A journey through the suites at Hartford House recently included among the Top Boutique hotels in South Africa.

This week’s choice of suite is the Heliotrope Suite (Suite 10).

heliotropeOriginally 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 Goss, 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 Goss 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.