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“There is no place like this!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hartford House

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Hartford House
Ranked #2 of 8 Mooi River B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Kyalami
Level Contributor
77 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“There is no place like this!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2013 via mobile

Rolling hills, large green paddocks, big old trees and peace and tranquility give Hartford House the feel on the English countryside.Professional staff, beautiful rooms and one of the top ten restaurants in the country add to the unique experience and beauty of the Midlands.
To add to this, it is on a stud farm and we were lucky enough to have Mick Goss take us on a tour of the property and tell us about it' significant history.
We booked two weeks before so could not get a lakeside room but we were given a veranda room (room 8- Mowgli) which we were told had been one of the original stables.The room was beautiful, had a huge bathroom with and a back door onto a private patio with chairs and table.

It was wonderful to be in a place where traffic cannot be seen or heard and where there aren't many people.

Our experience at Hartford house was memorable but far too short.We will stay longer next time and take long walks on the property.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Wayne and Mari K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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233 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    180
    37
    12
    2
    2
See reviews for
40
142
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Belfast
Level Contributor
34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2013

Stayed here with my wife on NYE 2012. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to post a review.
This place has the wow factor. The food was superb and the staff were very knowledgeable and pleasant. The rooms were also very neat, we stayed in one of the old stable rooms, very tastefully presented.
As it was NYE the owners put on a special performance from the some of the traditional Zulu dancers, a performance I will never forget. Chef Jackie Cameron also presented an excellent set menu .
We also took a tour of the stud the following day which was equally as impressive.

All in all a fantastic stay!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MrMcAl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I stayed here over a long weekend in Spring (October). Our host laid a fire in the fireplace in our suite, which was located not too far from the Main House overlooking a pond. Underfloor heating was delightful, although it takes several hours to really kick in. The chef at the restaurant (Jackie Cameron) is one of the top in South Africa, and it is easy to see why. The food was wonderful, and she came out both before dinner and afterwards to talk about the food and her approach to cooking. The breakfast the following morning was also excellent. We highly recommend the tour of the stud farm; anywhere between 750-1000 horses are in residence at any one time on one of the largest horse fans in the country. Very informative, and only R100 (about $10) for the tour.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Eritay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

Suite 15 is awesome - highly recommended, nice surroundings and very peaceful-perhaps too peaceful... They also seem to have a very rigid dinning policy, could be a little more flexible with dietary requests.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BacchusWJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford H, Manager at Hartford House, responded to this review, February 20, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, February 20, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 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, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartford H, Manager at Hartford House, responded to this review, February 20, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
128 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, February 20, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hartford House

Property: Hartford House
Address: Hlatikulu Road | Mooi River, Mooi River, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Mooi River
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Mooi River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Peering through one teakwood door at Hartford House, you face a Colonial 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 our settler forebears.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 in the world 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, views, dining, sounds, smells, 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. ... more   less 
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