Hartford House


Location:

Hlatikulu Road, Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Rooms: 15

Loading...

Peering through one teakwood door at Hartford House, you face a Colonial world. Opening another, the distant sounds of an ancient people at work lilt across the silent landscape, a country of great space, spectacular mountains and big skies. This place commands a headland between the world of traditional cultures and the splendid style of our settler forebears.Hartford is the resolution of all South African safaris; the journey's exclamation point, a retreat from the hubbub where you make sense of a fast life and its senseless details. This is where we learn to redress ourselves on a first name basis.

Its architecture, views, dining, sounds, smells, its racehorses and its people are all exhilarating surprises, unique to this Zululand, this culture, to Africa. Yes, you come here to be pampered, but at Hartford luxury is the journey, not the destination.The truth is, Hartford just happened. A home, and a grand one at that, which grew into a hotel. A community looks to it as its watering hole, its nexus of entertainment, its fountain of gossip. In so many ways, it's gained and regained inspiration from the cultures it celebrates. It is life's exception, a place at the same time comfortable beyond dreams, yet innocent of pretence.

As a member hotel of 'The Leading Independent Hotels of Southern Africa' and having been voted 'Top Billing’s Top Six Boutique Hotels in 2008', the hotel, features meticulously decorated suites featuring heated towel rails, underfloor heating as well as generous bathrooms.  The spacious suites are unique in decor with a fusion of style and color.

You can feel the passion at Hartford; any meal here reflects our obsession. We live in one of the planet’s great pantries, a world of rich soils, a wonderful climate and bountiful harvests. “In season” and local, are our keys.

Dinner at Hartford is a spectacular affair, served in the grandeur of a timeless dining room, or in the candlelit splendour of one of Africa’s great verandahs.

Breakfasts are celebrations of the creative spirit, individual masterpieces inspired by the genius of local producers and the fresh pickings of our kitchen garden. Lunch is a festival of the senses, the colours, the scents and the lilting sounds of a place completely at peace with itself.

This is the only world-class hotel on a world-class racehorse stud in the world. A personalised tour of Summerhill Stud includes the stallions of the Rulers of Dubai.

Hartford offers personalised trips to the battlefields, Drakensberg World Heritage Site, Giant's Castle, Lotheni, Injisuthi and Kamberg reserves, as well as the Weenen Game Reserve.

From elaborate to intimate weddings, birthdays, anniversaries - whatever the special occasion - to seminars, launches or business meetings, the Hartford venue can be tailored to your specific needs.

South Africa's first-choice wedding venue is arguably the land's favourite romantic hideaway. Historic surrounds, great style and unique ambience, has seen Hartford "marry" entire generations of the same family.Your wedding is, in all probability, the single most important moment in your life, and Hartford has the capacity to make it a life-changing event. There is only one mould for each Hartford nuptial occasion, which means we never repeat the same act twice.Your wedding is a reflection of your own distinct personality, and it's our job to ensure that shines through in the individuality of the occasion. It's what separates us from the crowd, and is perhaps the single-most significant reason why, decades after they first tied the knot, couples still return, year after year, to celebrate their anniversaries "at home".Our services include the complete co-ordination and arrangement of your wedding, the accompanying feast or banquet, floral, photographic and make-up arrangements, the supply of marquees, the hire of catering, seating and lighting equipment, cutlery, crockery, linen etc., as well as the engagement of musicians, bands and where necessary, an introduction to a minister of religion.

The hotel offers a snack bar/deli. A bar/lounge is on site where guests can unwind with a drink. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast. An Internet point is located on site and high-speed wireless Internet access is complimentary.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum nec semper lectus. Suspendisse placerat enim mauris, eget lobortis nisi egestas et. Donec elementum metus et mi aliquam eleifend. Suspendisse volutpat egestas rhoncus.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum nec semper lectus. Suspendisse placerat enim mauris, eget lobortis nisi egestas et. Donec elementum metus et mi aliquam eleifend. Suspendisse volutpat egestas rhoncus.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum nec semper lectus. Suspendisse placerat enim mauris, eget lobortis nisi egestas et. Donec elementum metus et mi aliquam eleifend. Suspendisse volutpat egestas rhoncus.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum nec semper lectus. Suspendisse placerat enim mauris, eget lobortis nisi egestas et. Donec elementum metus et mi aliquam eleifend. Suspendisse volutpat egestas rhoncus.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum nec semper lectus. Suspendisse placerat enim mauris, eget lobortis nisi egestas et. Donec elementum metus et mi aliquam eleifend. Suspendisse volutpat egestas rhoncus.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum nec semper lectus. Suspendisse placerat enim mauris, eget lobortis nisi egestas et. Donec elementum metus et mi aliquam eleifend. Suspendisse volutpat egestas rhoncus.

4.5/5
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating
251 Reviews
4.5 out of 5

Average ratings
4.5
Cleanliness
4.5
Service & staff
4.5
Room comfort
5.0
Sleep Quality
4.5
Location
4.5
Value for Price

TripAdvisor® Traveller Reviews
3
by Jo L
from Vereeniging, South Africa
Stunning location, good food, all well then?
Posted Oct 11, 2017

The stunningly located property, on the grounds of an active horse farm has all it needs to be top-of-the range. The riverside suites are vast, well heated, and superbly decorated. They come with the...More

5
by Zelna P
from
Top notch
Posted Sep 13, 2017

What an amazing get away. The staff is amazing. The location itself is amazing. Long walks. Fishing. No need to go anywhere. What we really appreciated was that you don't feel as if the place is...More

5
by 299shaynas
from
Hartford house a gem
Posted Sep 05, 2017

What an incredible place and words can never be able to describe how absolutely perfect in every single shape and form Hartford house is. The food is on another level and have yet to taste any...More

Read All Reviews

Write a Review


As a member hotel of 'The Leading Independent Hotels of Southern Africa' and having been voted 'Top Billing’s Top Six Boutique Hotels in 2008', the hotel, features meticulously decorated suites featuring heated towel rails, underfloor heating as well as generous bathrooms.  The spacious suites are unique in decor with a fusion of style and color.

One of the “eco” suites making up Hartford’s Ezulweni (“in the heavens”) collection, Mbulelo was fashioned almost entirely from locally sourced materials. The mud bricks were harvested from the clay foundations on the site on which the suite stands today, mixed with horse dung and shredded horse bedding, and then sun-baked (as opposed to “kiln” baked) for the purpose. Almost all the timber, as well as the stone and slate, has come from the estate itself or its immediate environs, while the doors and shutters were imported by Cheryl Goss from India while she was busy remodelling what is now Lynton Hall, where the furnishings echo that property’s colonial past, and its association with indentured Indian labour.

These pieces were “leftovers” from that project, and there are other recollections of them to be seen in the columns around the neighbouring rondavel suite, Inkanyezi and the other with the “garden” roof, Siyabonga. Mbulelo means “thank you” in Xhosa, the language Mick Goss grew up with. It’s as much a gesture of thanks for the fact that this building, with its local materials, built by our Zulu staff and possessed of a flat roof with all the potential for “leakage”, hasn’t disintegrated after several years in existence, as it is for the gratitude we owe for the environment in which we live, and the remarkable people among whom we live.

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 Mbulelo.

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 remodeling 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.

In Zulu the word Siyabonga means “we are grateful” or “give thanks to”, and this suite is part of the Ezulweni (meaning “in the heavens”) eco extension to Hartford’s own colonial styled origins. The suite was named that way by our Zulu building team once complete, as much echoing their own relief at having accomplished what was for them in the nature of something unique in architectural style, as it was for the natural beauty and ambience which the suite exudes.

Built with materials harvested largely off the greater Summerhill and Hartford estates, or otherwise acquired in the near vicinity, Siyabonga is characterized by its collection of African artifacts and its stunning sleeping quarters, clad in local Drakensberg sandstone. The bathroom features romantically aligned twin tubs, and the suite is rendered with a combination of mud and locally harvested river pebbles, all of which has withstood the ravages of our summer thunderstorms and occasional winter snowfalls with surprising resilience. The Indian front door was imported by Cheryl Goss while she was overseeing the renovation of Lynton Hall, which she decorated in Colonial antiques, recalling the arrival of Indian indentured labour for the colony’s fledging sugar industry.

In recent times, Siyabonga has become the suite of choice of His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammed of the Ruling Family of Dubai, giving his visit to Summerhill Stud, where he stands several stallions and mares of world renown. Another visitor of renown whose name has become embedded in the lore of Siyabonga, is Angus Gold, a celebrated reveller, who is also associated with the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum.

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 Siyabonga.

In contrast to the natural materials with which the suite was erected, 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 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.

Named for the Moor family, who occupied Hartford from 1875 to 1937, and in particular the two brothers, John and Frederick. John Moor was the member of parliament for Weenen County in the old Natal Colonial government, as well as a senator in the first South African government, and was responsible for most of the development at Hartford. His brother, Sir Frederick, was the last prime minister of the Colony of Natal prior to Union. He was the only man to emerge from the Union talks in 1908 with a knighthood, for his efforts in bringing about what we know today as the Republic of South Africa.

In its time, Moor has accommodated two Prime Ministers, the last of the colony of Natal, and the first of the Union of South Africa, General Louis Botha.

Of interest in this suite is the old marble bath, which was reputedly imported into South Africa from Malaysia towards the latter end of the 18th century, then found its way into the Durban Club, and eventually into this bathroom, together with the old church window installed alongside.

One of South Africa’s greatest artists, the late Errol Boyley, is remembered throughout the manor house in numerous fine examples, several of which were included in the compendium of his best works. Errol was a great friend of Summerhill and Hartford, and, somewhat unusually for this committed landscapist, he also portrayed Cheryl Goss in two portraits which appear in this suite.

Most recently occupied by Mick and Cheryl Goss’ youngest son, Nicholas, this suite’s most famous resident from the past was Mrs. Bridget Oppenheimer, the first lady of South African racing, and arguably the First Lady of South African society for decades as the wife of the late, great Harry Oppenheimer.

In the days before heaters became voguish, and in the context of the Ellis era and a somewhat spartan approach to their furnishings, Mrs. Oppenheimer spent her first visit at Hartford in this room. She once remarked to Mick Goss that she was so cold (at the height of winter) that she used to go to bed in her fur coat! That has all changed of course, and we trust your comfort will not be compromised by a lack of warmth.

Since the re-opening of Hartford House as a hospitality establishment in 1997, this little suite has provided access for many a young couple, a Michaelhouse, Hilton or Treverton student, the odd granny or grandpa and several storied tour guides, fabled aviators and historians, among the most celebrated of whom was our late and greatly lamented friend, David Rattray.

It’s our smallest suite, but it’s been the debutant introduction for countless enduring relationships and visitations to Hartford House, and its popularity has survived the subtle but extensive developmental changes in the rest of our accommodation during the past decade, all aimed at the increasing comfort of our treasured guests.

This suite is named for the Ellis family, who occupied the Hartford property from 1939 to 1990, when they exchanged the property with the Goss family for their home in Hillcrest near Durban. Raymond Ellis snr. was a property developer in Durban, and owned much of what is now known as Durban North. He was also a prominent hotelier, remembered for his proprietorship of the Fairhaven and Rydal Mount Hotels on Durban’s Golden Mile, as well as being the founder of what is today South Africa’s biggest brick-making business, Corobrick. Hartford was the Ellis country retreat, and they started breeding racehorses here in 1941.

The racing achievements of the Ellises, who proceeded to develop one of the greatest racehorse-breeding dynasties in history, were described by the famous author Sir Mordaunt Milner as ranking alongside those of Lord Derby, the Aga Khan, Coolmore and the Sheikhs Maktoum in the United Kingdom, Marcel Boussac in France, Senor Tesio in Italy, the Hancocks and the Phippses in the United States, and the Inghams in Australia.

From these historic pastures, they bred, raised and trained the winners of every major race on the South African racing calendar, and in their era, they were indomitable.

Once the sleeping quarters of Mick and Cheryl Goss’ daughter Bronwyn, in more recent times, Ellis has accommodated 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.

Its artworks include an example by one of the greatest of South African artists, the late Errol Boyley, who is remembered here by the painting of a horse and his groom after a thunderstorm at Summerhill Stud (the main farm). Errol, who was a great friend of Summerhill and Hartford, has several other major works adorning the walls of the manor house.

This suite is often reserved by travellers who knew Hartford while it was still a private home, and its popularity has survived the subtle but extensive developmental changes to the other accommodation which have taken place at Hartford in the past decade, aimed at the increasing comfort of our treasured guests.

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.

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.

We are blessed on our farms with an abundance of water, with numerous underground springs spread across the length and breadth of the property. The word Emanzini means “at the waterside” in Zulu, and this suite takes its name from its proximity to the swimming pool, the Wellness Centre and the springs.  “The Springs” was also the name of the farm in East Griqualand on which Pat Goss snr. founded his renowned racehorse breeding enterprise in the 1930’s.

Emanzini was one of the first exercises in building with bricks and mortar for our previously unskilled Zulus, who in our opinion, made an excellent job of what seemed like an impossible task when we first set out.

This suite fronts onto the old wisteria pergola, which dates back to the foundation of the Manor House, in 1875. The Moors, who were the first occupants of Hartford as we know it, initiated a habit of giving to each other a plant or a piece of garden statuary or ornamentation on wedding anniversaries, and the pergola was one of the first of these. Since then, the Ellises and the Gosses have perpetuated this rather quaint habit, and most of what you see in the garden today came about as a result.

We are blessed on our farms with an abundance of water, with numerous underground springs spread across the length and breadth of the property. The word Emtonjeni means “at the springs” in Zulu, and this suite takes its name from its proximity to the swimming pool, and the springs. “The Springs” was also the name of the farm in East Griqualand on which Pat Goss snr. founded his renowned racehorse breeding enterprise in the 1930’s.

This suite fronts onto an old bathing pavilion (now the Wellness centre), which dates back to the foundation of the Manor House, in 1875. The Moors, who were the first occupants of Hartford as we know it, initiated a habit of giving to each other, a plant or a piece of garden statuary or ornamentation on wedding anniversaries, and the bathing pavillion was one of the first of these. Since then, the Ellises and the Gosses have perpetuated this rather quaint habit, and most of what you see in the garden today came about as a result.

Named for St Paul’s Cathedral in London shortly after the Battle of Britain, the diminutive equine version, St Pauls, remains the smallest winner of Africa’s most famous horserace, the Durban July Handicap. He was the property of Pat Goss snr, grandfather of Mick Goss, whose family is the current custodian of Hartford House and its rich legacy.

St Pauls remains etched in the memory of many South African racing fans, winning the 50th edition of this grand event in 1946 from the outside draw in record time, and his exploits lent impetus to the development by Pat Goss of his well known private breeding establishment at The Springs in East Griqualand. St Pauls was the first of several Durban July Handicap winners produced by the Goss and Ellis families (the latter the founder of a storied racing and breeding enterprise of the 40s, 50s and 60s), their involvement with Thoroughbreds dating back to the 1930’s.

This suite is named after one of the greatest racehorses in South African history, Sentinel. In an age when six to ten victories would often be sufficient to proclaim a champion, Sentinel won 30 races, carrying welter burdens to victory against some of the most famous horses in South African history. He is remembered principally for his rivalry with the immortal In Full Flight, and his dead heat with this revered animal in the Cape of Good Hope Guineas (Gr.1).

Sentinel was a spectacularly imposing specimen, who towered majestically over the hallowed turf of South Africa’s principal racecourses, Greyville, Turffontein and Kenilworth, and there were great expectations of him as a stallion when he returned to Hartford at the end of his career. Alas, Sentinel produced just one foal as he struggled with fertility issues, and this turn of events was probably the first portent of the decline of one of the greatest racing dynasties in African history. The Ellis family’s Hartford Stud had reigned supreme for almost four decades over the national racing scene, and their exploits are ranked in Thoroughbred lore alongside the famous international racing stables of the Aga Khan, Lord Derby, the Sheikhs Maktoum, Coolmore, Marcel Boussac, Senor Tesio, the Phippses, the Hancocks and the Inghams of the Untied Kingdom, France, Italy, the USA and Australia respectively.

The Ellis family founded their famous racing dynasty at Hartford in 1940 and, among several unique installations of their time, at the foot of the farm they built the longest herringbone-drained racetrack in the world, from whence they trained the winners of every major race on the South African calendar.

In the same year, they acquired their first two fillies, the most significant of which was Preston Pan, who went on to become not only one of the most accomplished race fillies of all time, but also one of the matriarchs of South African Thoroughbred breeding. Preston Pan spent her first night at Hartford in what then was the stables, (in this very suite) together with a companion, whom she terrorised through the night, not only inflicting bodily harm on her unfortunate stablemate, but also on the stable itself.

She was trained henceforth from the paddock which is today known as Chapel One (alongside the Chapel), and Preston Pan holds the distinction of being the only two year old filly ever invited to participate in Africa’s greatest horserace, the Durban July Handicap.

Whatever her exploits at the races, Preston Pan was twice that as a broodmare, and a visit to the old flower pots that line the main driveway into Hartford, reveals the names of 48 national champions, among them no fewer than a dozen descending from this legend of the turf.

While they went about the renovation of Hartford when they first moved here in 1990, Mick & Cheryl Goss occupied this suite for about two years. By the time of their arrival, it had been part of the original Hartford House Hotel, founded by the Ellises some seven or eight years before. Whether it has anything to do with its connectivity with Preston Pan, the room is reputed to induce great fertility!

This suite was part of the original stables built by Italian prisoners of war in 1941, some two years after the Ellis family had acquired Hartford. It is named for one of the greatest and most courageous horses ever to look through a bridle, Mowgli, who was voted in the year 2000 as the best racehorse in South African history, ahead of the legendary likes of Sea Cottage, Colorado King, Hawaii and Horse Chestnut.

Mowgli achieved his fame as a racehorse by winning six Group One races in the space of twelve weeks, a feat never again achieved by a racehorse anywhere in the world. However, his badge of courage came courtesy of the fact that he suffered from a chronic breathing problem. As he lowered his head and neck for the final run for home, his epiglottis would shut down on him, limiting him to just a breath or two as he struggled titanically up the straightways of South Africa’s most famous courses, several times causing him to collapse as he passed the post. There’s no doubt he knew where the wining post was, and he knew when he’d reached it, with the rest of the field at bay.

Sadly, this great warrior was unable to extend his genetic influence on account of a fatal paddock accident, which cost him his life shortly after he returned to stud.


This is the only world-class hotel on a world-class racehorse stud in the world. A personalised tour of Summerhill Stud includes the stallions of the Rulers of Dubai. Hartford offers personalised trips to the battlefields, Drakensberg World Heritage Site, Giant's Castle, Lotheni, Injisuthi and Kamberg reserves, as well as the Weenen Game Reserve.

The Hartford Wellness Centre offers a range of therapies, body treatments, holistic massages and facials

Need Assistance?

Our team is at your service to help you with your booking issues or answer any related questions

020 aaa aaaa

Recently Viewed


Price Promise

We believe in the highest standard of service and exceptional quality, but this does not compromise our determination to offer the best prices. If you find the same itinerary cheaper anywhere else, we guarantee we will beat it.

As individual as you

  • Your holiday will be 100% tailor made to suit your requirements
  • We identify your needs before offering you an itinerary
  • Offer the experiences you expect at the budget you set

Fully Protected

  • For your peace of mind, Holiday Master is a member of TTA. All our holidays are Protected under ATOL licence 2933
  • Atol 10483

Impeccable Service

  • You won't just get an outstanding service from the airlines and hotels we book for you. The outstanding service begins from the moment you make contact with us
Let's socialize!


Ratings & Reviews Powered by


© 2013 | Privacy Policy
All Rights Reserved


Customer Support
020 aaa aaaa
Home | About | Special Offers | Contact