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“Sequoia Spa- new gym, new service standards!”
Review of The Grove Hotel

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The Grove Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Sequoia Spa- new gym, new service standards!”
Reviewed 8 May 2012

I am a member at Sequoia and use The Grove for both business and leisure occasions. The Hotel is amazing and generally hard to fault. The gym within the Sequoia Spa is currently undergoing a complete refurbishment and I can not wait for the new equipment to arrive. The launch of the new facility is I believe on the 12th May. However I am hoping that with the new equipment comes a renewed energy and service from the locker rooms and the gym staff! It seems as if most of the former don't speak any English and can only shrug their shoulders to most questions, such as why is there no longer any scales in the shower area or why is there is no deodorant or why is the floor covered in water, etc.The staff in the gym only appear to talk to members who are paying them for PT lessons otherwise one doesn't really exist. So it's great news about the refurbishment but what about a review of standards and some effective management in the areas mentioned too?

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank samjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheGroveHotel, General Manager at The Grove Hotel, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear samjames,
Thank you for your comments. The gym refurbishment has now been completed and I hope you are able to enjoy the latest Technogym equipment. I will share your concerns regarding staff with our Spa Director; with the launch of Club 2.0 (a technogym profile questionnaire) I hope you will be able to get the most out of the new gym, studio programme and our helpful team.
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London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2012

I just came back from staying the bank holiday weekend at The Grove and have rather mixed feelings about the place. First the good - the Sequoia spa was utterly superb. The reception staff were kind and friendly and the changing room utterly spotless and well stocked. The relaxation room was an oasis of calm and kept well stocked and looked after by a very efficient staff. The treatments were good and I loved the vitality pool and the black tiled massive pool (although it needed far more seating around it). The spa was entirely worth the trip.
As for the hotel itself I think if the rack rate was £150 or less a night what I'm about to say would sound like churlish nitpicking but for £250 to £350 a night it just wasn't quite good enough.

The hotel room was clean and sizeable if not noticably distinguishable from any other upmarket chain hotel and the view was dire (busy car park). There were standard tea & coffee making facilities (with odd rationing of milk (one lonely sachet - what happened if you wanted a second cuppa?) and of course in a 5 star hotel it really should be fresh milk) but absolutely nothing else complimentary to eat or drink - not even a branded bottle of tap water. Even the cheap hotels spring for a small pack of shortbread! The tv was huge & impressive to behold but buzzed like a swarm of angry bees when switched on. Service was also underwhelming. I had to ask for more towels as they weren't replenished on the second day, same with the toilet paper and toiletries weren't replaced when used.

Breakfast was in The Glasshouse and was very nice (the pastries and fresh fruit selection were particularly impressive) but again for a 5 star joint I would really expect your breakfast to be cooked to order not sat congealing under heat lamps. Dinner was included in the package in The Glasshouse. I was told at the time of booking I had to make a reservation or couldn't eat there (unusual for a hotel restaurant). I was given a later reservation than I would have cared for on the Sunday and told it couldn't be changed.I arrived at my alloted time to find the restaurant two thirds empty. So why couldn't my reservation have been changed? Food choice is impressive but the tables are far too close together meaning you were continually knocked by other diners. And then unfortunately something I ate on the Sunday night made me violently ill. The staff were kind but not especially helpful (well unless I wanted to pay £300 to see a doctor...) And then on check out as I see pretty much everyone else has mentioned they tried to overcharge me.
If you're looking for someone to go for a day spa I would recommend The Grove without hesitation but the hotel itself is really more of a 3/4 star making the rack rate exceedingly overpriced. Stay if you can find a good offer,

Room Tip: Not one overlooking the car park!
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Titania1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheGroveHotel, General Manager at The Grove Hotel, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear Titania1234,
Thank you for your kind words regarding our spa and the Sequoia team, I will pass these on. A couple of additional points, if I may. We do offer complimentary tea and coffee in your room and have freshly made amenities and bottled water available on the reception desks throughout the property. We request guests book dining reservations in advance to avoid disappointment, as our Restaurants receive a high volume of guests both as residents and non-residents. I hope you may return in the near future.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012

We just spent a bank holiday weekend at The Grove. In spite of the rather glum weather, the weekend kids' (8, 11) programme was a big success, mainly thanks to the excellent attitude and engagement of the activities staff -- staff are 100% engaged throughout and really liked by the kids. The programme is extensive as are the off-programme facilities from games room to outdoor activities. So, really a positive 'weekend out' experience with the family.

The hotel itself is a bit corporate (long corridors past conference centre, big groups of people, a rather dominant car park, busy restaurants at peak times, etc.). However, this is not a problem as long as one is not expecting a 'country house' experience. The rooms are well appointed, quiet and spacious. Restaurants, while not 'exceptional', have consistently good quality. Generally service is helpful, available, efficient and up-beat if a bit impersonal.

Admin side is a bit of a hit-and-miss -- getting the reservations or invoices right is not to be taken for granted. Confirm and check is (unfortunately) what it takes.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ptapta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheGroveHotel, General Manager at The Grove Hotel, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear ptapta,
Thank you for taking the time to post your positive review. The team put a lot of time and effort into formulating the children's activity programmes and I'm delighted that you and your family were able to enjoy these. I will share your positive words with the team.
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Braunston, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012 via mobile

There's no doubt this place isn't cheap, but it is definitely true in this case that you get what you pay for.

Stayed for one night in April as a treat...in one of their superior king rooms (read basic/cheapest!), which was huge, beautiful and modern with a patio area. God only knows what the suites must be like! We were lucky to be overlooking the gardens which are beautiful.

Sequoia spa was lovely, we had massages and used the pool and jacuzzi...all very lovely and not too busy (although there were definitely quite a few "ladies who lunch" as expected).

Food was great from lunch in the spa, breakfast in the Glasshouse to dinner at Colette's.

We had a couple of drinks in the Stables bar which had a nice relaxed atmosphere.

The only slight negative is perhaps the check in staff were a little over the top with their pleasantries so it felt like a show (3 of them swarming around all desperate to carry my tiny bag for me!). However everyone else was refreshingly genuine and down to earth, especially the team in Colette's, who were able to combine food/wine knowledge, pleasantries and a bit of banter.

Would highly recommend and would definitely go back (if someone else was paying!)

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
Thank JayKay1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheGroveHotel, General Manager at The Grove Hotel, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear JayKay1011,
Thank you for your positive review. I am so pleased you were able to experience the breadth of services and facilities available at The Grove and do hope you are able to return soon.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2012

We have stayed here about 7 times as part of a group, and without fail have been disappointed on every occasion. Thankfully because the whole group have expressed similar opinions we will now be using a different venue in future. Some things are excellent, but too many things let it down.
Good points: The porter/door staff are friendly and consistently helpful. The children's club is excellent provided you book in advance. Breakfast is excellent. Rooms are comfortable, although it can be a very long walk to your room depending on where you are located. Golf is excellent - both the course and the service from the clubhouse staff. Bad points: The spa is consistently poor. Out of 7 visits one treatment experience was good, one reasonable and the other 5 include two of the worst massages I have ever had. The reservation staff make no effort to match therapists to the clients preferences. Despite having requested a strong massage at the time of booking the therapist told me she didn't "know how to do a deep tissue massage". The spa reception staff are also very unfriendly. Checkout: More times than not we have been significantly overcharged at checkout and the bill has had to be recalculated (one receptionist told us it was a confusing billing system and it happens all the time). Collette's (restaurant) does not deliver at anywhere near the level it should, especially on service. Food is adequate, but the staff have little knowledge or interest in what they are serving, and the kitchen refused to offer a substitute on the tasting menu when two guests said that they would prefer not to eat foie gras, so they sat without food for that course which was embarrassing to all. I have never known this to happen in any other high-end restaurant. The whole experience is sterile, lacks personality and professionalism. We requested on our last visit to bring a bottle of our own wine. We would still have ordered expensive wines from the list as we always do and would have been happy to pay whatever corkage was asked of us. The request was refused. This pretty much sums up the attitude of the management. On no occasion has there been any acknowledgement that we have been regular guests with a high spend, or has anyone asked us with any real interest how our experience has been. The management of The Grove should visit Coworth and see how to do it properly. It's frustrating, because the Grove could be so good, but it just isn't.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ski_Tourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheGroveHotel, General Manager at The Grove Hotel, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear Ski_Tourist,
I am sorry to hear that your frequent visits to The Grove and repeat visits to our spa have been disappointing. I will make the team aware of your commments and hope that you experience an improved level of service on a future visit.
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Camberley, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

Arrival is an impressive and imposing sight of the old(ish) manor house at the top of the hill with the winding road to the canopied reception. Staff are friendly, but the "casual" uniform of lilac sweater or cardigan and grey-ish plaid skirt or trousers looks better and smarter on some than others. Check-in was friendly and swift against our reservation.
The walk to our room, which was about 2nd or 3rd last on its floor was the longest I have EVER experienced in a hotel (I estimate 300 or 400 yards). The room was modern, pleasant but not truly 5-star, based on my M East and Indian experience. It had a big screen plasma TV with one of those complex, slow to respond control systems. Also it appeared to hum and whine when switched on. The layout of the bathroom is odd with a high step into the bath (would be tricky for anyone over 60) with the shower controls at the opposite end of the bath from the shower head and the glass splash shield appeared to have been fitted with its hinges the wrong way round as the plastic seal didn't meet the wall. There was no shaving mirror in the bathroom and nowhere to hang used towels to dry. The double bed is large, low, firm and comfortable. But the Air Conditioning is poorly set up and we were unable to get the temp below about 22 or 23 C (although it claimed 18C). Also the windows only opened on one side and the other side was screwed down). We didn't use the supplied kettle as the hotel charges over £50 for tea or coffee bags and the same again for biscuits!
The SPA is impressive (and treatments are not cheap). The pool is enormous (25 metres) but disconcerting with an all black tiling, meaning you can see nothing. The Jacuzzi is long and thin and might take 10 adults.It runs on a 10 minute on/off cycle, which isn't explained, so you sit pressing what you think is the rubber start button. The steam room takes about 8 and was VERY warm. We didn't try the rest of the SPA.
The posh resturant is closed on Sundays and so we went to the GlassHouse. Our pre-dinner drinks proved expensive as the addition of Creme de Cassis to a glass of house white to make it a Kir Normale, turned the price of the glass from £5-50 to £12! Also the server didn't seem to know what a Kir was. Thankfully, the bar man did (or given the price hike, ignorance might have been bliss).
The buffet-style restaurant itself was tidy and split level, the upper level being where the kitchens and servery were. The serving staff were firendly and attentive. A bottle of house white was reasonably priced at £21, but you have plenty opportunity to push the boat out and well into 3 figures for a bottle, should you choose.
The buffet selection was ENORMOUS and no-one would find theselves short of choice or going away hungry. We were highly conventional and had a mixed fish/sushi cold starter, roast main course and dessert (I had a 2nd). Servers thoughout were attentive, but not intrusive.
A post dinner drink with a Virgin (non-alcoholic) Mojito was much cheaper than the Kir and very well done
Breakfast the next day was similarly vast and buffet-style and at £25 a head (a bit steep?), just under two thirds the price of the dinner buffet (£39). Staff were not quite as attentive as the evening and some of the food items could have been warmer. Why no Omelette Station? As a posh golf hotel or one for a business stay it was fine, but at over £300 for Dinner, Bed and Breakfast per night (a run rate of about £15 per hour), perhaps a special treat to be reserved for exceptional occasions?

Room Tip: Get a low numbered room on any of the 2/3 floors unless you want a long walk. The numbers start at X...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FlyBacon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheGroveHotel, General Manager at The Grove Hotel, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear FlyBacon,
Thank you for taking the time to post such an extensive review of your visit to The Grove.
Whilst some of your comments are factually incorrect I would be happy to discuss this further with you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
413 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2012

The drive up to the hotel from the main road is itself very impressive as it snakes through the impressive golf course. The buildings have been stunningly restored and added to to a high standard throughout. The golf course is amazing but quite difficult if you're not a regular golfer and the Stables restaurant at the golf club is great although the menu is a little unimaginative. Service is friendly and very slick although we were told after our golf that the kitchen closed at 230pm so we had to rush a little which was a bit disappointing. Rooms are spacious and contemporary and most have great views of the golf course. The gym and spa are top notch although all of this does come at a price. It's a real his and hers weekend/night away - treatments for the ladies and golf for the boys and meeting up for dinner in the evening. Well worth a special treat. I'll be going back.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peter T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheGroveHotel, General Manager at The Grove Hotel, responded to this review, 16 May 2012
Dear Peter T,
Thank you for your review of The Grove. I'm delighted to read you had a most enjoyable stay with us and hope you will return again soon
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Additional Information about The Grove Hotel

Property: The Grove Hotel
Address: London's Country Estate, Chandler's Cross WD3 4TG, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Chandler's Cross
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Chandler's Cross
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Grove Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 217
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grove, London's country estate, is more than a five-star hotel. Set in 300 acres and only 18 miles from central London, the former home of the Earls of Clarendon is also a luxury 18-hole golf resort, a fabulous spa and unique venue for meetings, weddings and celebrations. Also included in The Grove's extensive facilities are three restaurants including Colette’s, awarded three AA rosettes. A 4acre Walled Garden with urban beach, tennis courts and outdoor pool. A selection of bike and jogging trials to enjoy with complimentary bike hire; and Anouska’s Kids’ Club, graded outstanding by OFSTED makes The Grove a parent and child-friendly resort. Lovingly restored to stunning effect, the property fuses contemporary design and original period architecture with exceptionally caring and professional service. We look forward to welcoming you soon. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grove Chandlers Cross
Grove Hotel Chandlers Cross
The Grove Hotel Hertfordshire, UK

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