Our Program Cost Consultancy team provided cost management services to the Grove Hotel Project, which consists of restoring an 18th century mansion and 300 acres of parkland to their original magnificence.
The Grove Hotel, once the family home of the Earls of Clarendon, was secured by the Ralph Trustees in the mid-1990s to be developed into a luxury ‘destination’ hotel. Although it faced many challenges, the hotel opened to great accolade.
The Grove Mansion was long overdue for restoration, rehabilitation and redevelopment, having been used as a school, poultry farm, engineering training center and the wartime headquarters of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway since 1920. Furthermore, numerous clumsy and unsympathetic alterations and extensions were made along the way that needed to be corrected.
However, the mansion’s potential as a hotel was clear. Within easy reach of central London, Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports and close to main arterial transport routes, the site also offered scope for an 18-hole championship golf course designed to USPGA standards. Our Client, Ralph Trustees – the largest family-owned and run hotel group in the United Kingdom – was keen to create a unique hotel, offering luxurious facilities with individual style and comfort.
A five-year planning battle was fought, which included archaeological issues as well as the relocation of bats, badgers and grass snakes. However, planning permission was finally obtained – with the first enabling works and demolition contracts underway in 2000 and construction works on the main buildings in early 2001.
In September 2003, the Grove Hotel opened, with 227 luxury bedrooms and suites, three restaurants, extensive meeting and conference facilities, ‘Sequoia’, the twelve-room spa with gym, indoor pool and golf clubhouse, all built from the ruins of the estate stable block, restored walled gardens with outdoor tennis courts and pool, extensive landscaping, newly planted gardens and a golf course.
The hotel has since accomplished:
- Awarded the AA’s Hotel of the Year in 2005.
- Awarded the Best New Hotel Interior Design category at the European Hotel Design Awards 2004.
The golf course staged the American Express World Golf Championships in 2006.
Not only has a forgotten building been restored to its former splendor, but the local community has benefited from hundreds of new jobs and a sense of immense pride in its new landmark facility.