We were rather unsure what to expect before arriving at Hartford house because their website is not that great, which is a great shame because this is a real find! When in Africa we are into African style rather than English country style so we had booked a lakeside room which turned out to be one of the best African styled rooms I have ever stayed in- A huge rondavel thatched suite with entrance hall ,huge living room ,open fire ,huge bedroom ,bathroom with copper bath ,separate dressing room and shower, all under huge vaulted roof. Beautifully quiet by the side of the lake until dawn when the Ha di dah birds woke up!
The estate is huge and beautiful to walk around with no traffic noise at all– And if you are interested in horses that would be an added bonus!
The meals are works of art and we found the wine pairing very good and the service very attentive in the restaurant -yes they could improve the service elsewhere but that did not detract from the overall experience.
I'm not sure that we would have liked it so much if we had stayed in one of the chalets in the garden though... They looked quite small and a bit boring!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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