All photos courtesy of The Hari
The elevator door revealed five members of the hotel staff, all posh looking and impeccably dressed, turning to look at me at the same time. Immediately, I felt the urge to shrink back, push the close button and find a different, less exposed exit. It was silly I know, but from the moment I checked in to the hotel the night before, I knew that the hotel—with its expensively furnished lobby—was certifiably out of my league.
My fear of being discovered as an absolute fraud was, however, quickly dispelled as I stepped out of the swanky elevator into the intimate, dimly lit front desk where they had gathered prior to my arrival. As if on cue, they each offered me a sincere-looking smile and friendly good morning. One guy, whom I assumed was one of the managers, approached me to ask if there was anything he could assist me with. Another, one of the bellhops I think, asked if I needed a cab to take me anywhere. There wasn’t and I didn’t, but it was still lovely that they took the time to ask.
It’s that warm, affable, non-haughty nor elitist—despite appearances, go-beyond-expectations service that really sealed the deal for me. It is, however, just one of the many reasons why I love The Hari.
Nestled in London’s very affluent neighborhood of Belgravia, the four-star, 85-bedroom boutique property (formerly Belgraves, a Thompson Hotel) has all the makings of how a luxury hotel should be: genuine hospitality, idyllic yet accessible location and high-class elegance coupled with contemporary chic aesthetic, smart amenities and most importantly, cozy comfort.
It’s the kind of comfort that makes you want to stay in bed all day and spoil yourself silly with room service whilst watching crappy yet nostalgic TV reruns, which was exactly what I wanted to do. The King Premium guestroom that was my London home for two nights offered just that, thanks to its lovely bed that’s been flourished with soft linen as well as down pillows and comforter, altogether promising a weightless, heavenly slumber.
Creating that much coziness in one space is all in the details, I’ve come to realize. Apart from my glorious bed, there was a sitting nook in my room. It was light dappled; appointed with a purple, velvety sofa in which guests can snuggle in with a good book as well as floor-to-ceiling curtains for privacy; and offered tranquil views of the neighborhood. The mini bar and other amenities were neatly tucked behind a “hidden compartment,” keeping the room clutter-free. The floor was hardwood, beautiful and well maintained. And the bathroom was made of exquisite white Arabescato marble and boasted a glorious rainforest shower, a beautiful vanity unit with a sizable side lit mirror, and bespoke toiletries that anyone would be tempted to take home. There were also plush bathrobes and slippers, an umbrella for shelter from that notoriously wet London weather, complimentary Wi-Fi and bottled water, and a bedside iPhone port for easy charging access.
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The lobby and other public spaces at The Hari were no different. They were equal parts sophistication and hominess, with one expertly complimenting the other. While oozing in style, culture and cool taste in art to mirror Belgravia and London itself, their unaffected atmosphere and inviting furnishings can also quite easily make anyone—including those like me who may feel a bit out of place—relax their guard and unspool if only for a little while. Plus, they also come with a few perks such as a library of books, bicycles to which guests have access, and a doting staff that would happily bring you a latte if you asked.
Getting back to the hotel later that night, the nighttime receptionist who checked me in welcomed me with a huge smile and a familiar wave like we were old friends who haven’t seen each other for quite some time. He remembered me before I remembered him… me, who’s neither famous nor some sort of VIP.
I waved back and went up to my room. My bed had been transformed from the heaping mess I left it that morning to a thing of perfection once again, complete with turndown treats as well as a rug and a pair of slippers at its base. Too exhausted to bother with anything else, I let myself collapse into it. Just as promised, it felt like falling into a puff of cloud. And it felt like home.
The Hari boasts 85 guestrooms, 14 of which are suites, a bar, all-day dining Pont St. Restaurant, the outdoor Garden Terrace as well as several social spaces. There are eight room categories available, from King Superior to the Penthouse. Rates start at £195 per night for a King Superior room during the low season.
The Hari in Belgravia is the first of its brand.