In an area more readily known for its white stucco buildings, redbrick architecture and lavish decor, The Hari in Belgravia stands out as a coolly furnished, contemporary counterpart, which is easily one of the best hotels in London.
The Hari is so-called after its proprietor, chairman and CEO Dr Aron Harilela. Something of a hospitality dynasty, the Hariela family has worked in the hotel industry for more than 50 years. The Hari, which opened in 2016, was the first hotel to be owned and managed by the group. The Hari Hong Kong followed in 2020 and more outposts are rumoured to be on the horizon.
The Hari is decidedly not one of London’s old-school luxury hotels. Guests with carefully groomed stubble and job titles involving words like ‘disruptor’ and ‘storyteller’ wear Richard Mille watches with trainers and T-shirts, reflecting the vibe of this modern but undoubtedly luxurious hotel. Think Gucci trainers and Loro Piano cashmere rather than Savile Row suits.
For those looking to explore the shops and museums of Knightsbridge, Sloane Square and Kensington, The Hari could not be better placed, with major attractions including Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and the Royal Albert Hall all just a short walk away. The hotel is recognisable by its glass-fronted facade, draped with trailing greenery.
Rooms and decor
British interior designer Tara Bernard gutted and refurbished the hotel in modernist stone and brick, with butterscotch leather and jewel-toned velvet furnishings. The result is a smart yet sensual space with warmth and elegance. Guests are encouraged to linger in the lobby, where there is a year-round fire and a library of Taschen books.
Art is a big deal at The Hari. Look out for pieces by artists including Tracey Emin and Mario, as well as regular art and photographic exhibitions. The hotel runs a yearly art prize for new graduates and self-taught artists, which includes a cash grant and an exhibition hosted in the hotel bar.
Rooms, of which there are 85, unfold in a palette of handsome leather, charcoal grey, aubergine and oxblood. For one of the best views in Belgravia, book the Studio Suite on the 8th floor. Watch the number 11 bus whizz by below as you soak in an Italian marble bathtub, set against a floor-to-ceiling window.
Food and drink
Hotel restaurant il Pampero has a seductive air of vintage Dolce Vita glamour, clad with Vespa green lacquered walls, exposed brick and marble, with hints of antique brass and Glo Pendant lamps by Carlo Columbo. A sophisticated Italian menu offers a rounded mix of homemade pasta, meat and seafood dishes, served with an impressive list of Italian and sparkling wines.
In the mezzanine Hari Bar, try the signature Haritini cocktails. The Classico mixes gin, with Indian bitter spice and dry vermouth for a sweetly spiced libation that makes for an ideal aperitif. The outdoor terrace, meanwhile, is one of London’s best-kept secrets, wrapped with greenery and topped with a retractable roof for year-round use.
The Hari has its own gin, distilled with cardamon, cloves and cassia bark, which encapsulates the Indian heritage of the Harilela family. Little guests at The Hari receive a giraffe sponsored in their name, as well as a giraffe cuddly toy.
The Hari is slick and expensive – this is Belgravia after all – but also warm and welcoming. If you prefer crittall windows to cornicing; mid-century over Edwardian mahogany, in addition to a lively bar and statement art, then this is the hotel for you.