Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Rafayel soon becoming the "in" place for celebrities!

From politicos to sports stars to superstars, Rafayel on the Left Bank is fast gaining reputation as the next "in" haunt!

Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan enjoys the glorious summer sun at the hotel terrace

Superstar Khan (c) poses at the entrance
Popular DJ Scott Miles rides in with style

Nobel Laureate Shireen Abadi (2nd right) in all her intellectual grace (Apologies for the picture quality)
President Pervez Musharraf arrives at Rafayel

Who would want to miss the terrace view of the Thames!

Bollywood movie Ra.One wrap party with Shahrukh Khan at the Nirvana Lounge - it was the party of the month!

Tennis bad-boy McEnroe at the Rafayel during Wimbledon season

Monday, 16 August 2010

Hotels Need to be totally green non just half green

Posted on August 12, 2010 by stephen B.

Travelers are becoming more aware of the need to be more environmentally friendly when they travel. Hotels need to tap into this growing trend by ‘walking the talk’ just having cards about using your towel or bedding for a few more days is not enough. It’s important for properties to be completely involved in green initiatives be it through water conservation efforts, recycling programs and energy saving initiatives

A recent study by Carlson Hotels found that 76% of travelers said that a hotel’s degree of environmental friendliness influenced their decision of where to stay. More importantly it found that some guests are willing to pay a premium to those with a high CSR involvement.

According to the survey by Cone and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (2008)

· 85% of Americans say they have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about

· 84% of women and 75% of men say they consider a company’s commitment to social issues when deciding what to buy or where to shop

· 85% feel it is acceptable for companies to involve a cause in their marketing

A recent poll by CondeNast Traveler echoed similar findings. This survey found that:

· 73% of readers would be willing to pay more to stay in a hotel that helps support the local community through health and education initiatives

· 20% would spend between 1-5% more, 29% would spend between 6-10% more, and 24% would spend 10% more.

Some great examples of Hotels that have a commitment to the environment and to social responsibility is, Kimpton Hotels & Resorts’ with their long-running Kimpton CARES initiatives. KimptonCARES program builds awareness and raises funds for three non-profit organizations through a series of annual events: Dress for Success, The Trust For Public Land, and the Red Ribbon Campaign.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Banyan on Thames gets raving reviews from the critics

Pub. 2010-08-01

Until now, Battersea has been known as "the middle of nowhere,” thanks to a lack of a Tube stop -- something referenced in the menus at Banyan on the Thames, the in-house restaurant at the recently opened Hotel Rafayel. Imitating the hotel's same glossy style, the decked out restaurant is split across two tiers: one dominated by a long bar and stools, and the other flanked by tables and chairs.

The five-star service offered at the hotel is also carried through to the dining room, where sharp-suited waiters are on hand to take orders with a smile; the mixologist behind the bar, meanwhile, has been pinched from St Martin's Lane. And with fabulous fusion fare served beside views out over the Thames through floor-to-ceiling windows, Banyan on the Thames really does have a winning formula.

A measure of this restaurant's atmosphere or originality score: 84

With an adjoining hotel that caters to the business crowd, it's hardly surprising that Banyan on the Thames attracts a predominantly white-collared crowd, with BlackBerry-wielding business execs propping up at the bar, conducting conference calls on their cells and downing expertly-mixed mojitos all at the same time.

The dining room, meanwhile, is filled with a mix of the aforementioned business execs, families staying in the hotel and singletons who've ventured out of their rooms for a little something to eat before retiring back to raid the minibar for a nightcap and a pack of nuts. As with any recently opened restaurant, the staff is keen and eager to please and the service is razor-sharp. The good thing about Banyan on the Thames is that, despite its sumptuous surroundings, it's the type of place you can dress up or down for; neither style looks out of place, and that's thanks to its hotel location.

The Cuisine

A measure of the quality of the food and dining score: 87

Interestingly for a hotel restaurant, Banyan on the Thames hasn't opted for the safe, food-to-please-all option. In fact, the menu is a daring fusion of styles, with an Asian theme carried across most of its dishes. Highlights on the mouthwatering menu include fish-and-chips Banyan style, fillet of sashimi tuna and rack of lamb served in a pistachio crust.

The cream of the crop, however, is the fillet steak accompanied by shitake mushrooms, green beans, sesame, and a potato rocket puree. Giving any Argentinean restaurant a run for its money, the dish really does the tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat justice.

As for the desserts, they're as decadent as you'd expect, with chocolate brownies, caramelised Indian rice pudding and chocolate Bailey's cream cups as the signature standouts. Refreshing and inventive, Banyan on the Thames proves that hotel restaurants don't always rest on their laurels; if this is anything to go by, the restaurant works even harder to please the ever-discerning, always jet-setting guests that pass through its doors.

About Banyan on Thames

Set inside London's most exclusive eco-friendly hotel, Rafael on the Left Bank, Banyan on Thames is a chic restaurant overlooking the river and the London Helipad in Battersea. With so much action right outside its sound-proofed windows, this is a fantastic place to watch the world go by. And super-tanned sun-lovers adore the riverside roof terrace for summertime dining. The Hotel Rafayel is popular with an international, glamorous yet ecologically-sensitive set of travellers, and the Banyan on Thames is open to serve them – and you - breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is a melange of European, Asian and Mediterranean flavours, fusion cuisine at its finest. Favourite dishes here include the duck confit in a ginger and lime sweet and sour sauce; the mango and papaya salad with curry chicken; and the Barcelona traditional fish soup. Banyan on Thames makes the most of the peace and tranquillity of its ideal riverside location.

Top Table:

Banyan has been endorsed through nearly 527 individual reviews in less than six months in operation on 'Top Table,' This individual/ day is a record number of reviews for any restaurant in London.

Food is delicious so much so I nearly ordered all of the starters. Settling for 2 of them eventually strawberry and feta salad was sublime if a little bit filling, the tilapia fishcakes with lemon chilli jam beautifully light and tasty. Main courses of 'fish and chips with battered monkfish is unbelievably good as was the sweet chilli beef and rice.

Reviewer : SG - gastronaut
Wonderful location with parking. Excellent service. We had a birthday party here and the staff were attentive and very helpful. Food was good and we'll definitely be back.

Reviewer : RR - gourmet