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  1. Luxury
January 14, 2024

The Hari review: New York loft-style in Belgravia  

A likable, laid-back boutique hotel in a prime location with inviting art-filled spaces, cosy book-lined nooks and creative cocktails, The Hari is sanctuary for modern travellers

By Suzanne Elliott

Set against a flurry of behemoth ultra-luxe hotel openings in London, The Hari positions itself as a low-key, chic boutique hotel in the heart of the sweeping crescents and stucco mansions of Belgravia. 

The Hari Belgravia opened its doors in 2016 – the first hotel to launch under the ‘Hari’ brand from the Hong Kong-based Harilela Group. The Harilela Group was established in 1959 and is still wholly owned by the Harilela family, which owns 15 properties around the globe.

Location 

A stone’s throw from Eaton Square and pretty patisserie-lined Elizabeth Street, and within minutes of Harrods and Buckingham Palace, The Hari is fantastically positioned yet manages to feel tucked away. 

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A short walk from Victoria station, with its train links to the south coast and Gatwick, The Hari is perfect for anyone in London on business or pleasure looking for easy access to sights, shops, bars and restaurants while hoping to retreat once work or play is over. 

Rooms & Suites

The hotel was recently given a refresh by Hospitality Designs designer of the year 2023, Tara Bernerd, who also designed the original interiors. 

The recent makeover gave the 85 rooms, including the 14 luxury suites and the penthouse, a fresh design with the emphasis on reimagining and reinventing rather than replacing. Bernerd’s reboot retains the hotel’s original New York-loft vibe that fuses a vintage feel with a slick modern look.

With rich and tactile finishes, including Arabescato marble, greystone and smoked glass, and bespoke designed rugs in tones of cream and navy, or rich chocolate brown, the rooms and social spaces are stylish yet warm. 

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The crisp modern mid-century-inspired furniture and fittings are softened by warm coloured walls, jewel-toned velvet upholstery and sympathetic lighting. 

The penthouse with its twin aspect offers sweeping views across Hyde Park, St Paul’s and the London Eye. Carve out time for a wallow in the immense marble bathtub with the provided Noble Isle toiletries. 

Dining 

The hotel’s one restaurant, il Pampero (named after the company chair, Dr Aron Harilela’s favourite horse) does classic homemade Italian cuisine very well in a polished setting where bold Vespa-green lacquers and rich velvets combine with soft leather booths and subtle (read, rather dark) lighting. 

The caco e pepe was silky with bite while the Scotch beef fillet with celeriac puree was perfect: juicy and tender. The tiramisu was whipped up by the server at our table, and liberally doused with a choice of liquors. Despite the drama of the tiramisu’s presentation and its creamy booziness, it’s the dark chocolate mousse served with honey and whisky chestnuts that steals the show. The Italian-focused wine list is divided into regions and includes star names such as Masseto and Tignanello.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner – although we would recommend skipping breakfast here (not included in the room rate) for a pastry on nearby Elizabeth Street. 

The tome-lined Hari Bar is a homage to the owner’s book loving father and invites the customers to curl up with a volume and a cup of tea or glass of warming Masseto. Guests are encouraged to borrow the books and to donate to the library.

The small American-style bar lends itself to propping up against with one of the hotel’s signature ‘Haritinis’s’ made with The Hari’s own gin, distilled with cardamon, cloves and cassia bark. 

A nod to owner Dr Harilela’s favourite drink, The Hari Bar has a unique collection of Haritinis, including the Classico, made with The Hari Gin, Indian bitter spices and dry vermouth and the zingy Hot to Handle, made impeccably on our visit with fresh lemon juice and sugar syrup.

Art is central to The Hari, and pieces by artists such as Tracey Emin, adorn the rooms and public spaces curated by Charlie Smedley of A Space for Art. Artwork has even inspired some of the cocktails such as Van Gogh’s Stargazer, a fruity blend of Ketel One vodka cherry brandy, lemon and lychee.

The Garden Terrace is an indoor-outdoor area with a retractable roof, ideal for sipping specialty cocktails whatever the weather. 

Amenities 

There is a small fitness centre just off the mezzanine bar that has a Peloton bike. 

The hotel is handicapped-accessible and there are guest rooms for guests with special needs as well as accessible lifts to bedrooms and the bar and terrace areas.

Service 

Friendly, courteous and accommodating – the front of house staff are one of the hotel’s best assets.

Experiences 

The Hari’s concierge team can direct guests to nearby Royal Parks to train outdoors or guests are invited to use the complimentary bikes the hotel offers for a two-wheel spin around London. 

The verdict 

A stylish boutique hotel perfectly situated for many of London’s highlights that makes for a likeable, lowkey bolthole.

Details

20 Chesham Place, Belgravia, London SW1X 8HQ

www.thehari.com; www.ilpampero.com 

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