Our garden is going through nature’s most wonderful change, splashes of colour everywhere and our sister farm Summerhill Stud is bursting with new baby foals, it’s just a feast for the senses, not forgetting the culinary extravaganzas coming from the kitchen teams, especially with all the beautiful produce around.Read More
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Eine liebliche Landschaft mit Wiesen und Wäldern, Tümpeln und Teichen sowie schmalen Sträßchen, die sich über tausend Hügel winden: Die Midlands wirken bisweilen, als habe man das schönste Stück der Grafschaft Surrey nach Südafrika verpflanzt.Read More
What a beautiful place is Hartford House. GM Duncan Bruce is very caring toward the guests and he gives excellent service. Nothing is too much for the staff and they go the extra mile. The food, service and ambience is excellent.Read More
Hartford House has EXCEEDED all expectations. We had mixed up our bookings and called last minute. Reservations were super helpful and friendly, organizing us rooms at the last minute. Staff were so friendly and Duncan was an amazing host. His knowledge of food and wine was incredible.Read More
Our guests at Hartford House are never outsider's in our business but they are part of it, and we are not doing them a favour but they us by giving us the opportunity to do so.Read More
The two nights we spent at Hartford were just not enough.Read More
My team and I derive the greatest satisfaction from the knowledge that our guests have enjoyed a unique, holistic experience at Hartford House. Here is a lovely comment from a guest posted recently on the TripAdvisor website.Read More
One of our greatest joys at Hartford House is welcoming families to enjoy genuine quality time together at our very special hotel. Here is a comment from a guest posted recently on the TripAdvisor website.Read More
The reversion to authenticity in this modern age is an answer to the real needs of people, space, communities and the environment. You can imagine our delight, when we received this most touching, hand-written note from recent guests, The Singh Family.Read More
Hartford House Inkanyezi Suite 14
(Photos : Sally Chance)
Inkanyezi (Morning Star) Suite 14
The word Inkanyezi means the first or the evening star in Zulu, and this suite was christened in that calling by the Zulus who built it. Most of our Zulu staff come from rural environs, and almost all of them have grown up in rondavels built of mud. Yet those that were engaged in building Inkanyezi marvelled that people of European descent should be building with materials of mud, timber and thatch, while most of our African brethren these days have embraced the materials used by Europeans.
To them, this example of a rondavel resembled a shining star, hence their selection of the most prominent star to portray their emotions. Most of the materials used in the suite were sourced either off the greater Summerhill and Hartford estates, or from the immediate vicinity, with raw mud bricks forming the basis of the walls and a mud and straw rendering applied instead of plasterwork.
The intention in juxtaposing the original Hartford homestead with Ezulweni, is to provide travellers with an insight, when they are in the manor house, of our region’s colonial past, and then to transport them through an intimate glimpse of what’s possible with a touch of imagination from our Zulu staff, whose creative hands are strikingly apparent in the finishes to Inkanyezi
There are two especially interesting pieces in the suite, namely the 1820 convent linen press acquired from the old Orange Free State (as we used to know it), while the painting on the wall, depicting a North African market scene, is by an unknown but obviously talented African artist.
The main entrance door is from India, and was chosen by Cheryl Goss while she was busy remodelling what is now Lynton Hall, where the antique furnishings echoed that property’s colonial past and its association with indentured Indian labour. The verandah columns are of Rhajastani origin.
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Nhlanhla is one of the Zulu language’s most wonderful words. It really means “good luck”, but it also conjures good fortune, happiness, largesse and all the warm feelings we get when life is kind to us. Dubbed Nhlanhla by the Zulus who brighten our lives every day at Hartford, the name recalls the feelings of our team when they first saw Nhlanhla in its finished form. The suite radiates nature, the colours of our environment, warmth and originality, and as much as anything is a signal example of what the creative spirit can achieve from modest, locally sourced materials. The majority of the materials used in the erection of Nhlanhla were harvested off the greater Summerhill and Hartford estates, and where this was not possible, from our immediate environs.
This suite was the most recent of four comprising the Ezulweni (“in the heavens”) eco extension to Hartford House’s colonial origins. The intention in juxtaposing the original Hartford homestead with Ezulweni, is to provide travellers with an insight, when they are in the manor house, of our region’s colonial past, and then to transport them through an intimate glimpse of what’s possible with a touch of imagination from our Zulu staff, whose creative hands are strikingly apparent in the finishes to Nhlanhla.
In contrast to the rustic materials used in the development of the suite, the fine mahogany wardrobe housing the television and mini-bar, was imported to South Africa in the 1820’s and was acquired from a village in the Eastern Free State. The teak floors were rescued from the renovation of Durban’s “grand old dame”, the Edward Hotel, while the Indian front door was imported by Cheryl Goss when she was overseeing the renovation of what is now Lynton Hall. Internationally acclaimed for her work at Lynton Hall, Cheryl’s introduction of Indian antique furniture to that property recalls its association with the arrival of Indian indentured labour in Colonial Natal.
The copper bath is a creation of a customer of the racehorse stud, Summerhill, while the beds are from an altogether different age, featuring a hydraulically adjusted touch button (just below the mattress on either side), enabling guests to position themselves as their souls demand, after another “tough” day in Africa!
Nhlanhla has become the suite of choice of His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho, ruling monarch of the Mountain Kingdom, during his visits to Summerhill Stud, where he keeps several horses which feed his and his nation’s passion for the equine species.
Giant’s Castle’s majestic presence, although shrouded in the blue haze of distance, is a sure sign you’re close to Hartford House. This award-winning, boutique country house is steeped in history dating back to 1875. It’s on the greater Summerhill estate, one of South Africa’s renowned racehorse stud farms and four times national breeder of the year. Here fine dining, the wellness centre and various outdoor activities make up an holistic Hartford experience. Search the world over there is, arguably, no other property like this.
Hartford is soon to celebrate the launch of its greatest work, Ezulweni. This is a compendium of suites of a mould nobody has known before. Built exclusively from materials harvested from the greater Hartford and Summerhill estates and the immediate environment, Ezulweni is a fine example of what’s achievable when local Zulu craftsmen, raised in a spirit of originality, are given the freedom to express the full extent of their talents.
Hailed as a triumph for creativity, these suites are proof of the compatibility between the natural influences of Africa and the sophisticated elegance of the colonial era.