Featuring a gleaming modern building, this property faces a serene park where displays of vintage cars often take place. Inside, contemporary and chic, with velvet and marble furnishings, chrome finishes, glass fixtures, and artwork by Tracey Emin and photographer Mario Testino, among others.
Opened two years ago, The Hari is an elegant boutique hotel in a quiet corner of London in the heart of Belgravia close to Knightsbridge and within easy access to some of the city’s leading highlights.
At the Intersection of Pont Street and Chesham Place, it is an easy 15-minute walk to luxury shops including Harrods and Harvey Nichols, Hyde Park, museums such as the Victoria & Albert and Natural History, as well as the Royal Albert Hall and several metro stations including Victoria and Knightsbridge.
And for a pint of cask ale in a traditional English-style pub, The Gloucester Arms is just around the corner.
Formerly known as the Belgraves, it was renamed under the Hong Kong-based Harilela Group, which will open another hotel next year in Hong Kong. The property was refurbished by British interior designer Tara Bernerd who has designed other luxury hotels around the world including the Four Seasons and Sixty Hotels groups. Of its 85-rooms, 14 at The Hari are suites. Tara describes her style here as ‘industrial edge with… masculine and ultimately timeless elegance.’
Upon entering, one walks under a giant chandelier and up a short flight of stairs leading to an open lounge and bar area with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, thick carpeted flooring, low ceiling, cosy padded alcove seating, soft couches and swivel leather armchairs with glass-topped coffee tables. Evocative paintings of wild horses and tapestries adorn the walls.
Here my companion and I indulged in creative house cocktails concocted by Luis Andres including the hotel’s namesake, ‘the hari’ – a blend of Jensen gin, masala chai and splash of honey, served as an an amber delight in glass decorated with chai leaves; and the hari 2.0 comprising Star of Bombay Gin, vermouth blend and electric bitters. Friendly bar manager, Liverpudlian James Hunt is a convivial host. There is also a cosy terrace bar marked by a quirky pink neon vacancy sign.
For straight whisky drinkers, there’s the smooth 12-year-old Hakushi while cigar smokers are well catered for with a humidor containing a large selection of Cuban, Guatemalan and Nicaraguan varieties.
Our room, 505, was designated a studio suite and overlooked the park with a pleasant tree-line. It featured wood flooring and a cosy plush velvet couch, glass coffee-table and hanging bedside lamps. Natural light flooded in through three large windows. Light curtains cordoned off spaces including a coffee corner-cum-office space with desk. Interestingly, the an eye-catching item of decoration was an almost topless photo of a well-known film actress posing in sheer lingerie.
Delightfully, the bathroom with Arabescato tiling, large windows showing the crowns of the trees outside, featured a sunken Japanese bath, a walk-in rainforest shower and Noble isle toiletries. We were also supplied with a mobile phone with free local and international calls which we could use outside the hotel.
The hotel’s ground-floor Italian restaurant, Il Pampero, is where breakfast is served, a buffet with continental breakfast and a la carte options including eggs done in every imaginable way and vegetarian selections. Coffees come in interesting flavors. For healthier options, try a potent tumeric, beetroot or macho latte. An intriguing set of framed photographs of masked people masked decorate the walls.
For athletic types, The Hari has a well-equipped, 24-hour small fitness room, with handful of treadmills, exercise bikes and elliptical and weight-training machines. Female guests can access discounted rates at the Grace Belgravia women’s health club, a five-minute walk from the hotel. Guests can also enjoy in-room spa treatments, free access to bikes on site and reduced rates at the Neville Salon next door.
As a luxury accommodation choice for a quiet sojourn in the English capital in an elegant setting within easy distance of many London sights, The Hari is a serious contender.