The Hari, Lon­don

Business Traveller (Middle East) - - News -

BACK­GROUND The Hari is a new name for a ho­tel that has been through sev­eral in­car­na­tions and now is a mem­ber of Pre­ferred Ho­tels and Re­sorts. It is in the cen­tre of Bel­gravia, but away from its main roads. The out­side has a glass frontage, which sounds aw­ful but looks fine, de­spite be­ing sur­rounded by stucco town houses and of­fices. The ho­tel nor­mally has a smart­ly­dressed door­man stand­ing out­side or just in­side the doors (de­pend­ing on weather), and also bikes for use by ho­tel guests lined up by the side of the en­trance.

I ar­rived on a warm sum­mer’s evening and step­ping into the lobby was like step­ping into shad­ows af­ter the bright light out­side. The Hari has a very in­ti­mate, al­most night­club feel to it, though thank­fully with­out the loud mu­sic. WHERE IS IT? On the cor­ner of Che­sham Place and Pont street. The Ger­man em­bassy is a few steps away and if you fancy a run in the morn­ing Hyde Park is about five min­utes away. Un­der­ground sta­tions in­clude Knights­bridge on the Pic­cadilly Line for ac­cess to Heathrow. ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES The new name comes from the devel­oper and man­ager – Har­ilela Ho­tels. A fur­ther Hari Ho­tel is planned for Hong Kong in 2019, ap­par­ently. Mean­while this prop­erty has 85 rooms and 14 suites. Again, the de­sign is cer­tainly un­usual. My room on the sec­ond floor looked out into the main square and had al­ready been pre­pared for the evening with black out blinds and cur­tains drawn. Th­ese are very ef­fec­tive, and al­lowed me to sleep undis­turbed both by light and also noise (the ho­tel has good sound proof­ing and the win­dows are very ef­fec­tive).

The de­sign of my room in­volved lots of wood pan­elling, a wood floor and a Ne­spresso maker on the work table. There was a mini bar, though it took a lot of knock­ing on the wooden pan­elling of the room to work out where it was. The side table had mag­a­zines on it. Free wifi was very fast, and the ho­tel has the ex­cel­lent Handy phones for free phone calls and mo­bile data. Rooms start at 23sqm and range up to the Pent­house at 70sqm. My Stu­dio King Suite (44sqm) had three win­dow al­coves – one with a work desk, one with a sofa and the third one in the bath­room and hold­ing the bath. This did cause me some con­cern in case I ex­posed my­self to pass­ing pedes­tri­ans, though I think the win­dows were slightly re­flec­tive and there was no signs of alarm from the street be­low de­spite stand­ing in the bath­tub to check. Most rooms have walk-in show­ers with a choice of rain or nor­mal shower heads, so this will not be an is­sue, although se­lected King Deluxe, King Pre­mium and suite cat­e­gories have bath­tubs. Bath­room ameni­ties are by No­ble Isle. RESTAU­RANT AND BAR The restau­rant has been through a cou­ple of changes since we last re­viewed it, and is now the Il Pam­pero. I’ve heard good things about it, but have not eaten there. For break­fast the next morn­ing I can say it’s a lovely de­signed space with a cen­tral bar and plenty of booths. Up­stairs, the bar – known as The Snug – on the first floor / mez­za­nine, of­fers af­ter­noon tea and then morphs into a com­fort­able place for evening or late night drinks. Be­hind the bar up a few more steps is the Gar­den Ter­race with lots of green­ery and a re­tractable roof which means you can sit out there and have a cigar, a wel­come treat for cigar smok­ers in cen­tral Lon­don. BUSI­NESS AND MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES There is a meet­ing room for up to 24 (though it can be sub-di­vided) just off the main restau­rant which it calls The Muse – it has floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows, solid oak table, fire­place and of­fers pro­jec­tor, plasma screen TV, con­fer­ence phone and free wifi. LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES A small gym is on the first floor and is well equipped. Tom Ot­ley VERDICT This is quite a find – a bou­tique ho­tel, the first of its brand, and with staff and ameni­ties which make it a great choice. Many ho­tels in this area are ei­ther cor­po­rate or have a man­nered “coun­try house / town house” feel, the Hari is very dif­fer­ent and all the bet­ter for it.

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