Our world is slowly reopening for travel again, and The Hari Hong Kong is celebrating its grand opening with the debut of its interiors by Tara Bernerd of Tara Bernerd & Partners.
The Hari Hong Kong has 210 rooms and is located in the Wan Chai district, known for its lively crowd, excellent restaurants, shops, offices and more. It is brimming with creativity, which Bernerd wanted to integrate through the design of the room, the leisure spaces and the hall. This is her second collaboration with Harilela Hotels (she previously designed The Hari London) and she was thrilled to design The Hari Hong Kong as it is a destination close to her heart.
“Hong Kong is the most incredible city and it’s a place where I spent a lot of time,” says Bernerd UKTN. “Hong Kong is about energy and people. It’s in an area called Wan Chai, where you wouldn’t necessarily have seen such hotels being built. At the start of my career, I used to go there to buy bed knobs, brooms, doorknobs and everything in the design hardware store. It is a very busy and busy area. For me, it was about capturing the eclectic aspects of the area, as well as embracing the people and the lifestyle.
Bernerd said there were several themes to explore that reflected the neighborhood and wanted to offer a good mix of options across food and drink concepts, including Italian restaurant, Lucciola; Japanese restaurant, Zoku; and creative cocktail bar, The Lounge.
“It was extremely important that the hotel had its own confidence and attitude,” she says. “For the conception, there was some uncensored UKTN or narrative that we wanted to pick up and bring to Hari Hong Kong from [The Hari London], but not at all imitate it. There are tributes to London property, from the library walls we used to the layering of fabrics.
Bernerd has worked with the founder of Hotel Harilela, Dr Aron Harilela, for over 20 years, and for this project she was inspired by her tailoring style.
“Hong Kong is Aron’s home, and there’s a lot about Aron that I wanted to bring to hotels, like his immaculate style, effortless chic, love of flannel pinstripe tweed with a bit of cashmere, which for me then becomes a chair with a small cushion.
Bernerd’s palette is beautiful and polished, and she’s known for using lavish materials like velvet, corduroy, and leather alongside mid-century modern furniture and striking artwork. The Hari Hong Kong incorporates all of these design elements. Everything from the lobby to the living room to the bedrooms feels like an upscale Hong Kong residence.
Design cues include wood paneling, gray marble floors, amber leather, textured linens, and antique doors and furniture. In many rooms, she incorporates natural materials like neutral linen wallpaper and tones inspired by petrol blue, as well as marble toiletries with green veins and more. The suites feature navy and gray tweeds and velvets, rich dark wood paneling, bronze rails, a glass-covered marble coffee table, and beautiful pops of bold color. Each category of room, as well as the lobby and restaurants, tell a similar story, but with varying materials and design elements.
“My style could be viewed as warmly daring; we’ve heard people call it industrial chic, ”she says. “I would always say that we are at the limit of the beautiful more than the pretty. We also like to contrast and mix. The truth is, we’re also very indigenous in what we do, whether it’s Hong Kong, Vienna, or Mexico, each will have a different color scheme and layering.
Much of Bernerd’s work is with luxury hotel groups and she has worked with Rosewood, Four Seasons, Belmond, Thompson, SIXTY Hotels, Palace Hotels and more, as well as private residences and superyachts.
In 2021 and 2022, his work will be unveiled at Thompson Hollywood, Equinox Los Angeles, Four Seasons Fort Lauderdale, Rosewood Munich and other exciting projects. She also recently completed the Empire Suite at the Four Seasons Downtown New York.