Grove awarded ‘Considerate Collection’ membership

Earlier this year, Grove of Narberth joined the Small Luxury Hotels family. SLH share the same values that we hold dear at Grove, while championing all the great reasons to stay in a small independent hotel like ours.

This week, SLH announced the launch of The Considerate Collection, a new initiative with 26 pioneering hotels in 16 countries, each meeting the highest criteria in sustainability. We’re delighted that Grove of Narberth has been selected to be part of this community of actively sustainable hotels going the extra eco mile.

“The Considerate Collection is a new ethos-driven green and ocean blue standard for boutique hotels that go the extra mile to stay sustainable. Hotels within the Considerate Collection have been handpicked for achieving the highest categories against the SLH Sustainability Criteria and Pillars, which are aligned with the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) as well as Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) framework. They are Sustainable Innovators that are Community Minded, Cultural Custodians and Environmentally Conscious.
Each property has either achieved a GSTC recognised certification or passed an assessment by the SLH Sustainability Advisory Panel, with independent and impartial review by the GSTC. They’ve been visited, vetted, and verified against these criteria and many other SLH quality measures.”

Grove has always been committed to sustainability and we’re proud to be recognised as a pioneering property guest can explore with intention, while we continue to build on our ethos to champion sustainable business as we move towards our goal of being net zero.

Summer 2021 safety procedures update

Following the announcement of the latest government guidelines, which come into effect in Wales on August 7th, our continued priority will be the safety of our team and guests.

We plan to uphold our current safety procedures following the lifting of restrictions in order to help control the spread of the virus. As we emerge from such a long period of restrictions and lockdowns, we know that our team, guests, and local communities will be comfortable in moving forward at different paces.

While the legal requirement to wear a mask and socially distance will end on August 7th, we would be grateful if you wear your mask when moving around the hotel.

Our team (unless exempt) will continue to wear masks at all times. We will also continue to check the temperature of our guests upon arrival and operate at reduced numbers to allow for greater social distancing.

Our cleaning regimes and hand sanitising stations will remain, and the NHS Track & Trace scanning points will be at reception for guests wishing to use it.

If you have tested positive for Covid, or someone you have been in close contact with has tested positive for the virus, please do contact us to rearrange your visit.

Thank you for your support.

 

Tour a new cottage suite

Here’s our lovely ground floor suite “Cwtch,” one of our newly refurbished rooms.

Full of character, this modern suite is framed by the exposed stone walls of its historic building. Cwtch up in the luxurious steel four-poster bed and soak in its double-ended roll-top bath. Internal french doors open into a new glass sun lounge surrounded by mature trees and greenery.

Located on the ground floor of our 15th-century cottage, Cwtch also has a private terrace.

 

 

 

Grove awarded 5 Star status by AA Hospitality

The Grove team are delighted that the hotel has been awarded 5 Star status by AA hospitality.

AA Hospitality are at the forefront of hospitality standards and have been recognising excellence for 112 years. The AA is the only pan-British organisation for quality rating and assessment to the hospitality industry, and this 5 Star rating reflects their assessment of the facilities and overall quality of the experience.

Grove of Narberth is one of only 3 hotels in Wales that holds a AA 5 Star hotel rating.

Simon Numphud FIH, Managing Director, AA Media said:

“We are delighted to recognise the Grove of Narberth with our AA 5 Star hotel classification. This is the culmination of many years’ hard work, commitment and vision from passionate owners Neil and Zoe Kedward, and their continued investment in both the property itself, and importantly, their fantastic team. Grove has evolved into a truly special hotel and one well deserving of its AA 5 Star status.”

Thomas Agius Ferrante, General Manager, Grove of Narberth said:

“It’s incredibly exciting for Grove to be awarded 5 Star status by the AA, especially as it’s come so soon after reopening. Our dedicated and passionate team have truly hit the ground running in so many ways, having reopened with peak season volumes after such a long period of closure. I couldn’t be prouder of them all for having displayed such resilience and a true dedication to making memorable moments for our guests.”

Grove Reopens After Lockdown

Grove reopened on May 17th after closing in mid-December for the second extended lockdown.

While the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 gave us all a chance to take a step back and spend time with our families, it also allowed us the opportunity to complete refurbishment work at the Grove while the hotel was closed.

During the first lockdown, we refurbished four rooms in the main house – our Henry Master Suite, Seddon Junior Suite, Partridge Deluxe, and Blue Deluxe. Working with our great friends, Martin Hulbert Design, the rooms were renovated and redecorated with a luxurious and modern twist complementing the period features of the house.

We also added a large nature pond to the grounds at the front of the house. We’ve always enjoyed the meandering streams that pass through our gardens, and we decided to dig out a large area to create this sanctuary for wildlife, and provide our guests with a beautiful relaxing space. The pond is already naturalising and moor hens, ducks and lots of frogs have already taken up residence. We have also seen herons and Canadian geese dropping in for a short rest on their travels north and south from here.

While the second lockdown through winter was challenging for us all, we decided to continue with the exciting plans we’d committed to, and in early February, we began our most ambitious renovations project yet. The 16-week project to renovate six of our cottage suites involved stripping back the rooms to their bare bones and remodelling the spaces entirely. The first floor Meadow, Preseli and Elderflower rooms, and the ground floor Byre, Cwtch, and Bramble, have exposed dark floors, steel frames, acoustic ceilings and a gorgeous blend of handcrafted furniture, that beautifully complement the 15th century cottages.

We also added innovative glass box sunlounges to the ground floor rooms, turning them into spacious and very unique suites that bring the “inside out.” The sunlounges also have private terraces surrounded by trees and greenery, with direct access into the gardens. Our latest rooms were also designed by Martin Hulbert.

In addition to the internal changes, we also increased the capacity of the car park and knocked down a large wall in the garden to provide an uninterrupted view across the grounds towards the Preseli mountains.

We work hard every day to deliver on our commitment to continuously improve guest experiences at Grove, and we’re delighted to have been able to achieve so much during the challenging last 15 months.

The work has certainly kept us busy, but that’s just how we like it.

Sunday Times – Best Hotel in Wales

We are delighted that Grove of Narberth has been named Best Hotel in Wales in The Times and Sunday Times Best Places to Stay Awards 2020.

“The annual Sunday Times Best Places to Stay guide, featuring the very best British hotels, has become the gold standard of the industry over the past decade. It’s a tribute to this thriving sector that even in this most challenging of years, we’ve seen a raft of exciting new openings, as well as established names upping their games. Whatever style of getaway you’re looking for, in whatever region, you can be sure of a welcoming and safe place to stay. You’ll be delighted to hear that our reviewers have selected The Grove as one of our best hotels in the country.”

Duncan Craig, Travel Editor, The Times and The Sunday Times

All of us can appreciate all the hard work that goes into delivering the hotel and restaurant standards that awards like this acknowledge.  2020 has been a momentous year not least due to the crisis that we have worked through together which makes receiving this award even sweeter.   Over the last 12 months we have achieved 5 star hotel status and become the only venue in South West Wales to ever achieve this standard.  Thomas our GM and the team have worked tirelessly to improve every aspect of our guest experience and food & drink offering.  We have also installed state of the art kitchens and back of house areas so that our team can feel proud of all the spaces they work in.   Four fabulous guestrooms and our gallery lounge have been reimagined by our designers and dear friends Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson.  An exciting new terrace bar and lake have also been added to the front of the property to enhance this outside space for our guests.   But we haven’t stopped there, with significant investments made to run Phase 3 electricity and high speed broadband it our location deep in the Pembrokeshire countryside.

Our General Manager Thomas and owners Neil & Zoe could not be more proud of the team for staying strong in 2020 despite all the momentous changes we have introduced whilst managing through this nasty pandemic.

Seren appoints Mourad Ben Tekfa as Director of Restaurants

The Seren Collection have announced that Mourad Ben Tekfa has been appointed as Director of Restaurants.

Mourad joins the team in South West Wales after 18 years at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons where he originally joined as Restaurant Manager before becoming Restaurant Director in 2010. With over 20 years’ experience working within Michelin starred establishments, he is also a proud holder of a Master of Culinary Arts Award.

In his new role, Mourad will support the business leaders to ensure the highest standards of service and guest experience are delivered across all four restaurants in the collection. These includes the fine dining Fernery and more casual Artisan Room Restaurant at the Grove of Narberth, the Michelin starred Beach House Restaurant on the Gower Peninsular, and the highly regarded Coast Restaurant in Saundersfoot.

In this role Mourad will also join the owners Neil & Zoe Kedward on the newly formed Executive Management Board for the collection.

Managing Director of The Seren Collection, Neil Kedward said:

“’We all need great people around us and so we are delighted to have Mourad by our side.

The loyalty he has shown to Le Manoir over so many years is rare to see, and he has delivered at the highest level for so long. His contribution to Raymond Blanc’s vision and the wider sector in terms of people development is enormous.

We feel blessed to be able to bring somebody of his obvious calibre into the Seren Collection to ensure our quality levels continue to progress in the years ahead. With so many exciting plans for the future, Mourad is the perfect restaurant professional to help us make them a reality.”

Restaurant Director, Mourad Ben Tekfa said:

“I am thrilled to have accepted the position Director of Restaurants for the Seren Collection. The vision and ambition that Neil shared with me, made it a straightforward and a very exciting decision to take.

The team has already achieved many accolades, and I have witnessed first-hand the excellence of service within the restaurants. I am looking forward to helping the collection build on this success in beautiful South West Wales.”

Thomas Agius Ferrante promoted to Director

Grove of Narberth General Manager Thomas Agius Ferrante has been promoted to Hotel Director at the 5-star hotel nestled in the Pembrokeshire countryside in South West Wales.

Following his appointment as General Manager in early 2019 and outstanding contribution since joining, Thomas has been offered a Directorship of the hotel owned by Neil & Zoe Kedward. In this role he will also have a position on the newly formed Executive Management Board for the wider group of businesses. The Grove of Narberth Hotel forms part of the Seren Collection which includes the one Michelin starred Beach House Restaurant on the Gower Peninsular, and the highly regarded Coast Restaurant in Saundersfoot.

Thomas arrived from The Phoenicia in Malta where he was Hotel Manager. This iconic 5-star historic hotel flanks the main gates of the capital Valletta and is a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ consortium.  Thomas started his career as a kitchen chef before moving into senior management roles first at One Aldwych and then at The Berkeley where he spent 7 years latterly as the Food & Beverage Operations Manager.

Neil Kedward, Managing Director of The Seren Collection said:

“Since Thomas joined us in South West Wales, he has taken real ownership of the business, tightened up our operations and significantly grown revenues whilst carefully maturing our service standards which is clear to see. He has become a key part of our future vision for the hotel and we know he has the ambition and natural capability to keep growing with us in the years ahead. His commitment to Grove and the wider business is unquestionable and he has quickly become a mentor for so many across the collection. We simply love working with this guy.”

Thomas Agius Ferrante, General Manager and Director of Grove of Narberth said:

“I am so happy to have accepted a Directorship here at Grove. I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far and am excited by the challenge of taking the hotel forward along with our team here in Pembrokeshire. I look forward to implementing our exciting plans alongside Neil and Zoe as we continue to build on Grove’s achievements to date.”

Our Corner of Wales is Open

Our green hills and world famous coastline are now open to visitors once again.  After our little hibernation, my team and I are truly excited to share that we are making all the necessary preparations to open on 3rd August. 

The world is truly a different place and we have all seen our lives change.  It’s comforting to know that in Pembrokeshire and at Grove we have always had the luxury of space and beautiful countryside.  A place to relax in gentle seclusion away from the maddening crowds.

The welfare of our team and guests is of utmost importance.  We would like to assure you that all measures necessary are being taken without compromising any part of the Grove experience.  Click here to see our new commitment to our guests in what has been called the new normal.

Meanwhile at Grove, there has been lots of positive change with the refurbishment of rooms, restaurant and bar spaces inside and out, as well as lots of other surprises which we will share with you over the coming weeks.

I look forward to opening our doors and welcoming you to the Grove soon.

Thomas Agius Ferrante, General Manager

SSE Green Electricity

We are excited to share that we now have our SSE Green Electricity certificate meaning all our electricity is 100% renewable, clean electricity, generated by wind and hydro assets. It is renewably sourced and can be reported with zero carbon emissions under the GHG Protocol market-based method.

This wintertime we have also installed 3 phase electricity for the first time which has enabled us to move fully to induction cooking technology in the kitchens. This investment reduces our energy consumption whilst moving us from LPG to green energy for the first time. Our chefs are also happy working in a cleaner, safer and cooler kitchen working environment.

We are really proud of these new Green Energy Credentials which sit alongside our arrays of Solar Panels and Biomass Heating & Hot Water System which we invested in many years ago.