The Grove of Narbeth, set deep in the rolling Narbeth Hills of Pembrokeshire, is one of the most romantic hotels in Wales and the recently refurbished bathrooms featuring House of Rohl fittings, fit the mood of the space…
Centred around a 17th Century, three-story building of classical proportions, Grove of Narberth hides an Arts and Crafts interior with 13 delightfully individual rooms and suites. Recently refurbished, the new bathrooms feature a House of Rohl, Victoria + Albert freestanding bath, the model chosen to fit the mood of the space. A York roll-top bath in a warm mustard colour sits invitingly in one, in another, the more contemporary Amiata bath by Italian designers, Meneghello Paolelli Associati.
Sometimes the tub escapes the bathroom, sitting behind the bed for convivial bathtime conversation. Colour and pattern are used with care, but without overwhelming the senses. Exposed walls, beams and original features provide a unique character. The aim in each is to avoid the cold and clinical feel of many modern bathrooms and to cosset, pamper and indulge.
The Grove of Narbeth provides an object lesson in boutique hotel bathroom design. Designer Jay Grierson of Martin Hulbert Design is happy to mix styles, periods and materials. One room inserts a traditional freestanding bath between two washbasin stands, creating an original configuration that suits the shape of the space. The paint colour on the cupboards underneath the washbasins matches the bath’s exterior, whereas the countertop basins and taps create a different dialogue, being of modern design.
The Derwen room, in the eaves of the house, is a generously-sized but intimate bedroom named after the Welsh word for oak. Here, the sculptural profile of a white Victoria + Albert bath is matched to twin countertop basins with a fluted exterior, the texture of the ridges contrasting with the smooth, almost velvety feel of the matt-finish bath.
The original master bedroom of the house is named after the Victorian architect responsible for the main building, John Paul Seddon, and overlooks the Preseli hills from its prime first floor position. It’s a romantic suite with a luxurious four-poster bed. In the bathroom you might expect the antique ceramic fireplace to be matched by a claw-footed cast-iron bath, or perhaps a glistening copper tub, but Grierson picks the striking, straight-sided ios bath from Victoria + Albert, a masterpiece of modern simplicity.
This eclectic approach, choosing each piece individually to fit the space, is time-consuming and requires an expert eye, but brings a distinctive personality to each bathroom. More than that, it gives it soul.
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Main image credit: House of Rohl and The Grove Narberth