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“Excellence in the Midlands, Kwa-Zulu Natal”
Review of Hartford House

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Hartford House
Ranked #3 of 8 Mooi River B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 October 2013

The "best" stud farm in the World together with superb cuisine and unique accommodation makes for a fantastic break. I really enjoyed walking next to the paddocks and seeing the mares and their foals. The dining experience with fresh, regional and original dishes cooked by one of the top chefs in South Africa was sublime. The staff were very pleasant and attentive. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The lake-side chalets are excellent.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank FranBarbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartford H, Manager at Hartford House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2014

Thankyou for your feedback. I am however concerned that you feel our dining policy is rigid. We go to huge lengths to meet each individual guests' requirements. I am very sorry that you left feeling that that this was not your Hartford experience.

Should you visit us again, please feel free to contact me directly to ensure all your requirements are met (jackie@hartford.co.za).

Kind regards,

Jackie Cameron

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188 - 194 of 256 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2013

I have stayed at Hartford house a few times now and always look forward to it. Not only because i know the food is always a delight but because the staff are always so friendly, relaxed and welcoming. It is like home away from home. All the rooms are special and decorated differently with the fluffiest pillows. Cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Schlar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartford H, Manager at Hartford House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2014

We eagerly await your next visit! Thank you for your kind words. We will definitely pass on your praise to all teams at the hotel.

Kind regards,

Jackie Cameron & Kate Christie

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Reviewed 13 September 2013

This was our second stay at Hartford House, and the main reason we came again was for the food and the chef Jackie Cameron, which is voted as one of the top 10 chefs in South Africa this year. The previous time we stayed in the lake-side suites, and this time we opted for the cheaper verandah suites. These suites were still spacious and very well appointed. Our suite did only have a bath, but it was still a very spacious bathroom and very elegant. We loved our room and everything in it. Definitely felt like a top 5 star room.

The main house is as elegant as we remember it, and the service was also wonderful. We were greeted with smiles and served our bottle of wine on the loungers on the stoep, prior to lunch. We actually thought we wouldn’t do lunch, but very glad we did, as the food was amazing. The estate is also beautifully located on the Summerhill Stud farm, which is well-known for their horses.

We had pre-dinner drinks in the lounge before dinner. Dinner is an elegant affair, and this time we were seated on the verandah outside, which we were glad about, as the previous time we were in the dining room. The chef herself comes and explains the menu in detail and takes you through the food. The food is really is excellent, innovative, well executed and perfectly balanced. Truly wonderful. If we had to criticise something, it’s that the wait between the courses did take a bit long during the night. We did end up waiting about 30minutes between courses, which we felt were a bit long and made for a late night, as we ate dessert at roughly 23:00.

When we retired to our room, there were rose petals on the floor with candles everywhere to welcome us back (it was my husband’s 40th the next morning). A lovely touch to end of the evening.

We will definitely be back again and again as many times possible, as we do not tire of this estate, boutique hotel and the food.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank mitxcoac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartford H, Manager at Hartford House, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2014

Thank you so much for your detailed review. This means the world to the team, and all feedback is used to keep us on our toes!

Dinner normally starts at 19:30 / 20:00 and finishes between 21:00 / 22:00. We bank on 1 1/2 hrs for the 5 courses - the experience you have described sounds very unusual. Most definitely not the norm, and I can assure you that it will not be the case when you next visit.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Hartford soon

Kind regards,

Jackie Cameron

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Reviewed 9 September 2013

We stayed here for one night on our way from Durban to our safari in Nambiti. We were warmly welcomed with a refreshing afternoon pot of tea and then shown to our room which was spacious and beautifully appointed. Before dinner we walked around the stud farm and surrounding grounds, the scenery is breathtaking. Staff, accommodation and food are all exceptional here.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank leswor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartford H, Manager at Hartford House, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2014

Thank you for your comments. We are so glad that you had an enjoyable Hartford experience.

Kind regards,

Jackie Cameron

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Reviewed 5 September 2013

We were fortunate enough to stay at Hartford House for just one night . The rooms were beautifully decorated , comfortable and the staff warm and welcoming . Of course it goes without saying that Jackie Cameron made our stay .Her exceptional talent as Chef at Hartford House certainly made it memorable. I know I will be back even all the way from Australia. Go there it's worth the extra mile .

Room Tip: Go there if in south africa
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Beegwee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2013

This beautiful 5-star boutique hotel and restaurant, set on one of South Africa's premier stud farms (Summerhill Stud) in Mooi River is a very worthwhile stop between Durban and Johannesburg; as part of a trip taking in the Drakensberg Mountains and Resorts (a World Heritage Site) or as part of a British/Zulu/Boer 'Battlefields' tour (Isandlwana, Rourke's Drift, Spioenkop, etc.). It is within easy reach of Durban for a special lunch if you choose not to sleep over. The tranquil setting is a mixture of colonial (the main building) and eclectic/ethnic (the more recent stand alone suites). Accommodation is very comfortable with lovely bathrooms with under-floor heating. The star attraction is the superb, innovative food conjured up by resident chef, Jackie Cameron. Her outstanding talent has ensured that Hartford House is consistently featured in the top 10 restaurants in the country. The five course dinners are an absolute treat, and change nightly. There is a wine-pairing option with a knowledgeable somellier in attendance. The breakfast menu options are extensive and second to none. Few have room for lunch and opt instead for the afternoon snack menu. Staff are very well trained and extremely attentive. A guided tour of the stud farm is very interesting. The stallions are obviously very impressive. However, August is a good month to see a multitude of adorable newborn foals out in the paddock with their mothers. A highly recommended destination, worth going out of your way to visit.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Karon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

We stayed in the Siyabonga Lakeside Suite, Room had contemporary decor which was beautiful and spacious, and most importantly clean and neat. It is a great place to go to unwind and get away from it all.
Hartford House is ranked in the top 10 restaurants(via eatout) and it certainly didn't disappoint.Dinner was excellent and the service was great. Breakfast was good as well, especially the "Chicken Liver Starter".

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank chris_g_mp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartford H, Manager at Hartford House, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2014

Thank you for your review. The Siyabonga suite is very special indeed! We do hope that you will visit us again in the near future.

Kind regards,

Kate Christie

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Additional Information about Hartford House

Address: Hlatikulu Road | Mooi River, Mooi River 3300, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Mooi River
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Mooi River
Price Range: £88 - £94 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Peering through one teakwood door at Hartford House, you face an historic world. Opening another, the distant sounds of an ancient people at work lilt across the silent landscape, a country of great space, spectacular mountains and big skies. This place commands a headland between the world of traditional cultures and the splendid style of the 1800s. It is the resolution of all South African safaris. The journey’s exclamation point, a retreat from the hubbub where you make sense of a fast life and its senseless details. This is where we learn to redress ourselves on a first name basis. There are too many luxury hotels these days offering the same: a chocolate on the pillow, canned romance, and cuisine called “haut” because it’s spelled in French. Hartford stands apart for its integrity; its architecture and its views, its sounds, its scents and its colours; its racehorses and its people are all exhilarating surprises, unique to this Zululand, this culture, to Africa. Yes, you come here to be pampered, but at Hartford luxury is the journey, not the destination. The truth is, Hartford just happened. A home, and a grand one at that, which grew into a hotel. A community looks to it as its watering hole, its nexus of entertainment, its fountain of gossip. In so many ways, it’s gained and regained inspiration from the cultures it celebrates. It is life’s exception, a place at the same time comfortable beyond dreams, yet innocent of pretence. Moulded by its people, their vibrancy and their enterprise. And driven by a wish to be remembered. ... more   less 

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