Ezulweni Lake Suites, Hartford House
(Photo : Felicity Hayward)
EXTRACT FROM THE CAPE TIMES : TRAVEL
The Gosses, owners of Hartford House, humbly refer to themselves as "custodians of one of Africa's most treasured legacies". General Botha assumed command of the Boer forces here in 1899, and it was also home to the family of Sir Frederick Moor, the last prime minister of the Colony of Natal.
The deputy prime minister, Colonel Richards, established the world-renowned Summerhill Stud on the property, which today hosts stallions for the Rulers of Dubai. Aside from all this history, the Gosses also rightly revel in the beauty of this spectacular place... and so will you.
Spread across seemingly endless landscaped garden, the 14 rooms have been decorated with dark wood antiques from India and West Africa. Scraping my jaw off the floor, I surveyed the four lakeside suites which are nothing short of spectacular. I was especially taken with the aptly-named Siyabonga Suite ("thank you" in isiZulu) with its twin egg baths and private pool. The beaded chair, the wooden cow heads on the wall and the building materials are all locally sourced.
An emperor-sized round bed dominates the Inkanyezi Suite, while the Nhlanhla Suite ("good luck") combines Burmese antiques with bold green and rich red furnishings and a bright copper bath glints in the bathroom. Made entirely out of hay bales, this amazing example of sustainable luxury accommodation is so close to the lake it is practically floating.
Oh, and by the way, the restaurant I dined in (after my Swedish massage) was in the top 10 at the 2009 Dine Awards. Just go.
Rooms : 15 - four lakeside suites all king with bath and wet room; four garden/pool suites all with bath and shower; three standard kings with bath and shower and three twins with bath and shower.
Prices : R840 - R1555. Meals : Full three-course breakfast included. A la carte lunch and five-course set dinner.