Tucked discreetly between a row of white stucco townhouses and embassy buildings in London’s swanky Belgravia neighborhood, it would be easy to walk straight past The Hari without realizing it’s a hotel. The elegant boutique lies opposite a garden square, its glass façade teeming with lush greenery. Stepping through the doors into the hushed lobby you’re greeted with an intoxicating floral scent. Coffee tables are strewn with design tomes and magazines, books line the walls. It feels like the type of place that would be perfect for a low-key date – or somewhere to while away an evening sipping cocktails with an old friend.
This luxurious yet understated feel is very much deliberate. The Hari isn’t trying to compete with London’s big, showy hotels; this is a sleek boutique offering guests a home-away-from-home vibe – moments from leafy Hyde Park and the designer boutiques of Sloane Street.
The Harilela family opened the hotel back in 2016. Since then, they’ve been slowly adding to a burgeoning collection of properties dotted across the globe, including, most recently, a slick outpost in Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district. The London flagship is considerably smaller – but just as stylish. Tara Bernerd – the British designer behind some of the planet’s hottest hotels – has put her stamp on the interiors. In late 2023, she was brought back in to breathe new life into the guest rooms, expertly weaving in plush new furnishings and fabrics for a comprehensive revamp. Add to the mix a talented new head chef and we couldn’t think of a reason not to check back into The Hari this winter.
[See also: The Dorchester Dazzles After Extensive Revamp]
The Hari has just 85 freshly renovated accommodations. I’m loath to use the word ‘sexy’ in the context of hotel rooms but this feels inescapable when describing Bernerd’s velvet-heavy interiors. We stayed in a Studio King Suite up on the seventh floor; a moodily lit sanctuary looking out over the rooftops of the Belgravia townhouses towards the twinkling skyline (we could even glimpse the London Eye).
Our room had two alcoves encasing a camel-hued sofa and writing desk; the gauzy curtains add a sultry touch (as does the framed photograph of what looks suspiciously like Julianne Moore dressed in nothing but a pair of high heels and a see-through vest). The real draw, however, was the lavish marble bathroom with a bay window tub – the best spot for soaking up the city views.
The most exclusive abode of all is the Hari Suite. Located up on the top floor of the hotel, the 750 sq ft suite features three private balconies, a sizeable living room with an enormous cow-print rug and a striking black marble bathroom complete with a walk-in rainforest shower and Jacuzzi.
Dining at the Hari is a real treat. Chef Angelo Albera recently took over the hotel’s signature eatery, il Pampero, crafting an ever-changing menu rooted in authentic Italian cuisine that showcases an array of locally sourced produce. We kicked things off with a delicate octopus and potato salad before diving into comforting bowls of pasta (the Dorset crab linguine was divine). Be sure to save a little room for dessert; for a touch of theatre go for the Tiramisu which is ceremoniously wheeled over on a trolley and prepared tableside.
With its pretty tiled floors, cozy booths and emerald-green walls, il Pampero feels intimate yet buzzy (we visited on a Saturday night when the tables were filled with glamorous young couples). The staff were attentive and knowledgeable, going above and beyond to guide us through the menu and make recommendations. Breakfast is also served here in the morning; expect the full works from hearty cooked breakfasts to seasonal fruit platters and fresh juices.
It’s well worth heading upstairs after dinner for a nightcap at the Hari’s stylish bar. Sink into one of the jewel-colored velvet sofas with a cocktail or enjoy a Cuban cigar out on the Garden Terrace.
The hotel is home to an impressive art collection; look out for the unique paintings and sculptures dotted throughout the bar and lobby (for the last couple of years the Hari has hosted an Art Prize for the next generation of emerging artists).
While the Hari is sadly missing a spa – you’ll have to make do with the Himalayan pink bath salts in your room – the hotel does have a compact gym and a black book of London’s best personal trainers who can design personalized fitness sessions for guests on site.
Eco-conscious travelers will be pleased to hear The Hari has made significant efforts to reduce its environmental impact. The hotel has been awarded a Silver Accreditation by EarthCheck Certified and is a member of NOW Force for Good Alliance – a collection of hotels dedicated to advancing sustainable practices.
You won’t find any wasteful packaging in the room; the mini bar is stocked with fair-trade chocolates, baked peanuts in biodegradable pots and organic drinks, while the luxurious cosmetics in the bathroom are ethically sourced and plastic free.
The Hari is a short stroll from some of London’s nicest green spaces including Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and St. James’s Park. It’s also well positioned for visiting the capital’s famed art galleries and museums: the V&A, Natural History Museum and Saatchi Gallery are all within walking distance.
And, if shopping is more your speed, head to the high-end boutiques on Sloane Street or amble over to Brompton Road for an afternoon of retail therapy at Harrods. There are plenty of gourmet restaurants and bars nearby, too.