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“Disappointing Anniversary”
Review of The Grove Hotel

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The Grove Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 December 2013

My Wife and I decided to have a romantic night in the Grove for our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. We booked a standard double room.

When we arrived we were shown to a twin room overlooking the car park. We asked for the correct room (double) to be provided. The reception told us to have a drink in the bar and they would call us when the correct room was available. After 2 hours and over £50 worth of drinks later (a few gin and tonics and a bowl of olives), we still had no call. So we called the reception from the Stables bar and were promptly told our room was ready. The problem was it was the original room. After a further 20mins, we finally were asked to attend reception for the keys to our correct room. However on arrival to the room, we did not find our bags. We then called reception again and were told the bags were already in the room. Turns out they went to the original incorrect room. After waiting a further 20mins, we finally settled into our room. By this time we had to rush around to fit in the relaxing Spa we desired, before going to the fine dining restaurant for dinner. The food and service at the restaurant were great although the plate sizes were atrocious. I've been to plenty of actual Michelin Star Restaurants all over the world and never have I eaten so little during a service. A £12 plate of cheese consists of half a thin slice of your cheese of choice and a token tea spoon of sorbet. Plus points are that the Se-million was knowledgeable and very helpful.
Would I stay their again? Yes probably, but I would be more forceful to ensure I received the service I have paid so dearly to acquire. I didn't complain during this trip, for fear of ruining our special day.
Last and final comment. Why did I have to walk so far from my room, up and down so many stairs and corridors to reach the Spa? Never have I been into a hotel where the trek to the Spa has been so long.

Room Tip: To fully appreciate this hotel, you need to avoid a room in the new quarters. It is a terrible looki...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank RobertTwell
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 reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear RobertTwell,
I am sorry to read of the trouble you had upon arrival at The Grove. Of course this is not how we wish to welcome any of our guests and I am pleased you were able to enjoy Sequoia (our spa) and Colette's during your stay. I do hope we may have the opportunity to serve you better in the near future.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Critchard

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1,833 - 1,839 of 2,784 reviews

Reviewed 29 December 2013

We, having been given a given a night here complete with Dinner for Two at Nicole's, decided that we would use that as our Special Occasion treat. We called the Hotel to clarify when things were 'quiet', and having been guided to avoid both Christmas and New Year's Eve, chose a night in between.

Slightly amazed on arrival to find a packed car park - Oh well, maybe it was a late running Birthday party or Festive Golf Tournament.

Immediately on entering, we realised our mistake - wall-to-wall people, all of whom seemed to have hordes of young children in tow. Many of said people were having a late Tea, complete with
piles of cream cakes and champagne - Lucky !

To avoid this & since we had packed our Kit, we headed for the Spa & Gym. Found them eventually, having asked several members of staff, who were unsure of their whereabouts, but could confirm that they were organising a huge Christmas Party for the kids (around 100 - 150 of them). Then, absolutely amazed to be told we could not have a look at the facilities. Stunned. We left.

Have a pot of tea and relax, before changing for Dinner - great idea.

"Not possible. They are fully booked. Reservations only", we were told. Amazed and in complete disbelief, we asked a second person "Where can Residents get a pot of Tea ?" Right here, he responded and guided us into a lovely big room, right past the aforementioned member of staff.

Our Room, down a very dark and ill lit corridor, was very large, clean,but weirdly and eclectically furnished, with huge four poster bed, antique (looking, if not actual) chest of draws etc, walk-in closet, fridge, and a large cold drafty bathroom.

The weather outside was dire, so we had a brief walk round to the Golf Pro Shop. Greeted most warmly.

We then changed for Dinner and went directly to Nicole's. What a difference !! Warmly greeted walked through the Dinner Options, offered an Aperitif etc - we chose the Tasting Menu with accompanying wines. Absolutely superb.

Breakfast - what a shock to the system. Entrance bereft of a Hostess, strewn with baby walkers (25+) and total chaos, with staff completely overrun - counted 65+ children under 13.

I have nothing against Children of any age, but this was not the scenario we expected for a Special Occasion "quiet break", having checked specifically beforehand.

I did write to the GM and can confirm that we have been invited to stay again, so here's hoping that that Visit will be a massive improvement and that I will write a completely different Review - my preferred.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Safariholic
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 reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear Safariholic,
Thank you for your review. As you note, we have been able to discuss this matter offline and I look forward to welcoming you again in the near future when I hope you will have an experience that is more reflective of the high standards we set ourselves.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Critchard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013

We had a night at the Grove as my Christmas present, our first night away from our son in five years! Such a disappointment, had been really looking forward to it, but apparently zipping 2 single beds together so you have an extremely uncomfortable and painful zip down the middle of the bed is considered five star! Not in my book, then when you complain about it, they could not be less bothered. Would not stay there again in a fit. Worst night sleep ever, you would be better off in a travelodge.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
3  Thank Sheena R
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 reviewResponded 15 January 2014

Dear Sheena R,
Thank you for your review. I am sorry you have felt the need to post your disappointing review, especially as I have endeavoured to contact you twice since you checked-out of The Grove without response. Unfortunately we were not made aware of your complaint until the morning, at which point it was very difficult to recover the situation. Your bed had been fitted with a mattress topper which should provide a smooth sleeping surface and initial investigations concluded that this had been fitted properly. I do hope we are able to welcome you again to The Grove in the near future for a more comfortable night's sleep.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Critchard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2013

We had our Christmas party here and stayed the night. The rooms were lovely & the spa area is very nice (but not spectacular, though don't let that put you off).

The TVs are huge and have a great selection of channels & there's an ipod docking station with speakers in the room. The bath was lush, really really deep!

The beds are so comfortable, amazing night's sleep!

The staff are lovely, polite and give a great service - one of our rooms wasn't ready when we checked in, but when it was they came and delivered the key to us.

The food for the function was fantastic. The quality was excellent, which was surprising since the catering was for huge numbers. The DJ was also perfect, he really understood the audience and played appropriate songs that had everyone dancing (some DJs just play the same things from their repertoire no matter the audience, and it's usually terrible!)

The drinks were very reasonably priced too - about £5 - 6 for a double with mixer and about £5 for a pint.

Breakfast was also amazing, especially since breakfast is usually the downfall of many hotels, but this was top quality yet again.

Really good night for a reasonable price. Definitely recommend staying here and even moreso their Christmas parties!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Ani M
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 reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear AniElizabeth,
Thank you for your review and for choosing to celebrate with us at The Grove. I am so pleased you all had a wonderful evening and I look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Critchard

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Reviewed 26 December 2013

I was fortunate to have been invited to tea at The Grove and have to report that contrary to some other recent reviews, I found the experience delightful. The staff were pleasant and continuously attentive. There was a seemingly inexhaustible supply of sandwiches. The dainty cakes were all a work of art, and tasted good. The warm scones seemed to have been fresh from the oven.

We were able to view a bedroom which, with the rest of the hotel, oozed luxury.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Service
Thank geofwilk
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 reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear geofwilk,
Thank you for taking the time to post your excellent review of The Grove. I am delighted to read that you and your friends enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea and I hope we may welcome you again soon.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Critchard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2013

I decided to treat myself on a Christmas Day and drove to The Grove for an afternoon coffee.
At first I was greeted at reception only to be told that "non residence" guest are not welcomed at their lobby launge. I kept asking why is it not possible explaining I specially drove in, and owing to the fact that the lobby was quite empty but to no avail! I then asked whether it is at least possible to use the internet, and after nother check I was told that they will 'make an exception' and would let me in.
Once in their tea room/ Librery,I was offred to choose any table I like (it was that busy)!!
I chose a lovely table facing the beautiful garden.
At that point, I decided to enhance my order and ask for a traditional afternoon tea.
A grampy femlae hostess told me it might not be possible- subject to Chef approval...(??!). she then checked and came back to say it will be possible to place my order (for £30pp I thought it would be)!
I must admit that the qulity of the sandwiches was really average. Nothing specail and does not taste fresh. Cakes were nothing more than OK.
Service was unattentive, definitly not friendly and welcoming. At no point I was offered whether I wish to replanish any of the sadwiches/cakes (a common practice with similar luxury places).
I found it extraordinary and indeed extremly disappoiting given the beauty of the place and the 'healthy' prices they charge!
This place definitely lack some wormth!
Sadly, I will not be in a hurry to come back!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank Ido M
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 reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear Imichman,
Thank you for your review. We encourage all our guests, whether staying in the hotel or visiting for the day, to make their reservations for spa, golf and dining in advance to avoid disappointment. As I hope you can appreciate, Christmas Day is a busy time at The Grove and I am sorry we were not able to accommodate you as you might have been expecting on this occasion. I hope we may welcome you to The Grove in the near future.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Critchard

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Reviewed 21 December 2013

We have dined at The Grove a number of times, my partner has played golf several times and we also had a lovely spa afternoon & afternoon tea 2 years ago this was also at Christmas and after a lovely spa we enjoyed afternoon tea in the main building which was wonderful, gorgeous setting. After our past great experiences my partner booked another afternoon tea package for my birthday. When I rang to book we were told quite a few of the facilities would be closed due to refurbishment, although disappointed we still wanted to come at xmas time and I therefore just allowed an hour for the pool & sauna before the massage booking. When we arrived we were informed that it had been decided that all the facilities had remained open, we were not telephoned and informed of this so that we could amend times but no apology was made. We were re shown around and told that afternoon tea was served in what can only be described as a small meeting room, my partner had booked this based on the experience we had previously afternoon tea in lovely setting! By this time we were a bit fed up and the shine had been taken off so we asked to see the manager a lady whom can only be described as unwarm & unsympathetic certainly not the attitude of a person working for such a well thought of establishment (we both thought this). She said we had obviously previously booked a special offer package (we hadn't my partner had bkd the same package) in fact last time we had waited in the 'meeting room' and were told that we shouldn't be in there afternoon tea was served in the main building! There was no apology just that is must have been us booking a different package previously! She offered that we could cancel the afternoon tea & use the spa facilities, not such a great offer when we had 40 mins left to use the facilities and the massage alone is £125 and the afternoon tea package is £150 and then she said 'Happy Birthday'! In addition my partner had already paid upfront for our packages nearly a year ago nobody even bothered to check at the desk whether we had vouchers (even though at booking I told them we had them & they told me to bring them?) and the manager assumed we hadn't paid, we actually had to then spend 10minutes ringing Barclays to confirm the money had indeed been taken out. By this time we didn't even want to go ahead but the manager wouldn't come out again as she was 'in a meeting' however she spoke to staff on the phone and told them our option would be to have the package another day. So annoying as it was my birthday we had both taken the day off work and were so looking forward to it after our prior experiences. We did also go to the main building to see if a general manager was around and there wasn't, although the manager that was there was nicer he didn't seem to have much authority as he was the hotel side although he did manage to refund us. In summary The Grove is a lovely place with a good reputation we used to rave about our past experiences! It's such a shame some of the staff are not as lovely unfortunately. So disappointing that our great view of The Grove has been ruined along with my birthday so just beware!

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
5  Thank Lou S
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 reviewResponded 31 December 2013

Dear Lou S,
Thank you for your review and for the loyalty you have shown The Grove over the last few years. I am sorry to read that on this occasion we didn't meet your expectations. Having spoken with the Spa team, I understand that on this occasion you purchased a different package to your initial visit and whilst we did our best to accommodate you and serve afternoon tea in our Mansion Lounges, we did not have the availability at the time. Unfortunately, you left without the team being able to discuss this further with you. I do hope we will be able to welcome you again in the near future and place The Grove fondly in your hearts.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Critchard

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £222 - £428 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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