Entries in Hartford Wellness Centre (4)
It’s always gratifying to receive feedback from guests who stay at Hartford House, as an enormous amount of effort goes into making every guest’s stay a memorable one. It was therefore with deep appreciation that we received these reviews via the Tripadvisor.com website:
THE MEMORIES WILL LAST A LIFETIME
Hartford House Restaurant
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We spent only 24 hours at Hartford House, but the memories will last a lifetime. From the moment we arrived and were offered a complimentary cocktail, we knew we had arrived somewhere special. The location was beautiful, tranquil and instantly relaxing.
We stayed in the Inkanyezi suite, which was a very impressive rondavel, built by locals, which was situated overlooking the fishing dam, with our own private plunge pool.
The accommodation was very special, from the 8 foot circular bed, to the bath for two (in which we drank champagne from the mini bar!) and the views and the sunloungers, all of which made us feel very special! We also had treatments at the wellness centre which contributed to our overall feeling of well being.
The food was out of this world, with the five course dinner a highlight. The restaurant was voted best Restaurant in South Africa in 2009 and this honour is well deserved. It was without doubt the best meal we have ever eaten. Save room for breakfast though, as this is equally impressive!
As you probably realise, we were impressed with this place, but quite apart from the quality of the accommodation and food, what impressed us most was the courage and determination of the owners and their Zulu staff to make a success of Hartford House and in an area of enormous unemployment and poverty, they are creating an amazing success story. Go there, support their efforts and have an experience you won't forget.
Siyabonga Suite Lounge
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We spent one night at Hartford House in the Siyabonga suite for a special celebration, our stay was absolute bliss, from our drive to the hotel passing beautiful green scenery to our departure after breakfast on Sunday morning. From the minute you enter the gates absolute silence and beauty greet you, everywhere you look you see evidence to detail, the grounds are in pristine condition, the gardens a gorgeous riot of colour. The main house is well maintained and has beautiful furniture and exquisite mouldings and even stained glass on the ceilings. Check in was smooth, we were given a refreshing drink, while a few details were filled in.
The Siyabonga suite is one of the stand alone cottages at the dam edge, it has its own little splash pool with a water feature and an outdoor area, including 2 hammocks, overlooking the dam. The suite itself is big with a separate lounge area, lovely bedroom and dressing area, the bathroom has 2 stand alone baths as well as a separate wet room with a rain shower. The suite was clean and well maintained. The walks through the property were amazing, being able to get so close to the horses was very special.
Saturday dinner is an event at Hartford, with live entertainment by Zulu dancers, however unfortunately for us there was a problem and the dancers could not turn up, but Mick’s beautiful story telling made us proud to be South African and we learned more about our country’s as well as Hartford’s rich history. The food was sublime, Jackie is truly a star, she accommodated us with our dietry requirements, so we were able to enjoy a gastronomic feast. The staff were friendly and attentive.
When we got back to our room, the staff had been to turn down the bed, the chocolates were delicious and the rose petals on the bed and in the bath made us feel very special.
Sunday breakfast was not the usual buffet but another gastronomic feast.
Sadly we had to leave, but the peace and tranquillity of the place refreshed our souls.
(Photo : Nigel Reid)
EXTRACT FROM TRIPADVISOR.COM
My wife and I spent 3 nights at this wonderful hotel on our recent visit to South Africa. While many tourists to South Africa head straight to the Game Parks, fewer tend to visit this region of South Africa which gets less publicity in the tourism literature.
Located in KwaZulu Natal, a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg or 90 minute drive from Durban on excellent roads, Hartford House is situated within a half-hour drive from the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains.
The accomodations are luxurious, the food is gourmet (voted South Africa's best restaurant in 2009) and nothing is too much when it comes to satisfying their guests. There is a Wellness Centre offering spa treatments and massage at reasonable rates.
There is lots to explore in the region including the Battle Fields from the Boer War, walks in the Drakensberg Mountains (from an easy stroll to serious hiking) and the Midlands Meander (a day trip spent exploring the local Arts and Crafts in the area). Fly Fishing is popular in this area. We were particularly impressed by the beauty of this region and the Drakensberg should not be missed.
The hotel is located on the famous Summerhill Stud Farm which is world renowned for its race horses. A tour of the farm is available.
In summary : A memorable stay in a beautiful part of South Africa. Highly recommended.
Mbulelo Suite 13
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East Coast Radio's effervescent Jane Linely-Thomas took some time out this past weekend to unwind and rejuvenate at Hartford. This is what Jane had to say on her blog:
"A perfect weekend for me is jumping into my car early on a Saturday morning armed with a sleepover bag and my best friend in the world. To the Midlands and beyond!
Mike and I are very blessed and privileged to have stayed almost everywhere there is to stay on the Midlands Meander.
This past weekend after stopping off at numerous second hand shops, a church fete and a local market we ended up just outside Mooiriver at one of the most beautiful spots we have ever stayed at.
Hartford House is situated on South Africa's most famous thoroughbred farm Summerhill Stud.
Let me tell you, if I was a horse I would do everything in my horsey powers to live at Summerhill Stud.
When we arrived the Sa vs Australia rugby match was in full swing so we opted to have our lunch sent to our room. Mbulelo Suite 13 was our home for 2 nights. Oh my goodness me! As we drove up to it I let out a baby squeak mixed with an excited giggle-"look at the grass growing on the roof" our room was one of the 'eco' suites making up Hartford's Ezulweni (in the heavens) collection and is fashioned almost entirely from locally sourced material.
I felt like princess Jasmine in my little Moroccan magpie haven. Welcomed by small intricate wooden imported doors and windows I spotted a peak into our bedroom. A rich palette of burnt orange, deep red and opulent heavy wooden furniture. Bead encrusted lampshades, gathered drapes, imported pieces of furniture and fittings that had made me feel quiet giddy with excitement.
The food at Hartford House is on a another level! It is an award winning restaurant with a platinum statues wine list. Jackie Cameron and her team stood on the podium at the nations Eat Out Top Ten Restaurants Awards for 2009 and I can so see why! Every thing is so tastefully presented I even took a photo of every plate of food. We eat like Kings. Or rather a King and a Queen:) I wanted to lick my plate after very course. Don't worry Mum and Dad I didn't but I wanted to. So lunch was in our Moroccan love nest looking over the small sunken pool on the veranda with the back drop of the horses play ground, dam and a raging fire inside with a glass of wine over heavenly food.
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the recliners reading magazines and snoozing in the golden honey midlands sun. A few hours later it was time to eat again! Before dinner we met our hosts Mick and Cheryl Goss - what amazing people. The kind of people that when they open their home their hearts, automatically ooze with love and genuine hospitality. As we gathered in the chilly night air on the front lawn wrapped in blankets, Mick told the 25 of us the amazing story of what happened between the British and Zulu soldiers. Mick has a wonderful way with words and had us all sitting on the edge of our seats. We were then treated to a very emotional and energetic performance by the local traditional Zulu dance troupe. All kitted out in skins beads and shields. This group is ranked 2nd in the world in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Wow it was sensational!
The meal, as per every meal, was a fusion of heavenly tastes and aromas. It made me as delighted as the thought of a never ending shoe budget or of being able to eat as much as my heart desires and never putting on an inch. Jackie is crazy good.
Sunday was pretty much the same as the day before; we rolled out of bed bleary eyed and instantaneously grinning as soon as we remembered where we were. What lucky children we say over a banana smoothie, welsh rabbit and bubble and squeak on the sunny farmhouse veranda.
There are many activities to get up to at Hartford House including personalized tours of Summerhill Stud as well as the fascinating political history of the estate. The Hartford Wellness Centre offers a range of therapies, body treatments as well as holistic massages and facials. But being in a state of CHILL the rest of our day was spent with me on the sidelines of a midlands fishing session. Mike gave me the task of choosing the best flies for the job. I am not sure I am the best and most qualified as I choose which one I think world make the prettiest earrings. Oh the joy of being in the great outdoors as the sun sets over the trees and the still of the dam reminds me why it is so important to take time out. The more I visit the midlands the more I realise that a part of my soul resides there.
What a treat to start my week with a song in my heart, a tranquil and well rested body and mind.
Thank you team Hartford until we meet again."