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“Excellent in every way”
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
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent in every way”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2014

Hartford House is something special. A lovely country house atmosphere in the beautiful setting of a stud farm. Lovely walks on sunny days and warm log fires on cold winter nights. The accommodation is not ostentatious but very comfortable with every need met. The food is excellent; something different but very appealing. Breakfast is the best I have ever had anywhere. It is not cheap, but compares well with places twice the price or more. Well worth a visit if you can find any excuse.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2014

The wife and I had the pleasure of spending two nights at Hartford house, at the start of June. We were given a warm friendly welcome and pampered throughout our entire stay. They really spared no expense in making it special for us during our short stay. All the staff always had a smile on and were ever to eager to help with anything.

The lakeside suites are a must. Underfloor heating , fireplace, heated sheets, you can truly escape the cold winters day and night.

Both breakfast and diner were a delite, we looked forward to every course as the chef went out of her way to make it special. Tastes prepared so well that there is no review or words to describe how good they were.

Top marks to the Chef, Duncan, Emma and Mhle for making our little getaway truly a memorable one.

We will definetly return, hopefully for longer the next time.

Room Tip: The lakeside suites are a must. Underfloor heating , fireplace, heated sheets, you can truly escape...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ShiksKzn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
123 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2014

We recently stayed at Hartford in a lake suite, which was very nice. The lodge itself is full of old country-style charm and we found the staff to be friendly and efficient. I think the issue with Hartford is that it is inextricably linked to chef, Jackie Cameron - whenever you read about the lodge or go on to the website, the food is the biggest part of the marketing mix, it seems. We have eaten in a number of Michelin star restaurants around the world, so were really looking forward to the "South African" version. Our first dinner was on Saturday night and Jackie Cameron was not actually in attendance, her sous chef was. I have to say we found the food really bad. Very bland, in some cases ice cold, tasteless and unexciting. We also found the plating of the food on roof tile-type plates to be quite old fashioned. After dinner the sous chef came round to find out about our experiences with the food and when we gave her our opinion, she became quite defensive (just as one example, the dessert was supposed to be a hazelnut parfait and when we mentioned we didn't taste any hazelnuts, she said she "ran out" of hazelnuts and used cashew nuts instead....). Surely if you are going to ask for feedback, you should not get defensive when it is given. At the end of the weekend, I read on Twitter that Jackie Cameron is in the process of leaving Hartford - and then it all made sense. A very disappointing stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynnie07
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, June 27, 2014
Thanks Lynnie, for your comments and time to place this review. This is greatly appreciated as we are a work in progress. I am sorry I wasn't here and I am sorry you didn't have an enjoyable time. My Sous chef-Elaine and I have been working together for the last 5 years. To be truly honest we are working longer and harder hours today than we did 5 years ago. We pride ourselves in ensuring each meal is up to standard. I'm sorry you felt otherwise and I only wish time was on my side to cook you another meal at Hartford. Do visit again and hopefully I will be able to cook you a meal at some point down the line. Have a lovely weekend. Thanks again. Chef Jackie Cameron
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
314 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2014 via mobile

There is great elements in this hotel but also some things that needs to be addressed if management wants to retain the reputation of this establishment. The rooms are beautiful , big and have lovely views ( we had a room by the lake). The main house is disappointing with the furniture and curtains having had better days and in serious need of a revamp. The service was also very disappointing. On check in we had to walk around to look for someone to check us in. At breakfast we waited about 8 minutes before any of the staff appeared and in general I had a feeling that there was too little staff.
Having said that it is in a beautiful setting with lovely walks and Jackie Cameron's food was lovely ( I will rate the restaurant separately.) the wellness centre and treatment I had there was also lovely.

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Reenwoud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2014 via mobile

Amazing grounds/staff and impressive setting. After checking in and then enjoying cocktails on the porch we didn't think it could get any better. And then we met Jackie Cameron and her amazing team for dinner. Wow. Do yourself a favor and visit if you are anywhere at all nearby.

Stayed October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jack C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
351 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

We stay here every year in February for the Midmar Mile. The reason being that Chef Jackie Cameron is a superstar and the rooms are lovely. This year though we were treated with a long, boring, selfindulgent speech by the owner. On Sunday morning we woke up to the jarring noise of a chainsaw, only to find out a branch fell on our vehicle! The total damage came to R24 000! Though we are insured, we still have not been able to recover out excess from Hartford House.
I really have mixed feelings about the place!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Leon V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

Ending a month holiday in South Africa before heading back to England, the stay on this lovely farm was a highlight. We attended a wedding at Hartford House and were pleasantly surprised about the attention to detail. Everything from the fireplace to the luxurious bath, notes and chocolates on our bed as well as warm water bottles were treats. Not even to mention the beautiful farm and open space to jog and appreciate the sun set to the fullest. Highly recommend and would love to return one day to try out the wellness centre.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aucamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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