SW11 3RF Travel Guide
It’s been a while since we wrote about it, and it was our first visit, so we were hyper excited to get a Groupon for afternoon tea there.
The tea itself was pretty unimpressive, but what was awesome was the view – which, presumably, the Verta shares. We were overlooking Wandsworth Bridge, opposite Chelsea Harbour, and although we couldn’t see all the way east to the Houses of Parliament, it was a gorgeous setting.
The highlight? When helicopters came in to land, just to the left of the tea room. It happened a few times during our tea, and it didn’t get boring once.
River views from Hotel Rafayel
HotelChatter Questions: In which, the intrepid HotelChatter editors and our hotel maven readers answer hotel questions that pop into our inbox. Have a question for us? Send it along. Think you have a better answer than we gave, or better yet, want to give a vote of confidence to our answer? Comment away below.
We at HotelChatter are an accommodating breed and we always want to help rather than question, which was useful this morning when this reader question popped into our inbox:
Vauxhall, London: where should I stay with two kids and a bosswife (this summer)? Hotel? House/condo rental?
So instead of asking “why the hell Vauxhall?” (actually, we did ask – turns out they want to be near family who live there), we popped our thinking caps on. Where would we stay if we wanted to stay on a busy main road South of the River which has little going for it apart from a nice sandwich shop we once ate at and its banging gay nightlife?
Well, reader, hotelwise, it looks like Vauxhall is not your best option. There’s a Comfort Inn, but going by TripAdvisor, you could do better for your £88 (which is what itt’ll cost to shack up this quiet Sunday night).
And the reviews are in. Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank has been open a couple of months now, but it’s certainly making its mark on the London accommodation scene if TripAdvisor is anything to go by. It currently ranks 33 in London (out of 1071) and fifth for business hotels. Not bad for a bunch of eco-hippies, right?
From a browse of the reviews, it seems like it’s not just the green stuff that’s pressing people’s buttons – they also like the “non-minimalist” decor (like the bedspread in the pic), the views, and the cupcake shop in the lobby. Still an issue – the out-of-the-way location, and although there’s a free shuttle to Sloane Square (posh central), it wasn’t working last week when one reviewer stayed.
How’s this for perfect timing: while the politicos are busy debating climate change in Copenhagen, London’s new Left Bank is about to show the world that green can be trendy, gorgeous, and pretty effortless too.
Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank is opening (on schedule! Hurray!) on Friday, and this morning it uploaded some photos to its blog that made us feel pretty excited. The good news is that the bedrooms (and bathrooms) are looking big and flooded with natural light and the views are going to be pretty fabulous.
Room categories are named after rivers (Mississippi and Yangtze rooms, Amazon and Nile suites), rainwater is going to be harvested from the roof, guests will be offered electronic rather than paper newspapers, and there will be a no plastic policy – expect your toiletries in big glass bottles, not nickable miniatures.
Watch out Paris! You may be all smug with your Left Bank but you have a pretender to your throne. London is about to get its own Left Bank.
Ok, so maybe the French shouldn’t be doing any boot-quivering yet. Because the London’s Left Bank is currently under construction, and is going to be tucked away in Battersea, in south-west London. And last time we were in Battersea, there wasn’t a whole lot going on. At all.
Still, the new Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank is hoping to up the vibe, and it sounds pretty nice. Opening in December, it’s going to be a five star hotel complete with bakery, champagne bar and Thameside restaurant. So far, so yawn – except this is going to be an eco hotel with rain-water harvesting system, energy-efficient air con and low energy lighting. Which doesn’t sound that impressive, until they say that the carbon footprint of each hotel room will be a whopping 75% less than the London average.