The Grove Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort
Hotel in Hertfordshire
Luxury 5-Star Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort
You almost have to pinch yourself when you see the sweeping drive and acres of beautiful countryside that surround The Grove Hotel.
A mere 20 minutes beforehand, we were tackling the frenzied crowds at Euston station. A quick walk to the taxi rank at Watford Junction station and within minutes, we’re passing open fields to one of the most luxurious country house estates in Hertfordshire.
A dwelling has existed on the Grove estate in Chandlers Cross since the 1500s. For many years, the mansion house was owned by the Earls of Clarendon and it was the fifth Earl who welcomed Queen Victoria here for elaborate parties. Following a transformation in the mid 90s, it was taken from ruins to five-star hotel. But the high jinks enjoyed by 19th Century Royals were set to continue.
The style is surprisingly contemporary as you arrive. Smiley doormen attend to our bags and a light and airy reception bustles with activity.
A seating area punctuated with over-sized flower displays provides a place to peruse the day’s newspapers. A glass wall unveils the sleek modern hotel bar.
But the best is yet to come.
There are two areas where guests can stay at The Grove – the first is within the historic Mansion. The second is within the modern West Wing. We’re delighted we’re staying in one of eight Mansion Deluxe Rooms in the original house. The journey to get there, through dark, velvet-draped corridors is almost as beguiling as the room itself. Once we enter our ‘Hot and Sexy’ (!) room via a few steps, it certainly lives up to its seductive description.
A metal four-poster bed dominates this room and is draped with deep purple chiffon curtains. It matches the throw and cushions and dark curtained wall where the ‘floating’ wide screen TV is found. Black glossy wardrobes unveil a safety box, a generously sized clothes rail, and a mini bar stocked with tea bags and milk. We find our much-needed cafetiere and kettle for the morning. There are also snacks, plus an impressive selection of miniature spirits (all charged for).
On the other side of the room is a dressing table with mirror and a contemporary rose print as the backdrop. Various magazines such as Tatler and Porter are laid out on the coffee table beside two lovely armchairs. And our paned windows have velvet cushioned window seats from which to sit and admire the view.
I particularly like the complimentary Nashi Fruit – or Japanese pear – that comes with a little description about its origins. It’s almost as impressive as our bathroom, of which we have not one, but two.
One has floor to ceiling marble tiles and houses an excellent power shower (with three shower settings) fit for two people. The other, is where you’ll find the toilet, and marble-clad wash basin and bathtub, surrounded by stylish rose coloured wall lamps. The striking piece of 3D art depicting a bull ‘crashing’ through the picture frame also catches our attention. You’ll never run out of waffle bathrobes or fluffy towels. There are at least four of each. As for Wi-Fi, well that’s unlimited too.
A tour of the grounds unveils a vast and varied hotel which you could easily while away three or four days in. We find three restaurants – including the fine dining Colette’s – a golf course, running trails, a Walled Garden, outdoor swimming pool and ‘Urban Beach’ plus a gym and excellent Sequoia Spa.
The breakfast in the Glasshouse provides pastries, yoghurts, fruit, waffles, and an abundance of freshly cooked breakfast items. It’s just too tempting to sit and enjoy all of it over several hours.
Alas, we have just 24 hours to enjoy this decadent abode. And with an abundance of modern art (inside and out), old-meets-new furnishings, beautifully preened gardens home to centuries-old trees, and style – in droves - what a wonderful 24 hours it is.
Lucy McGuire is an award-winning journalist based in London who writes on travel, food and lifestyle for both print and online
Photographs courtesy of The Grove, a member of Leading Hotels of the World
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Related Activity||Relaxation, Golf|
|Services||Free High Speed Internet, Free Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Fitness Center, Swimming Pool, Health Spa, Family Friendly, Conference Rooms|
|Dress Code||Smart Casual|
|Ambience||Incredible Staff, Elegant, Romantic|
|Number of Rooms||26 rooms in the Mansion House and 191 rooms in the West Wing|
Deluxe, Superior and Family Rooms in the West Wing. Superior and Deluxe Rooms, plus Executive, Vice Presidential Suites and a Presidential Suite in the Mansion.
Staff are friendly and smiley and go out of their way to greet you throughout the hotel. The doormen are exceptionally helpful and waiting staff in Collette’s are attentive and charming.
Last updated on 28-04-2015