Some may argue that opening a luxury business hotel now is a risky endeavor pretty much anywhere in the world. Given the still-not-so-open borders, a sometimes upsettingly slow vaccination pace in many countries, and a general concept of giving up on at least some business travel in the future in favor of zoom calls and decreased CO2 emissions do pose difficult questions to the developers and owners. Nevertheless, The Hari Hong Kong – a masterpiece brought to life by the British designer Tara Bernerd – does not seem to succumb to the pessimistic sentiment.
Located in Wan Chai, just a ten-minute walk away from the convention center, originally made it an excellent contender to win business travelers’ hearts but with borders closed, its main demographic has disappeared. However, Dr Aron Harilela, Chairman and CEO of Harilela Hotels, is optimistic, saying ‘Its opening sends a clear and strong message of our confidence in what lies ahead.’ Indeed, the long-term prospects for the hospitality industry in general and the non-leisure sector, in particular, look less gloomy than one could have imagined.
Meanwhile, The Hari’s bespoke design and unique positioning as an independent neighborhood hotel give it an advantage over the numerous plain properties in the area and give it a head start to attract a smart local set, despite being only a few months old. As the designer Tara Bernerd, whose eponymous London-based interior architecture studio worked on the flagship hotel for the brand, explains, her intention was to ‘bring the charm and elegance of The Hari London, while simultaneously delving into the energy and dynamism of bustling Hong Kong.’ You can see for yourself, but we certainly agree that she fulfilled her goal.
The Hari Hong Kong features Italian and Japanese restaurants and 210 compact but well-designed guest rooms. All of them include wood-paneled walls, timber floors, marble bathrooms, and brass trim, while padded bedheads, custom-made rugs, and contemporary art by Asian artists give the space an exquisite final touch. The one-touch shower button is a triumph of elegance and functionality. But the biggest wow factor is reserved for the three penthouse suites. Each features a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom, and a breathtaking 12-meter-wide terrace, a rare guest in the city’s hotels. The top Hari Suite claims a corner position, giving it stunning views of the surrounding buildings and dazzling sunsets behind the Peak. Hopefully, soon the hotel will have enough business travelers to enjoy this beauty.