In a wonderful tranquil country setting with the backdrop of the Drakensberg, is a luxurious boutique hotel of considerable charm, Hartford House. Within the Summerhill stud, where thoroughbreds are sired, this historic hotel nestles in beautiful gardens.
Guests can unwind in beautifully decorated public areas and lovely spacious private suites with all the nice touches provided by the 5 star experience. Air conditioning and underfloor heating make the suites comfortable all year round. There are 15 suites located either in the Manor House and its gardens or overlooking the lake. The largest are the lake side suites with a plunge pool next to their verandas. Every suite is individually designed and decorated, with most being named after a champion racehorse. All have full bathrooms with baths and showers.
The hotel is renowned for its cuisine and Chef produces inspired 6 course tasting menus for dinner plus there is an optional wine pairing. The restaurant draws non residents from a wide area, to savour the inspired menus. Delicious breakfasts are on the wide African veranda with glorious garden vistas.
A wellness centre pampers guests. There is an outdoor pool, a tennis court and lawn games such as croquet and swing ball. Stud tours, horse riding and trout fishing can also be enjoyed. 2 complementary canoes, a kayak plus 2 bicycles are available. Picnic hampers can be requested for a relaxed lunch in the gorgeous grounds or to take sightseeing.
Unfortunately no children under 12. A helpful concierge desk can arrange any trips or tours.
In the 1870s, the Moor Family bought a beautiful tract of land and Hartford House was built as a family home. One son, Frederick became the last Prime Minister of the old British Natal. He was knighted for his work towards the new Union of South Africa. The adjoining land Summerhill was the property of one of the South African Union’s first Senators, Colonel Richards. The history here is rich and the Summerhill and Hartford lands later became one beautiful estate with a very famous stud, thoroughbreds from which won every major prize on South African turf. The Sentinel Conference Centre was once the foaling barn. The Chapel was built by Sir Frederick Moore and Louis Botha as a first milking shed of what became the huge National Combined Dairies.
The house and some of the buildings have been beautifully restored so that the estate’s rich history becomes part of what is special about this country retreat. It has a charming country, quietly luxurious and modern but with an added something extra, ambience which makes guests want to return. It is no surprise that Hartford House was selected as one of the top 6 independent luxury boutique hotels in South Africa.
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