Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

The Grove

Rates from (inc tax)$346.09

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21GBP), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Town in country


Well-heeled Hertfordshire

The Grove hotel in Hertfordshire spoils and surprises with a serious spa – no wonder it calls itself 'London's country estate'. Sculpture-scattered grounds and an 18-hole golf course create a neatly bucolic backdrop to the converted mansion and its raft of modern-day extras – including a man-made beach with volleyball court. This stately stay welcomes children, too.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A free bottle of wine when you stay for two nights or more


Photos The Grove – Hertfordshire – United Kingdom

Need to know


217, including 12 suites.


12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm, but this is sometimes flexible, subject to availability.


Double rooms from $346.09 (£283), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP340.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include a full buffet-style breakfast.


Colette's is particularly popular: book a table well in advance, especially for weekend evenings. You'll also need to book the spa and anything else you've got your heart set on, including lunch at the Stables.

At the hotel

Spa with fitness suite, 300-acre grounds, including a golf course and kitchen gardens, bikes to borrow, helipad, games room, on-demand film library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: 3D-enabled flatscreen TV with on-demand films, radio, iPod dock, minibar, tea tray, black-out curtains, toiletries from the White Company.

Our favourite rooms

The interconnecting Deluxe Rooms in the modern West Wing are incredibly spacious, offering the opportunity to create two-bedroom, two-bathroom 'suites'. Contemporary in style, with simple, soothing decor, these rooms overlook the formal gardens; each has both a bath tub and a freestanding shower, and some have balconies. West Wing Superior Rooms are similar, but smaller. We also love the Mansion rooms: go for a Deluxe Room in this original part of the building, where rooms are uniquely decorated with contemporary art. Executive Suites and above win the space war hands down, but have no interconnecting options.


The moody-looking ozone-filtered swimming pool at the spa is glorious. The 22-metre outdoor heated pool in the Walled Garden is manned by lifeguards and surrounded by sunloungers – in summer, a gazebo bar serves cold drinks, slush puppies and Chilly Billies, and sometimes there are barbecues on the 'beach'.


The Sequoia health club and spa is a tip-top pampering centre with sauna, steam room, Espa therapies, couples' massages and every kind of beautification treatment possible (including eyelash extensions); an army of trainers is on hand to teach you tennis, yoga or Zumba, and there's a formidable fitness suite packed with TechnoGym and other hi-tech kit.

Packing tips

Don't forget your swimwear (especially if the weather looks promising).


The Walled Garden hosts a croquet lawn and outdoor tennis court, and in season there's even a man-made 'beach' beside the pool, complete with beach huts, sandpit and a volleyball court.


The Grove is super family-friendly, with a kids' club, crèche, and lots of things for little Smiths to do.

Best for

Families with children of all ages, looking for a country weekend retreat.

Recommended rooms

Under-12s can sleep on extra beds in parents' rooms for £35 a night, including breakfast (cots for under-3s and extra beds can be provided).


Anouska's Kids Club has an excellent crèche (rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted) for children aged 3 months to 5 years, with facilities for older children, too. Bright, colourful indoor spaces open directly onto a playground with rubber safety flooring, ride-on toys, a climbing frame and a netted trampoline, and there are plenty of fun activities for the over-2s. You'll need to book in advance; it's open 9am–5pm and costs £10 an hour for under-2s; £8 for over-2s. Drinks and snacks are included, but if you'd like them to have lunch at Anouska's, it's an extra £6.


The kids club at Anouska's will ably entertain primary-schoolers; a special activity timetable during the holidays features hourly sessions for over-3s and over-5s, including tennis, hockey, rounders, arts and crafts, and treasure hunts (£6 an hour). Babies and toddlers love the extra-warm indoor pool; for older children, there's a room stocked with classic arcade games and consoles (a deposit is required for computer games).

With so much on offer at the Grove, we doubt you'll find time to stray beyond its grounds, but Hertfordshire has journey-worthy charms both natural and historic. Wildlife haven Cassiobury Park is 10 minutes away; and about half an hour in the car gets you to ride-packed theme park Thorpe Park. Browse Berkhamsted's shops and eateries. To your west, the Chilterns offer walking and valley-view villages; north lie heritage houses and Tudor treasures – including Hatfield, the childhood home of Elizabeth I.

For wizard-mad little ones, there's only one place you'll want to go: Leavesden is home to the Warner Bros Studio Tour, where you can get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the world of Harry Potter. Walk through sets including the Great Hall, Diagon Alley and the Griffindor common room, and spot props from Harry's Nimbus 2000 to Hagrid's motorbike. There are two cafés and a picnic area; there are baby-changing and bottle-warming facilities at the Studio Café. Under-5s go free (you'll still need to book a place for them); if you have two children aged 5–15, it's cheaper to get a family ticket. Tickets must be booked in advance.


Children are welcome to dine anywhere except Colette's; highchairs and activity packs are available and staff will happily heat milk or baby food for you. The Glasshouse is great for fusspots and finger-feeders since it's essentially a buffet (under-3s eat free; under-13s are half-price); the Stables will do half-price portions of most dishes, and also has a nice menu of child-friendly staples such as houmous and pitta bread, mini fish 'n' chips and knickerbocker glories. Chefs are happy to whip up home-made purées for your baby, too – there's a complimentary baby menu of finger food, fruit purées and soups, as well as Hipp Organic baby food.


Babysitters are available for £22.50 an hour (minimum three hours); book at least 48 hours in advance. Rates increase to £35 an hour on 24, 25, 26, 31 December and 1 January.

No need to pack

The hotel has highchairs, sterilising facilities, black-out blinds, changing mats, baby baths, bike seats and trailers, soft toys, crayons, swimming aids, games consoles, craft materials and bike helmets.


There are no booster seats, so consider bringing a portable one if your toddler is at that awkward in-between stage. Swim nappies, nappies and sun-protection cream are available to buy. Anouska's crèche has most kit: ask if you need to borrow something. Your little ones will get milk and cookies on arrival, as well as finding mini-robes and a small box of age-appropriate toys to use during their stay. Staff are happy to heat milk and baby food for you, too. No nannies, but there's no limit on the amount of time your children spend at Anouska's, providing you've booked a spot. Audio monitors won't be in range of the restaurants from your rooms; you'll need to book a babysitter if you want to dine alone.

Food and Drink

Photos The Grove – Hertfordshire – United Kingdom

Top Table

The Glasshouse for brunch; the Stables terrace for family lunch; and the Mansion Lounges or Colette's for a smarter dinner.

Dress Code

Colette's is more formal, and the other restaurants have a relaxed atmosphere.

Hotel restaurant

In a handsomely restored set of rooms in the mansion, Colette's is a fine-dining restaurant focusing on simple, seasonal ingredients given a sophisticated spin; chef Russell Bateman's menus are largely dictated by what's growing in the Grove's kitchen garden. The Glasshouse overlooks the terrace and features an open kitchen where chefs carve, cook and serve international favourites; deli-style counters offer plate-loads of choice. A short walk away, the Stables has a rustic gastropubby menu and bar that doubles as the 19th hole.

Hotel bar

Take your apéritifs (or afternoon tea) in the Mansion Lounges or Library, an attractive suite of spaces in the oldest part of the building (which once hosted Queen Victoria and Captain Cook). There are lovely views, an all-day menu of sandwiches and snacks, and it's a peaceful spot to read the papers or sip post-prandial cocktails.

Last orders

The Glasshouse bar closes at midnight, but drinks are served until the last guest has gone to bed. Colette's is open 6.30pm–9.30pm; and the Mansion Lounge menu is served until 10pm. The Stables and the Glasshouse are both open for breakfast.

Room service

A 24-hour menu reflects the restaurants' offerings.


Photos The Grove – Hertfordshire – United Kingdom
The Grove
Chandler's Cross
United Kingdom


A 25-minute (18-mile) drive gets you to London Luton Airport (www.london-luton.co.uk), which handles regular international flights to Europe and North Africa. London Heathrow airport is also pretty convenient (21 miles, approximately 30 minutes' drive) and has international flights to and from almost every destination around the world.


Served by various rail services from across and around London, Watford Junction rail station is less than a 10-minute taxi ride from the Grove. You can jump in a cab at the station rank (from £8).


Although it's in the countryside, it's still within the M25, making it a relatively hassle-free drive from London's 'burbs and boundary counties. Leave at Junction 19, and follow signs to Watford. At the first big roundabout take the A411 (third exit); half a mile later, you'll spot the entrance on your right-hand side. There are plenty of spaces in the car park, and valet parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

As well as the championship golf course and spa, fitness classes and personal training, there's a sculpture trail, tennis courts, bikes to borrow, a full-size football pitch and even a beach volleyball court by the outdoor pool. Picnics can be arranged; there are picturesque patches of shade by the ornamental canal, and plenty of trees and bushes in the formal gardens. The Potting Shed by the Walled Garden has snooker and ping-pong tables. You're unlikely to leave the hotel, but Whipsnade Zoo and Knebworth House are within driving distance.


Photos The Grove – Hertfordshire – United Kingdom

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Grove’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The spa, the food, the golf course, and of course the creche and babysitting service.

Don’t expect

Anything cheap.


Stayed on 27 Dec 2015

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