Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Filtering by Tag: Edward Hotel

Nhlanhla Suite 16 at Hartford House

Hartford House Nhlanhla Suite 16
(Photos : Sally Chance)

Nhlanhla Suite 16

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.

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For more information please visit :
www.hartford.co.za

Heliotrope Suite 10 at Hartford House

Hartford House Heliotrope Suite 10
(Photos : Hartford House)

Heliotrope Suite 10

Originally known as the Garden suite, Heliotrope and its neighbour were the first attempt by our previously unskilled Zulus at building with bricks and mortar. A fine effort, we're sure you'll concede.

Appropriately, the suite takes its name from the Heliotrope flower, and a parallel connection with the first racehorse owned by Mick Goss and his family.

Originally selected by Mick's late father, Bryan, shortly before his premature death in 1977, a one third share in the R900 purchase Heliotrope was the sum of Mick's inheritance, though he did get the racing "disease" from his Dad and grandfather, Pat snr. Yet it was this modest horse that ignited the fire which burns so brightly in the subsequent history of Summerhill Stud, the multiple champion racehorse breeding establishment on the continent, and of course, in the distinguished story of Hartford, which was the subject of an exchange for the Goss family property in Hillcrest, just outside Durban, in 1990.

A humble but game little racehorse, Heliotrope provided Mick and Cheryl with one of their most thrilling moments when he became a winner on only his second racecourse start, and this early success led to the Gosses acquiring their first race filly, Pagoda, the foundation mare in the Summerhill story.

The furnishings in these suites are drawn from such diverse places as India and Morocco, while the teak flooring was part of the original dining room in the fabled Edward Hotel on Durban's Golden Mile.

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For more information please visit :
www.hartford.co.za

Alyssum Suite 9 at Hartford House

Hartford House Alyssum Suite 9
(Photos : Sally Chance)

Alyssum Suite 9

Originally known as the Garden suite, Alyssum and its neighbour were the first attempt by our previously unskilled Zulus at building with bricks and mortar. A fine effort, we're sure you'll concede.

Now named Alyssum, for the flower of course, the name also remembers one of the greatest of all Hartford racehorses. Alyssum (the horse,) excelled against the best of his generation at distances ranging from five furlongs (the human equivalent of a 100 metres sprint at the Olympics) to ten furlongs (the equivalent of the mile to humans), which exemplified not only his versatility, but also his abiding class.

Alyssum was one of the mainstays of the famous Ellis string of the 1950's, when the Hartford colours swept all before them on the racetracks of South Africa. Indeed, in owner-breeder terms, the Ellises have no parallels in South African racing history, and it was the great thoroughbred author, Sir Mordaunt Milner, who described their achievements in the same breath as those of Lord Derby, the Aga Khan and the Sheikhs Maktoum in the United Kingdom, the great European breeders, Boussac and Tesio, and the famous American stables of Phipps and the Hancocks.

There was a time when their supremacy was such that if there was a horse in the green and black silks on its way to the post, it was as good as money in the bank!

The furnishings in these suites are drawn from such diverse places as India and Morocco, while the teak flooring was part of the original dining room in the fabled Edward Hotel on Durban's Golden Mile.

hartford house logo

For more information please visit :
www.hartford.co.za