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.
- Single sex facilities
- XXL robes available
- Family swim times
- Child care facilities
- 18 treatment rooms
- Male and female relaxation rooms
- Relaxation room
- Steam room
- Experience showers
- 25m outdoor swimming pool
- 22m indoor swimming pool
- Exercise studio with fitness classes
- Volleyball court
- Tennis courts
- Croquet lawn
- Golf Course
- Natura Bisse
Our Spa Spy review
Although minutes from the M25, The Grove is set in 300 acres and looks over 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 gleaming on polished marble floors. Rooms are modern and stylish. Ours overlooked the ornamental gardens dotted with striking sculptures, such as the giant metal disc dangling in a majestic Sequoia tree.
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.
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 than the spa's.)
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 nicely hot and steamy steam room has a grey mosaic L-shaped designed to seat eight. 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 hooks for robes, but the pool fills the space. Bubble on jet beds or massage your shoulders under the swan-pipes.
If you fancy a swim, head upstairs to the 22-metre swimming pool, 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 and a private nail and grooming suite. The 22-metre outdoor pool, faux beach, volleyball and tennis courts are in the walled garden outside the spa, and only available in summer.
When you're ready for your treatment, head to the women's relaxation room. This is where your therapist will collect you. A tropical fish-tank in the centre of the room glows in the darkness. Help yourself to herbal teas or water and magazines, lie on one of eight beds and gaze at the brightly coloured fish darting through the coral.
As men don't have a relaxation room, however, couples can chill out in the Panzai room, filled with plants and designer chairs.
Tell us about the treatments
We had an ESPA Lifestage Intensive Lift Facial (80 minutes; £175). Stephanie led me to a spacious room with square white tiles and lit cove shelves. She explained the treatment, then let me inhale two toners and choose the most powerful (the theory being that scent indicates your needs). I was drawn to the hydrating toner, and regenerating oil.
Stephanie examined my skin under a lamp. My skin was in good condition, she said, except for some dark shadows around my eyes and sensitivity on my cheeks.
Stephanie dimmed the light and lowered the bed, making sure I was warm and comfortable. She massaged in a honey-like sticky cleanser, then applied a scrub which she worked into my pores using a Clarisonic hand-held machine; super-tickly around the nose, I actually sneezed.
She applied a light radiance mask, gave me an Indian head massage as it set, then removed the mask with hot mitts. Stephanie then began the three-stage facial massage: first, gently rocking my skin to loosen it; next, vigorously massaging my jawline and forehead; finally, using her fingers to nip and tuck around my eyes and cheeks.
The second mask was cold and thick, designed to lift and soothe. As it set, Stephanie gave me a leg and foot massage (you can also opt for hand and arm). She rolled off the rubbery mask, toned my skin, then applied serum, moisturiser and lip balm. To finish, she sprayed my arms with a hydrating spray.
It was a deeply sensuous facial, with lots of temperatures, scents and pressures, delivered gracefully. Afterwards, my skin appeared even and radiant, bags diminished and lips hydrated and full. I looked naturally enhanced and airbrushed.
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.
The juice bar is a lively space near reception, all white, chic with striking columns of black swirls. Choose from fresh teas, juices and coffees, as well as healthy salads, wraps and paninis plus indulgent desserts.
The Garden Room is a more serene café in the spa, again in white with pale wood floors, leather seating and hanging wicker chairs. Gentle daylight fills the space from skylights and a plant-filled atrium. We pre-ordered a bento box; four sections contained halloumi salad, squash and quinoa, beetroot soup and berries with yoghurt. Colours and flavours were beautiful, fresh and vibrant. We helped ourselves to delicious teas, coffee, water and nibbles.
Eating in robes is acceptable in both cafes, but we felt more comfortable in the Garden Room.
In the evening, we dined in The Glasshouse, a buffet-style feast with an open kitchen. Choose from sushi, cold cuts, various starters and hot mains. Finish with delicious desserts and cheese.
You can also choose from fine dining in Colette's, informal gastro-pub-style fare in The Stables, or afternoon tea in the lounges.
We loved / we didn't love
The décor: Thought and creativity has gone into each of the facilities, from the theatrical thermal space, the dramatic black-tiled pools, to the bright, plant-filled atrium with hanging pod chairs.
The customer service: Our therapist made us feel pampered, radiant and looked-after. Even the pool attendant seemed alert to everyone's needs.
We didn't love
The layout was a tad confusing. We would have appreciated a map.
Who do you think would like it?
Stylish spa-istas: Sequoia offers haute couture treatments in a glamorous setting.
Lovers of sport and fitness: 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.
Families: We saw lots of young couples with children, plus entire families out for dinner, many celebrating birthdays or anniversaries. 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?
Sequoia at The Grove retains its 5 Bubble Luxury status. Sequoia is a glamorous spa with stylish facilities, a great selection of food and drink as well as plenty of spaces to relax. With top-quality treatments and excellent customer service, it's a destination spa to savour.
Spa lunches are served in the Garden Room.
Monday - Friday 6.30 – 10pm; Saturday - Sunday 7.30 – 8pm