The Hari hotel review: boutique bliss in Belgravia
This is the place to be for extraordinary, art-themed cocktails
Located in the heart of London’s Belgravia district is The Hari, a five-year-old boutique hotel with 85 rooms and 14 luxury suites – and an emphasis on art and creativity.
The first hotel to launch from the Harilela Group, owned by one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families, The Hari’s sleek, modern design makes it instantly stand out among the grand terraces of white stucco houses so ubiquitous with that part of west London.
The Hari describes itself as being a “sanctuary for modern travellers and connoisseurs of luxury” and when you consider its location – on the border of Chelsea, Kensington and Knightsbridge, and in 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 velvet upholstery, contemporary art and stylish furnishings, as well as a glamorous marble bathroom.
In my room, the windows were floor-to-ceiling, providing fantastic people-watching opportunities and views over Chesham Place Garden (I could imagine writing some sort of Victorian novel at the window-facing desk). The great views are a two-way street though, and as it got darker I found myself hunting for the switch to put the blinds down and protect my privacy.
As well as all the obvious amenities, the room had some brilliant touches, including an extension on the TV which enabled it to stretch right out over the bed (what could be better than TV in bed?) and the most gorgeously plush white robes.
The in-house restaurant Il Pampero is an intimate, thoughtfully-designed space, featuring a bottle green and bronze colour scheme and kitsch patterned floor tiles. Cosy circular booths are set around the outside of the room – great for social distancing – while the focal point is a striking central bar (where counter seating is available too).
If you like rich food, you’re in for a treat with this restaurant; Il Pampero must be the first time I’ve seen the combination of steak, foie gras, truffle and red wine sauce on a menu. The starters are not much lighter; my beef tartare was served “pizza style” enclosed in pastry. The homemade wild mushroom pasta (a special) was full of flavour, but unfortunately rather on the cool side.
When it came to dessert, we were intrigued by the avocado mousse with sweetcorn and lemon verbena granita, but it had unfortunately sold out. Instead, we opted for the chocolate volcano – which definitely lived up to its name – and came with raspberry lava and a biscuity ash cloud (although it felt like a missed trick that the moussey volcano itself was hard inside instead of runny).
While the food felt slightly on the confused side, the cocktails were extraordinary. The Hari’s art theme runs most prominently through its drinks menu, where most of the cocktails are inspired by famous artworks.
I had a hugely creative “Up, up and away” cocktail, inspired by Banksy’s Girl with a Balloon, which came complete with a poppable red smoke “balloon” and a Banksy coaster. My dining companion’s “British Bulldog” (Glenmorangie, angostura and smoked wood) arrived enclosed in a glass case and accompanied by a chocolate cigar. Not only were both cocktails proper conversation starters, but they were also delicious.
I also adored my decadent #DrinkFrenchFluently (it was well worth the embarrassment of having to order a drink with a hashtag), which was comprised of Grey Goose Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, a black raspberry liqueur called Chambord and raspberries, topped with champagne.
The Hari’s room service breakfast menu is nothing if not extensive – we counted no less than 60 individual items on the list, which is accessed via the TV.
We kept it simple with eggs florentine and pancakes, and ate breakfast in bed while watching the world (or, rather, the people of Belgravia) go by. What could be more luxurious on a Saturday morning?
Although I wasn’t blown away by the food, the creative cocktails are well worth making the trip for, as well as the beautifully-designed rooms and unique arty theme which runs throughout the whole experience.
If you’re looking for luxury living 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