We stayed at the Grove for our daughters birthday as we wanted to go to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour. The hotel sells a Harry Potter package which includes tickets, an overnight stay and breakfast.
The location of the hotel is beautiful, taking an imposing position on the top of a hill. The internal decoration is modern and clean and I had high expectations walking in. The country feel continues throughout the hotel with canvas photos of farmyard animals and perspex tables containing models of cows, duck etc.
The hotel bedroom is lovely, with ample space, tea making, robes and a luxurious roll tap bath.
Our experience booking the hotel was rather mixed. I had booked online and there were no instructions on what to do about the Harry Potter tickets. I rang the hotel and was told someone would ring me later in the week. I actually received 3 phone calls, one to book the HP tickets, each of the others asking me if I had wanted to book a dining table. I had also done that online but it seems that the system in the hotel doesn't link the bookings very effectively. Even when we arrived at the hotel, I was asked the same question and when we got to the room, there was no bed for our daughter despite this being confirmed in an earlier phone call. The hotel would benefit from rectifying this as it left me with a sense of uncertainty that our arrangements had been made accurately.
There are plenty of food options - we ate lunch in the lounge (soup, salads, sandwiches) and then dinner in the Stables. The food was excellent in all. The Stables is the place where everyone with kids goes - children under 16 are sadly not allowed in the star attraction restaurant (Collettes). Our daughter is 9 and she was one of the oldest in the Stables restaurant - it was full of younger children and whilst the staff were brilliant with all of them, the restaurant did feel like one of those at an exclusive children only hotel. There is no mid ground for the 'in between age'. This feeling also continued into the pool area. The children's pool really is for younger children, and children over 12 can use the adult pool (when open) between certain hours. As a consequence, our 9 year old really didn't fit into either option.
The Games Room however was a hit - with free pinball, PS3 racing game and table football. It is only small though and after 20 minutes of opening, there were too many people for it to be comfortable. The hotel does also have bikes for use.
Breakfast in the Glasshouse buffet was excellent with one of the more diverse selections of food (including black pudding!).
All the staff were great, particularly Jack the doorman who couldn't do more to help us.
It's very convenient for HP so a good base, if not a bit pricy and perhaps could do a little more to bridge the age gap of the children likely to love the HP experience.
- 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