Thursday, 31 March 2011

More excitement at the Rafayel so save the date and celebrate the Royal Wedding Pre-party with us on 28th April 2011

Hotel Rafayel

in association with

Rafe Heydel-Mankoo

Proudly Presents:

The Royal Wedding Pre-Party

Thursday, 28th April 2011

7:30pm – 10:00pm:   Royal Riverside Garden Party 
10:00pm – 1:00am:   Royal Lounge DJ and Dancing

An evening of Regal Splendour and Patriotic Pride as we celebrate the wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton

The evening starts at 7:30pm on our beautiful riverside garden terrace with majestic views of the Thames:

·         On arrival enjoy a complimentary “Kate Royale”, our specially designed cocktail
·         Feast on complimentary Great British hors d’ouevres, which will be served all evening
·         Tap your toes to live music fitting for a royal occasion
·         Enjoy the Royal entertainment
·         There may even be a surprise “royal” guest to cut the wedding cake…
At 10:00pm we leave the Garden Party and move into the Royal Lounge to party the night away to a selection of hits that may well be played for the Royal Couple on their wedding night!

Aside from an invitation to the Royal Wedding itself, this is sure to be London’s hottest royal wedding celebration. 

This event will sell out – book early to avoid disappointment

Tickets: £29.95 per person (includes complimentary cocktail, complimentary food, live music and entertainment on the Riverside Terrace and in the Royal Lounge)

To purchase tickets online, click on the following link:  Buy Tickets Now

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A unique new networking event - in a spa!

A unique new networking event for businesswomen in London launches next week – in one of London’s premier Thames-side spas.

The event takes place on Thursday, April 7 at the luxurious, environmentally conscious Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank in Lombard Road, Battersea, between 8pm and 10.30pm.

All networkers will receive a mini-facial along with prosecco and canapés. And PR consultant Tessa Evans Hurrell – a Fleet Street journalist whose clients include John Lewis and Macmillan Cancer Support - will give a talk entitled How to Write Press Releases Newspapers Want.

The event is the brainchild of Ealing businesswoman Amanda Frolich, founder of the hugely successful Amanda’s Action Club.

I want to provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere where women can really relax – where forming new business relationships feeling more like fun than work,” said Amanda.

“We’ll all be in the spa area, so fluffy white robes will be provided to help everyone feel as comfortable as possible,” said Amanda, whose children’s parties and classes attract a huge celebrity following.

To help create an intimate atmosphere, there are only 20 spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your place, call Rafayel’s Spa on 020 7801 3600. The cost is £42 per person.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Welcome spring and enjoy London with fabulous upcoming events!

Rowing: The Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race


26 March 2011

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race on the Thames is one of the world's longest running sports events, and one of the most popular on the London sports calendar. In 2010, Cambridge won the 156th Boat Race, taking their overall tally to 80 races won against Oxford's 75.

Can Oxford claw back the title in 2011 to help close the gap? Come and join the fun on the banks of the Thames between Mortlake and Putney and cheer on the rowers.

Where To Watch The Boat Race in London
As one of the few free sporting spectacles in London, The Boat Race creates a festival atmosphere on the banks of the River Thames. You can find a place to watch on either side of the river along the full length of the course, but particular areas to note are:

Boat Race in the Park Events

This year, there'll be special Boat Race in the Park events from 12-6pm at Bishop's Park in Fulham and Furnivall Gardens in Hammersmith.  The riverside parks will offer a great view of the race, along with big screens, beer tents, food, family fun and live music.

Rowing: Head of the River Race


2 April 2011

London's Head of the River Race is one of the city's longest running sporting traditions.

This spring, 400 crews from around the globe will take to the waters of London's famous river Thames to compete in this historic boating event.


Head of the River: London's Historic Boat Race

The Head of the River Race (HORR) was started in 1926 by Cambridge and Tideway oarsman, Steve Fairbairn. It was conceived as a way for crews to practice long rows during winter, in preparation for the summer regatta.

The annual event now sees hundreds of boats, each manned by eight men, row over the 4.25 mile (6.8km) championship course from Mortlake to Putney.

A Global Event in London

It is customary for the previous year's winner to start first. They are followed at 10-second intervals by other crews in finishing order and finally, the new entries start in alphabetical order.
This year's race starts at 4pm.

The race sees crews from all over the world competing, from Australia to Austria.


Head of the River Race: Fun for All

The event is a great way for Londoners and visitors alike to celebrate the start of spring as they cheer on teams along London's picturesque River Thames.

Don't forget to pack your Pimm's and arrive early to grab a good viewing spot!

Mother's Day 2011


3 April 2011
Various venues

Say thank you to your mum and spend an unforgettable Mother's Day in London. 

We've got it covered from pampering to gifts, special lunches to West End shows.  Go ahead and spoil your mum. She deserves it!

See a West End Show

Share the magic of a musical with your mum. Choose from the Top 10 London Musicals or one of the many other world-class productions now on. See the London theatre guide for details of current shows and theatre ticket booking.  

Top tip: Check performance dates and times as not all productions have Sunday shows. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days of the week so it's a good idea to book well in advance. Theatre Breaks combining hotel and theatre tickets can be great value.


Running: Virgin London Marathon 2011


17 April 2011

Various venues

Be part of this year's London Marathon. Whether you run, walk or cheer from the sidelines, this is a London sporting institution you won't want to miss.


The Virgin London Marathon 2010

Every year, approximately 30,000 people run the 26.2 mile (42.2km) marathon through the streets of London.

Some run for personal achievement, some to raise money for their favourite charity. Many run in outrageous fancy-dress. These have included apples, giant trees, and even an Angel of the North!


London Marathon: From Beginners to Professionals

The Virgin London Marathon is open to all abilities, from beginners who walk the course to professional athletes.

The route runs along the south of the Thames and then the north side after crossing the river on Tower Bridge.

From Greenwich and Blackheath to Buckingham Palace, runners pass some of the capital's famous landmarks, including the London Eye and the Tower of London.

With such vast and impressive scenery, it's no wonder the organisers have dubbed it a "Historical Jog Around London".


St George's Day in London


23 April 2011

Celebrate English heritage on St George's Day in London.


St George's Day in London

London celebrates St George's Day with a whole host of free events including parades, food festivals, theatrical events, children's activities and more. St George's Day is officially 23 April, but London usually celebrates the English patron saint for the entire the week leading up to that date. In 2011, the 23 April falls on a Saturday, so you can expect the main parade and events on the weekend of 23-24 April.  

St George's Day in Trafalgar Square

The Mayor of London usually puts on a free, family-friendly St George's Day Concert in Trafalgar Square. Keep checking back here for more information about this and other St George’s Day activities in London closer to the time. 

Easter in London 2011


24 April 2011
Various venues

Easter bunnies, Easter egg hunts and special Easter holiday offers... It must be Easter in London!

Keep your whole family entertained over the Easter holidays with a host of special events in London.

And remember, Easter's not just for kids; grown-ups can enjoy luxurious Easter eggs, and special Easter packages at London hotels too.

This year Easter falls on 24 April but thanks to the Royal Wedding, there'll be an extra Bank Holiday on 29 April, so there'll be two long weekends in a row!


Easter Fun for Kids in London

Easter eggs, ducklings and more in London:

  • Kew Gardens: Join the friendly characters from Climbers and Creepers in the gardens. Find tokens and exchange them for a delicious Green & Blacks Easter egg. There'll also be chocolate-making sessions and the chance to view the inner workings of the chocolate tree. 24 Apr

  • WWT London Wetland Centre: Instead of Easter eggs, examine some real eggs and see the ducklings developing inside them at "candling" demonstrations. Look out for the fluffy ducklings which have already hatched and see them take their first swim. There are also family activities all month. 9-25 Apr

  • London Bridge Experience: Try the London Bridge Experience's gruesome Easter head hunt. Severed heads have been hidden around the attraction and there'll be chocolate rewards for explorers who find them all over Easter weekend. 9-25 Apr

London Burlesque Week 2011


26 April 2011 to 30 April 2011
Various venues
Bump and grind your way into another London Burlesque Week.
London Burlesque Week is back for 2011 and it's better than ever with local and international burlesque stars, boylesque, twisted cabaret and much more!


British Burlesque and International Cabaret at London Burlesque Week

Chaz Royal's London Burlesque Week is the largest international showcase of burlesque in the world.

London Burlesque Week presents five huge nights of burlesque and cabaret at various venues throughout London.

London Burlesque Week programme

For more details, go to:

Royal Wedding – Prince William and Catherine Middleton


29 April 2011

Join the Royal Wedding celebrations in London as Prince William marries Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.


Prince William's Marriage to Kate Middleton in London


Prince William will marry his long-term girlfriend Catherine (Kate) Middleton at London's Westminster Abbey in spring 2011.

Prince William is The Queen's grandson and second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.

The Dean of Westminster will conduct the wedding service but the couple will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The address at Westminster Abbey will be given by the Bishop of London.

Royal Wedding Celebrations in London

The Royal Wedding is on Friday 29 April, which has been declared a UK bank holiday.

Celebrations will be held throughout London as locals and tourists line the streets hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal couple as they go by. There will also be street parties and special events to mark the occasion across the capital, and the whole of the UK.

Royal Wedding Procession Route

The wedding ceremony takes place at 11am at Westminster Abbey.

Kate Middleton will travel along The Mall from Buckingham Palace to the abbey by car.
At around 12pm, after the ceremony, the newlyweds will return to Buckingham Palace in a grand carriage procession along a route that goes through: 
The final public appearance of the day is likely to be on the Buckingham Palace balcony at around 1.30pm when the couple kiss for the cameras!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Be a coffee-drinking individual - 'espresso' yourself!

East to West, where Cafayel sources its delicious coffee - Square Mile Roasters' fresh, dynamic blends and an ever changing menu of guest coffees, James aspires to create the most divine and beautifully presented coffee in Battersea.

Monday, 14 March 2011

"The great advantage of a hotel is that it's a great refuge from home life" - George Bernard Shaw

Your home away from home - Hotel Rafayel continues its streak in building its reputation as it inches towards the 3,000-mark, with 2,801 reviews!
Guest reviews

“Fabulous Hotel”
Excellent on all levels, and when arrived we where told that a 50% discount was given in the restaurant for two courses for those staying at the hotel. We used this offer and wasn't disappointed at all. Far better than a Jamie Oliver experience in the past and can't wait to come back to try other dishes on the menu!!! The NY Cheesecake with chillie chocolate is to DIE FOR!!!! Even though I really didn't have enough room for it!!

“Friendliest staff”
Friendlyest staff ever seen! Excellent service, superb rooms, good restaurant. Special thanks to reception ladies! You were outstanding. Will definetly use the hotel for all my next stops in London.

“Hidden Gem”
We were very surprised at how good Hotel Rafayel was. The standard of our room was excellent and we found all the staff to be helpful.

“Beautiful hotel”
Beautiful hotel, friendly staff, couldn't ask for more, our room was very spacious and comfortable. Some reviews implied it was out of the way, but the bus service was from the door and excellent, it was a pleasant walk over the river to the centre, or if neither of those options suited, the staff offered to take us to the train station in the hotel car. We thought the location was great. Also, the hotel website doesn't make a song and dance about all the offers available, but the staff are careful to ensure you benefit from them, especially half price on food in the restaurant and half price on spa treatments. These make the hotel really good value for such a lovely place and it's a really nice restaurant and spa. Would stay again.

“Stunning Hotel”
…Have to say the service was excellent - from the warm welcome on arrival, to my bags being taken to the room, very helpful and informed reception staff, more than happy to go the extra mile to make your stay enjoyable. They also stored my friends luggage for them after to check-out to collect later in the day.

Absolutely lovely. Large, spacious, well thought out. Very contemporary, so if you are a fan of floral this isn't the place for you. My room had a partial river view, but my friends had a direct view of the storage facility. Luckily the view isn't the reason these rooms are great!!! Bathroom massive. Double size walk in shower, toilet, bidet (!) and my room had a bath too with LCD tv at the end of the tub. Spotlessly clean. Plenty of towels. Robes. Minibar in room, wired internet access and a TV bigger than mine at home…

“You have three choices in London”
Choice 1. stay in at a premier inn type hotel, no facilities, no style, not cheap.
Choice 2. stay in an old edwardian hotel room, small, poor service, in need or refurbishment, not cheap.
Choice 3. Search out a Gem like Rafayel.

Stayed 3 nights, wish it were more, this is why:
Its very modern, clean, contempary, everything works, right on the river in a great spot opposite Chelsea, quiet and relaxing. Yet, easy to commute, excellent courtesy tube/station drop off service (Ali), but also on a direct bus route 170 from Victoria.

The rooms are huge including the beds and bathrooms, free wifi, plug in any audio visual device, 40" TV, english and continental sockets, full drinks bar and safe, air con.

Spa & fitness area, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi for hotel guests. Visited every evening after the city tour. Beauty treatments available 50% off for guests.

We ate at the restaurant 2 nights, the food is a fusion of asian and continentals styles which was absolutely fabulous, fish curry, pasta ricotta, again guests have 50% off.

No hesitation in recommending, no need to be disappointed again. This is a small hotel greedy to please its guests.

“Lovely spa, food & stay; easily accessible to Victoria station”
Had a fabulous stay here, we picked it for having a spa; because it looked good on the website; but a big reason was the price. It seemed really good value compared to similar London hotels & we wanted a base to do some relaxation/spa type stuff but also go to the theatre & galleries etc in London. I was aware it was not as Central as some BUT I have to say to anyone considering it, it is a lot more accessible than the reviews make it sound. The bus stop is right in front of the hotel & this bus runs to & from Victoria every 8-10 mins until 1am-ish; Victoria has the tube, the buses & the mainline train station all there. You are at Victoria within 10-15 minutes. If posh shopping in Chelsea (Kings Rd) is your thing you are really near to that. Bit further away you have Knightsbridge, more posh shopping & museums.

The staff here were lovely - hub had mentioned when phoning to book a table for dinner that it was my birthday, we arrived in our room to a card signed by staff & 2 cupcakes from the boutique bakery in the hotel, so I was won over straightaway. The service was always unobtrusive, polite but friendly & good humoured.

Another massive bonus is the not very well advertised discounts for hotel guests - 50% off spa treatments; 50% off restaurant food when you eat 2+ courses. The food in Banyan on Thames was SO nice; good choices & the fish courry I had was so delicious; also good cocktail 'Rafayel'

Would definitely recommend the hotel for a city break that is relaxing, a bit of bling & great quality service & style at a good price…

Latest reviews on Banyan on the Thames

“This restaurant is in a beautiful location overlooking the river and we parked right outside the door. The service was excellent and the food was first rate. There was a fusion of Asian and international cuisine. Our choices were well presented. The crab dish was exceptional and the fish curry delicious. With the 50% off food it was great value for money and we will be returning for another special occasion.” Foodie – Overall rating: 8.7

“Yet another lovely evening on friday at Banyan on the Thames. We all agreed it was even better than before, from the extremely helpful doorman assissting with parking - to all the restaurant staff who were friendly and attentive. The food was delicious and beautifully presented - and excellent value with the 50% two course a la carte menu! Will certainly be visiting again.”Foodie – Overall rating: 9.0

“banyan on the thames is very nice location,very pleasant staff and attentive . food was nice and presented very well.steaks especially nice. drinks on the dearer side.Very nice evening and pleasamt overall experience.”Gastronaut – Overall rating: 7.3

“It was the third time we'd been to Banyan on the Thames in London SW11. The food has always been great quality and excellent value. The service is friendly and attentive without being over-the-top. If there's one complaint, it's that it's so prompt, you barely get time to digest the starter before the main arrives!”Anonymous – Overall rating: 7.8