Will London’s newest “eco hotel” be a success?

by Rajul on January 16, 2010

The eco-friendly aspects of the Rafayel Hotel are discreetly hidden "under the hood"

The eco-friendly aspects of the Rafayel Hotel are discreetly hidden "under the hood"

The recently-opened “eco-luxe” Rafayel Hotel (or Rafayel on the Left Bank as it calls itself) in Battersea has just received its first TripAdvisor reviews.

And since we love green hotels on this blog – having praised the eco award-winning Cavendish and Base2stay hotels as well as the Zetter at various times – we’ve decided to take a closer look at the Rafayel too.

This new hotel is interesting because it seems to have been constructed from head to toe with the environment in mind.  The hotel’s owners rather boldly state that they don’t see any compromise between luxury and eco-friendliness and have set out to hit both targets at the same time.

As the hotel developer puts it:  “luxury should not mean adhering to traditional standards of unsustainable opulence; rather it should incorporate technology in tune with the sensitivities of Mother Nature.”

Time will tell whether they manage to achieve their ambitious goals but I think the spirit and lofty targets are admirable.

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Early guest reviews of the Rafayel seem to suggest that its claim of "luxury plus eco-friendly" is not without substance

Early guest reviews of the Rafayel appear to suggest that its "luxury-eco" claim is not without substance

Here are some of the ways that the Rafayel is setting out to reinvent our idea of what a “green hotel” should offer:

  • Cutting-edge new green technology to minimise energy consumption.
  • “No plastic” policy.
  • Paper and glass recycling.
  • LED lighting.
  • Efficient air conditioning/air management system.
  • Full-length windows to maximise natural light.
  • Rainwater recycled from roof.
  • Only organic and fair trade products.
  • Guests offered electronic rather than printed newspapers.
  • Handmade beds recycled with “zero landfill” processes.

The goal is to cut the average guest’s carbon footprint by 17kg from the conventional hotel average of 70kg/night – a 20% improvement.

Some of the hotel’s ideas are certainly innovative.  For example, it may be possible for guests to view their own energy consumption.  This opens up the possibility of eventually giving rewards to the most eco-friendly guests.

It’s important that innovation and competition stimulate more hotels to pick up the challenge of being truly green.  In this sense, the Rafayel’s opening is a step in the right direction and I hope it succeeds as a positive example.

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The TripAdvisor guest feedback sample is still too small to analyse however, the initial signs look promising and it has provisionally entered the charts in the top 50.  Watch this space and we’ll keep you fully informed.

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Photo credits: Rafayel Hotel.

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February 15, 2011 at 6:48 am

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