The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire is a lovely place to winter. This shouldn’t be a revelation: the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire is a lovely place to anything. Any season or occasion can only be improved by the addition of a luxurious manor house hotel boasting 300 acres of beautiful countryside and a sky so vast you feel God could swim in it.

Valentine’s Day will become more romantic, August will gain that extra gleam of sun. Hell, even an asteroid collision would gain certain perks that can’t be found elsewhere. Doesn’t the rapidly approaching wall of flame and debris look beautiful when set against the foliage?

Granted, winter visitors to the Grove will be unlikely to swim in the outdoor pool, and those BBQs in the walled garden may be off the menu. (Check out this piece for a full summation of the delights of the Grove in summer.) But there’s a kind of wonder to the place on a winter’s evening. A sense of peace and solitude so encompassing that your presence in Euston Station barely forty minutes ago must be a trick of a mind.

The Grove Hotel, garden and golf course

We wandered the grounds in the fading light, the moon starkly beautiful above us, the trees throwing shadows on the grass. On our right, the hotel glowed with warmth and comfort; on our left, the world seemed to stretch on forever. It felt so magical, I half expected Professor Dumbledore to emerge from behind a hedge and chide us for being late for our potions class.

You don’t remain one of the country’s leading hotels by standing still, however lovely the scenery. This year the Grove reopened its ​​new-look mansion rooms and suites – situated, as the name suggests, within the 18th century mansion itself. Refurbished by British interior design studio Martin Hulbert Design, the spaces lean into the history of the Grove with Georgian stylings offset by modern amenities.

Make no mistake, these are pretty stylish stylings. Roll top bath. Four-poster bed. A view over grounds so lordly you’ll start to wonder whether you should raise the taxes on your vassals. The amenities aren’t bad, either: rising widescreen TV cabinet at the foot of the aforementioned four poster bed? Don’t mind if I do. All streaming services included, naturally.

The Grove Hotel, Junior Suite

See the minibar? It’s complimentary! Take whatever you want from it! Beer, wine, snacks – all are included. This novelty takes a while to process; I opened a can of punk IPA as though it might explode and scar me with a £35 tab. Not in the mansion, baby. Well, not in the mansion’s deluxe rooms and suites. You should definitely double check when you book, otherwise checking out could bring a nasty shock.

Also new are the Bamford spa treatments, which can be enjoyed at the spa of all places. There’s much to enjoy at the spa – indoor swimming pool, steam rooms, jacuzzi – but let’s focus on the treatments. The signature massage is quite something. It lasts for eighty minutes and you’ll feel the benefits for days.

Your masseuse – I had the wonderful Alex – talks you through your needs and then performs a blind smell test on three different Bamford oils to discern which is best suited to be rubbed into your muscles. Then lie back, literally, for an hour of the finest possible pampering. I emerged invigorated and educated – Alex provided some incredibly useful advice on maintaining the old physical wellbeing. Lie by the swimming pool to decompress.

The Grove Hotel, Spa

We dined at The Glasshouse, a restaurant unlike any other I’ve experienced. It’s literally a fine-dining buffet. Sushi is hand-rolled in front of you. Lamb is grilled over an open flame. Fancy some Chinese food? Over there, right next to the curry station. Ever yearned to combine peshwari naan and barbecued chicken thigh? Well yearn no more! It’s a frankly dizzying smorgasbord of cuisines and the best advice I can offer is pace yourself.

I've not even had a chance to mention the golf course. Or the tennis courts. Or the numerous activities taking place over Christmas and beyond – click here for more details. Or the fact you're less than ten minutes' drive from Warner Bros Studios Tour and Harry Potter. 

But who needs Harry Potter? There's magic enough at The Grove.   

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For more info, see The Grove