I know it doesn’t sound sexy.
Watford is anything but sexy (sorry Watfordians!) but, heading down South for the Lollibop festival (more of which another time) we needed somewhere to stay and, with a whole long weekend stretching out in front of us thanks to Mr L’s annual leave, The Grove (officially in Chandlers Cross) sounded just perfect.
With family rooms and babysitters on site how could we refuse?
Answer, we didn’t.
I imagine it’s pretty tricky to write anything other than a glowing review of anywhere when you’re drafting it whilst reclining on a roomy and comfortable sun lounger looking at this:
And hearing the peels of your children and husbands laughter from the sandpit makes the day even better.
Oh, yes; We had a wonderful weekend in Watford.
I wasn’t always sure that would be the case; Arriving at The Grove in our battered old Astra, roofbox and the obligatory children’s paraphernalia I had serious concerns we’d feel afraid to breathe in this place. That it would be too posh and, despite the websites bold claims, it would be stuffy.
I am happy to report it is none of these things.
Generally speaking, the Grove is Glorious.
The beds are bouncy.
The room service rocks.
The bathrooms are luxurious.
The breakfasts are, frankly ludicrous; in a good way.
And, though it was only 2 days away it felt like so much longer. It was one of the best family breaks we’ve ever had.
Seeing my husband and girls so happy and relaxed is priceless which, given the cost of a room is pretty lucky!
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spied the term ‘generally’.
That isn’t because I am ridiculously high maintenance or hard to please (my mum would disagree) it is because, like everywhere I’ve ever been there’s room for improvement.
If I went to the Hungry Horse for a burger (kidding, I’m more GBK kind of gal) I’d suck up what I was given unless it was genuinely inedible, but, if we’re somewhere which is meant to be all bells and whistles, expectations rise- that’s not just me is it?
As I’m writing this I am wondering how to make myself sound like less of a total idiot but, that’s the truth so I might as well get it out there; too Katie Hopkins?! Sorry I’m not sorry.
So, here’s my top 5 for The Grove to genuinely become 5 star…
1) 4 tea bags in a family room is not enough. That needs to be 6 or, even better 8. Tea is imperative! It is the elixir of life.
2) A toy box is a great idea so, make sure it is up to scratch otherwise people (me) are annoyed by something that should have been a bonus.
3) A family room ain’t truly a family room if, in order for anyone to get any sleep, the grown ups have to either hide with the iPad in the bathroom or create a makeshift den using the chair and the (amazing) curtains!
A baby listening service would also do the job!
4) Put some more people on reception at peak time. A toddler weeing on your hip whilst you wait isn’t a brilliant start 😉
5) I can’t think of a fifth which has to be a good sign! YEY You!
And, here’s my top 5 must do’s if you do head to The Grove;
1) Skip The Stables and hang in the lounges, they are relaxed, intimate and serve a stunning port!
2) Go to the spa. It looks absolutely sublime and I am crying; Crying that I simply walked through it with a toddler on my hip. Crying. Still.
3) Make the most of the amazing outdoor pool, beach and sun loungers. It’s heated so don’t be afraid!!
4) Burn off some energy in the beautiful gardens and check out the fab topiary animals.
5) If you want anything, ask. The staff were really fantastic and couldn’t do enough to help.
Thanks for having us Grove.
We had an amazing time.
Where would you recommend for a family break…in October we’re off to Ibiza- all tips for entertaining toddlers on a plane are very welcome.