‘eco-living’ in an informative and timely way. The climate change agenda is having an impact on almost every area of life and the home is no exception. Recycling and saving energy have, for some, been part of daily life for generations but today they have a new significance and urgency. The mantra ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ is prompting us to change our habits and there are now a plethora of products out there to help us.

"We are now being encouraged to think about saving resources like water and electricity and turning to renewable sources. People are also beginning to consider the impact of industrial production methods, shipment of goods over vast distances and toxins being released into the environment. ‘Eco Home’ will investigate how so-called ‘green’ issues have entered our domestic spaces, using a new generation of products as a guide. Visitors to the exhibition will go away better informed and inspired by ideas about how to make an Eco Home which suits their personal taste and lifestyle."

Monday, 4 January 2010

2010's Top Travel Trends

2010’s Top Travel Trends
Compiled by Juliet Kinsman, Mr & Mrs Smith

1. Cheap-chic holiday houses and apartments
A high level of looks and service in a traditional setting; the self-catering cottage.

2. Boutique B&Bs
Guesthouses with gusto adopt come-hither sexiness from the boutique big boys. For the US, boutique motels like made-over motel Hotel San Jose in Austin, Texas.

3. Upmarket all-inclusives
Money is still a major issue for people — even at the luxury end — so we’re looking for value more than ever: upscale packages are desirable as there aren’t any hidden costs or room service extras above and beyond what you’ve already shelled out.

4. Eco luxe
Hotels are starting to become more and self-sufficient wherever they can and travelers are considering the environmental credentials of a hotel more — this is constantly on the increase so hotels going the extra mile to lower carbon emissions.

For example Fregate, a private island in the Seychelles, is saving sea birds and makes its own spa products whilst Vigilius mountain resort in South Tyrol, Italy, harnesses natural energy.

5. Mixing business with pleasure
‘Bleisure’ trips are on the rise — people who travel a lot and want every corporate need but feel anything but businessy. Alternatively, they like to tack on time-off onto business jaunts and bring their spouse along for the ride.

6. Latin adventures
This part of the world is seeing huge growth as a luxury travel destination, for example Francis Ford Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize, the Haciendas luxury hotel in the Yucatan — and there are other outposts in San Jose, Uayamon, Santa Rosa and Temozon (Mexico).

7. Traincations
Rail travel in Europe means getting there is more fun, especially with new high-speed rail links into Spain and Italy.

8. Flashpacking
Backpacking with a bigger budget and laced with a lot more style. Travelers who are more accustomed to five-star hotels than youth hostels are doing places such as the Sal Salis safari camp (Australia).

9. Granny chic
A move away from look-don’t-touch minimalist to traditional-with-a-twist homey comforts as exemplified by Dean Street Townhouse in London.

10. Family-friendly hip hotels
Grown-up getaways that don’t just tolerate children, but help you enjoy an adult escape with your little ones in tow.

Mr & Mrs Smith has been uncovering, personally visiting and anonymously reviewing boutique hotels around the world since 2003.

Source: AFP, relaxnews 2009 -