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  • In pictures: The Grove shelters masterful revamp from Martin Hulbert Design

    The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire
    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    In pictures: The Grove shelters masterful revamp from Martin Hulbert Design

    Guests checking in to The Grove in Hertfordshire, England, can expect a ‘transformed and elevated experience’, following a recent renovation to public areas and guestrooms which was led by award-winning design studio Martin Hulbert Design…

    The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

    In just a few days time, on May 17, The Grove, which is a quintessentially British countryside retreat in Hertfordshire, will reopen its doors with a perfectly timed unveil of its most recent renovation to transform what was a tired interior design scheme into a light, bright and playful modern hotel experience. The complete redesign, which was masterminded by interior design studio Martin Hulbert Design, incorporates all three dining spaces – The Glasshouse, The Stables and The Lounges – as well as the lobby area and all 189 West Wing guestrooms.

    The refurbishment represents a significant investment for The Grove over the past two years and has been completed during the UK lockdown period. Guests can expect a transformed and elevated experience at The Grove, which will re-emerge from the pandemic as a new hotel in late Spring, rather than a reopening of the property that closed in December 2020.

    London-based designers Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson have worked with The Grove since the hotel’s launch in 2003 in addition to completing a wide variety of residential and hotel projects around the world, including The Grove’s central London sister property The Athenaeum as well as Chewton Glen, Barnsley House and the Dorchester Spa. Martin Hulbert’s work has been published worldwide, consistently earning the studio a spot on House & Garden’s coveted top 100 interior designers. Hulbert and Grierson were charged with updating the property while retaining its signature warmth, character and luxurious modern touches. Whilst the new interiors reflect the evolution of the brand, many of the original furnishings still feature in the designs, albeit with a re-imagined look. This regenerative approach was taken not only to retain some of the hotel’s original character, but also to champion sustainability – a theme which is evident across the property.

    The Glasshouse, The Glasshouse Bar & Lobby

    The Grove’s signature restaurant, The Glasshouse, has been entirely reimagined with the ultimate vision of bringing the outside in. The striking glasshouse exterior, which overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond, provides abundant natural light. This complements an interior colour palette of warm, ochre yellow and rich earthy tones to create a sense of eternal sunshine, whatever the weather.

    Plush velvets and rich leathers provide a welcoming setting in which guests can enjoy The Glasshouse’s theatrical gourmet dining experience, with seating arranged around the restaurant’s open kitchen and live cooking stations. Bespoke, kinetic sculptures are suspended from the ceiling to create a gentle energy, while light and airy voile drapes provide a sense of intimacy.

    Image caption: The Glasshouse overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire.

    Image caption: The Glasshouse overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire.

    The theme continues at the neighbouring Glasshouse Bar, which features a brand-new mirrored bar area. The ambient space has been seamlessly incorporated into the hotel’s lobby area through the use of glass walls. This brings warmth to the newly-refreshed lobby and provides an immediate welcome for guests as they check in.

    The Lounges and The Stables

    Also part of the total design overhaul are The Grove’s much-loved Lounges, a series of characterful drawing rooms at the heart of 18th Century Mansion. Here, Hulbert’s team was tasked with creating three unique but cohesive spaces in which guests can relax with a cocktail or enjoy stunning views of the gardens over a traditional afternoon tea.

    The first of the three rooms has been brought up to date with jewel-like teal blue hues, contrasting with the light, minimalist interiors of the lobby and providing a warm and inviting feel. Rich, textured fabrics including tweed and velvet have been used for upholstery, drapery and soft furnishings, while handmade Irish linen and eclectic artwork by emerging artists adorns the walls.

    The second of the three Lounges, known as the Newspaper Room, enjoys a neutral yet opulent colour palette, where gold combines with gentle creams, browns and blues to create a soothing, sumptuous environment. A brand new mirrored and marble cocktail bar has been installed within an original feature alcove and in a nod to traditional Georgian interior styles, the walls have been decorated in a hand-finished painterly striped fabric.

    The Library completes the trio of rooms and invites the verdant garden surrounds of The Grove inside, with a scheme of tonal greens and earthy hues. A hand-painted, bespoke fabric covers the walls of the curved, oval space, complemented with dark panelling and contemporary artwork.

    The Grove’s Stables restaurant, currently the setting for Alpine-style pop-up restaurant ‘Jimmy’s Lodge at The Grove’, has also received a complete refresh, with warm tan leather seating and equine artwork as a nod to the late George Stubbs.

    West Wing Guestrooms

    Perhaps one of the largest projects for the hotel since its opening, all 189 of The Grove’s West Wing bedrooms have been completely remastered. Hulbert has employed a bright and airy scheme of neutral tones in tandem with seasonal green and rich sepia, inspired by the endless English countryside outdoors. Bespoke, handwoven wall hangings sourced from Italy frame king size beds while velvet soft furnishings offer luxurious comfort and the ideal setting in which to unwind after a day spent exploring the grounds.

    Image caption: Hulbert has employed a bright and airy scheme of neutral tones in tandem with seasonal green and rich sepia, inspired by the endless English countryside outdoors. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire

    The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

    The hotel, which is nestled within 300 acres of verdant Hertfordshire countryside, has met the new era of hospitality with a contemporary vision that now shelters a home-from-home for travellers and locals alike who desire a rural escape. With many nods to the hotel’s heritage, which dates back to the 1500s, the hotel’s interiors reflect British style with a few twists.

    Main image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire

    Hamish Kilburn / 05.05.2021

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