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“Olde Worlde charm, 7 star luxury”
Review of Hartford House

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Hartford House
Ranked #3 of 8 Mooi River B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 27, 2012

My partner and I were looking for an intimate getaway not too far from Durban and this hotel had been on my wish list for years, so we decided to give it a try. The pictures on the website looked very promising, and the prices seemed quite good value for a high-end destination.
On arrival we were blown away.
This is not a five star hotel. This is an English country manor. You are treated as if the Queen of England has invited you to her own personal retreat in the midlands. No, really, I am serious. I do not say this lightly. From the sprawling and well kept gardens to the ornately decorated interior, it all oozes olde worlde luxury.
The suite we had booked is The Moor, which was huuuuuge, and truly special. Fit for a King!
We are self-confessed gourmands and the restaurant delivered with flair, and grace. A wide enough choice executed perfectly. Jackie Cameron is the head chef, and there is no doubt that she is the finest chef in KZN. From the moment you taste the "health bread" served as you are seated to dinner, you know that EVERYTHING served is special. The salad starter that we had decided on was exquisite beyond compare. The lamb main course delighted the senses. Dessert was equally well executed.
Breakfast was served with a menu that offers something for everyone. Each dish prepared as if the chef is your very own personal chef. Perfection.
There is no better hotel in KZN !

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank A K
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 January 10, 2013

Thank you so much for your review on our home. Please accept our apologies for the belated response.

We really appreciate hearing when we have done well, and we love to hear that you have enjoyed your time with us.

We hope that you enjoy another stay with us again.

Best Wishes for 2013!

The Hartford House Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (253)
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210 - 216 of 253 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2012

WE were booked here for a night whilst travelling to tour the battlefields but it is much more than a stopover and we could have easily extended our stay if we had time. The setting in the midst of a large stud farm is lovely ( even for non-horsey people ike us) and our walk around the morning we left was stunning. The cottages by the lake are lovely although we stayed ina Garden Room which was also great. The food however is the icing on the cake with abeautifully cooked and served dinner and a multi cours breakfast probably the best food we ate in our three week trip to soth africa.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gricper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

A breathtaking winter break location. We were fortunate enough to spend 2 nights here in July, when the hotel was near empty, and we had all that fabulous downland and the estate to ourselves - what a fabulous time! The grounds of the hotel form the basis for the extensive stud farm and with open skies and frost all around, it allows for wonderful rolling walks, forming a beautiful backdrop to a very relaxed hotel. The meals are clearly a highlight with the quality of the cheffing on offer here (two totally outstanding dinners and a varied but affordable wine list too), but breakfasts are equally varied and tasty too. We were a party of four and had two chalets and a guest room between us, all immaculately presented and very relaxing - sherry, fruit, biscuits and log fires just finished off the experience. In the depths of winter, the rooms in the main hotel could be a little cold for some, but there was gas heaters when needed and there was no problem in stoking up a big fire in the library and sprawling around on cushions nursing a glass of port. We indulged in the excellent spa services and also had tours of the stud and the riding experience to add in too. Overall, highly recommended!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank NickDLuanda_Angola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2012

Fit for royalty or those who want to experience royalty! Sophisticated yet it feels like home! Relax and enjoy the ultimate of five star living! The best ever stay I've experienced at any accommodation away from home! You have not experienced five star accommodation if you have not yet stayed at this outstanding hotel! The best in the world! Congratulations to the owners and managers of this beautiful and comfortable estate!

Room Tip: I did not make use of the fitness centre (nature, horse riding, etc) or the Spa, as it was a busines...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank PamDeJager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

Wow - really great getaway. relaxing. unspoilt. undisturbed.

Fabulous Horses! A perfect venue for a relaxing getaway.

Room Tip: Go for the bigger suites - we were bumped up due to power failure - The bathrooms are superb.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jason B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2012

The visit to Harford House will be live with me forever, it is truly a wonderful place with the best hosts you could ever ask for. Perfect spot for some peace and quiet, if you love good food this is the place to be visit. I can't wait to return.

Room Tip: The lakeside suites are perfect.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank GeraldNaidu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2012

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..

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mikejnb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hartford House

Address: Hlatikulu Road | Mooi River, Mooi River 3300, South Africa
Location: 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: $108 - $124 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
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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