Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Philips, Lloyd's Group and VDA Technologies nominate 'The Rafayel' for top UK Green Award Sept, 2011.

Hotel Rafayel was conceptualized on “green” principles.  As a teaser reference, we have summarized some of the various eco-friendly features that the hotel employs to give you an idea on the extent of our genuine efforts towards playing our part responsibly on this planet by reducing our carbon footprint:

Hypnos beds – The ultimate retreat for our guests HYPNOS  
Bed Disposal & Recycling - Hypnos provides a revolutionary:

Bed disposal and recycling service that exceeds environmental objectives, providing a zero landfill and a zero carbon footprint process. Machinery at Hypnos’s certified ‘waste management’ facility shreds and separates materials. The recycled raw materials are used within a range of alternative manufacturing processes - nothing is wasted and nothing ends up in landfill: metal hinges and springs are recycled back into steel products; timber into MDF or wood shavings; foam reused in carpet underlay; textiles recycled into insulation products or briquettes for industrial heating – even the packaging materials from new beds are also recycled.

The centrepiece of each and every bedroom is a sumptuous Hypnos bed, the ultimate sleep indulgence. Hypnos has been making beds since Edwardian days, with the skill and care that no mass producer can match. Combining traditional skills with constant innovation Hypnos has a reputation for making the most comfortable beds in the world. A Royal Warrant from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reinforces Hypnos’s reputation for the very best of British quality. In fact, Hypnos doesn’t just make beds for hotels, Hypnos beds can also be found around the world in the finest homes and palaces. Enjoy the amazing experience of sleeping, Hypnos style.

Vivreau bottling system

Hotel Rafayel has saved both cost and energy savings accumulated from installing the Vivreau bottling system.

Rafayel worked out how much it will be eliminating in terms of weight of glass for both delivery and disposal, and the results were quite shocking.

Based on an average weight of a glass bottle and the average consumption by installing the Vivreau system, 
Rafayel will be eliminating 500,000 kg of delivered bottled water over 5 years , which is a huge amount. We will also be eliminating 205,000 kg of glass bottled waste for disposal.


The Services strategy by Engdesign required a high-quality building with good ventilation, heating and cooling, and the lowest possible energy use. Being a Hotel, the project had strict specifications with respect to flexibility in the case of building rearrangement, low energy consumption via heat recovery as well as quiet operation. The Daikin system installed at Hotel 
Rafayel achieves all of these features.

To obtain the desired optimum energy use, heat recovery was chosen. VRVIII H/R systems allow excess heat generated in one part of the building to be transferred to other parts of the building where heat is needed. VRVIII H/R has the best energy efficiency ratings in the industry, while maintaining the highest levels of comfort due to the possibility of continuous heating during defrost cycles, quick changeover between heating and cooling modes, and the ability to provide optimum climate control per chosen building zone.


The ventilation system in 
Rafayel is driven by Colman Moducel Airhandling units, these incorporate heat exchangers (recuperators) which run with up to 70% heat recovery efficiencies. Heat recovery will occur in both heating and cooling modes, dependent upon the temperatures of fresh and return air being supplied and extracted from the spaces within the Hotel. This combined with intelligent controls ensure that energy recovery is optimised under all ambient conditions.


Philips have collaborated with Latis from the outset to design the lighting at 
Rafayel. The concept was based around achieving the desired aesthetics and ambience with very low energy consumption; this was done through the use of the latest generation LED technology by Philips. The LED lighting within the Hotel will bring up to 80% of energy saving compared to the conventional low-wattage halogen based lighting. (Attached please find the energy audit report of Philips).

Philips have pioneered a total solution of LED’s suitable for Hotel use through a combination of their Master LED bulbs and iColour powercore LED’s. These Master LED range of bulbs offer all the dimmable features and a quality of light that is ideal for the bedrooms/lobbies and circulation areas within the Hotel. The latest Philips iColour powercore LED technology drives all the featured colour changing lighting to enhance the spaces and bring a dynamic ambience to the restaurant and lobbies.
Rafayel is also the first hotel to showcase the latest Philips Jetlag recovery technology within its prime river suite rooms.


Micromaster, a cost saving Room Management System, is a state of the art system. VDA’s Micromaster solution becomes part of the fabric of the building, and allows the operator to 'micro-manage' the energy usage in each and every guestroom, public area, or back office with technology and software that can enable the owner/operator to reduce energy running costs by up to 30%

In any hotel, the air conditioning and heating may account for 70% of the energy usage in a guest bedroom, but by using the Micromaster solution it allows total management and control of maximum and minimum room temperatures. This not only massively reduces energy costs, it also helps extend the life of the plant systems in the hotel, and can help reduce their maintenance costs with them being utilised in a more controlled way. It also helps towards reducing the property’s Carbon Footprint.

The Micromaster solution allows the hotel to control areas such as energy, housekeeping, security etc. but not only that, the guest interface has now become an attractive design feature, with touch sensitive glass control units that work just like an IPOD, becoming activated when a guest moves close to them.


Landscaping forms a very important part of the Hotel design to ensure that the luxury and ambience within is extended to the external spaces. 8000sqft of ground floor/terraces will be luxuriously planted. All the fountains/landscaping zones will be irrigated through a system served by harvested rain water. The rain water is collected through the large open terraces across the 17 storey building, and stored in large capacity tanks in the basement.
Some latest references from press and media:

 Anna Rodgers wrote on December 17th, 2010

Rafayel London top boutique Hotel brings to you Hotels of the world

Rafayel London top boutique Hotel brings to you Hotels of the world :Tallest,Largest, Most Expensive,Most Expensive Hotel to Build,Largest Room,Coldest Hotel,Highest Hotel, Highest Hotel (altitude above sea level), Most Eco-Friendly Hotel  

                     World's Highest Hotel (floor height): Park Hyatt - Shanghai, China
The Park Hyatt in Shanghai occupies floors 79 to 93 of the 101 story Shanghai World Finance Center with views over the Huangpu River and the city skyline and located in the heart of Lujiazui business district in Pudong.

World's Highest Hotel (altitude above sea level): Hotel Everest View - Nepal

World's Highest Hotel (altitude above sea level): Hotel Everest View - Nepal
The Hotel Everest View is 3,880 meters (12,730 ft) above sea level and is set in the Sagarmatha National Park. All rooms have views of Mount Everest standing at 8,848 meters (29,030 ft) and the only direct access is by chartered helicopter.

                                        World's Coldest Hotel: Icehotel - Jukkasjarvi, Sweden

The Icehotel has rooms built entirely from ice and snow, decorated with handcrafted ice art and sculptures, an ice chapel licensed for marriages and baptisms, and two restaurants serving a range of Lappish and Swedish dishes. Activities include snowmobile trips, northern lights tours, and dog sled tours.

             World's Most Eco-Friendly Hotel: Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa - Queensland, Australia

World's Most Eco-Friendly Hotel: Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa - Queensland, Australia
Set in the world's oldest rainforest, Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa has 15 villas nestled inside the Daintree Rainforest, and is committed to complying with sustainable tourism standards. Practices in place include using solar power, low energy lights and an organic farm to grow its own produce.

                                               World's Tallest Hotel: Burj Al Arab - Dubai

 World's Tallest Hotel: Burj Al Arab - Dubai
Currently the tallest operating hotel in the world until it is surpassed by Dubai's Rose Tower later this year, the Burj Al Arab stands 321 meters (1,050 feet) high. A self-rated 7 star hotel built on a man-made island 280 meters from shore, Burj Al Arab also boasts its own Rolls Royce fleet, Versace bedspreads, and private shopper and helicopter landing platform.

   World's Hotel (by no. of rooms): The Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, USA

The Palazzo Resort Hotel & Casino, which operates under the same license as The Venetian hotel next door, has 8,108 rooms combined. The hotel is like a mini city, with a large selection of restaurants, fashion stores, its own casino, and seven pools.

World's Most Expensive Hotel Room: Royal Villa at Grand Resort Lagonissi - Athens, Greece

Featuring a dedicated butler, chef and pianist, the Royal Villa at Grand Resort Lagonissi is the world's most expensive hotel room at $50,000 a night. The room overlooks the Aegean Sea, which you can view from a private pool with a hydro massage device. The resort also has a private Lear jet.

World's Largest Hotel Room: Royal Suite in the Grand Hills Hotel & Spa - Broummana, Lebanon

The Royal Suite in the Grand Hills Hotel & Spa is set over six floors for a total 8,000 square meters (86,110 sq ft) with half of this living space and the rest two swimming pools, a garden, terrace and pavilions.

                            World's Most Expensive Hotel to Build: Emirates Palace - Abu Dhabi

The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2005, cost over $3 billion to build with silver, gold and marble used throughout the hotel and the 1,002 chandeliers made from Swarovski crystals.


  London Rafayel Boutique Hotel wishes the best to these great Hotels and wishes to                                      emulate their success

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

London's snazziest boutique hotel - What VIPs say about Rafayel

Posted by: Prince Abdul Aziz Hammad Al Saud - 2/16/2011 5:22:08 AM

You cannot call a hotel boutique if it is not, unfortunately either it is or it is not.In my opinion I will rate recently opened Hotel Rafayel in outskirts of London Battersea as one of the few best I have come across. It has a good sized lobby, an excellent Gym plus a great business set alongside a bar and a restaurant. All this ties in with the theme very well, a boutique has to feel different, this place does exactly that. I keep searching for great hotels and think some of the selections here are good.

Nawab of Patudi (On Banyan on the Thames)

Banyan on the Thames is where you get some of the finest food. You don’t feel resentful either on food preparation or ambiance, which is a rare mix. It enjoys six hundred reviews within less than six months of its opening on TT. So many reviews usually lead to a real standing and because of its great food maintains a healthy top rating. East meeting west in superior gastronomic kitchens is traditionally known as so-called fusion which is neither here nor there, in my opinion Banyan on Thames combines a tradition of authentic national dishes in one menu, it needed a big chef to put seared tuna a very Japanese cuisine, sea bass that I would rate as good a Mediterranean recipe as one can get, and a warrior lamb a grand authentic north sub-continental dish. 

As a connoisseur, I come across and visit these new places for signs of any renaissance of original authentic recipes, on that count Banyan on the Thames is a great restaurant and has a first-rate set of choices. I wrote a review few weeks back on Square Meal/Time Out. I asked the maitre d’hôtel, how did they evolve such an original idea that include variety of tastes, his answer was that our owner had talked to Harrods food store and selected the top ten best sellers in the food hall as the back bone of the menu, this is what the popular taste of modern Londoner’s are, a sophisticated, cosmopolitan and a global man. I think this has a very good potential though the maître d’ here is young man from Estonia no one near maître d's, such as Oscar Tschirky of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, New York, who prepared food, boning fish tableside and mixing salads, but the staff has a good pedigree. 

Hotel Rafayel is a class act, it is grand design that mixes latest technology without being over bearing, and architecturally this is one of the finest hotels for the quality and the price I paid for. I took a suite and 223 is one great suite, it is huge and the facilities are immense. I would had to pay three or four times the sums I paid here in the west end, I never believed in their slogan of affordable luxury but it seems that luxury is available affordably at Rafayels. Five star hotel - Manahil

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Rafayel...not just a hotel...

There is more than what meets the eye at Rafayel. Be it our beautiful and plush facilities, or outstanding customer service, the hotel strives to create the perfect venue for everyone - coffee lovers, art lovers, food lovers, or quirky dessert lovers! - we have it all.

A picture shows me at a glance what it takes a dozen pages of a book to expound.
- Ivan Turgenev
A view of the "hidden" gem from across the Thames
Relax and enjoy the soothing view
The perfect venue for your corporate needs

Welcome to the Banyan on the Thames
Our creative chefs at work
Foodie paradise - a full house
Our expert mixologist
Mychelle's Baketique - a sight for your "sweet tooth"
"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." - Ernestine Ulmer

The ideal coffee place - Cafayel
Work in progress

...and the perfect creation...

Not simply a coffee snack... a sumptuous in-between

Nuffin muffins... lighter than air!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

“Luxury” (synonym): Opulence, bliss, comfort, splendor, delight, enjoyment...Rafayel

How does one define luxury?  Luxury cannot be a necessity, if it was it would lose its charm of something that is not available commonly or to all for that matter, as one hotel magazine highlighted. Luxury is something way beyond necessity or essentials; it is something that caters to the desirability thirst of a human being. This is precisely what luxury hotels fulfill – thirst and desire. They provide the guest with a relatively higher quality experience.

With the availability of spendable income in the pockets of traveling public, in this difficult financial environment, the industry saw an explosion in the expectations of guests. The scenario provided a window of opportunity to exploit the possibility of building something that catered to the traveler’s “desire” which acted as a catalyst to the emergence of the concept of creating services, state-of-the-art technology and an eco-friendly 5-star product with a social conscience beyond the expectations of a guest.  Despite all odds in terms of its location in Battersea,  Rafayel surfaced, offering its guest all that and more.  


The criteria for “luxury,” according to experts, are that a 5-star hotel has to be qualitatively far more superior in product standards and style. The lobby is warm, rich and inviting with a touch of class, the elevators are well and richly decorated. Floor corridors become more cosy and intimate. And the hotel rooms? Well, very plush with rich carpets, luxurious fabrics and high-end fixtures and furniture. The rooms are provided with TV's, music, electronic ‘Do not disturb’ and ‘Clean my room’ signs etc to list a few.

The bathrooms also get a makeover. Luxury hotels provide a minimum of 5-fixture bathrooms fitted with ultra high end and branded fittings and fixtures. The floor is adorned with expensive granite or Italian marble and so are the walls. The bathrooms also have HDTV and speakers for music.

The super fine linen, on the bed and in the bathrooms, enhances the quality of comfort. Branded amenities are provided to reinforce a hotel’s commitment to quality, winning guest's appreciation and confidence.

Luxury hotels and resorts have at least one specialty: cuisine fine dining restaurant in addition to an upscale coffee shop. The Bar is relaxing and soothing and generally has a club lounge atmosphere with finest labels on the shelf and in the cellar. The qualitative aspects are reflected in the service and presentation style of food and beverages. The attempt in a luxury hotel is to attain perfection with continuous improvement and evolution.  Rafayel’s very own Banyan has surpassed all expectations and continues to win rave reviews on its interestingly eclectic quality cuisine and presentation, as does our Crystal Bar with its innovative delicious cocktails.  We have recently launched our special Coffee Bar, Cafayel, in collaboration with the much-acclaimed “Dose” that offers the finest blend of gourmet espresso brews in the coffee world!

Staff of a luxury hotel is very well trained in not only their technical traits but also in the guest interactions. Courteousness, care and compassion are virtues that they practise and perfect. They are trained to address all guests by their names, making the interaction personal.

The emphasis in a luxury hotel is to ensure that the guest gets a real good and memorable experience of his stay in the hotel, something that will make him feel nostalgic. We at Rafayel continue to strive for excellence within the very criteria of “luxury” as defined by most experts – perhaps even take it a step further to maintain the quality and standards we have worked so hard for.  We are always open to constructive criticism and engage in continuous dialogue with our guests, which we feel sets us apart from the generic corporate aloofness that prevails in the hospitality industry. 
We are honoured by the patronage of our guests and appreciation towards the extraordinary amount of efforts that went into the creation of Hotel Rafayel.  One such acknowledgement perfectly encapsulates the result of our labour of love:

“…whilst I was in London for the BETT conference and considering my high expectations and attention to detail when I stay anywhere in world I have no qualms at all in highly recommending this hotel. It is a true 5 star boutique hotel and extremely unique.

I arrived in early and had planned to leave my luggage at reception whilst I went to my conference however they were able to upgrade me and show mw to my room early within 30 minute of arriving. A very nice touch and allowed me to relax a little before I set off.

Ground floor room, very modern, luxurious furnishings and very much appealed to my own style. I could not fault anything. Bed was lovely; TV mounted from the ceiling with a great range of TV and well priced movies as well as the ability to control both lighting and the air conditioning from the TV was great. Next to the door the air-conditioning was touch-control and very easy to use. I had a full length floor to ceiling curved window along one length of the room with both binds and curtains. Plenty of space with armchairs, table, good sized wardrobe with safe, hairdryer and opposite was a nicely set-out table offering teas/coffee with kettle and a well-stocked mini bar as well.

This was very large, modern and light. Showers were extra large with body jets and Neom toiletries on offer which I had never heard off or used before but certainly will be from now on. Bathrobes, slippers and ample towels were on offer. Mirror was full width of the bathroom.

Walking through the door, you could tell there was a touch of class and unique feel to the place. Everything from furnishings, reception desk and the wonderful Mychelle's bakery where they sold cup cakes. There was also a nice coffee shop in the corner. I must commend Pawel Wisniewski (Assistant Operations Manager) who checked me in on arrival. He was very professional and answered many of my questions whilst I stayed here.

The restaurant is accessed by walking through the lobby and across the entrance. I tried both breakfast and dinners and was very impressed.

Breakfast was perfect and offered a great range. Finally a hotel buffet has decent sausages and good quality hot food. Service was very good and the serving staff were always there for your every need. Very relaxing overlooking the Thames and nice and quiet.

The dinner menu was amazing and as I mentioned to my colleagues it would be very difficult to not see anything you would not like to try. Should anyway have the opportunity to stay for a few weeks, I could certainly see them sampling the entire menu over that period of time. Well designed and balanced menu with some real unique twists. Impeccable service and lovely surroundings. I walked up to the cigar lounge upstairs and can imagine in the summer, it would be a real hot-spot.

The ‘L’ word. I hear a lot of people complaining about location. Some say that Battersea is hidden away. It has gotten a lot better and Battersea is a wonderful area. The bus which runs regulary goes directly from outside the hotel and takes you to Clapham and even Victoria in no time at all. Taxis are everywhere as well. I used the shuttle service offered by the hotel. Cars were new Seat Ibiza's clean and the drivers were polite. It was a great plus to be able to be shuttled to either Clapham Common or Clapham Junction stations where you have easy access to anyway in London. As for comments on taxi prices, it is not the fault of the hotel and let’s be honest, London taxi fares are not cheap anyway so expect to pay a lot for a short distance..

Overall I highly recommend Rafayel on the Left Bank and intend to come back myself. I hope it does not only survive but makes a much needed impact in the hotel industry in London…”