First Impression: The Hari Hong Kong

by Anton D. Javier
Photos courtesy of The Hari Hong Kong
27 Feb 2023

The time has come to finally return to Hong Kong. On your next visit, make The Hari Hong Kong in Wan Chai your home away from home.

It’s gutsy opening a new hotel in Hong Kong towards the tail-end of 2020 to say the least, but that’s exactly what the Harilela Group did. The hotel development and management company, which owns and operates over a dozen properties around the world, fearlessly launched The Hari Hong Kong in December 2020. While the modern luxury property has catered to the staycation needs of locals for the past few years, it’s only now that foreign visitors are getting acquainted with its charm, as well as the Wan Chai neighborhood it calls home.

With Hong Kong finally open for tourism, frequent visitors and first timers can explore and rediscover the fragrant harbor’s exciting offerings and walk through its lively streets. However, instead of staying at popular tourist areas like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon side, go local and park yourself in Wan Chai and discover why The Hari Hong Kong is considered as the neighborhood’s living room.

(Related: A perfect weekend at the Datai Langkawi)


A Warm Welcome

The main lobby at The Hari Hong Kong
A variety of cozy seating areas scattered across the hotel lobby

As you pull up to The Hari’s driveway, gentle music playing from an outdoor speaker welcomes you, and at the same time, provides a bit of aural respite from the sound of constant construction around you (which is very characteristic of Hong Kong).

Head up to the main lobby for a breezy check in and linger around to admire the artworks on display – with most of them personally chosen by Dr. Aron Harilela, Chairman and CEO of Harilela Hotels, himself. You can also opt to sink into one of the many seating areas to decompress and browse through the various coffee table books scattered around as you wait for your room to be ready. The lobby’s cozy size also makes it the perfect setting for one-on-one business meetings or to simply catch up with a friend over a drink.


Comfort First

The Hari Suite living room

The 30-storey property is comprised of 210 guestrooms, as well as three signature rooftop suites averaging 830 square feet each, designed with elegance and consideration for the modern traveler by Tara Bernerd, Founder and CEO of Tara Bernerd & Partners, a leading international architecture and design practice based in London.

The room categories at The Hari begin with the King/Twin Room, at 269 square feet. Spacious by Hong Kong hotel standards, this room is the perfect option for individuals or couples who intend to spend most of their day out and about but want to return to a comfortable cocoon with special touches like a banquette sofa, a walk-in shower, and automated privacy screens.

The Premium Corner Room boasts tasteful decor, ample space, and stunning city views

On my stay, I was treated to the Premium Corner Room, which was incredibly spacious for one traveler at 323 square feet. I appreciated the selection of tasteful art in the room, as well as the toilet and bathroom area that could be separated from the bedroom by a glass door, allowing for a clever demarcation of space. The hotel also doesn’t use single-use plastics, so expect your daily supply of drinking water to come in eco-friendly glass bottles.

The room’s banquette sofa and coffee table are located right next to a massive corner window that opens to spectacular city views. On a clear day, you’ll even be able to see The Peak. I found myself spending a lot of time in this area, transforming it into a makeshift workspace thanks to the accessibility to plugs and USB sockets. The Nespresso machine next to it also means that it’s the perfect spot for you to enjoy your morning coffee as you watch the street below wake up and come to life.


Talk of the Town

On the second floor of The Hari is Zoku Restaurant, which, in the few years that it’s been open, has been making a name for itself. True enough, when I told a Hong Kong-based acquaintance that I was staying at The Hari, he immediately said, “You must eat at Zoku.”

The restaurant is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Edwin Guzman where he serves up contemporary Japanese cuisine, infused with dynamic flavors with Nikkei influence. In addition, Chef Guzman draws on his Peruvian roots to infuse the dishes with unexpected flavors and ingredients. At the moment, Zoku’s signature six-course menu features the most outstanding seafood, meats, and produce from Japanese prefectures like Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa.

Right outside Zoku is The Terrace, a strip of greenery and comfortable seating that doubles as an afternoon hangout spot for coffee or an evening watering hole where visitors can enjoy cocktails amidst an oasis-in-the-city ambience. Later in the evening, it becomes a stage for cool locals and hotel guests to come together, fueled by creative cocktails expertly mixed by the hotel’s in-house beverage team.

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