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“...fell way short of expectations” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Grove Hotel

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The Grove Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“...fell way short of expectations”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014

This potentially wonderful hotel cost my girlfriend and I a lot of money to stay there for one weekend and to be honest it was far from what I expected.

Our room was booked in the mansion building. It coincided with one of the warmest weekends in the year.

Our allocated room was nice although overlooked the front car park which was a shame. The air-conditioning didn't work properly (a feature in all the rooms we were in) so reception called a maintenance man that started to unscrew a large panel in the ceiling. As he lowered the panel water literally poured from the ceiling. He quickly put the panel back and went for other tools.

We immediately spoke to the Guest Services Manager(Azalea) who's initial response to the problem was nothing short of pathetic. Her only body language was that this was a massive inconvenience if we wanted to move rooms, no apology, no shock that this build up of water was inches from ceiling lighting and a massive safety hazard.

It was only shortly after when querying her full name and position in the hotel that she seemed to have a switch of personalities.

We were offered an upgrade for one night to a suite that was available only that night which was a nice alternative although we'd have to switch rooms again the next day. I should add that even when you're told the aircon in this room works and we've tested it, it actually doesn't work properly. The unit in the living room worked and the unit in the bedroom didn't at all.

Switching rooms the next day was a pain as the reception were busy with a wedding checkout. When it eventually happened it was timed badly as we were off to the spa. Not all items were transferred to the new room which then involved more phone calls.

The new room was nice although when preparing to check out we were checking the room for any left items when I opened a cupboard door next to the mini bar that happened to also be an uncovered electricity connection unit. I've attached a photograph.

As you'll see in the photograph. I doubt it would pass any safety checks and if you had children, they could accidentally open this door not knowing that touching anything in front of them could kill them.

Please look at the photograph to realise the importance of this.

The final customer service failure was our checkout bill was approximately £200 greater than it should have been. It's quite unpleasant having to go through a bill and highlight to someone on the desk that we're being charged way more than the booked rate whilst a queue of people behind also wait to check out. Whilst it was resolved in less than five minutes, had I been one of the many overseas guests there that weekend we'd have probably unwittingly signed for it.

To look at, the hotel is impressive and it resides in beautiful countryside. The spa facilities are very good and the hot stone massage was probably my best yet. The food buffets are also superb with very hard working catering staff. We really enjoyed cycling around the local countryside canal paths.

I feel the hotel is compromised by poor guest management and a clear lack of investment in the mansion block. If you have children and are staying in the mansion block, please check areas I've highlighted for safety. I'm not risk averse at all but the junction box next to the mini bar seems like a very poorly thought through solution.

I hope the hotel management read this review look at the photograph and realise they need to improve the areas I've highlighted - if anything for safety.

Room Tip: Overlooking patio/views of countryside is nicer than overlooking car park.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LondonDavid123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

I have never written a review on The Grove before because I've never thought I needed too , however I decided that it was about time I tell the world what a wonderful place it is. I have been visiting this place since 2007. This was my first stay on my wedding night. We stayed in suite, which was amazing, in fact Kyle Minogue had checked out 2 days prior to our visit. It was certainly fit for a queen. Since then we have stayed in superior, deluxe and family rooms several times. We eat regularly in the stables and glass house, although the latter is my favourite. We have never had a bad meal. The staff are amazing , always friendly and polite and seem to remember us each time we visit . The events they hold are always good value too . We have stayed as a family the last 2 news Year Eve's and I am sure we will stay this year .
I have to also mention one of the valet parkers 'Danny' who I got to know over the years , he is such a lovely man and a great asset to the grove.
If you have never been before , Go, it's fab.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jojogodfrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxon
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014 via mobile

We are two women in our thirties who booked the one night spa break at £225 per person for dinner, bed, breakfast and a 55 minute treatment in the spa. Although we enjoyed our stay as this was a long overdue catch up, I have to say I was disappointed with a lot of aspects of the hotel which affected our overall experience.

We arrived at the hotel at about 10:30am to make full use of the facilities and to enjoy sitting in the glorious sunshine. We were delighted to find that a room was already ready for us - an added bonus. We were shown to the room by the friendly staff - we were in the west wing, not the mansion and so the rooms are modern, not the mansion style as pictured on the website although I expected this as we had booked a special deal. I was surprised that in a five star hotel, a twin room consists of two single beds pushed together and not two doubles. We are best friends and so this was fine but not what I would expect from a hotel of that calibre.

We quickly changed and went to the walled garden to sit by the outdoor pool. The weather was glorious and the pool was warm and inviting. There were many activities on offer such as beach volleyball, table tennis, croquet and whole area is immaculately kept. Complimentary jugs of iced water were brought around which was a nice touch.

We ordered a bottle of Prosecco which was very slow to arrive and wasn't either opened or poured for us. Again, not a big deal but not exactly five star service.

We opted to have lunch in the Stables bar - great waiter, lots of chat, food was good - nice salt beef sandwich, overlooks the golf course which is lovely.

We had pre-booked massages for the afternoon and so sauntered down to the spa. We were shown to the changing room and given locker cards etc. I had to ask where the indoor pool was as the information wasn't offered. After our massages we also walked past a few other rooms containing bubble pools and saunas which we weren't shown at the beginning and so didn't end up using which is a shame. Our massages were great and we felt thoroughly relaxed and headed back to our room to get changed for dinner.

Although a buffet dinner in the Glasshouse restaurant is included in the deal, if you eat in one of the other hotel restaurants, you are given £39 credit to use and so we opted to go posh and have dinner in Colettes.

There were three menus to choose from - 3 course tomato themed menu for £49, a five course tasting menu for £75 or a more extensive tasting menu for £85. We liked the look of the 5 course menu and so went for this and added the wine pairing with a different wine for each course, bringing the price to £125 per head. We have always been foodies (the friend I was with manages a restaurant) and so we were looking forward to a culinary delight.... Sadly, we didn't get one.

My favourite parts of the meal were the amuse bouches and the pre-dessert. Lovely little portions of really tasty ingredients. The actual five courses though were not good at all. The menu kicked off with ducks egg with sweetcorn and a fois gras brioche. The ducks egg was slow cooked and so translucent (not detailed on the menu as I wouldn't have chosen this one if so). The egg was luke warm, gloopy and thoroughly unappetising. Thinking of it now makes my stomach churn. I like to think I have a sophisticated palet but this was not for me or my friend.

The next course was brill cooked with mussels & clams - this course was the reason we went for this menu. The brill was barely warm and the colour and texture of anaemic jelly. When paired with mussels and clams, there was no contrasting texture. We were thoroughly disappointed and neither of us finished the dish.

The next three courses were fine - nothing to get excited about - a chicken dish with pale, jelly-like chicken skin, a nice cheese with truffle oil and then blueberry tart. After the initial egg and brill dishes, we found our stomachs not as keen for food as they had been.

As for the wine, the pairings were good and the sommelier seemed knowledgable although was hardly engaging. What baffled me was that he measured out each glass with a measure. Is this really necessary? If one's job is to pour wine, surely you would get to have a judgement about the size of the glasses without having to use a metal instrument to help. Between each pouring, as there were only two measuring devices, the metal egg cup was simply swilled around in an ice bucket to rinse it before the next pour. Again, really? In my opinion this was a very poor show for a place which advertises a fine dining experience.

We had a nightcap on the terrace outside the Glasshouse after our meal and a good old natter. At midnight, the bar is only open to residents which is fair enough. We were asked if we would be ordering another drink after our nightcap as if not, they were closing the bar completely. Again, fair enough - there were about four other tables aside from us who must have all said the same as no sooner had we confirmed we wouldn't be ordering another drink, the candles and lanterns were removed from ALL tables, including the ones that still had people sitting at them! I couldn't quite believe this but this was clearly our cue to leave and so we did.

The rooms are comfortable and the bathrooms nice with nice products. Breakfast buffet was fine with an option for freshly cooked omelettes to order. We wandered around the gardens before we left which are beautiful.

Our overall experience for two people cost over £800 for one night. This included Champagne and our fine dining experience. For this money, at a five star hotel I would expect the five stars to be evident and in my opinion they are not. We were underwhelmed and disappointed.

I think an Establishment needs to work hard for it's stars and it's membership as a Leading Hotel of The World. It seemed that this one is lacking.

It is a beautiful venue, especially the grounds and would make a lovely wedding or corporate event. It is not however, a place we would return to for a special treat.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank kerryj0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2014

On 11/04/14 my partner and I stayed at The Grove for a Wedding. To be honest the room was small for the price but other than that the food/service was good. The next day my partner and I paid the exceptionally high £130.00 for a message at The Sequoia Spa (around twice the price for a similar experience elsewhere so we were expecting it to be the best) The treatment was listed as lasting 90 minutes.

After around an hour we were led back to our changing rooms. Feeling the treatment seemed a bit short we checked the time and realised it had been cut short by 30 minutes. We wanted to enjoy the rest of our time there and not kick up a fuss so decided we would contact the Manager regarding this after our stay. The Manager said he would look in to it and get back to us after a few days.

He stated on getting back to us that he had conducted investigation with staff who could not confirm one way or another whether or not our treatment was in fact cut short but that in his words "he couldn't understand why it would be" and as such there was nothing he could do. I physically could not believe that a Hotel such as The Grove would have such disgusting customer service baring in mind he had just openly admitted to me he couldn't say whether or not our treatment time was cut short! We had contacted him within a week after our visit, surely the CCTV would of revealed the shortened treatment time?!

My advice is take your money elsewhere, at least then if something goes wrong it will be sorted. I appreciate mistakes do happen as we are all human, that is never a problem as long as they are put right. However the Manager there simply doesn't care.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank Bash M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunfermline, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2014

Staying at The Grove was a mixed experience and unfortunately I was unable to give them an "Excellent" rating.
I am giving them a "Very Good" rating because the Sequoia Spa is one of the best spas we have ever been to and was definitely the highlight of the visit, leaving us with fond memories and a desire to return to have treatments there.

The restaurants and the accomodation unfortunately were another matter.
When in a 5 star hotel the staff should never make you feel like " we are all equal but some of us might be more equal than others"!!
The service is good but you can see and feel that you are being treated in a different category if you are not a state dignatary or a sheikh or some famous multimillionaire. This is simply unacceptable and should not happen.
Being shooed off from certain PUBLIC areas by some "big honcho" bodyguards and being made go up 2 floors and back down 2 floors to reach the area you are going to just because somebody is (or thinks they are) a VIP is just disgraceful.
Guests are guests and as long as we are not threading over each others PRIVATE areas we should all be able to use ANY COMMON AREA in the hotel.
I am aware that security matters and has to be covered but in other hotels with a similar clientele (I would suggest we go by LHW hotels standards) we have never been subjected to that kind of treatment and we have always been made to feel "special" and not "second class guests".

The grounds are beautiful, the children's facilities in a separate area are simply delightful and the Walled Garden is gorgeous.

The restaurants again were not very easy to book and we were not welcome to Colette's with a child under 12 years old, so we ended up at The Stables, where the food was nice (but just nice as in OK) and the service a little slow.
Sorry guys, but I cannot see why the "bairn" (whose favourite restaurant in the world is Nobu she tells me) is welcome to places like The Fat Duck and La Tour D'Argent but is not welcome to Colette's. Maybe you're not good enough for her...

We were unable to stay in The Mansion area as the (affordable) rooms are not big enough for a family. The West Wing is nice and very modern... but I still found that the Mansion area looked nicer.

The problem with advertising yourself as a "Child friendly" hotel is that at The Grove they are catering for their own conception of what a child should like and appreciate and not to the specific child (they have their own personalities as well, you know?).
The "bairn" does not drink milk (cannot believe I am admitting to that), so "milk and cookies" at turndown are useless, thank you very much, what about some macaroons and apple juice? (we asked and only got told that it was not available).

The Beach area and the pool were great. The golf course and grounds are just astonishing.
We did the Warnes Bros Studio tour and they are definitely very well placed for this. The "bairn" loved it!

So, in conclusion, ambivalent feelings. Some great features but some others that really leave you thinking of not coming back...
Hopefully they will consider the comments and consider a change for the better. The hotel itself certainly has the grounds to be one of the most outstanding hotels in the world!

Room Tip: Stay in The mansion area if you can.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CCP1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Watford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2014

My partner had booked a table at the Stables restaurant for my Birthday on the 17th of July, being a glorious day we sat outside. Everything was top class, the food outstanding (I highly recommend the lamb dish), the service was faultless and to finish off I received a rendition of happy Birthday with a very tasty cupcake and candle. I was so impressed with all aspects and that includes the price. I highly recommend a visit, as I will certainly be returning. One final thing do take advantage of the beautiful grounds, a very pleasant walk indeed.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Steve P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbury
Level Contributor
149 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014

Absolutely fabulous place. Golf was out of this world and the service and attention to detail was absolutely first class. The hotel is extremely well decorated and very attentive staff. A special mention to tom (the bar tender) who made us some great drinks during our stay, and always happy to talk.
Would definitely go back time and time again.

Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank AndrewCNewbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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