The Grove, Hertfordshire
The Grove, Chandler's Cross, Hertfordshire
A decadent, truly truly family friendly, luxury country hotel with no compromise - fabulous!
Jilly P and Andrew visited on our behalf:
From the moment you drive through the impressive wrought iron gateway and the Mansion House of The Grove Hotel comes into view, sitting atop the championship golf course, with the picturesque canal boats and the ducks fororaging at the water's edge, you begin to feel that you're in for a treat and you won't be disappointed. The staff is so welcoming that you're made to feel very special, the facilities for children are superb, and the decor is, at one and the same time, the best of refurbished old, mingled with head-turning contemporary chic.
If you're looking for an oasis in the countryside near London where you as parents can play golf, take country walks or luxuriate in a super elegant spa whilst your children, whether toddlers or teenagers, will be entertained, play a myriad of sports, swim – or just hang out at the beach (seriously! ) – endless possibilities in fabulous surroundings – then you've found the place!
You have a choice of exquisite rooms. For those of you with older kids the inter-connecting rooms are a firm favourite – Eve and Lottie love it. There are rooms with bunk-beds, deluxe rooms with sofa beds (suitable for kids under 12) and for those of you with a baby a cosy cot can be added in the Executive Suites or Deluxe Rooms. All come complete with fluffy bathrobes waiting for you all, pampering toiletries, goodies for the kids including a box of toys for each. The bedtime milk and cookie with almost certainly help to get them settled in time for an early evening movie borrowed from the reception DVD library.
There are heaps – ranging from the 300 acres of countryside to explore using one of the hotel's mountain bikes or else relax in the fabulously civilised and wonderful open space of the Walled Garden. In it you will find a secret world with an outdoor pool, giant chess and Jenga sets, tennis courts, badminton courts, an urban beach for volley ball (and sandcastles), snooker, table tennis, as well as the gentler croquet to enjoy.
Otherwise the children may be entertained elsewhere in one of the fabulous kid friendly and age-appropriate Ofsted clubs; you might just have a snooze on a big cosy chair in the amazing Potting Shed furnished with envious antiques from Provence and England.
Anouska's kids club is age appropriate and involves keeping your kids busy creatively and physically. You will find modelling and workshops, puppet shows, water games in the indoor heated swimming pool, construction and building games, discovering gardens and plenty of books for reading and listening.
Children over the age of 8 are given games tokens for the games room which holds such delights as Wii's, PS3's, Xbox's, retro arcade games, traditional board games and endless DVDs and CDs to borrow.
Teenagers get to choose from any of the above (Anoushka's not included) and come Xmas even have their own allocated spot within the Potting Shed – a teens-only zone with games and coffee, hidden away from the grown-ups, though can't imagine why they would want to be!
Over 16s are free to play on the Championship Golf Course where they may polish up their skills taking youth golf lessons during the summer holidays.
Baby-sitting can be arranged by the hotel if you fancy time out together. They will notify you of the latest hourly rate book your babysitter on your behalf. Babysitting normally takes place in your bedroom.
I have not mentioned the amazing Sequoia Spa or the Championship Golf Course that the Grove is famous for. I hope that it is enough to know that you are incredibly welcome at either and are guaranteed an amazing time however and where-so-ever you choose to spend your precious time!
Such choice of food types and places in which to enjoy them! Jill and Andy are real foodies and loved the food and the atmosphere – no compromise in service or indeed any standard with families present.
The Grove provides gourmet to homely, 10-courses to the lightest of snacks any time of the day. With home grown produce from the Walled Garden for fine-dining in Colette's to preparing homely fare at The Stables. Watch your food being cooked in the glorious Glasshouse or else enjoy some peace in the lovely civilized Lounges where you might take tea and savour the amazing showpieces from the pastry Head Chef.
The Glasshouse and The Stables are both relaxed restaurants and offer delicious children's menu that are selected, tried and tested by kids! And a lovely option, which really takes the pressure off mealtimes, is that the kids can head off and run freely on the terraces outside both whilst you avoid indigestion and get to enjoy a delicious unhurried meal!
Every Saturday night, The Glasshouse features a fabulous chocolate fountain – with delectable things to dip into it – always assuming the kids get to it there is plenty of fruit . The Grove's home made chocolate is available all the time goes down a treat with small and big kids alike! And if you know that they are just too tired then order from the Room Service great kids' menu – build your own burger' menu option is a really good idea!
And there's the ultimate fun kid's tea or an exciting tea party in a Tipi! Life may never be the same again – particularly if you have to prepare Grove style tea's every day!!!