5 Bubble Luxury Spa 2018

Sequoia Spa at The Grove


A grand spa and health club within 300 acres of county house estate with a championship golf course and tennis courts. The impressive multi-storey spa and health club is set in a former stable block with a stunning 22-metre indoor swimming pool tiled in black, and a 25-metre outdoor pool for summer. The 18 therapy rooms offer some delicious body, face, beauty and results-driven treatments with ESPA and Natura Bissé products. The female changing rooms have their own thermal area and some mesmerising art.

069186_GSG_Winner_BEST_SPA_IN_THE_EAST_MIDLANDS_AND_EAST_

Features

  • Single sex facilities
  • XXL robes available
  • Family swim times
  • Child care facilities
  • 18 treatment rooms
  • Male and female relaxation rooms
  • Relaxation room
  • Steam room
  • Sauna
  • Jacuzzi
  • Experience showers
  • 25m outdoor swimming pool
  • 22m indoor swimming pool
  • Exercise studio with fitness classes
  • Gym
  • Volleyball court
  • Tennis courts
  • Croquet lawn
  • Golf Course

Products

  • ESPA
  • Jessica
  • Natura Bisse
  • Mii

Our Spa Spy review

First impressions

First Impressions

Although minutes from the M25, The Grove is set in 300 acres and looks over a sweep of undulating parkland to uninterrupted countryside. The driveway winds through golf courses and gardens taking you to the hotel entrance and valet parking. The lobby is white and modern, light from the enormous sash windows gleams on polished marble floors. Rooms are modern and stylish; ours overlooked the ornamental gardens dotted with striking sculptures.

The Sequoia Spa is at the rear of the hotel. Head down concrete steps, past a dramatic silver water-wall into the gleaming white reception. Cool contemporary chairs and lamps and striking swirly panels in the juice bar create a groovy-glam vibe. The facilities span two floors with various levels of access.

On offer

What's on offer?

If you're visiting the spa for the day, you go down a mirrored corridor to the exclusive women's or men's "treatment" changing rooms. (Health-club members and hotel guests use a different changing room; just as stylish, but busier and larger.)

The décor is chic, all-white, with square-panelled wooden lockers and a glamorous white leather day-bed. Vanity areas have straighteners, hairdryers, dental and shaving kits, deodorant, body cream – everything but cleanser and moisturiser. ESPA shampoo, conditioner and body wash are in blue glass shower cubicles.

Through a door from the changing rooms is a women's thermal suite. This is a striking space with polished marble floors, dramatic lighting and potted trees. Along one side is a backlit curved wooden bench for resting, shelves of towels, and water. A wooden sauna, heated to 80 degrees, has two benches for four. The steam room has a grey mosaic L-shaped seat designed to seat eight: it was kettle-hot steamy on our visit. Between them and behind an LED-lit glass panel is a square experience shower with overhead and side jets.

A large, square vitality pool has its own room. Floor, walls and pool are tiled in dark grey slate, apart from one glass wall. A 60s-style curvy white bench is at one end, and there are hooks for robes, but the pool fills the space. Bubble on jet beds or massage your shoulders under the swan-pipes.

The 22-metre swimming pool is tiled dramatically in black beneath a wooden beamed ceiling. A warm, bubbly rectangular Jacuzzi is at one end of the pool, and a door leads to a shared steam room for six.

Several loungers sit around the pool with bottles of water and magazines to help yourself to. Windows look out to the large spa terrace which has artificial hedges and stylish seating: picture-perfect for sunny-day selfies.

There is also a gym which has recently had a lavish refurbishment, a private nail and grooming suite, and a studio offering a range of classes all day to spa goers. The 22-metre outdoor pool, faux sandy beach, volleyball and tennis courts are in the walled garden outside the hotel, and only available in summer.

When you're ready for your treatment, head to the women's relaxation room. A tropical fish-tank in the centre of the room glows in the darkness. Help yourself to herbal teas or water and magazines.

As men don't have a relaxation room, however, couples wait in the Panzai room, filled with plants, designer chairs, magazines, and a selection of hot and cold drinks.

Tell us about the treatments

Tell us about the treatments

We had the ESPA Blissful Rest Massage (£145, 120 minutes) followed by the Natura Bissé High Definition Face Lift (80 minutes, £170).

My therapist, Stephanie, collected me from the relaxation room and led me to a large treatment room with modern white-panelled walls and soft lighting. We chose my ESPA Oil: Fitness, which has uplifting citrusy notes with warming clove for aching muscles. Stephanie went through my facial in detail; billed as an alternative to micro-injections, it involves some powerful peels, finger brushes to stimulate circulation, and a syringe full of inhibitor serum. (No needle, it's purely for dramatic effect.)

Stephanie left me to disrobe, slip on disposable pants and lie face down on the warm treatment bed. After making sure I was comfortable, she began with a deep back massage using the heels of her hands, arms and elbows to give very deep and intense strokes. She stretched my arms and legs as she worked and ironed out all tension. The massage was perfect, just what I needed. Stephanie then wrapped me up warmly and began the facial.

After a double cleanse, Stephanie applied the Diamond hyaluronic acid mask (mildly tingly) followed by a firm sculpting massage. She painted on a powerfully scented second mask, then placed a cloth on top. As this hydrating concoction worked its magic, she massaged my arms and hands. The mask lifted clean off.

Stephanie stroked my skin with the micro-circulation finger brushes, turning them over to create mini suction cups to stimulate circulation. Stephanie dabbed on the inhibitor serum with the syringe and massaged it into my wrinkles. She applied Radiance moisturiser and eye cream, and finally a tinted SPF Factor 50 -- very sensible.

I have to say, I was stunned by the effect of this facial; it stripped years off me and continued tightening for 24 hours, so I woke up looking radiantly airbrushed. If I were to return for two more weekly top-ups, the effects would last three months.

Sequoia at The Grove has a menu of targeted facials, body treatments, rituals, mindfulness therapies, and men's treatments using ESPA and Natura Bissé products. They also offer Wellness for Cancer treatments and Jessica manicures and pedicures.

Food facts

Food Facts

Lunch is a mix-and-match bento box; choose a starter, main dish, side salad and pudding from the menu when you arrive for your spa day. Head to The Garden Room in your robe at the assigned time and find the table with your name on it. We had carrot soup, halloumi tabbouleh and Caesar salad with fresh anchovy and egg -- very crisp and tasty -- with fruit and yoghurt to end.

There are many dining options in the evening: The Glasshouse if you want a lively food court, Colette's for fine dining, or The Stables with its selection of grilled fish, meat, and vegetarian options plucked from the garden: we had a delightful watercress and vegetable soup here, followed by a risotto with mozzarella and peppers.

We loved / we didn't love

We loved / we didn't love

We loved

The grounds and gardens are a work of art: quite literally as they are dotted with sculptures, topiary, and delightful hideaways. It's hard to believe you're in Watford.

Jogging along the canal on a bright misty morning; and swimming in the velvety water of the black tiled pool; it felt like a midnight dip.

Our treatments: An ESPA massage and Natura Bissé facial are perfect for us ladies of a certain age.

We didn't love

Leaving Sequoia and The Grove without having time to try a class, the new gym, or the woodland walk... so much to do!

Who do you think would like it?

Who do you think would like it?

Solo spa-istas: With plenty of quiet spaces and things to do alone, Sequoia at The Grove is the perfect escape for someone who wants top-end treatments in a glamorous setting.

Fitness fiends: Besides the championship golf course, swimming pools, gym and classes, there are tennis and volleyball courts, biking and running trails, as well as delicious healthy food and drink options.

Couples and friends: We saw plenty of friends enjoying a spa day, and lots of couples. There are children's swim times, but the spa is adult only.

Those in recovery: Staff are nurturing and welcoming, and Sequoia at The Grove offers Wellness for Cancer treatments.

What bubble rating did you give this spa?

What bubble rating did you give this spa?

Sequoia at The Grove retains its Good Spa Guide 5 Bubble Luxury status. With above-and-beyond customer service, high quality treatments, and beautiful facilities that have kept their age well, Sequoia is a luxurious spa in a delightful setting.

Savant Spy visited in September 2018 and awarded it 5 Bubble Luxury.

Public Opinion

This spa is...
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What others are saying

"SPA The spa has only a few facilities which have to be shared with everyone. The steam room has space for 3/4 people and you will find it rather poorly maintained. There were a few other rooms which had water jets which were quite nice. The pool has a very lovely black tile floor which is cold but still a wonderful experience to swim, there is also a line of bubbles which I guess represents the "jacuzzi". There was a small room with a lot of equipment and a few friendly PT ( personal trainers) this was the gym, it was well maintained, clean and had clean towels and water but rather small never the less.The changing rooms were adequate they had a few extras like basic disposable razors and toothbrush (you may prefer to use your own razor). HOTEL The rooms were standard hotel rooms, very corporate felt like I was going to a conference not a spa break. The rooms were clean and well maintenaned but it felt like a basic room, it doesn't have a "home-y" feeling which for a spa is a must. After dinner (9pm) we went back to the room, we had the staff trying to come in twice while we were there to turn down the bed - which had already been done. The outside of the hotel was very well looked after and the garden was a joy to walk around. There is a massive golf course which I would presume would be great for a good weekend of golfing, and it also had a small but fully equipped shop for golf gear. FOOD On arrival we visited "The Stables", we managed to get a sit outside and thus to enjoy the view of the grounds. The food was a bit burned but not too serious, apart from that it arrived quickly. For breakfast we went to the main area which is absolutely wonderful, had a great selection of choices and very well prepared food. The enjoyed a spot of tea with a few sandwiches in the lounges which was very comfortable sitting area with live piano music upon request. OVERALL Spa -4/10 Hotel - 7/10 Golf ( can't confirm as I don't play) 8/10 Food 7/10 Afternoon tea 9/10"

Erik

  • March 13, 2016 at 10:54 am

Voted: Solo Friendly


"My favourite spa. On arrival at the outdoor stairs down into the spas I stand and breathe in the amazing aroma of the beautiful oils and products used in the luxurious treatment packages. From that first deep breath I am transported to a world of relaxation and pampering. The staff are friendly, courteous and determined to make every visit a memorable one. Warm fluffy robes, slippers, towels & even paper underwear, I am ready for my treatment. I always allow plenty of time to use the relaxation room and feel totally ready for my experience. The showers have beautiful Espa shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving kits, tooth brush kits , shower caps & even cotton wool pads & ear buds. Hair driers & GHDs mean I can relax, swim, play golf or work out in the great gym and still get ready without carrying anything but my makeup, hair brush & clothes. An all around treat. I've used spas all over the world & I love The Sequoia!"

Caroline

  • October 27, 2015 at 7:39 am

Voted: Family friendly A social spa Health Focused Solo Friendly Romantic


Spa Location

Spa location


Chandlers Cross,
Hertfordshire,
WD3 4TG

01923 294294

Visit the spa's website

Extra Information

Dining

Spa lunches are served in the Garden Room.

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday 6.30 – 10pm; Saturday - Sunday 7.30 – 8pm

Treatment menu

View the treatment menu

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