“The rich are different” as F Scott Fitzgerald almost said (the correct quote being slightly longer and more complex), and it was this that I was contemplating as I gazed across the rooftops of Belgravia from my oversized and plush purple chez long at my most recent of UK staycations at The Hari. While the Grande Dame hotels of London might have their landmark Park Lane or Mayfair addresses, The Hari can boast a location that makes her guests feel that they are truly living the authentic Londoner’s lifestyle.
Overlooking the garden square of Chesham Place, surrounded by what must be some of London’s most expensive real estate and cheek by jowl with the grand embassies of Belgrave Square, The Hari truly has a sense of place and by that alone was able to transport me to another world, surely the foremost responsibility of any good hotel.
Arriving on what was one of the last sunny Saturday afternoons of the British Summer, we were keen for a much needed, if brief escape. As well as the sense of luxury imbued by that A-list location, the friendly uniformed doorman who darted to grab our bags and the charming reception staff put as at ease and conveyed that unmistakable air of indulgence and luxury the best hotels, small or large, are able to bestow.
As we were directed to our Studio King Suite, the receptionist took the time to highlight some of the art dotted around the lobby. In keeping with The Hari’s relatively informal and fun-loving vibe he explained that many of the pieces on show were chosen from student degree shows of London’s many prestigious art colleges. In addition to bringing extra colour and life to the beautifully stylised communal space, these pieces also represented a wonderful opportunity for these artists to showcase their skills, and The Hari’s guests to be wowed.
And wowed was indeed exactly how we felt when we were entered our fifth-floor suite. Designed by Tara Bernard, well known as one of the ‘go to’ for the super-rich’s interior needs, our suite truly had the feel of a small but perfectly formed apartment. With a dimly lit entryway (useless space always being a wonderful marker of luxury and indulgence) leading to a large open plan study, bedroom and lounge studio, the suite conveyed both comfort and the sense of a lot of money, well spent.
We loved the fact that the room seemed totally soundproofed, despite only being a few floors above the neighbourhood’s roaring supercars, as well as the electronic black out blinds and masculine colours of the soft furnishings, reminiscent of one of 007’s seductive hideaways. It was the bathroom, so often an afterthought in a hotel that truly impressed us though, reason enough to return.
Clad beautifully in white marble and spotlessly clean and sparkling, it boasted a walk-in shower large enough for a whole troop of Bond Girls and an oversized tub surrounded by almost full-length windows. We were luckily pre-warned that these windows were in fact two-way and advised to only raise the blinds once fully immersed. With this manoeuvre completed, and plenty of bubbles to cover my modesty I enjoyed a full 90 minute soak while gazing at the occasional plane flying across the sky and enjoying the thoughtfully delivered champagne – if this is not one of the definitions of luxury, I don’t know what is.
We chose to maximise the weather with dinner on The Hari’s Garden Terrace which thanks to a retractable roof is open for all weathers. We light up a cigar and check out the bar’s very well thought out cocktail list. The selection of Haitinis take our eye especially the Tamaya No. 2 with pisco, Italicus, Lillet and orange bitters.
With further champagne drunk at dinner our suite’s large flat screen TV and selection of entertainment stood no chance up against its king size bed and luxury linens and before we knew it, the pre-ordered breakfast was arriving the next morning. Room service can often be understandably inferior to restaurant fare, but although simple; our English breakfast was hot, the cappuccinos frothy and orange juice fresh so we had no regrets about staying in our suite for as long as possible and eschewing the offering downstairs.
With a cheery wave from the doorman as we left it was back home, back to reality and back to work, but with another UK staycation under our belts and a spring in our step – bath views and all!
To discover more, visit: thehari.com
All imagery courtesy of The Hari.
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