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“Piece of heaven ”
Review of Hartford House

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Hartford House
Ranked #3 of 8 Mooi River B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 April 2017 via mobile

We went here for three nights after returning from our honeymoon!
The staff are all exceptional and made our stay!
The rooms are beautiful as are the grounds. You can go for lovely long walks.
The food is creative and delicious! Every meal from breakfast to dinner in our room was exceptional! Dinner and wine tasting at the restaurant is a must- we loved it.
The second night we ordered dinner in our room and the chef called us to ask what we would like.
We will definitely be returning! This is a well managed spot!
You will love every second of your stay!

Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank Shrimp1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Duncan B, General Manager at Hartford House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2017

Thank you so much for taking the time to review your stay at Hartford. We are thrilled that you had a wonderful time. We do hope you will return again soon.

As always warmest regards
Duncan Bruce


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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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19 - 23 of 253 reviews

Reviewed 9 April 2017

Be aware that getting to this quite remote Stud Farm/Hotel requires rally driving skills trying to avoid the massive potholes in the Hlatikulu road (not the hotels fault!)., but once there, the hotel is set in a beautiful valley an the gardens and buildings are resplendent in a bye-gone era.
We found the room, though comfortable, was ill conceived. No real privacy during the day from the front unless you draw the curtains making it too dark to see. The room does not have the best lighting. The bathroom vanity mirrors are set so low that only a young child need not bend down to see in it.
What makes it a definite win however is the amazing dinner served at night.
You are seated on the enclosed and heated verandah and the meal consists of several courses spread out over 2-3 hours, finishing with dessert. Well satisfied, we tretired to bed and did not feel that we had stuffed ourselves.
The ingredients are, as far as possible, grown on the estate or sourced from the surrounding farms and suppliers. The chef enters the dining area after starters and explains the menu and tells you of the provenance of the ingredients making the dinner an experience.
The staff are very friendly and we left there with good memories.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank CapeTownChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Duncan B, General Manager at Hartford House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2017

Dear Chris

Hope my note finds you well and thank you so much for taking the time to review your stay at Hartford. Our sincere apologies for the road to the hotel, we think we have finally managed to have this resolved. Thank you for the note son the suite, we assure you of our best attention to this area. Happy you enjoyed the culinary delights and that your stay left you with wonderful memories.

We do hope with that in mind that you will have reason to return soon again.

As always warmest regards
Duncan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2017

The Midlands Meander is an absolute treat and we particularly looked forward to spending time at well-known favourite Hartford House. The 5-course dinners and other meals at the restaurant were exceptionally good as was the input and memorable effort of the talented and interesting chef. The manager was charming, knowledgeable and helpful.
Sadly, the general female staff were mediocre at best; offering little local knowledge or interest in professional service - everything seemed to be too much trouble, including any appreciation for the generous tip (gratuity) we included on our departure.
The big disappointment was the tired state of the accommodation; an obvious lack of attention to detail in terms of maintenance and hygiene.
Evidence of this was made worse by the distasteful experience of an infestation of mites during our stay and the dismay of returning home with bed bugs.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
6  Thank Mandy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2017

Hartford offers an unbeatable combination of setting, history, grand old architecture and a kitchen staff who are completely dedicated to consistently fabulous food, making for a dream weekend wedding destination.
We're in love with the place, which made it the obvious choice for our wedding. ‎
I'd recommend it, but with a rather large caveat since it's far from perfect : get a wedding ‎co-ordinator.

Hartfords brochure states that they provide a 'Dedicated function co-ordinator' but you still need to be very hands on in the set-up, and we spent a day doing that, as there was much confusion. And there were a several niggles, that added up to lingering dissapointment.
We had at least four thorough meetings with two successive Hartford event managers, and the general manager, in the nine months prior to our big day‎, not to mention many emails, which culminated in comprehensive to do lists. Despite this, and assurances everything would happen, some big little asks just didn't :
- Horse rides on the days before, despite pre-booking and follow ups by the guests.
- Dessert at the social dinner the friday evening before.
- About two thirds of the thousand paper cranes, painstakingly hand made and strung by the bride and her helpers, didn't get hung up, but stayed in boxes‎.
‎- Cake table decoration‎.
- Last minute withdrawal of the Sunday lunch venue. ‎

The food was of course great, but, it was quite different to the tasting courses we chose. And the soup starters were cold.
Our suite had a leaking roof, which looked to be an old maintenance issue.
And finally overbilling‎ confusion, that required several hours to unpack.

We've been back since, and again had a big little problem :
The water wasn't just brown, but was smelly sandy, and had bugs in it. When we complained to household staff and then the duty manager ‎that we couldn't bath, there was no explanation. A follow up mail went unanswered.

Despite this, i won't hesitate to go back to enjoy Chef Constantijn and his teams food!

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ryanm77330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2017

We recently had the pleasure of revisiting Hartford house for another stay-this time choosing one of the chalets by the dam for our lodgings during our stay .The chalet was comfortable enough but we had to get moved to another chalet as mites were falling out the thatching onto us whilst we slept.( uurgh)
The chalet we were moved to was larger and much more comfortable-however one thing I did notice as a negative was the finer lack to detail that seems to have set in-no cotton buds, nail files etc and the lack of maintenance makes one think that a huge amount of work on furnishings and the chalet and plunge pool is going to be needed to maintain Hartford house as a premier boutique hotel.
Having said that let me wax on about the positives...the staff are exceptionally helpful and go out of their way to make the guests feel welcome and attended to.The faire at Hartford was simply put-exceptional-a great deal of thought and excellent culinary skill goes into every course served, from starters to mains and desert ,the breads and butters differ every meal in taste and composition-not the place one goes to diet.
The gardens , especially the ones around the tuin huis are stunning and the massage at the "spa" is a must.
Activities and input into the meander were brilliantly aided by the ever professional and courteous yet friendly Duncan, the manager-who has a great understanding of his guests needs and the surrounding midlands meander.
A quick weekend getaway, a lazy mid week ,whatever-we highly recommend a visit

Room Tip: Choose chalet No 16-privacy and comfort
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Robin F
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
Region: 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: R1 543 - R1 671 (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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