We all love to escape for a well deserved weekend of golf, pampering and over indulgence but for those with “a better half” it can often be difficult to drop everything and leave them in the lurch for the weekend without incurring some serious “I owe you points”! Thankfully, there are plenty of places in the UK & Ireland where golfers and non golfers alike can enjoy a few days of peace and quiet. With such venues in mind we thought we would ask a guy from yourgolftravel.com and a gal from Spabreaks.com for their take on one of the finest resorts in the Greater London area, The Grove. Read on to see what they had to say…
What did you like the most about The Grove?
He Said: I really appreciated the outstanding levels of service throughout the resort, and was bowled over by the quality of the facilities, which ensure every member of your group will be superbly catered for.
She Said: To be honest, it’s simply a lovely place to spend time – I would be happy having a cup of tea in the bar, reading the Sunday newspapers and watching the world go by here!
What did you think of the spa?
He Said: Not exactly an area of expertise for me, but there are times when it really strikes the right note for me; the style was subtle and the staff incredibly knowledgeable. The treatment list sounded impressive, but I was content to just bubble away in the Jacuzzi and swim a few leisurely lengths after spending much of the day on the golf course.
She Said: The Sequoia spa has an Ayurvedic influence – think natural materials and holistic treatments but set alongside the best in modern amenities and design. The black mosaic-tiled, ozone –filtered pool (avoids the use of chlorine) is very much a place to relax, and there is also a steam room and a Jacuzzi. Treatments use ESPA products, and there is a couple’s suite with a king sized bath, steam shower and two treatment beds – basically your own private spa. The piéce de rèsistance for me however, was the English Rose ritual – a full body and scalp massage lasting one hour and 50 minutes … doesn’t really need explaining further does it?
How was the golf course?
He Said: The Grove is pretty unique in the UK, really, in terms of being a purpose-built tournament standard facility. There are no members, so every visitor gets a country club-style experience that makes everything that little bit more enjoyable; bag tags, complimentary club cleaning and more are just some of the extra touches that make golf at The Grove a special experience. The course itself is tough, and long from the back pegs, but there are tees to suit all, but the main thing to take away from The Grove is the truly unrivalled conditioning of the course – it’s like a show garden! Every divot carried a little guilt…
She Said: I didn’t venture out onto the course but there is no denying it is very pretty…no really, you would never know you are only five minutes from the M25!
What’s the restaurant like?
He Said: For my tastes, The Stables was absolutely ideal. There are more formal eateries, but I enjoyed the laid back ambience and a menu packed with pies, steaks and proper pizza!
She Said: There are several options – fine dining at Colette’s, Lounges for afternoon tea (and aforementioned paper-reading), wood-fired pizzas in The Stables and my favourite for theatrical cooking and amazing Bircher muesli breakfasts – The Glasshouse – open for all meals and pleasingly casual.
What else is there to do at The Grove?
He Said: The resort is staffed with some of the country’s top golf pros, so is a great place to book in for some expert tuition. One-on-one or in group clinics, these guys really know their stuff and I went away with a couple of swing thoughts that have really helped my game.
She Said: Explore the grounds, they are really beautiful and there is a whopping 300 acres to run, walk or cycle around. There is also an outdoor pool, tennis, volleyball, croquet and if the weather is nice head to the Urban Beach in the Walled Garden and grab a deck chair!
Would you recommend going there?
He Said: It would be extremely difficult not to enjoy yourself at The Grove. The standard throughout is so consistently high that you could come with any expectation or any interest and still be wowed. Great for couples, small groups or corporate events.
She Said: This is a place for seriously elegant time out, so it’s probably not somewhere to take the kids; but for time out on your own, with friends, and particularly for couples who want to relax together but who also want to enjoy their own activities you would be hard pushed to find somewhere better!
What is your top tip for visiting The Grove?
He Said: Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy all that’s on offer. Get there early on arrival day, and don’t hurry off after you check out – there’s so much to explore at the hotel and in the grounds that you should really make the most of.
She Said: If you are a fan of the arts, the hotel is hosting an outdoor Expressions of Movement sculpture exhibition until September this year, inspired by the London Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee – one of the sculptures is a set of thrones by Frances Segelman who made his name creating busts of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh – check it out!