Walking into Hotel Rafayel you are greeted by a cacophony of colour, reflective surfaces, and undulating curved walls. As you approach on one side of the building, the surrounding urban landscape of Clapham does not fill you with the belief that the scenery is going to be a characterising feature of your break, but just wait until you get to the view from the other side …
The hotel is undoubtedly a lesson in contemporary design which from a practical perspective contributes to its environmentally aware ethos and goal of reducing the average traveller’s carbon footprint. Interiors are sleek using Murano glass mosaic tiles and a uniform Missoni-style striped accent throughout, while space is in abundance – two metre wide corridors and high ceilings make even the smaller rooms feel spacious and allow for easy access to all areas. There are also apartments available for families and longer stays, and a some rooms located in a separate building above the restaurant. Where the option for riverside views is available – grasp it with both hands!
Descend from the ground floor and you will arrive in the spa area – a compact, mood-lit area adorned with little Buddah’s and the most enormous display of Elemis products, which unsurprisingly form the basis of their treatment menu. In terms of facilities, it is all about working out with a view as the gym overlooks the city from several floors up, before a dip in the hot tub and time in the sauna
and steam room.
There is one restaurant – The Banyan – overlooking the river (obviously), where all meals are served – it is, like the rest of the hotel, cool, calm and sophisticated and serves a buffet breakfast as well as a fusion menu throughout the day and into the evening. There is space to sit up high along a bar area, or along the windows on the waters edge – and proved a favourite location to watch the Jubilee pageant earlier this year – it really is a spectacular location. Some rooms are located in the same building as the restaurant, for other guests it is a few meters from the main building – not far, but on a blustery day you may wish to put on a jacket given the aforementioned proximity to the water and its accompanying breeze.
The riverside location of the hotel provides an excellent view from the restaurant, although the approach is a little less picturesque. In terms of accessibility, it is a ten minute walk from Clapham Junction station – making it easily accessible from central London (a short train journey) and there are many bars and restaurants in the Clapham area worth visiting as well.
You will never forget you are in a city when you visit a spa and hotel which use its characteristics to their best advantage. So close you are practically in the Thames and utilising space with precision and great effect, alongside streamlined design it is intimate enough for a romantic break without having to leave the city, ideally located for business travellers looking for somewhere to relax after a hard day’s work, or for a girly get-together complete with cocktails.
– Think about what you want from your room – if the spa is a key part of your visit, pick a room on the same floor – which will place it almost as close as your own bathroom.
– Make time to eat in the Banyan restaurant – the view alone is worth it!
– Take advantage of the treatments while you are here and the range of products available on sale to compliment them. From experience, we particularly recommend the Exotic Coconut Ritual Wrap … but you will have to take a look at the blog tomorrow if you want to know any more …
To visit Hotel Rafayel go to Spabreaks.com or contact the team on: 0800 043 6600.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.