Luxury Leader | Andrew Coney, General Manager, The Hari

Walpole’s Luxury Leader series focuses on member CEOs and MDs, to discover their vision for their brands, how they define success, and what inspires them. This week we meet Andrew Coney, General Manager of The Hari, on how ’empowerment’ is the future of luxury, and what differentiates the sector from more conventional overseas businesses.

Andrew has been General Manager at The Hari since 2014, overseeing its successful transition from a Thompson-managed hotel named Belgraves to an independent boutique in August 2016. Under his guidance, the hotel has grown in revenue, profit and guest satisfaction. Andrew’s unique management style combines a clear determination to succeed whilst ensuring the team and guests are enjoying themselves. A key focus has been placed on the well-being of staff, fostering an employee culture which understands the importance of a work-life balance. Heavily involved in growing the hotel’s CSR focus, Andrew wholeheartedly supports both The Children’s Trust and The Born Free Foundation through various initiatives.

What does British luxury mean to you?
Often eccentric yet undeniable in quality and style. This is what differentiates British luxury from more conventional overseas businesses. We once again really excite with our flair.

What’s your vision for The Hari?
To pioneer a new era of service, escaping from corporate clichés and just doing something individual for each and every guest. Empowerment, a much misused word, is the future. Everyone in a team must be enabled to make decisions that can thrill today’s guests.

What do you see as the future of luxury?
A greater sense of wit and mischief. We should escape from formulaic offerings and albeit AI will play an ever-increasing role, let’s not depart from natural, conversational service.

What inspires you?
Young starters who challenge, innovate and keep you on your toes. I love those sparks of realisation that you are still learning and not always right (my own children obviously excluded).

What piece of advice would you give to someone entering the luxury sector now?
Luxury used to be conventional and comforting. Today it is inspiring and full of ambition. Enter the industry with an unconstrained will to create breathtaking new heights of quality.

In a parallel life, what would you be doing?
Standing on the steps of No 10 about to go inside and sort out the mess.

What’s your favourite luxury?
Feet in the sea.