Hartford House

Boutique Hotel, The Midlands


Step back in time and enjoy some bespoke colonial-era elegance at this five-star Mooi River retreat.  It’s situated within Summerhill, one of South Africa’s most famous stud farms.  Homely Hartford House itself was home to Natal's last Prime Minister, and previously welcomed royals.  Before dining at its award-winning tables, modern VIPs can admire breathtaking Drakensberg Mountain views, relish the vast estate, meet prize stallions or unwind in a wellness centre.


Impeccably-styled, large and luxurious, the 15 suites come in five categories.  The three Main House Suites offer easy access to common areas, while Verandah Suites are converted from 1930s/40s Italianate stables and share a patio.  Positioned out in the grounds, Garden and Pool Suites afford extra privacy.  Most desirable are four tranquil Lakeside Suites, each boasting a plunge pool.  All rooms have underfloor heating, stone fireplaces and spacious marble bathrooms.


One of South Africa’s most storied dining experiences is available inside the candlelit restaurant, five courses supported by a five-star wine list.  That spa offers massages and alternative therapies, while there’s also a pool, tennis court and those lovely acres of gardens and lakes to walk.  For maximum glamour points, arrive by private transfer on Hartford’s helipad. 


Personalised stud-farm tours, horse-riding, clay-pigeon shooting, croquet, trout and bass-fishing masterclasses are available.  Further afield, there’s easy access to the Midlands Meander arts-and-crafts driving route or Drakensberg Mountains hiking, while the Karkloof Canopy Tour zipline and Battlefields are possible day-trips.  Ask the staff to book tee times at outstanding golf courses, or for hot-air ballooning or helicopter tours.

Child Policy

Children of all ages are welcome in the Pool, Garden and Lakeside Suites, with a maximum of two children per suite.  Cots and babysitting on request.  The fine-dining restaurant isn’t available to under-10s, but private family meals can be arranged elsewhere.

The Best of South Africa Travel map displays the locations of the destinations and accommodation that we have selected and visited; for each item, hovering over or clicking the marker will display a short summary and photo of that place or hotel, and hotel pricing. Follow the links in the info box to the full page listing which has much more information.

Note that the online map offers both a satellite view (click satellite in the top right) and, for some locations, a street level view (Drag the person in the top left onto the map). These let you explore the country; and when you wish to explore in person, or if you have any questions about the places you see, give our staff a call, or request a quote. Our staff regularly visit the places and accommodation that we feature.

When you book a holiday with us we will provide full driving instructions for reaching your accommodation, where necessary; these can be used by yourself, or you could enjoy the luxury of a driver. Alternatively we will arrange private (car rather than coach) transfers for you; helicopter transfers are also possible for some destinations.

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