A beautiful setting, stunning public areas and well fitted bedrooms are rather marred by some poor finishing. The staff were friendly and helpful. The food and wine are excellent, but not spectacular. Dinner is a take it or leave it five course meal, and is overpriced at R350 pp, especially if you are not able to eat all five courses. The room we were in did not have a shower, and the lights in the bathroom were so bright it was intolerable. There was a dimmer, but it did not work and the amenities kit was half used. Using the bath requires advance planning, as filling it is a time consuming affair. Eventually I did discover that removing the filter on the wobbly tap, which had probably never been cleaned, improved on the trickle of water. Perhaps it's considered romantic, but under those bright lights it's anything but. And it's a real pain in the morning when all you want is a quick shower. The walls are also not soundproof, so you can hear your neighbors talking. Because the rooms are poorly maintained and lacking some basics, R1700.00 per night is overpriced. So, whilst this is undoubtedly a stunning property, there are better options in this area at much more realistic pricing, Cleopatra's, for example, is much better value for money even though some room options may cost slightly more..
- 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