Hattie Lloyd 12/07/23

The Grove

The Grove might sound like a tiny, secluded garden. And there is one here…

…it’s just that it’s also surrounded by acres of glorious countryside, woodlands, and a 5* hotel with a spa, three restaurants and a golf course.

This award-winning retreat has been many things over the years, from an aristocratic party pile to a wartime air raid shelter construction site. But for the past 20, it’s been accommodating guests in the plushest possible way. Here’s the rundown…


the grove hertfordshire

Primo weeknight escape territory, The Grove is set in Hertfordshire – which, in slightly less glamorous terms, is a 15 minute cab ride from Watford Junction station. You can get there using your oyster card, and it’s only about half an hour door to door from Euston – but when you arrive, it feels like you’ve travelled for miles. The main part of the hotel is set in an 18th century mansion where a young Queen Victoria used to vacation; and it looks out across 300 acres of shimmering tall grass, with the London skyline glittering in the distance.


rooms at the grove hotel

…are mostly housed in the modern 2003 extension, which means they’re spacious and well-equipped with mod-cons. We’re talking Nespresso machines and minibars stocked with The Grove’s own gin and other luxurious labels; spa-like toiletries from Bamford (to be enjoyed in capacious roll-top baths); and comfy king-sized beds. If you really want to push the boat out, book a suite in the original Grade II listed wing – recently restyled by Martin Hulbert Design, all 12 are individually designed with bespoke furniture and antique pieces.


the grove pool

This is where The Grove really excels, because they’ve thought of absolutely everything. You want to go hawking in the woodlands? Sure. Try your hand at archery lessons or clay pigeon shooting? You betcha. Fly in a hot air balloon over the Hertfordshire countryside? Not a problem. There’s also tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course for more familiar sports, while in the spa you’ll find a gym, indoor pool, jacuzzi, steam room and treatment rooms. And over the summer, the 16th century walled garden becomes something of an oasis, with a heated outdoor pool, sun loungers, an actual beach, and an outdoor cinema (with complimentary screenings for guests) run by the film buffs at Everyman. Oh, and if you need anything else, there’s a Grove Buddy just a Whatsapp away.


the grove hotel restaurant

The Potting Shed

Dining at The Grove hits a consistently high standard – unsurprising, really, given that there are chefs specifically in charge of sushi and sashimi; robata grills; tandoors and more. There are three restaurants to pick from, including Indian feasting at Madhu’s and a stellar buffet breakfast, but more often than not, you’ll likely find a couple of pop-up restaurants in residence, too. The highlight of the summer is undoubtedly Feast on Cloud 9, where you can enjoy a nine course tasting menu from the comfort of your own vintage hot air balloon.

That really takes things up a notch…


NOTE: A double room at The Grove Hotel starts at around £500 a night (breakfast included). You can find out more, and book a room, HERE.

The Grove | Chandler’s Cross, Watford WD3 4TG

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The Grove

Chandler's Cross, Watford, WD3 4TG

01923 807807

8.8 | Great