Located in the heart of London’s Belgravia district, The Hari, a five-year-old boutique hotel with 85 rooms and 14 luxury suites, emphasizes art and creativity.
The first hotel launched by the Harilela Group, owned by one of Hong Kong’s richest families, the Hari’s sleek, modern design instantly makes it stand out among the large terraces of the white stucco houses so ubiquitous in this part of the city. West London.
The Hari describes itself as a “sanctuary for modern travelers and luxury connoisseurs” and when you consider its location – on the border of Chelsea, Kensington and Knightsbridge, and within walking distance of Harrods, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Albert Hall – it’s clear to see why.
Each luxurious (and pet-friendly) room features plush velor upholstery, contemporary art and stylish furnishings, plus a glamorous marble bathroom.
In my room, the windows were floor to ceiling, providing fantastic opportunities for people watching and views of Chesham Place Garden (I could imagine writing some sort of Victorian novel at the desk facing the window). Great views are a two way street though, and as it got darker I found myself searching for the switch to lower the shades and protect my privacy.
Along with all the obvious amenities, the bedroom had a few shiny touches, including an extension over the TV that allowed it to stretch out just above the bed (what better than the TV in bed?) And white bathrobes. the most sumptuous.
Hotel Il Pampero’s restaurant is an intimate and carefully designed space, with bottle green and bronze colors and kitsch patterned floor tiles. Comfortable circular booths are set outside the room – ideal for social distancing – while the focal point is a striking central bar (where counter seating is also available).
If you like rich food, you are going to be in for a treat with this restaurant; Il Pampero has to be the first time I’ve seen the combination of steak, foie gras, truffle and red wine sauce on a menu. The entrees aren’t much lighter; my beef tartare was served “pizza style” enclosed in a puff pastry. The homemade wild mushroom pasta (a special) was full of flavor, but unfortunately rather cold.
As for dessert, we were intrigued by the avocado mousse with sweet corn granita and lemon verbena, but it was unfortunately sold out. Instead, we opted for the chocolate volcano – aptly named – and came with raspberry lava and a biscuit ash cloud (although it looked like a missed turn that the sparkling volcano gave it). – even was hard on the inside instead of sinking).
While the food was slightly confusing, the cocktails were amazing. The theme of Hari’s art is most prominent in its drink menu, where most of the cocktails are inspired by famous works of art.
I had an extremely creative “Up, up and away” cocktail, inspired by Banksy’s Girl with a balloon, which came complete with a bursting red smoke “balloon” and a Banksy coaster. My table mate’s “British Bulldog” (Glenmorangie, Angostura and Smoked Wood) arrived locked in a display case and accompanied by a chocolate cigar. Not only were the two cocktails great conversation pieces, they were also delicious.
I also loved my decadent #DrinkFrenchFluently (well worth the embarrassment to order a drink with a hashtag), which consisted of Gray Goose Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, a black raspberry liqueur called Chambord and raspberries, garnished with Champagne.
The Hari’s room service breakfast menu is nothing if not extensive – we’ve counted no less than 60 individual items on the list, which is accessible via the TV.
We made it simple with Florentine eggs and pancakes, and had breakfast in bed watching the world (or rather the people of Belgravia) go by. What could be more luxurious on a Saturday morning?
While I wasn’t blown away by the food, the creative cocktails are well worth the trip, along with the beautifully designed rooms and the unique artistic theme that unfolds throughout the experience.
If you are looking for a luxury lifestyle in the heart of West London’s most desirable district, then the Hari is the hotel for you.
The Hari, 20 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8HQ; thehari.com